It seems that one of the most lucrative and high-prestige positions in investment banking is about to get even more exclusive. According to a report published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal and citing "people familiar with the matter," Goldman Sachs (GS 0.83%) is reducing the number of employees it promotes to partner.

The ritual, conducted once every two years, elevates Goldman Sachs workers who have shown exceptional money-making ability. Newly minted partners receive a healthy boost in salary, with each being lifted to roughly $1 million per year at the least. They are also provided a generous chunk of the company's bonus pool and offered investment opportunities not granted to their peer employees, among other perks.

Money "raining" on a group of businesspeople.

Image source: Getty Images.

In 2018, according to Business Insider, the total number of partners was over 400; that figure has ranged from around 220 following Goldman's 1999 initial public offering (IPO) to over 500. The Journal's sources say that the incoming class of partners will be the company's smallest since the mid-1990s, although they did not provide a specific number or range.

But while the headcount is shrinking, the number of perks is growing. According to those sources, starting this year the partners will also be granted carried interest from four of the company's private investment funds. Additionally, Goldman will lend up to $500 million for partners to increase their holdings.

Carried interest is essentially a share of the profits from certain financial instruments -- like those funds -- given to partners. In the case of an investment fund, the carried interest is triggered if the fund hits a certain stipulated level of profitability.