| NEW YORK, March 13
NEW YORK, March 13 Goldman Sachs Group Inc
said it will hold its annual meeting in Salt Lake City
this year, the first time the Wall Street bank is inviting
shareholders to cast their votes at a gathering outside the New
York metropolitan area.
"We're delighted to hold our annual shareholder meeting in
what has become our second-largest office in the U.S.," Chief
Executive Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement provided to
Goldman's Utah operation is one of its largest, with 1,500
employees. It is also one of the few offices where Goldman has
kept hiring workers amid broader staff cuts the past few years
-- partly because of an agreement with the state to boost job
growth in exchange for tax cuts.
Goldman's meeting will take place at Goldman's Salt Lake
City headquarters at 222 South Main Street at 9:30 a.m. local
time ( 1530 GMT) o n May 23, a day after Blankfein and Utah
Governor Gary Herbert attend a graduation ceremony for
small-business owners who completed an education program
sponsored by Goldman Sachs. The bank committed $500 million to
that "10,000 Small Businesses" program in November 2009.
Last year, Herbert pledged to create 100,000 new jobs in
Utah in 1,000 days, and Goldman is one of his key partners in
that effort. Utah agreed to give Goldman up to $47.3 million
worth of tax rebates over 20 years in exchange for meeting
certain job and wage benchmarks.
Much of the bank's operations in Utah pertain are in areas
such as technology, operations, finance and research.
Goldman is not the only big bank to hold its annual meeting
away from its New York headquarters in an effort to promote
positive news about its impact on the national economy.
JPMorgan Chase & Co - whose CEO Jamie Dimon takes
bus tours to visit the bank's offices and branches around the
country - has held its two most recent annual meetings in Tampa,
Florida, and Columbus, Ohio. Citigroup Inc also held its
annual meeting in Dallas last year.
Changes of venue have not shielded the banks from
shareholder initiatives to cut executive pay or anti-Wall Street
Last year, Citigroup shareholders voted against a pay
package for former CEO Vikram Pandit, who stepped down six
months later. JPMorgan's Dimon was grilled with questions about
multi-billion-dollar losses from a wayward derivatives bet. Both
meetings were also met with the same kind of anti-Wall Street
protesters that appeared outside of Goldman's meeting in Jersey
City, New Jersey, and at Morgan Stanley's meeting in
Purchase, New York.
Shareholders at Goldman's meeting will be asked to vote on
an investor proposal to strip Blankfein of his chairman role.
Goldman had fought inclusion of the item, proposed by an
activist investor last year, but the SEC sided with the