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Score of Shell

Financial Times: Score of Shell

Published: May 11 2004

Here’s a clue from Royal Dutch/Shell that, in the face of demands by some investors for a governance overhaul, any change is unlikely to shift the balance of power at the oil giant.

Jeroen van der Veer, appointed chairman two months ago after its incredible shrinking reserves brought the departure of Sir Philip Watts, tiptoed around the issue when grilled on a Dutch chat-show.

Having said it would be wrong to speculate on the outcome due next month of a review of the group’s century-old dual-board structure, Van der Veer seemed to do just that.

A contest between the UK side, which owns 40 per cent of Shell, and the Dutch, who control 60 per cent, would of course end “in a 6-4 victory for the Netherlands”, he forecast.

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