Wednesday, 7 June 2017

WPP boss £48m pay voted against by a fifth of investors

More than one in five shareholders at advertising giant WPP have voted against chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell's £48m pay package.

The move makes it the seventh year in a row that more than 20% failed to endorse the boss's pay.

Investors also raised concerns over succession plans at the business when Sir Martin, 72, finally retires.

Last year 34% of investors refused to back his pay deal of £70.4m - the biggest in UK corporate history.

The vote took place at the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday and saw 21.3% of shareholders either vote against his pay or abstain.
WPP has attempted to reign in the vast sums paid to Sir Martin since 2012, when he faced a 60% revolt by investors.

Since then, he has been paid more than £210m.

Investors said they also wanted the board to give clearer indications over the company's future.

Major investment funds, including Standard Life Investments, Royal London Asset Management and Hermes asked chairman, Roberto Quarta, for clarity.

Deborah Gilshan, stewardship and governance director at Standard Life Investments, which has a 1.5% stake in WPP, said: "[Succession] remains the key governance risk to our long term investment in WPP.

"Unusually, the CEO's service contract may be terminated by either the company or Sir Martin without any notice.

"Given this, we suggest the board consider what lead time would be required to ensure an orderly succession and discuss this with Sir Martin."

BBC     News.