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Union boss hits out over Shell boss’s bumper pay deal


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The huge increase was revealed in the Anglo-Dutch energy giant’s latest annual report, published yesterday.

Mr van Beurden, who took over as chief executive at the start of 2014, received a £9million-plus boost to his pension in his first year – taking total remuneration to £19.5million – followed by a pay package worth about £4million in 2015.

The big payouts coincide with a severe downturn in the oil and gas industry. Shell has already shed more than 1,000 jobs in its North Sea operations alone.

RMT union regional organiser Jake Molloy said: “I’m sure the news that Mr van Beurden’s package has seen such a significant increase will not sit well with the long suffering contractors working across Shell assets in the UK sector, all of whom have suffered significant cuts to their respective take home pay.

“Mr van Beurden’s £3million increase would likely have avoided the Wood Group dispute last year and probably equates to something like the figure the company is saving on helicopters flights with a move to 3:3 shift patterns.

“I very much doubt whether this news will be seen in any way positive by workers across Shell operations.”

A Shell spokesman said Mr van Beurden’s package for 2016 was inflated by his first awards under the company’s executive long-term incentive plan (LTIP), which rewards the firm’s top bosses with share awards worth up to 400% of their salary.

LTIP and deferred bonus plan entitlements contributed about £3.8million to Mr van Beurden’s overall package, while his £1.3million salary was up slightly from 2015.

Last year, investor advisory firms urged Shell shareholders to oppose Mr van Beurden’s 2015 pay deal as unrest grew over bosses’ remuneration in the energy sector.

One group, Glass Lewis, was “concerned by the disconnect between bonus payouts and financial performance, and the bonus scheme structure more generally”.

And Pensions Investment Research Consultants, which advises institutional investors, said the ratio of Mr van Beurden’s pay compared to average wages at the firm – he earned 37 times more – was “unacceptable”.

But Mr van Beurden avoided an embarrassing shareholder revolt, with more than 85% of investor votes cast in favour of his payout.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley was not so lucky – 59% of shareholder votes cast at BP’s last annual general meeting opposed his 2015 remuneration package.

Shell, which recently unveiled plans to sell assets currently contributing more than half of the company’s UK offshore production, announced key changes to its remuneration policy yesterday.

These included a new emphasis on free cash flow, “metrics for greenhouse gas management” and a “rebalancing” of operational excellence measures in the company’s overall scorecard for bosses’ performance.



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