Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Service (ISS) has recommended shareholders support Royal Dutch Shell’s plan to move its headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Shell is also set to scrap its dual Anglo-Dutch share structure and ditch the “Royal Dutch” part of its name, which it has held for 114 years.
It has argued the changes are necessary to create value for shareholders and best position the oil giant during the transition to net zero.
“The company has provided compelling rationale which explains the benefits of the simplification of its share structure,” ISS said in a note.
The group’s backing follows public statements of support last week from Glass Lewis, which has also called for shareholders to vote through the changes.
Glass Lewis said the simplified structure would allow “an acceleration in distributions by way of share buybacks, as there will be a larger single pool of ordinary shares that can be bought back.”
Shell has reportedly been meeting with large groups of influential investors to convince them of its plans.
The oil giant’s decision to leave The Hague follows disputes with the Dutch authorities over the country’s 15 per cent dividend tax, with the company looking to allocate $7bn to shareholders, and a court ruling pushing the firm to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent in the next decade.
Shareholders will vote on the changes at a special general meeting on December 10 where the resolution needs to secure a very high threshold of votes – over 75 per cent.
It has also been dealing with intensifying calls to break up the company from activist fund Third Point.