Shell shareholders advised to oppose CEO’s pay

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Two investor advisory firms have recommended Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> shareholders oppose the CEO’s 2015 remuneration, in the latest sign of rising discontent over pay amid falling oil prices.

Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden’s 2015 remuneration fell 8 percent to 5.135 million euros (£4 million) last year, when the company’s revenue dropped sharply due to low oil prices.

Proxy adviser Glass Lewis said in a report it remains “concerned by the disconnect between bonus payouts and financial performance, and the bonus scheme structure more generally”.

In a separate report, adviser PIRC said “the ratio of CEO pay compared to average employee pay is 37:1, which is unacceptable”.

Both firms recommended shareholders oppose the remuneration packages in a vote at Shell’s annual general meeting in The Hague next week.

A Shell spokesman said Shell’s executive compensation “reflects delivery of our strategy, measured by both short-term and long-term targets. There is a clear alignment between the company’s performance and our compensation policies”.

Shareholders have become increasingly vocal over executive salaries and bonuses amid slumping earnings and lower commodity prices.

Last month, BP’s <BP.L> shareholders voted against Chief Executive Bob Dudley’s $20 million (£13.8 million) pay deal for 2015, a rare investor revolt for such a major company, after it recorded a record annual loss.

Van Beurden’s total 2015 package, including pension and tax equalisation, was 5.576 million euros, down from 24.198 million euros in the previous year, mainly due to a significant fall in van Beurden’s pension which was positively affected in 2014 by promotion to chief executive.

In April last year, Shell launched a bid for smaller rival BG Group which it completed in February this year for $54 billion.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Susan Thomas)

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