Goldman Sachs (GS) has made a deal with a union-supported investment group to let Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein remain chairman of the board, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The deal comes amid a series of shareholder proposals at some of the nation's biggest banks to separate the chairman and CEO roles.
As part of its pact, Goldman has agreed to give its lead director, James Schiro, the authority to set the board's agenda and to pen his own report to shareholders in the company's yearly proxy statement, Reuters reported.
In return, CtW Investment Group has agreed to withdraw a proposal it submitted to Goldman in December. The group asked shareholders to vote this spring on whether the board's chairman should be a director who has not previously served as an executive officer of the company and who otherwise lacks ties to management.
Blankfein has held both the chairman and chief executive titles since 2006.
Last year the company forged a deal with a union-backed investor that created the position of lead director.
"We've had a constructive engagement with our shareholders, and believe that the enhancements we have made further solidify the independence of the Board," Goldman spokesman David Wells said in an emailed statement.
Patricia Estevez, a senior coporate governance analyst with CtW, said in an email the agreement gives shareholders "a measure of comfort with the ability of Schiro to credibly perform his role as a check on the influence of Blankfein over the board."
Shareholders of both JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) will vote this spring on whether to adopt similar proposals. The boards of both banks are recommending a vote against them.