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Shell braced for shareholder pay revolt

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Jillian Ambrose21 MAY 2016 • 7:47PM

Shell executives are braced for a shareholder backlash this week after influential retail advisor ShareSoc joined the growing rebellion against its multi-million pound executive pay.

The UK’s largest individual investor group will urge its 4,000 members to follow the lead of major Shell investor Royal London Asset Management and proxy institutional advisors in opposing Shell’s rising pay packet for boss Ben Van Beurden.

Mr Van Beurden is in line for a salary of £1.4m, a bonus of £3.5m, and a pension of £441,000 for 2015, despite reporting its steepest losses in 13 years and a planned job cull of 10,000. He has also received shares worth £9.7m, which vest in three years if he meets key performance targets.

Roger Lawson, deputy chairman of ShareSoc, slammed the pay for being “too high” and the proportion of pay from bonuses as “particularly excessive”.

Institutional proxy advisors Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc), and Glass Lewis have both urged shareholders to vote against the pay.

The only group to publicly support Shell’s pay is Institutional Shareholder Services, another major shareholder advisory.

A Shell spokesman said its executive compensation “reflects delivery of our strategy, measured by both short-term and long-term targets. There is a clear alignment between the company’s performance and our compensation policies.”

Shell’s Tuesday AGM is set to be the latest revolt in this year’s Shareholder Spring, after BP shareholders voted against boss Bob Dudley’s £14m pay.

Mr Dudley’s total pay package is 20pc higher than his 2014 payout despite the group reporting record losses of $5.2bn last year compared to a $8.1bn profit in 2014.

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