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Bloomberg ($):

British insurer Legal & General Group Plc became the largest-yet Exxon Mobil Corp. investor to support an activist campaign to overhaul the oil giant’s board and make its climate goals more ambitious.

Just two weeks before a shareholders vote, the insurer’s asset management division will back Engine No. 1’s proposal to add four new directors and overhaul Exxon’s strategy to become more climate friendly. Legal & General Investment Management will also vote against re-electing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods, as well as lead director Kenneth Frazier.

The decision is a major boost to Engine No. 1’s high-profile campaign, whose biggest public backers to date have been state pension funds in New York and California, all of which have much smaller holdings in Exxon than than Legal & General, one of Europe’s biggest passive investors.

The London-based insurer and fund manager has a $1.5 billion stake in Exxon, making it the company’s 17th largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It opposed the re-election of Woods at last year’s annual meeting and some of its funds began divesting from Exxon stock a year earlier.

[Kevin Crowley]

More: Major Exxon Investor Joins Activist Battle to Reform Oil Giant

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