Best the proxy advisory firm can tell, the Goldman Sachs CEO deserved his 50% raise last year, though, to be honest, it's really not sure.
In an April 30 report to clients, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended that investors vote yes on a nonbinding “say-on-pay” proposal included in the New York-based bank’s proxy statement. But ISS said it remained concerned that Goldman’s executive-compensation policies gave directors too much discretion over what Goldman’s top officers are paid.
Goldman paid Lloyd Blankfein, its chairman and chief executive, $19.9 million in 2013, up 50% from the previous year, ISS said.
“It is difficult to determine whether recent advances in CEO pay are warranted without a formal incentive structure,” the proxy adviser wrote.
Of course, things could be worse, and are at the House of Gorman.
Morgan Stanley drew another harsh report card from one of the major proxy-advisory firms, which handed the investment bank a “D” grade for linking its executive-pay practices to its performance and recommended shareholders vote against the re-election of a board member….
In an April 27 note to clients, Glass, Lewis & Co. said its “analysis indicates that the company has been deficient in aligning pay with performance,” and recommended investors vote no on a nonbinding “say on pay” measure on Morgan Stanley’s executive compensation plans.
The firm found that Morgan Stanley paid its top officers more than its peers over the past three years, even though it trailed the same group in certain key measures, including per-share earnings and return on equity. Glass, Lewis’s analysis also showed that Morgan Stanley awarded James Gorman, the bank’s chief executive, a smaller pay package than rivals doled out to his counterparts.
ISS Gives Goldman’s Executive Pay Plan a Passing Grade [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Morgan Stanley Earns a ‘D’ From Glass, Lewis on Executive Pay Practices [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]