Goldman justifies its bonus pool

GOLDMAN SACHS has been holding talks with shareholders to justify its pay policy, which has seen the US investment bank set aside a $16.7bn (&pound;9.4bn) bonus pool for staff over the first nine months of 2009, it emerged yesterday.<br /><br />Goldman has also put a detailed 14-page memo up on its website, detailing its remuneration scheme.<br /><br />In the memo the bank said its compensation policy &ldquo;is designed to attracted and retain the most talented human capital, which has been a key contributor to generating excess returns relative to peers.&rdquo;<br /><br />The most profitable securities firm on Wall Street, Goldman was given $10bn in government support last year as it battled against the downturn. It has since paid back the sum, and recently reported record earnings for the first nine months of 2009.<br /><br />Discussions with its shareholders started in October and are set to go on for several more weeks. <br /><br />Chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and other executives waived their bonuses last year after Goldman reported its first ever quarterly loss.