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Moody-Stuart talks

Financial Times: Moody-Stuart talks: ‘said yesterday he felt “a sense of responsibility” for what had happened’

By Clay Harris

Jul 15, 2004

It was with a delicious sense of irony that Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former head of Royal Dutch/Shell, yesterday lectured attendees at a Chatham House conference on corporate citizenship about the need for strong governance.

Moody-Stuart, in charge at the Dutch-UK energy group at a time when its oil reserves were being overbooked, was specifically addressing the “absolutely vital” need for sound governance in developing countries. He later said Shell’s drive to improve its own, less-than-spotless governance record at head office would provide a useful blueprint for operations in countries such as Nigeria.

Sticking with the governance issue, some shareholders have asked what Moody-Stuart, who remains a non-executive director at Shell, was doing while the reserves debacle was unfolding.

He was cleared of blame by the independent external report into the overbooking but said yesterday he felt “a sense of responsibility” for what had happened.

He said he was unaware of what was going on because he was “in no way” involved with the independent reserves auditing system but “if anything like this happens, the person at the top has to carry some kind of responsibility for it”.

Moody-Stuart said he had not been approached by US investigators.

© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd

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