Proxy adviser ISS recommends vote 'against' CEO pay at Goldman Sachs

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BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended investors cast advisory votes against the pay of top executives at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, (N:GS) which could lead to hard-fought ballot item at the bank’s annual meeting next week.

In a report dated April 9 and provided on Thursday in response to a request from Reuters, ISS wrote it had “pay-for-performance misalignment concerns” at the Wall Street bank, whose annual meeting is set for April 30.

Goldman Sachs said in filings released in March that Chief Executive David Solomon’s total compensation for 2019 rose 19% to $24.7 million, up from $20.7 million in 2018.

In comparison, JPMorgan Chase & Co (N:JPM) Chief Executive and Chairman Jamie Dimon’s 2019 pay rose just 1.6% to $31.5 million from $31 million in 2018.

At Goldman, Solomon’s pay for 2019 included a bonus of $7.65 million. ISS wrote that its concerns about Goldman “are underscored by a significantly increased CEO bonus for a period when several key financial metrics were down year-over-year.”

ISS wrote further that “The company’s pay programs are significantly reliant on compensation committee discretion, and the application of that discretion and resulting pay outcomes do not appear to be directionally aligned with performance.”

ISS recommended Goldman investors vote with management on other items, including backing the election of all directors, including Solomon.

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