Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) --Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history, promoted a record 299 people to managing director, the company's second- highest rank after partner. Managing directors are appointed annually, while partners are named every other year. The promotions take effect on Dec. 1, the start of the New York-based firm's new fiscal year, the company said in a statement today. Last year Goldman named 262 new managing directors and 115 partners. Goldman set aside $16.9 billion to pay salaries, benefits and bonuses in the first nine months of the year, surpassing the record for all of last year. Partners and managing directors are typically the highest paid of the firm's 29,905 employees. Fifty- seven percent of the new managing directors work outside the Americas and 19 percent are women. Including the new promotions, Goldman now has 1,384 managing directors and 383 partners. The largest portion of the new managing directors work in investment banking, said Andrea Rachman, a spokeswoman for the firm. She declined to provide specific figures. Of the new managing directors, 30 percent are in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 10 percent are in Japan, and 17 percent are in the rest of Asia, including China and India. Positions that rose in value as mortgage securities dropped, higher investment-banking fees and equity-trading gains helped Goldman's revenue climb 25 percent in the first nine months of 2007, faster than the 17 percent increase in employees.