This notice of meeting has been prepared on the basis that BP will be able to conduct its AGM as usual this year. It is looking increasingly likely that this may well prove not to be possible. We continue to monitor the rapidly developing situation, including the latest UK Government guidance. The health and safety of shareholders and BP staff are of paramount importance. Given the circumstances, shareholders should be aware that arrangements for the AGM may change at short notice. The government has advised against unnecessary travel and discouraged large gatherings. Should these directives from the government remain in place up to and in the build up to the AGM, the meeting may proceed on an abridged basis, conducting only those matters required by law and regulation, and participation by the proxy form may well be more appropriate. BP may need to make changes to the meetings time, date and location or take other matters to act in the best interest to the health of our shareholders and staff. This could include no refreshments or lunch being offered, no presentations, adjourning the meeting to an alternative place and date and the removal of the webcast. Please visit this page for the most up to date information on the meeting and or its proceedings. For up to date information and advice on Coronavirus please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
As I wrote in my foreword to the 2019 Annual Report which we published last week, the world is facing an unprecedented set of challenges – chief amongst which is the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) with tragic consequences. As we today publish the notice of our 2020 Annual General Meeting (‘AGM’), these challenges seem to be growing in their significance and potential impact.
Against this backdrop, we are currently planning to return to London this year and to hold the AGM at ExCeL London on 27 May 2020, starting at 11:00am. BP’s 2018 and 2019 AGMs were held in Manchester and Aberdeen respectively and provided a great opportunity for the board to engage with our UK shareholders who might not otherwise have been able to attend a shareholder meeting.
Clearly, we appreciate that not everyone will be able or willing to travel to London to attend our AGM this year. With events moving so quickly, we may not be able to hold the AGM at our chosen venue at all. We will of course keep you updated of any changes we may decide to make to our current plans, as well as changes resulting from UK Government action, or decisions taken by the owners of the venue. This may or may not include a decision to webcast the event and other changes to the proceedings.
Please be sure to visit bp.com/agm where we will provide regular updates.
The past year had been a significant one for BP. After nearly a decade in the job, Bob Dudley decided to retire, and the board appointed Bernard Looney as BP’s new CEO. I am extremely grateful to Bob for all he did for BP, and I am sure you will all join me in wishing him a long and happy retirement.
Shortly after assuming his new role in February, Bernard announced BP’s new purpose – to reimagine energy for people and our planet. He also announced BP’s new ambition – to get to net zero by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get to net zero, underpinned by ten clear aims. To meet our purpose, ambition and aims, we also set out plans for reinventing BP, and unveiled a new leadership team. Bernard has the full support of BP’s board as he leads BP in its new direction.
Nils Andersen stepped down from the board on 18 March 2020 following his appointment as chairman at Unilever in November 2019. Nils will be missed and we wish him success in his new role. I would also like to thank Brian Gilvary, who will be standing for re-election at the AGM in May, but will be retiring from the board at the end of June. Brian has been a great CFO during an important time for the company. Brian is handing over to Murray Auchincloss, and we look forward to welcoming Murray to the board in July. Bob, Nils and Brian have been tremendous ambassadors for the company and we wish them all the best.
Last week, we also announced that Sir Ian Davis will be standing down as senior independent director at the conclusion of the AGM, to be succeeded by Paula Rosput Reynolds. With your support, Sir Ian will continue as a director until later this year to help support us through the ongoing transition. Brendan Nelson, chair of the audit committee and a highly valued member of the board, is also standing for re-election for one further year. His re-election is strongly supported by the board. We are expecting to appoint a successor to Brendan who, in due course, will also take over the chairmanship of the audit committee.
At the AGM, we intend to update shareholders on our performance in 2019 and progress we have made in the delivery of our strategy. This year marks the triennial renewal of our remuneration policy. In developing the policy, the remuneration committee sought feedback from many of our largest shareholders. We are seeking your approval of the new policy which retains our simple and well understood structure with strengthened elements relating to our energy transition ambition. We are also looking to seek renewal of the BP Executive Directors’ Incentive Plan.
Your votes matter. I encourage you all to read the information contained in this document and to vote your shares, making sure that your proxy is completed and returned to us, particularly if for any reason the AGM is affected by planning around COVID-19.
I hope that you and your families, friends and colleagues stay safe and healthy, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued loyalty to BP.
Information about our Annual General Meeting including the Notice of Meeting and speeches made by members of the board
An overview of the key activities, events and results in 2019, together with commentary on BP’s performance and our priorities as we move forward