Shareholders revolt on oil companies' pay

Oil companies BG Group and Petrofac suffered shareholder revolts against excessive executive "golden hello" payments on Thursday.

One in three BG Group investors voted against the company's remuneration report after its new finance director was handed a "golden hello" of shares which could be worth £4.3m.

Simon Lowth took up his job in November after leaving the same position at AstraZeneca, and BG said it had compensated him for losing out on share options at his old firm.

A spokesman for BG, which was once part of British Gas, said that Lowth would only obtain the value of the shares if various performance conditions were met over three years.

Meanwhile more than 20% of Petrofac shareholders revolted against its refusal to introduce caps on "golden hellos" and other recruitment payments in the future.

The company was criticised for handing ex-BP executive Andy Inglis a £1m golden hello in 2011 – just five days after he left BP. Inglis quit Petrofac this year to join a Dallas-based oil company. A Petrofac spokesman said: "77% of shareholders voted in favour of our decision to set no formal cap for recruitment, which gives us flexibility in a competitive global market for top talent."

In a busy day for annual meetings, Bermuda-incorporated, but London-listed, insurance company Hiscox suffered a 42% rebellion and Northern Irish broadcaster UTV and PR firm Chime Communications also suffered smaller revolts.

Powered by article was written by Rupert Neate, for The Guardian on Thursday 15th May 2014 20.24 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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