Meet the Nuns Standing Up to Goldman Sachs

Four orders of nuns are looking to review whether executives' pay is "excessive"

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Nuns from four different orders have put their signatures to a proposal that would review executive compensation policies at Goldman Sachs to see if the bonuses handed out to employees were "excessive," reports The Guardian. The nuns, all Goldman investors, appear concerned about the large bonuses (CEO Lloyd Blankfein, pictured, received $14 million in pay last year) doled out to senior executives, and would like an evaluation of whether benefits and options should be modified.

Curiously, this is far from the first time that Goldman has been assailed by nuns. In 2009, the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel in Oregon filed a shareholder resolution to review pay disparity at the firm. In 2010, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic asked "shareholders to approve a resolution requiring Goldman Sachs to disclose more information about derivatives." The Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia seem to be activists in general: apart from participating in the Goldman review effort, they have also asked McDonalds to review a link between its fast food and obesity rates.

Judging from the large bonuses that Goldman Sachs still gives its senior-level employees, it doesn't appear like these calls have had much of an effect. The firm, via The Guardian, has issued the following statement in response to the latest request:

Shareholders already have access to the information necessary to understand and assess the compensation decisions made with respect to our senior executives, and the firm as a whole. Our board believes that the preparation of the requested report would be a distraction to our compensation committee and our board, would entail an unjustified cost to our firm and would not provide shareholders with any meaningful information.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.