Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 16:41 UK

Shell shareholders revolt on pay

Shell petrol pumps
Shareholders are angry at Shell's decision to award managers bonuses

Shareholders of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell have voted against the company's executive pay plan.

Almost 60% of Shell's shareholders voted against its remuneration report at the annual general meeting held in London and The Hague.

Shell has been criticised for awarding bonuses as part of a long-term incentive plan despite missing performance targets.

But the vote is unlikely to mean that directors will have to repay any money.

Shareholders rarely reject company remuneration reports but anger has mounted as share prices have tumbled.

Sir Peter Job, chairman of Shell's remuneration committee, said the company would take the outcome of the vote very seriously.

However, the vote is only advisory and is not likely to see pay deals automatically rejected.

"We have already introduced additional performance measures for future awards, reflecting comments from shareholders," he said.

Shell's incentive award targets are largely based on its performance against rivals BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and France's Total, with the company expected to outperform three of its peers.

Despite record profits last year on soaring oil prices, Shell was ranked fourth out of five.

But directors decided to exercise their discretion and allow payments of 50% of the maximum entitlement of shares.

"The system is sick and needs fixing," Errol Keyner, of Dutch shareholders association VEB, told the Reuters news agency.

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