UPDATE: TWO Top Proxy Advisers Back NLPC’s Proposal for Goldman Sachs

UPDATE 11:45 a.m. EDT, April 4, 2024: Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis has also endorsed NLPC’s independent chair proposal for Goldman-Sachs.

ORIGINAL POST: Institutional Shareholder Services, the largest proxy advisor in the United States, criticized the performance of David Solomon (pictured above), current CEO and Chair of Goldman Sachs, and recommended to investors that they vote in favor of NLPC’s shareholder proposal to require the company have an independent chair. According to CNBC:

“Shareholders would benefit from more independent oversight,” ISS wrote in a report sent by a representative, ahead of the bank’s annual shareholder meeting on April 24.


“Solomon’s foray into the consumer realm has been met with missteps and steep losses, which seem to have trickled into further human capital issues,” it added.


The Wall Street giant is scaling down its consumer business, which was championed by Solomon, after the operations lost billions of dollars.


Several high-profile executives have also departed Goldman, including Stephanie Cohen, the former head of its consumer and fintech unit, Jim Esposito, co-head of global banking and markets this year, and Julian Salisbury, an asset management executive in July last year.

The article later mentions that NLPC filed the same proposal last year and received roughly 16 percent support. However, Mr. Solomon has come under greater scrutiny over the past year for the company’s failure to expand into consumer banking, mistreatment of female employees, and erratic leadership. NLPC recently filed a proxy memo with the Securities and Exchange Commission that outlines Mr. Solomon’s leadership shortcomings in detail and provides rationale for separating his dual-role.

This is actually the third year in a row NLPC has sponsored an independent chair proposal for Goldman Sachs, initiating our criticism of the policy and Mr. Solomon’s leadership in 2022.

The House Judiciary Committee sent letters to ISS and Glass Lewis in August 2023 that exposed the duopoly the two firms hold over the proxy advisory market, and alleged that the two may have “colluded with institutional investors to force American corporations to ‘decarbonize’ their assets and reduce their emissions to net zero.”

Considering ISS’s reputation in conservative circles, shareholders should take note when ISS supports one of NLPC’s proposals. Holding Solomon accountable by separating the Chair and CEO positions at Goldman Sachs has become a true bipartisan issue.




Tags: David Solomon, Glass Lewis, Goldman Sachs, ISS, Securities and Exchange Commission