Union to Goldman Sachs: Split up Blankfein's Role

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011 12:34 AM

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A union feels Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein has too much power.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees wants the iconic investment bank to separate its chairman and CEO posts — both spots currently filled by Lloyd Blankfein.

The union says it filed shareholder paperwork asking for an independent board chair at Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The union's pension plan owns 7,101 Goldman Sachs shares.

blankfein200gtty.jpg
Lloyd Blankfein
(Getty Images photo)
The earliest the resolution would come up for vote is Goldman’s annual meeting next spring.

Goldman Sachs has faced similar requests in the past although all have failed, the paper adds.

"Main Street should not have to suffer for the financial mistakes made on Wall Street," says union president Gerald W. McEntee in a statement.

"A strong, independent Board chair would focus Goldman on generating long-term value for its shareholders."

The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) has released a report criticizing Goldman for "exploiting" clients by unloading subprime loan exposure onto unsuspecting clients in 2006 and 2007 and concluded that its top executives misled Congress during testimony in 2010, Reuters reports.

Blankfein has hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile Washington defense attorney, to help him with legal matters and has denied any wrongdoing.

"As is common in such situations, Mr. Blankfein and other individuals who were expected to be interviewed in connection with the Justice Department's inquiry into certain matters raised in the PSI report hired counsel at the outset," Goldman Sachs says in a statement, according to Reuters.

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