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Trusted with Shell’s reserves

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Published: March 13 2009 02:00 | Last updated: March 13 2009 02:00

Not many people at Royal Dutch Shell survived its reserves misreporting scandal with their reputations intact, but new finance director Simon Henry was one of them.

Mr Henry has risen since then to become one of four executives on the Shell board, after bearing the wrath of shareholders as the head of investor relations when Shell first admitted it had a problem, on January 9 2004.

It was he who came out to face the music when Sir Philip Watts, then chairman, would not, taking a conference call with angry investors.

Earning their respect, he was rewarded by Jeroen van der Veer after he took over as chief executive in 2004, giving Mr Henry the job of chief financial officer of Shell’s exploration and production arm, and the focus of its growth strategy.

Having been CFO in the biggest and most glamorous division, it is a natural step for him to succeed Peter Voser at the top level, as Mr Voser replaces Mr van der Veer.

The 47-year-old has spent all of his career at Shell after joining in 1982, working around the world, including Egypt and south-east Asia.

He trained as an engineer, after gaining a first in maths at Cambridge, but after four years switched to audit after coming top in his exams for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

“[That] suggested to me that I would have a better career in that, than engineering,” he once said.

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