WPP share price: Standard Life to rebuke Sorrel’s £43m pay

on Jun 8, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

WPP Plc (LON:WPP) is facing a shareholder revolt over the proposed awarding of a £43 million pay package to chief executive Sir Martin Sorrel, analysts argue. Standard Life, one of the biggest investors in the company, is set to issue a public statement at the annual general meeting tomorrow, rebuffing the record-breaking package.

Sorrel’s £43 million pay includes a basic salary of £1.15 million, plus pension and other benefits of £2.2 million, with short-term incentives of £3.56 million, and £36 million in shares.
Sorrel said that he “makes no apologies” for his large pay packet, according to The Telegraph, adding that he’s been rewarded “because we’ve had top-of-the-tree performance.”
“More than 90 percent of Sir Martin’s 2014 compensation was performance- related, the majority of which was from the five-year Leap scheme,” the company has said, adding that shareholder return for the same period is 171.5 percent.
Last week, shareholder advisory groups Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis criticised Sorrel’s compensation as “wholly excessive” and “extremely outsized”, with Glass Lewis advising shareholders to vote against the company’s remuneration proposals.
Meanwhile, US governance adviser ISS has recommended backing WPP.
WPP’s share price had edged 0.4 percent higher to 1,492.00p as of 13:48 BST today, outperforming the FTSE 100. The company’s stock has dropped nearly five percent since last week, but is still more than 10 percent higher year-to-date, having reached an all-time high of 1,616p in April.
Sorrel’s pay has risen significantly in recent years. The proposed 2014 compensation is a 44 percent increase on the previous year, which itself saw a seventy percent leap in his pay from the year before.
Nearly a quarter of WPP’s shareholders have either voted against its remuneration report or abstained at the last two meetings.
As of 14:38 BST, Monday, 08 June, WPP PLC ORD 10P share price is 1,489.50p.

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