WPP’s (LON:WPP) chairman Roberto Quarta is facing investor backlash over the ad giant’s ousting of its former chief executive Martin Sorrell after a leading advisory group recommended that investors oppose his re-election at next month’s annual meeting (AGM), The Times has reported. Sorrell left the company last month after the group appointed an independent counsel to look into allegations of ‘personal misconduct’.
WPP’s share price has been subdued in London in today’s session, having given up 0.46 percent to 1,305.00p as of 09:25 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.07 percent lower at 7,718.91 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 23 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a near four-percent rise in the Footsie.
Investor backlash on the card
The Times reported this morning that in a report to investors, proxy shareholder service Glass Lewis had suggested that they vote against the re-election of Roberto Quarta as WPP chairman. The advisory group explained that its concerns about the group’s failure to ‘adequately prepare’ for the replacement of Sorrell had been heightened by the ‘opaque nature’ of the investigation.
Glass Lewis is also recommending that investors reject WPP’s pay report, under which Sorrell was paid £14 million last year, arguing that shareholders should expect ‘full disclosure’ over the investigation and are unable to “determine the extent to which he should be treated as a ‘good leaver’ ”.
Analysts on advertising giant
The 27 analysts offering 12-month price targets for WPP for the Financial Times have a median target of 1,400.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 1,940.00p and a low estimate of 1,060.00p. As of May 11, the consensus forecast amongst 29 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company.