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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Goldman Sachs Heeds Faith-based Investors April 16th, 2012

Sister Nora Nash with Fr. Seamus Finn before a meeting with Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s most powerful financial firms, has been forced to pay attention to faith-based shareholder advocacy.

The Rev. Seamus Finn, OMI, Director of the OMI JPIC Office was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article: “It’s been a difficult transition for …[Goldman to figure] out how to be a public company.” The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate owns 286,000 shares of Goldman, and agreed after discussions with the firm’s investor-relations chief Dane Holmes to withdraw its proposal focused on Goldman’s practices with clients and tax secrecy. Fr. Seamus explained, “They finally recognized that we’re not going away and they have to at least engage us.”

Father Finn has met in the past with John F.W. Rogers, Goldman’s board secretary, with Mr. Blankfein and Goldman’s president, Gary D. Cohn.

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Religious Investors Challenge Goldman Sachs on Excessive Pay May 10th, 2011

Faith-based investors challenged Wall Street’s most powerful investment bank – Goldman Sachs – as it hosted shareholders at its building in Jersey City. The Goldman Sachs AGM was held outside Manhattan for the first time in history as the investment bank sought to head off anger about the fortunes it pays its top people and its role in the financial crisis.

Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) pressed Goldman Sachs at its Annual General Meeting last week on the sensitive subjects of executive compensation and pay disparity. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein had no choice but to listen.

Religious investors introduced a shareholder resolution that asked the investment bank to evaluate whether its compensation packages for senior executives are excessive and should be modified. The resolution garnered just 4% of the vote, but raised uncomfortable questions for the well-paid executives, and won the attention of the Press.

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Goldman CEO Calls for Internal Review; ICCR Derivatives Resolution Garnered 33.7% of Shareholder Vote! May 9th, 2010


ICCR Members Sr. Barbara Aires (Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, NJ), Seamus Finn, OMI, Cathy Rowan (Maryknoll) and Kate Walsh (Tri-State Coalition of Responsible Investors) head to the Goldman Sachs AGM, May 7, 2010

The head of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, at the company’s Annual Meeting last Friday, promised to conduct an internal review of the company’s business practices to make sure it was serving its customers and the public interest. The government has accused the bank of defrauding some clients in a derivatives deal.

The Missionary Oblates, along with other faith-based shareholders, filed a Resolution calling for greater transparency on derivatives trading, which captured 33.7% of the shareholder vote, a significant amount. Similar resolutions filed with Citigroup and Bank of America have won 30% and 39% of the shareholder vote, respectively, despite company opposition.

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