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Goldman Sachs Board Nominates Royal Dutch Shell CFO for Director Role

By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall

If her appointment is approved by shareholders, Jessica Uhl will be the fifth woman director on Goldman’s board and its only member to come from the fossil fuel industry.

The bank has backed away from fossil fuel development in recent years.

In 2019, it said it would no longer finance certain drilling and coal activities and set a target of making $750 billion in loans, underwriting, advisory services and investments in projects that fight climate change or help financially disadvantaged people.

Shell, where Uhl has worked since 2004, recently vowed to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050, as it prepares to expand its renewables and low-carbon business in the face of growing investor pressure on the oil and gas sector to battle climate change.

Goldman’s asset management arm has pushed companies in its investment portfolio to include at least one woman director since 2019, and its investment bank has required companies that it takes public have at least one diverse board member since 2020.

The group, which will hold its annual shareholder meeting April 29, is expected to face its own investor scrutiny on adherence to environmental, social and governance goals, and headlines about its chief executive’s personal travel and social activities during the quarantine.

“We are pleased to have a candidate of Jessica’s caliber who will enhance the diversity of skills and experience represented on our board,” Goldman CEO David Solomon said in a statement.

“We believe she is well-positioned to provide advice and insight across a broad spectrum of topics, from strategic development to the management of climate risk.”

(This story corrects the date of bank’s shareholder meeting to April 29 (not April 30) in seventh paragraph)

(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Jan Harvey)