Goldman Sachs shareholders approve executive pay plan

A Goldman Sachs sign is displayed inside the company's post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc's GS.N compensation plan received the approval of 93 percent of shareholders at the bank's annual meeting on Friday after the pay structure for Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein was simplified.

The vote was a turnaround from last year, when Goldman’s “say on pay” resolution received only 66 percent support. Among Russell 3000 companies, approval for executive pay averaged 91 percent in 2016, according to consulting firm Semler Brossy.

Goldman’s annual meeting in the bank’s Jersey City, New Jersey, office was a quiet affair, with no shareholder proposals up for a vote.

That was not the case for some other large banks. Wells Fargo & Co's WFC.N annual meeting this week was interrupted repeatedly by angry shareholders, while environmental protesters concerned about damage from the Dakota pipeline briefly disrupted Citigroup Inc's C.N meeting.

Goldman awarded Blankfein $22 million in 2016, a 4 percent decline from the prior year to reflect lower revenue in the first half of the year..

The bank revamped Blankfein’s compensation structure by tying all of his equity awards to performance. It also eliminated a long-term incentive award.

The changes came after some shareholders raised concerns that the pay structure was too complex.

Proxy firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc endorsed Goldman’s pay plan for 2016 after urging shareholders to vote against last year’s proposal.

Goldman shareholders also backed the reelection of the board of directors.

Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Von Ahn