Could Another Shareholder Spring Be on the Cards?

It wasn’t the chanting environmental protesters massed outside the vast Excel conference centre in London’s Dockland that Bob Dudley, the boss of BP, had to fear as he made his way to the oil major’s annual general meeting last Thursday. To a seasoned oil executive, the angry conservationists, accompanied by a giant inflatable sperm whale, must by now have become a mundane occupational hazard. Instead, it was the people inside the Excel who would inflict the biggest humiliation on the BP chief on this fine spring day. City fund managers and small investors – on the face of it less threatening than environmentalists – angered by the annual $6.5bn loss BP suffered last year, as well as a 14pc slump in share price, joined forces to vote down Dudley’s £14m pay package.

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