Former Shell boss van Beurden fuels fears energy giant will ditch London for New York

Warning: Ex-Shell chief exec Ben van Beurden (pictured) said the oil major is ‘massively undervalued’ 

Shell’s former boss yesterday fuelled fears that the energy giant will ditch London for New York.

Ben van Beurden said the oil major is ‘massively undervalued’ and the gap between UK-listed stocks and their Wall Street rivals is a ‘major issue’.

The comments came after Shell – the biggest firm in the FTSE 100 – threatened to quit the London stock market.

The move would be a major blow for the City which has suffered an exodus in recent years.

Shell is seeking to close the valuation gap with US rivals Chevron and Exxon Mobil.

Van Beurden, who was chief executive of Shell between 2014 and 2022, said American investors are ‘more positive’ about oil and gas majors. 

Deeper capital pools in the US have helped to lift valuations on the New York Stock Exchange, said the Dutch businessman. 

‘These factors conspire against the people listed in Europe,’ he added.

Shell first considered a move to New York in 2021 before announcing it would drop its dual listing in Amsterdam and move its headquarters to London.

‘Of course, we looked at all sorts of options,’ said van Beurden. ‘We thought that going to the UK was the most logical next step. 

Was it going to be the end game? You always have to reconsider what other options there are.’

Wael Sawan – who succeeded van Beurden as boss in January 2023 – has said the company is looking at ‘all options’ including moving its listing to New York.