BP is braced for criticism from shareholders at its annual general meeting on Thursday over its executive pay regime and failure to obtain consent for dividend payments.
The oil company is also facing questions over its investment in carbon-intensive projects in Canada from shareholders linked to the campaign group, UK Tar Sands Network.
Investors attending the meeting in London have been urged to oppose BP's remuneration and annual report by the shareholder advisory body, Pirc.
Pirc also calls on shareholders to abstain from voting in favour of the re-appointment of certain non-executives – including the chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, on the grounds he is too busy with other work to focus sufficiently on BP.
BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, saw a major drop in overall remuneration during 2012 but still managed to secure £1.8m in total pay and bonuses plus a £5m injection into his pension pot despite an 18% slump in underlying profits to less than £12bn. Worries about the dividend payments stem from BP classifying the payouts as "interim" payments, which means they do not require shareholder consent. Pirc says the lack of a vote on them represents a "serious" corporate governance issue.
Pirc is concerned about various aspects of pay at BP, saying that the peer group against which some measurements of success are geared is "too narrow" as it comprises only five companies. "In addition, the vesting of awards for performance at the third place in the group (median performance) does not represent a challenging performance requirement."
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