James Moore: The Norwegian’s not out of the woods with his pay – yet

 

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Outlook What gets Helge Lund out of bed in the morning is not the performance of Statoil’s share price, he told the FT in a recent interview, it’s what he can do for the wider society. Now he’s set to benefit society not as the boss of Statoil but as the boss of BG, for a barely credible pay package that could hit £29m.

To put it in context, his £480,000 relocation allowance alone amounts to more than the annual pay awarded to Cedric Brown when the latter ran British Gas, which used to own both BG and Centrica.

Mr Lund is credited with turning Statoil into a world leader. But there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to repeat the trick at BG. And Statoil’s success was about more than the work of just one man.

But taking a pop at Mr Lund is too easy. Shareholders have been told he might not join if they fail to approve the package.

Some might huff and puff a bit, but the chances are that it will scrape through. Despite new powers granted to them, investors have displayed a marked reluctance to use them. If shareholders keep the lid off the sweetie jar, people like Mr Lund will just keep eating.

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