Will Objectively Oversee Continued Value Creation at Hess
The Board recommends that shareholders vote FOR the election of Hess’ highly qualified independent nominees on the WHITE proxy card.
For information about Hess’ transformation and the 2013 Annual Meeting, please visit: www.transforminghess.com.
Included below is the full text of the letter:
Dear Hess Shareholder,
As independent nominees to the Hess Board of Directors, we wanted to share our views as the annual meeting approaches on the important decision you will soon make.
INDEPENDENT, UNCONFLICTED OVERSIGHT
Contrary to suggestions by Elliott in the heat and noise of the proxy
fight, none of us were required to support the Hess strategic plan as a
precondition for serving on the Hess Board. The Elliott characterization
is simply false. And ISS and
We were first approached by an independent search firm to consider serving on the Hess Board, then undertook a thorough evaluation of Hess’ transformation strategy, met with senior management and the Company’s advisors, and attended Board meetings under observer status. We did our homework. We reviewed the Hess plan and we reviewed the Elliott plan. We reviewed independent research. We came to the conclusion – independently and like the rest of the market – that the best path to creating sustainable value for shareholders was to continue to pursue the transformation plan Hess has outlined to the market.
ELLIOTT’S PLAN DISCREDITED AND BARELY MENTIONED
As the proxy fight has worn on, we find it interesting that the Elliott nominees, who stand to be paid millions of dollars more than we do if elected, have either professed not to have studied the Hess plan (a plan enthusiastically endorsed by the market), or they now endorse the broad outlines of the Hess plan. They barely mention Elliott’s initial plan for Hess – which they signed on to – and which has now been discredited by the market. Did they do their homework? Should they have? It appears they didn’t, and they should have.
WE OWE NOTHING TO HESS AND NOTHING TO ELLIOTT; WE OWE A DUTY TO ALL HESS SHAREHOLDERS
We owe nothing to Hess and nothing to Elliott, but we do owe a duty to all shareholders to help create and execute the best plans to increase shareholder value year-in and year-out. We believe that the plan Hess is pursuing offers the best opportunity to maximize shareholder value, and we are committed to providing independent oversight of Hess management to ensure its continued execution. When necessary, we will make changes to these strategies to ensure we are delivering the best return to all shareholders.
We have all had successful careers and we have strong reputations in our chosen fields. We would not have put our reputations at risk if we did not believe we can provide independent oversight to create value for all shareholders. We simply do not believe that Elliott’s nominees can credibly say they are independent of Elliott, a recent shareholder that designed their unusual pay package. We find it surprising that a proxy advisor would recommend for all of the dissident Elliott nominees, while arguing that any nominee recommended by the nominating and governance committee of a company – a stock exchange requirement – could somehow be rejected by the advisor on a claim of compromised independence.
WE WILL WORK FOR ALL SHAREHOLDERS
Hess’ current Board and management team have assembled a portfolio of world-class E&P assets, particularly since the decision in 2010 to substantially increase the acreage position in the Bakken oil shale. It is clear to us that Hess is on the right path in strategically focusing that portfolio, ensuring that it has the appropriate balance of higher-growth, lower-risk assets while at the same time efficiently allocating capital to fund growth and increase returns to shareholders. If elected, we will work for all shareholders to see that there is continued, solid execution of the plan, and that there is a detailed review of all aspects of Hess governance and oversight for the future.
Increasing lasting shareholder value is what drives each of us and, while we believe that the plan proposed by Hess and endorsed by the market is the right one for the current circumstances and is superior to the Elliott break-up plan, we are each committed to the regular re-examination of the Hess plan and the careful study and pursuit of all strategies and options for building value for all shareholders.
Our backgrounds (see attached bios) have prepared us well to oversee continued value creation at Hess. Make no mistake, we will not tolerate backsliding or a loss of focus. We will enforce continued re-evaluation of operational initiatives, capital allocation and strategy. We will work for you and ask that you give us that opportunity. We encourage you to vote the WHITE proxy card today.
This document contains projections and other forward-looking statements
within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and
Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These projections
and statements reflect the Company’s current views with respect to
future events and financial performance. No assurances can be given,
however, that these events will occur or that these projections will be
achieved, and actual results could differ materially from those
projected as a result of certain risk factors. A discussion of these
risk factors is included in the Company’s periodic reports filed with
This document contains quotes and excerpts from certain previously published material. Consent of the author and publication has not been obtained to use the material as proxy soliciting material.
Important Additional Information
For Hess Corporation
Jay Wilson, 212-536-8940
MacKenzie Partners, Inc.
Dan Burch/Bob Marese, 212-929-5500
Jon Pepper, 212-536-8550
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Michael Henson/Patrick Scanlan, 212-687-8080