May 2 A major proxy advisory firm recommended
shareholders vote against Goldman Sachs Group Inc's
executive compensation plan and added that Morgan Stanley
was also paying its top staff too much.
Glass Lewis & Co issued the recommendations ahead of the
banks' annual meetings where shareholders vote in a non-binding
motion on executive pay.
The criticism of executive compensation comes after a Wall
Street Journal report that Coca-Cola Co is likely to
revise its equity compensation plan for executives following
pressure from top shareholder Warren Buffett.
Glass Lewis said that the two banks were planning to pay too
much, considering their performance was lagging their rivals -
particularly in the case of Goldman Sachs.
"Overall, the company paid more than its peers, but
performed moderately worse," the proxy advisory firm said in a
paper prepared for investment funds who pay for its advice.
Glass Lewis also recommended that shareholders vote against
the reappointment of one director at each bank to show their
The advisory firm lowered its rating on Lloyd Blankfein-led
Goldman to "F" from "D".
Glass Lewis gave Morgan Stanley a "D" rating, saying that
the company paid about the same as its peers while performing
worse. It had an "F" rating previously.
The proxy advisory firm recommended Goldman shareholders to
vote against the reelection of the pay committee's chairman
Morgan Stanley shareholders were also urged to vote against
the re-election of director James Owens, citing the company's
failure to provide sufficient disclosures regarding transactions
with entities affiliated with its directors.
(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj