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

Around 66% of shareholders voted for the plan. 

Goldman paid chief executive Lloyd Blankfein $22.6m in 2015, his first pay decline in four years. He received $24m in 2014.

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

Blankfein said the US 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," he added.

During the first quarter of 2016, Goldman reported its worst results in four years as revenue tumbled 40%. 

Return on average common equity (ROE), a measure of how well the bank uses shareholder money to generate profit, was 6.4% in the quarter, down from 14.7% a year earlier.