Tag Archives | Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Proxy Voting Guide

Goldman Sachs (GS) operates as an investment banking, securities, and investment management company worldwide. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 100+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make. Below, I tell you how voted and why. If you have read these posts related to my portfolio for the last 22 years and trust my judgment (or you don’t want to take the time to read it), go immediately to see how I voted my ballot. Voting will take you only a minute or two and every vote counts.

The annual meeting is coming up on May 2, 2018. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 37% of the time. View Proxy Statement via SEC’s EDGAR system (look for DEF 14A). Continue Reading →

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Goldman Sachs: Proxy Vote 50

Goldman Sachs

Lloyd Blankfein, combined Chair/CEO – smiling

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS, $GS) is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The annual meeting of Goldman Sachs is coming up on May 20, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two fund families when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, compensation committee; FOR all shareholder proposals. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 50% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

Graphic from Bidness: Goldman Sachs Group Inc Lloyd Blankfein Heads the List of Top-Paid CEOs. See also  SumOfUs campaign.

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Government Service Golden Parachutes at C, GS, JPM, MS

Government Service Golden Parachutes

Government Service Golden Parachutes

citigroupI recently received an email from the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund urging a vote in favor (“FOR”) their shareholder resolutions asking Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), and Morgan Stanley (MS) to issue a report to shareholders disclosing the dollar amounts of government service golden parachutes – pay their senior executives will receive if they voluntarily resign to enter into government service.

GSThe proposal is a good idea. I hope to be following up with posts on how I voted at Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS). I do not own any shares of  JPMorgan (JPM) or Morgan Stanley (MS). Below is the the AFL-CIO rationale for why “government service golden parachutes” do not serve the interests of shareholders. Continue Reading →

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Bess Joffe Takes Corporate Governance Post at TIAA-CREF

Bess Joffe photo

Bess Joffe



TIAA-CREF, the $569 billion financial services provider, appointed Bess Joffe as managing director of corporate governance, effective August 4. She will report to Jonathan Feigelson, senior managing director, general counsel and head of corporate governance, and will be based in London. Joffe will help lead TIAA-Cref’s corporate governance program and policies, including active ownership, public advocacy, thought leadership and proxy voting. Continue Reading →

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Goldman Sachs (GS): Vote for Proxy Access

Goldman Sachs ($GS) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/23/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked on 5/15/2013. I’ll check back and may post again on GS before the voting deadline, depending on developments. I voted with management 26% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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Proxy Access at Bank of America May 8th

Re opposition to John Harrington’s proxy access proposal at Bank of America ($BAC), based on language that I helped develop.  For background, see Bank of America (BAC) Faces Proxy Access on May 8th. I hope opponents will reconsider. From one analysis recommending a vote against:

While this amount ($660 million) is significant in absolute terms, shareholders may have divergent views on whether it constitutes a meaningful ownership interest for the purpose of nominating board candidates. Historical voting results show little investor support for proposed access rights with low ownership thresholds, particularly when such thresholds fall well below the 3 percent threshold adopted by the SEC in its now-vacated proxy access rule.  (my emphasis and addition of the $660M figure)   Continue Reading →

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Proxy Access Proposals Move Forward

On March 26, 2012, SEC staff issued their decision on a request by iRobot (IRBT) to exclude my proxy access proposal from their proxy. Although similar proposals had survived no-action requests last year, IRB management held out hopes that small changes made in the proposal might have made the proposal “vague” under rule 14a-8(1)(3) or “ordinary business” under rule 14a-8(1)(7). SEC staff could not concur and therefore advised IRBT not to omit my proposal based on those rules. Continue Reading →

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Agency Capitalism: Corrective Measures (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a post which started out reviewing the important thesis outlined in The Agency Costs of Agency Capitalism: Activist Investors and the Revaluation of Governance Rights by Ronald J. Gilson and Jeffrey N. Gordon (January 1, 2013). See Agency Capitalism: Corrective Measures Part 1 and Part 3. Current law encourages mindless indexing of portfolios and voting like lemmings to fulfill fiduciary duties. While Gilson and Gordon stressed the need for activist hedge funds, below I explore some additional options. Continue Reading →

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Video Friday: Replace the Goldman Sachs Muppets

Goldman Sachs has come under fire for placing its interests above those of clients, lack of transparency and insensitivity  regarding its compensation practices. Goldman has been the target of numerous investigations, enforcement actions and private litigation. Key governance flaws include executive compensation and business practices that create financial and reputational risks. Continue Reading →

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Companies Use Range of Arguments to Exclude Proxy Access Proposals

Of the 16 proxy access proposals filed by proponents in 2012 and listed on the ISS Checklist, eight are being challenged at the SEC. Ferro, Hewlett-Packard, Nabors Industries, CME Group, Pioneer Natural Resources, Staples and Charles Schwab have not sought no-action relief from proposals at the commission, according to data from ISS. Conversely, Bank of America, Chiquita Brands International, MEMC Electronic Materials, Sprint Nextel, Textron, Goldman Sachs, Western Union and Wells Fargo have asked the SEC for permission to omit the proposals. Continue Reading →

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Goldman Case Worth Watching

Goldman Sachs “is being run for the benefit of employees rather than shareholders,” according to attorney John Harnes on behalf of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, a shareowner. The company has lost $50 billion in market value since 1999 but set aside $8.44 billion for the company’s compensation pool in the first six months of this year. CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s $19 million compensation for 2010, which included a $5.4 million cash bonus, was almost double the prior year’s award even as Goldman Sach’s profits fell. (Goldman Sachs’s Compensation Plan Hurts Shareholders, Lawyer Tells Judge, Bloomberg, 9/7/2011)

The derivative suit against the Goldman directors seeks to hold them “responsible for the firm’s flawed pay plan and for not properly overseeing the company’s employees.” The author reports that Goldman’s counsel argued in response that it is not the role of the courts to decide how much risk a firm should take or how much compensation its employees should be paid. Cydney Posner, of Cooley, asks Can an Excessive Compensation Case Survive a Business Judgment Rule Challenge?

As a Goldman shareowner, I’m in full agreement; the company appears to be run solely to benefit employees, to the exclusion of shareowners. This one is worth watching.

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Goldman Sachs: How I Voted

Goldman Sachs is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up May 6. Today is the last day to vote my proxy on the MoxyVote.com platform.

ProxyDemocracy.org had only two funds voting when I looked yesterday, CalPERS and CBIS.

MoxyVote.com had sixteen recommendations, although several were from voting consolidations for categories. There is no side-by-side comparisons, so users must scroll Continue Reading →

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