Goldman Sachs on bonus defensive

Jeremy Hobson Dec 7, 2009
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Goldman Sachs on bonus defensive

Jeremy Hobson Dec 7, 2009
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Today is the deadline for Goldman Sachs shareholders to submit proposals for the firm’s annual meeting. One hot-button issue: How much money Goldman plans to pay its people this year. Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson has more


Jeremy Hobson: Goldman Sachs plans to hand out almost $17 billion in bonuses. So the company has embarked on a charm offensive, trying to convince shareholders that everything’s under control.

Charles Elson: Had this happened two years ago, there would be very little chance, I think, of a shareholder revolt. Today, I think it’s a very different story.

Charles Elson directs the Weinberg Center on Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. He says investors like the 97 percent return on their stock this year. But many are concerned too much of the firm’s profits are going to employees. Not everyone’s upset, though.

Erick Maronak: It is at the high end, but then again their results are also at the high end.

That’s Erick Maronak, chief investment officer at Victory Capital Management, which owns stock in Goldman. He says shareholders already have as much say as they need.

Maronak: You’re always free to sell your stock.

Maronak says Goldman has to pay its people what the market demands. But he’s okay with more stock-based compensation, to encourage long-term thinking. Golden handcuffs, he calls it.

In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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