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Goldman Sachs shareholders approve executive pay proposal

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More than three-fifths of Goldman Sachs Group Inc shareholders voted in favor of executive pay plans on Friday at the bank's annual meeting in its Jersey City offices.

[NEW YORK] More than three-fifths of Goldman Sachs Group Inc shareholders voted in favor of executive pay plans on Friday at the bank's annual meeting in its Jersey City offices.

Around 66 per cent of shareholders voted for the plan. Goldman paid chief executive Lloyd Blankfein US$22.6 million in 2015, his first pay decline in four years. He received US$24 million in 2014.

Goldman shareholders also rejected a proposal to require an independent board chairman with a 30 per cent vote. Mr Blankfein currently serves as both CEO and chairman of the board.

Mr Blankfein said the economy was slowly emerging from a period of slow growth and there were signals of improvement.

"There are signs on the horizon we are finally coming out of that environment," he said, pointing to the fact that the Federal Reserve had begun to raise interest rates and employment was growing. "We've been looking for these things before and seen false dawns but there is a little more confidence this time around."

During the first quarter of 2016, Goldman reported its worst results in four years as revenue tumbled 40 per cent. Return on average common equity (ROE), a measure of how well the bank uses shareholder money to generate profit, was 6.4 per cent in the quarter, down from 14.7 per cent a year earlier.

REUTERS