A group of U.K.-based institutional investors, including the £30 billion (US$58.7 billion) Universities Superannuation Scheme, £20 billion Railway Pension Investments Ltd. and £8 billion West Midlands Metropolitan Authorities Pension Fund, today announced their support for the separation of chairman and CEO roles at Exxon Mobil Corp., according to statements from the organizations. Rex W. Tillerson currently holds both positions at Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas.
The separation of the roles of the chairman and CEO is the most effective model to provide independent oversight of management and for protecting shareholder interests in the long term, Jason Fletcher, head of Americas equities at the Universities scheme, said in a joint USS-Railpen statement. Railpen is the investment arm of Railway Pension Trustee Co. Ltd.
Others in the group are F&C Asset Management, Co-operative Insurance Society and Morley Fund Management. PIRC Ltd., a U.K. proxy-voting advisory firm, also recommended its clients support the proposal.
Ram Trust Services Inc., which is controlled by shareholder activist Robert A.G. Monks, sponsored the proposal.
Exxon Mobils annual meeting is May 28.