Skip to main content

Notes to the Executive Directors’ remuneration policy table

Comparator group

The benchmarking comparator group consists of the other oil majors (BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Total) and a selection of major Europe-based companies.

The comparator companies are reviewed by the REMCO as part of the Remuneration Policy review every three years. The last review took place in 2019 in preparation for the 2020 Directors’ Remuneration Policy vote. No changes to the comparator group are proposed.

The other oil majors are included in the comparator group as these represent our closest direct competitors operating in similar market conditions. The Europe-based companies are selected based on their size, complexity and global reach. The REMCO uses benchmark data from these companies only as a guide to the competitiveness of the remuneration packages. We do not seek to position our remuneration at any defined point against the benchmarked positions.

The REMCO retains the right to alter the comparator group as it sees fit in order to ensure it remains an appropriate and relevant benchmark.

2020 European comparator group



Rio Tinto










BHP Billiton




Benefits for Executive Directors deemed taxable in the UK are included as taxable benefits in the single total figure of remuneration table. These elements may include transport to and from home and office, the provision of home security, and occasional business-required partner travel, which are generally considered legitimate business expenses rather than components of remuneration.

Annual bonus

For the 2020 performance year, the scorecard framework will consist of cash flow from operating activities (30% weight), operational excellence (50% weight) and sustainable development (20% weight). Targets are derived from the annual business plan. These measures are designed to drive focus on the financial and operational performance critical to our success as a world-class investment case and to maintain a strong licence to operate, underpinned by our commitment to safety and journey to thrive in the energy transition. The REMCO believes it is important for annual variable pay to remain balanced, with operational and environmental components, complementing the LTIP’s focus on longer-term financial and strategic outcomes. The same annual bonus scorecard applies to the majority of group employees, supporting consistency of remuneration and alignment of objective across employees and senior management.

For future years, the specific measures and weightings for the annual bonus scorecard will be reviewed annually by the REMCO and adjusted accordingly to evolve with Shell’s strategy and circumstances. The annual review will also consider the scorecard target and outcome history over a decade to ensure that the targets set remain stretching but realistic.

The REMCO retains the right to exercise its judgement to adjust the mathematical bonus scorecard outcome to ensure that the bonus scorecard outcome for Executive Directors reflects other aspects of Shell’s performance which the REMCO deems appropriate for the reported year.

Annual bonus – time horizon

Performance period 50%delivered in cash 50%delivered in shares Yr 1 Yr 2 Yr 3 Yr 4 Yr 5 Bonus delivered three-year holding period ends Bonus delivered Yr 1 three-year holdingperiod ends Net of tax shares held for three years Yr 2 Yr 4 Yr 3 Yr 5 Performance period 50%delivered in cash 50%delivered in shares

Long-term Incentive Plan

The LTIP rewards longer-term performance linked to Shell’s strategy, which includes cash generation, capital discipline, value created for shareholders as well as progress towards meeting our ambition to thrive in the energy transition.

For 2020, the absolute measures will be FCF and energy transition, and relative growth compared with our peers will be based on: TSR, ROACE and CFFO. The relative measures, which focus on outperforming our closest competitors on key financial metrics, are supported by the absolute FCF metric which provides cash to service and repay debt, make shareholder distributions and fund capital investment. These are aligned with our strategic ambition to be a world-class investment case, and are supported by an energy transition measure focused on thriving in the energy transition and delivering our NCF target.

For the relative measures, 200% vests for first position, 150% for second, 80% for third and 0% for ranking fourth or fifth. The comparator group consists of four of the strongest companies in our industry (BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Total). Outperforming Shell’s closest competitors on key financial metrics is challenging. A vesting outcome of 80% for median performance (40% of maximum) in a small comparator group is considered appropriate by the REMCO. The REMCO is aware that vesting for median performance is generally set at a limit of 25% of maximum for other UK companies. However, these are typically applied against a larger comparator group.

The REMCO will regularly review the measures, weightings and comparator group, and retains the right to adjust these to ensure that the LTIP continues to serve its intended purpose with a stretching level of challenge. If the REMCO was to propose any material changes to the LTIP performance metrics, it would consult with major shareholders.

TSR underpin

If the TSR ranking is fourth or fifth, the level of the award that can vest on the basis of the other measures will be capped at 50% of the maximum payout for the LTIP.

The detailed weightings and metrics applicable to the 2021 bonus scorecard are set out in Directors’ remuneration for 2021.

The detailed weightings and metrics applicable to the 2021 grant are set out in Directors’ remuneration for 2021.

Performance Period

LTIP performance is assessed over a three-year period. Vested shares from the LTIP are subject to a further three-year holding period post-vesting. This holding period commences on the date of vesting and remains in force beyond an Executive Director’s tenure. This time horizon is deemed to be suitable for incentive purposes but is recognised as short relative to some of Shell’s operations. However, the REMCO believes that it provides for broad alignment with shareholder interests when coupled with significant shareholding requirements.

LTIP time horizon

50%delivered in cash Yr 1 Yr 2 Yr 3 Yr 4 Yr 5 Yr 6 Bonus delivered three-year holding period ends Net of tax sharesheld for three years Performance period Yr 1 Yr 2 Yr 3 Yr 4 Yr 6 Yr 5 Net of tax sharesheld for three years three-year holdingperiod ends Performance period 100% deliveredin shares

Discretion, malus and clawback

Variable pay awards may be made subject to adjustment events. At the discretion of REMCO, such an award may be adjusted before delivery (malus) or reclaimed after delivery (clawback) if an adjustment event occurs.

Adjustment events will be specified in award documentation and it is intended that they will, for example, relate to restatement of financial statements due to material non-compliance with a financial reporting requirement; misconduct by an Executive Director or misconduct through their direction or non-direction; any material breach of health and safety or environment regulations; serious reputational damage to Shell; material failure of risk management; corporate failure; or other exceptional events as determined at the discretion of the REMCO. The REMCO retains the right to alter the list of adjustment events in respect of future awards.

In addition, the REMCO retains the discretion to adjust mathematical outcomes if and to the extent that it considers this appropriate. This power to adjust the outcomes is broad and includes adjusting the outcomes to zero. For example, an adjustment might be made if the REMCO considers:

  • The mathematical outcomes do not reflect the wider financial or non-financial performance of RDS or the participant over the performance period;
  • The LTIP vesting percentage is not appropriate in the context of circumstances that were unexpected or unforeseen at award; and
  • There is any other reason why an adjustment is appropriate.

It is not anticipated that discretion would be used for upwards adjustment. If, in exceptional circumstances, it was considered, this would be done only after consultation with major shareholders.

Performance outcomes and/or share price appreciation make it difficult to predict the final amounts delivered under the LTIP at the time of award. In years where the vesting outcome makes the total remuneration inappropriate for any Executive Director, the REMCO will consider an adjustment to the annual bonus outcome or the LTIP vesting outcome for the purposes of managing remuneration quantum. In making any adjustment to the annual bonus or LTIP vesting outcome for this purpose REMCO will consider the overall level of remuneration for the Executive Director, the operation of the annual bonus, the operation of the LTIP, the wider performance of Shell over the performance periods, as well as the internal context for other employees.

An explanation of any discretionary adjustment would be set out in the relevant Directors’ Remuneration Report.

Treatment of outstanding awards

Awards granted prior to the approval and implementation of this Policy and/or prior to an individual becoming an Executive Director will continue to vest and be delivered in accordance with the terms of the original award even if this is not consistent with the terms of this Policy.

As at March 10, 2020, this applies to Executive Directors Ben van Beurden and Jessica Uhl who each have outstanding awards under the LTIP.


The REMCO believes significant shareholding by Executive Directors is an important way of ensuring that shareholders and Executive Directors share the same priorities. Shareholding is one of Shell’s core remuneration principles as it creates a balanced connection between individual wealth and Shell’s long-term performance. This will support effective governance and an ownership mindset. Significant shareholding requirements reflect the performance timescales of Shell and are aligned with absolute shareholder return.

The CEO is expected to build up a shareholding of seven times their base salary over five years from appointment. The CFO is expected to build up a shareholding of five times their base salary over the same period. In the event of an increase to the guideline multiple of salary, for every additional multiple of salary required, the director will have one extra year to reach the increased guideline, subject to a maximum of five years from the date of the change.

Executive Directors will be required to maintain their shareholding requirement (or their existing shareholding if less than the guideline) for a period of two years post-employment.

The holding periods for LTIP vested shares and shares delivered as part of the annual bonus continue to apply after Executive Directors leave employment.

Differences for Executive Directors from other employees

The remuneration structure and approach to setting remuneration levels is consistent across Shell, with consideration given to location, seniority and responsibilities. However, a higher proportion of total remuneration is tied to variable pay for Executive Directors and members of Senior Management.

The salary for each Executive Director is determined based on the indicators in the “Executive Directors’ remuneration policy table”, which reflect the international nature of the Executive Directors’ labour market. The salary for other employees is normally set on a country basis.

Executive Directors are eligible to receive the standard benefits and allowances provided to other employees. The provisions which are not generally available for other employees are described in “Benefits”.

The methodology used for determining the annual bonus for Executive Directors is broadly consistent with the approach for Shell employees generally. However, bonuses for the majority of Shell employees are determined taking into account individual and business performance, whereas bonuses for Executive Directors are based solely on business performance. Although the makeup and weightings scorecard used for the majority of Shell employees is currently aligned with the scorecard, these scorecards may differ if required to support the achievement of business objectives. All Executive Directors and Executive Committee members receive 50% of their annual bonus in shares, which are subject to a three-year holding period.

Executive Directors are not eligible to receive new awards under employee share plans other than the LTIP, although awards previously granted will continue to vest in accordance with the terms of the original award. Selected employees participate in the Performance Share Plan (PSP). The operation of the PSP is similar to the LTIP, but currently differs, for example, in some performance measures and their relative weightings. As at March 2020, around 51,000 employees participate in one or more of Shell’s global share plans and/or incentive plans, further supporting alignment with shareholder interests.

Executive Directors’ retirement benefits are maintained in line with those of the wider workforce in their base country.

free cash flow
View complete glossary
Long-term Incentive Plan
View complete glossary
Performance Share Plan
View complete glossary
Remuneration Committee
View complete glossary
return on average capital employed
View complete glossary
total shareholder return
View complete glossary