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Shell bosses cash in with shares plan sharing £54.5m between 19 senior staff

By Rob Davies

PUBLISHED: 22:18, 15 March 2012 | UPDATED: 22:18, 15 March 2012

Shell’s top brass doubled their money in 2011 as the firm’s performance triggered generous share awards under an incentive scheme that has since been scrapped.

Nineteen senior staff shared £54.5m compared to £26.9m last year, while they also picked up pension benefits worth a further £5.9m.

Chief executive Peter Voser pocketed a pay, bonus and shares package worth £10.12m, while director Malcolm Brinded earned £9.88m and finance director Simon Henry had to make do with £3.25m.

The surge in remuneration, despite a dividend that remained flat at $1.68, risks reopening old wounds inflicted when shareholders staged the UK’s largest ever pay revolt in 2009.

‘Shell’s remuneration policy firmly links executive compensation with the performance of the company, and the 2011 outcomes reflect what was a positive year for the company,’ said a spokesman.

The increase was largely thanks to the criteria attached to the firm’s 2008-2010 long term incentive plan, which allowed directors to scoop share payouts worth 150 per cent of salary.

The old incentive scheme measured success only by the company’s share price relative to peers, placing Shell second among the oil companies in 2011.

Increased scrutiny on pay has forced the firm to adopt a new methodology under which it also considers earnings per share, cash generated from its operations and growth in oil production.

A spokesman said Shell outperformed the FTSE by 23 per cent, while it paid out £6.7bn in dividends during 2011, £1 in every £8 paid out by the UK’s blue-chip companies.

Shares in Shell declined by 16.5p to 2264p.

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