Bad news for would-be Goldman partners

Lloyd Fonzie Blankfein

It just got tougher to make the cut.

Fewer rising stars will be shining at Goldman Sachs.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the New York securities firm is likely to bestow its prestigious partner designation, which often comes with millions of dollars in annual pay, on no more than 70 employees, said people familiar with the matter.

That is in line with Goldman's 2012 class, the smallest since the Wall Street giant went public in 1999. Goldman counts 409 partners among its 34,500 staffers. The firm handpicks a new group of partners from within the ranks every two years. A handful of outsiders are hired annually with that title.

The new class, expected to be revealed in November, reflects the firm's efforts to reward employees who have shown they are ready to assume a larger role in dictating Goldman's future direction, according to someone familiar with the situation.

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