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PIRC Advises Shell Shareholders To Oppose CEO Pay Package

05/20/2012 | 12:47pm US/Eastern

--PIRC says remuneration packages is "excessive"

--Shareholders have been protesting against large pay packages at U.K-listed companies

--Shell says CEO's remuneration package is linked to performance and 2011 was a positive year for the company

(Updates with Shell spokesman response in last paragraph.)

   By Alex MacDonald 
   Of  

Shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (>> Royal Dutch Shell plc) have been asked to vote against the oil major's "excessive" remuneration package which awarded the company's chief executive more than 12 million euros ($15.3 million) last year, the U.K.-based independent shareholder advisory body said in a report

The recommendation comes at a pivotal time when many U.K.-listed companies have suffered protest votes over their executive pay packages which in several cases have led to the rejection of remuneration packages and ultimately led to the resignation of several chief executives.

Last week, a large minority of shareholders at U.K. insurance company Prudential PLC (>> Prudential plc) voted against the company's pay package while more than two-thirds of voting shareholders in oil company Cairn Energy PLC (CNE.LN, CRNCY) voted against the pay package for executives.

The Pensions and Investment Research Consultants or PIRC recommended in a report that shareholders vote down Shell's remuneration package at the company's annual general meeting on Tuesday.

Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser earned a salary of EUR1.55 million and earned an annual bonus and other emoluments that boosted his total cash pay to EUR5.21 million in 2011. He then gained shares under the company's long-term incentive package, or LTIP, and deferred-bonus plan, or DBP, worth EUR6.46 million and received an increased in his pension of EUR0.9 million that resulted in a total compensation package of more than EUR12 million, according to PIRC.

"PIRC considers that combined awards under the LTIP and DBP are potentially excessive and were so in the year under review, with the CEO receiving annual incentive and conditional LTIP awards worth 526% of salary." Shell shareholders last voted to reject the company's remuneration report in 2009 in protest at the award of bonuses despite performance targets being missed.

The Sunday Telegraph, which reported the news earlier in the day, said that the remuneration package is unlikely to be voted down this year but didn't disclose any sources.

A Shell spokesman said in an emailed statement to Dow Jones Newswires that "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."

   -By Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires; 
   +44 (0)7776 200 924 alex.macdonald@dowjones.com; 

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