Revolt: Shareholders Demand Goldman Pay Lower Bonuses

Whenever the issue of Wall Street bonuses comes up, it’s usually activist types complaining, not shareholders.

And so the obvious rejoinder is that if the company were actually paying too-high bonuses, then the shareholders could either try to do something about it or dump the stock.

Well, apparently some are complaining now, at least according to WSJ, though the report is unhelpfully un-specific.

The investors hold tens of millions of shares in Goldman Sachs, which is on track to make the biggest employee payout in the firm’s 140-year history.

Their complaints in private conversations with the company and at analyst meetings show how anger over its big-money culture is spilling into the ranks of investors who typically shy away from debates over Wall Street pay.

It’s really not clear what they want. For example, these shareholders feel they want to be rewarded better (fair enough)

The large Goldman shareholders aren’t pushing for a huge downsizing of the bonus pool, agreeing with the company that it needs to reward employees for performance. But Goldman should better reward shareholders for this year’s rebound, these shareholders contend.

But then if you look at this chart, for example, you have to wonder how they could be rewarded much better than they have.

What will make this interesting is if a very major investor goes vocal with this type of complaint, but for now it just seems like low-level chatter unlikely to go very far.

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