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ABP may vote no to Groenink's Shell job

NETHERLANDS - Pension giant ABP is considering voting against the appointment of beleaguered ABN Amro chairman Rijkman Groenink onto the supervisory board of Anglo-Dutch oil firm Shell.

ABP, who was also reported to be speaking on behalf institutional investors PGGM, Robeco and the Railway pension fund, is said to have revealed its negative stance in a letter to members of Dutch institutional corporate governance platform Eumedion.

Shell wants to appoint Groenink to the board at the annual shareholders meeting next Tuesday.

A spokesman for the fund declined to confirm or deny the report, saying any speculation at this stage is based on "a confidential discussion paper".

He added no definite decision has been taken yet: "At the annual general meeting on May 15, we will make our position clear and on whose behalf we have taken it."

It is the latest blow for Groenink, who has come under fire from ABN Amro's shareholders in recent weeks over the sale of the bank, who argue ABN is now acting in their best interests by supporting a takeover By Barclays Bank or other potential purchasers.

Elsewhere, ABN Amro today announced Huibert Boumeester, the former chief executive officer of ABN Amro Asset Management, will resurface as the bank's new chief financial officer.

He will replace Hugh Scott-Barrett who steps down on August 1.

Scott-Barrett said in a statement: "Given the expected change in ownership of ABN AMRO this is an opportune moment for me to look at my future and explore new opportunities in my career. Having decided not to take up the offered position in the new entity after the proposed merger of Barclays and ABN AMRO, my resignation is a logical step. I wish my colleagues in the Board and the staff of the bank the very best."

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