A key shareholder advisory firm has called on investors to vote against Royal Dutch Shell’s 2017 remuneration report, containing details of chief executive Ben van Beurden’s €9m (£7.9m) pay.
Advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) wants the remuneration report rejected, reports the Financial Times, due to concerns about payouts to former CFO Simon Henry, its performance, and safety record following an oil tanker explosion in Pakistan operated by a contractor that led to more than 200 deaths.
Some investor groups, including the pension funds of the Church of England and UK Environment Agency, are supporting a resolution to make Shell adopt tougher carbon emission reduction targets.
A Shell spokesperson said it “strongly” disagrees with the concerns set out by ISS’s voting recommendations.
Its bonus framework had been voted on by shareholders in both 2017 and 2014, the spokesperson stated, both with ISS’s support. The annual bonus outcome and longer-term bonus structure were implemented in accordance with this policy.
While oil prices have been leaping up, Shell’s board adopts a “no adjustments philosophy” with regard to its movement “up or down”.
“Our position and our transparency on this matter are long-standing and something most shareholders we have spoken to appreciate.”
Former CFO Henry played a “pivotal role” in a number of Shell’s divestments, and was awarded half his bonus for 2017 in line with his six months in the role for that financial year.
On the Pakistan tragedy, the spokesperson said: “Last year’s tragedy in Pakistan has been discussed by Shell’s board of directors, and we continue to assess the lessons we can learn from it. In the context of executive remuneration, safety is an important factor in determining our CEO’s performance bonus.”