NEW YORK, March 8 Goldman Sachs Group Inc
lost its battle to ignore an investor proposal to strip Chief
Executive Lloyd Blankfein of his chairman role, according to
correspondence posted on the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission's website on Friday.
SEC staff sent a letter to Goldman internal counsel Beverly
O'Toole this week, saying the agency is "unable to concur" with
Goldman's view that the shareholder proposal does not warrant a
CTW Investment Group, which owns 25 Goldman shares, sent the
proposal to the bank late last year for inclusion in its proxy
statement. The investor argued that the chairman's role should
be filled by an outsider who has never held an executive role at
the company, "to promote the robust oversight and accountability
CTW is a coalition of unions that has become more active in
proxy battles in recent years.
Goldman responded by sending a letter to the SEC in January,
requesting permission to omit the proposal from its proxy
statement because the bank said it was "inherently vague and
The SEC's decision this week denied Goldman's request.