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The Hague is becoming an ever emptier shell

Times Online

November 24, 2009

Martin Waller: City diary

Last year, as part of the merger of the Dutch and British units of Royal Dutch Shell, their corporate headquarters was established in The Hague. This meant that all the head office functions, for example human resources, public relations (PR) and investor relations (IR), moved there, under the leadership of Jeroen van der Veer, the Dutch chief executive. However, it seems to have dawned on someone that most of the reporting on Shell is done by British or American media and bits of the PR side have been quietly moved back to London. Some now wonder how long IR can remain in The Hague. Most fund managers are also in London and the only significant investor in the Dutch capital is Queen Beatrix. She can probably be relied on to look after her own investments without too much help.

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