Yea For Say On Pay From Next President Of USA

By • Apr 11th, 2008 • Category: Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers


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You already know what I think about both Say on Pay and Senator Obama. Now they have joined together in a wonderful way. 

It shouldn’t be surprising that Lloyd Blankfein is against it.

Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein made it clear he opposes the practice. Speaking at the investment bank’s annual meeting, he said shareholder votes on executive pay would constrain directors from exercising judgment and hurt the investment bank’s ability to attract the best employees, according to Reuters.

He added that it would “create a feedback loop. It would create a cloud, a constraint, a limitation on decisions that have been at the heart of what a board has done.”

Mr. Blankfein, tell it to the hard-working immigrants who toil in your Aramark cafeterias. 

Or maybe I can put your feelings into the language many of them will understand immediately: 

“Me encantan los gusanos vivos en mi ensalada, por favor. 


Mil gracias guey, eh!” 

Obama Pushes Say on Pay
Legislation sponsored by the senator would require corporations to give investors a nonbinding vote on executive compensation packages.

With compensation for corporate executives gaining status as a presidential campaign issue, Senator Barak Obama came out with an endorsement for Say on Pay, the hot governance issue of the current proxy season that would allow shareholders to approve pay packages for the most senior executives.

In a speech on Friday, he singled out two companies, KB Home and Countrywide Financial, as examples of those that have provided excessive compensation packages. He asked Congress to pass legislation he has sponsored that would require corporations to have a nonbinding vote on executive pay.

The legislation would not, however, permit shareholders to veto a compensation package offered to an executive and would not place limits on pay, the AP noted.

“This isn’t just about expressing outrage,” Obama reportedly said in prepared remarks. “It’s about changing a system where bad behavior is rewarded so that we can hold CEOs accountable, and make sure they’re acting in a way that’s good for their company, good for our economy, and good for America, not just good for themselves.”

Say on Pay proposals have been submitted to nearly 80 companies at this year’s annual meetings, according to RiskMetrics.

Major business groups such as the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce oppose these kinds of measures.

However, in a recent survey of technology-companty CFOs conducted by BDO Seidman, 61 percent said they think shareholders should be able to vote on executive-compensation plans, according to BDO Seidman.

Late last year, Verizon decided to adopt Say on Pay, and Aflac, the first company to adopt the policy, agreed to move up its advisory vote on the issue to this year…

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2 Responses »

  1. Corporate American governance is waaaay too clubby. Say on Pay is a baby step in the right direction.

    As for financial services execs complaining about pay ceilings interfering with recruiting, I’m crying crocodile tears.

  2. [...] been saying all along about firms like AIG, Lehman, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,  Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. There have been a lot of false starts, last minute deals, and disappointments [...]

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