Shell boss Ben van Beurden risks new pay row after £17.8m bonanza. Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ (RDSB) more than doubled chief executive Ben van Beurden’s pay last year to a whopping €20.1 million (£17.8 million), putting the oil major on course for a fresh high-pay row. The FTSE 100 giant, which has forked out nearly €70 million to van Beurden since he took charge five years ago, made the payout after a long-term shares award given in 2016 triggered a one-off €15.2 million share windfall. Last year the shares award was €4 million. The colossal figure, the second-highest after a €24.2 million payday for van Beurden in 2014, risks prompting another round of shareholder angst.
Capita hails ‘snowflake’ ads for helping mend army recruitment contract. Outsourcer Capita (CPI) said a problem contract to handle British Army recruitment was on the mend after the recent blockbuster “snowflake” ad campaign. The company said the Recruiting Partnering Project, which was criticised by the National Audit Office in December, was showing signs of improvement after it started working more closely with the Army. “We fundamentally changed the working relationship,” said chief executive Jon Lewis. “It’s creating a common sense of ownership rather than dare I say it the master and servant relationship that was the picture of old. We’ve got to be in it together.”
Just Group dives 15% after drumming up £380m in fundraising push. Pensions provider Just Group (JUST) saw its shares crash on Thursday after it was forced into a £380 million capital raise. The company, which was previously hammered by pensions freedom reform, suffered a share fall of 15% to 83.1p after unveiling plans to sell £80 million of new shares and raise £300 million in debt. The company, which is regulated like an insurance company, is beefing up capital buffers and getting more firepower for deals after regulator the Prudential Regulation Authority changed the way it calculates equity release mortgages, which Just offers to customers.
Julian Dunkerton blasts Superdry for ‘catastrophic’ share price dive. Superdry (SDRY) co-founder Julian Dunkerton on Thursday launched his most blistering attack yet on the fashion brand as he battles to return to the business. Ahead of meeting shareholders on April 2, he said the share price has had “a catastrophic decline” over the past year and the slump in sales was a result of its current “failed strategy”. Dunkerton, Superdry’s largest shareholder, demanded an extraordinary meeting with investors last month to enable his return as a non-executive director. He was chief executive until 2014, when he handed over to Euan Sutherland while continuing as creative director.
Savills hits winning streak as super-rich throw cash at capital. The super-rich are splashing out on houses in London again, the boss of property agent Savills (SVS) said on Thursday. Chief executive Mark Ridley said a combination of lower house prices and a weaker sterling had persuaded both foreign and domestic buyers to part with cash. He added: “We’re taking more market share and activity will continue.” The business saw a 43% jump in deals for properties worth more than £15 million in London year-on-year. Savills on Thursday warned that the year ahead would be “overshadowed by macroeconomic and political uncertainties” such as Brexit and the ongoing trade spat between the US and China, which will probably put pressure on volumes.