Goldman Sachs will pay its top five executives just under $70 million for their work in 2010, and four orders of catholic nuns are demanding that the firm launch a review over whether the pay is excessive.
Lloyd Blankfein and his top lieutenants were awarded between $13 and $14 million for their work last year; they all received a cash bonus of $5.4 million.
The nun and charity group has asked that the firm’s Compensation Committee reveal extremely detailed information about the compensation.
[I]nitiate a review of our Company’s senior executive compensation policies and make available a summary report of that review by October 1, 2011 (omitting confidential information and processed at a reasonable cost). We request that the report include –
- An evaluation of whether our senior executive compensation packages (including, but not limited to, options, benefits, perks, loans and retirement agreements) are “excessive” and should be modified.
- An exploration of how sizable layoffs and the level of pay of our lowest paid workers impact senior executive pay.
- An analysis of the way in which fluctuations in revenues impact: a) the Company’s compensation pool; b) the compensation of the Company’s top 25 senior executives; and c) the Company’s shareholders.
Obviously, Goldman believes reporting the information is unnecessary. The Goldman Board “unanimously recommends that [shareholders] vote AGAINST the shareholder proposal,” the firm wrote in an SEC filing.
The firm says carrying out the review would “entail an unjustified cost to our firm and would not provide shareholders with any meaningful information.”
According to an SEC filing, the nun orders include the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel, all of which are Goldman shareholders.
The sisters filed the proposal with a charity called The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and they want Goldman’s compensation committee, headed up by James Johnson, to come back with a response by October.