Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the world’s largest advertising agency holding group WPP, received a 44% pay increase to £43 million ($US66 million) in 2014, according to the company’s annual report.
The bulk of Sorrell’s pay is made up of share awards, which is directly linked the company’s stock performance, unlike many other FTSE 100 bosses’ compensation.
In 2014, WPP reported a record £1.5 billion annual profit, as revenue grew 4.6% year on year. WPP’s ordinary share price at year end was actually down 2.5% to 1,345.0p at year-end.
Sorrell took home a base salary of £1.15 million (unchanged from last year.) last year.
However, his “long-term incentives” package rose 59% to £36 million.
His “short term incentives” last year actually decreased 12% to £3.59 million.
Sorrell also received £453,000 in benefits — £36,000 towards a car, £50,000 towards healthcare, £274,000 towards “spousal travel” (his wife, Cristiana Falcone, is media and entertainment industries director at the World Economic Forum,) and £43,000 towards “other expenses.”
On top of those benefits, Sorrell’s pension pot for the year was £456,000, and DEPs of £1.29 million.
Sorrell’s increasingly large compensation is an often-discussed topic among shareholders. In 2012 shareholders rejected his £6.8 million annual pay packet. WPP holds its annual general meeting on June 9 in London.
In terms of my own compensation, what people tend to forget is that about 85% to 90% of my compensation (Sorrell’s total pay package rose 30% to £30m in 2013) is based on performance. For 28 years, all my net worth is in WPP, except for a very small piece, therefore the success or failure of WPP is tied very much with what I am paid.
I’ve not sold stock, with the exception of when I had a divorce settlement, in that last 30 years. And, interestingly, I’ve paid tax on that stock and locked myself in. And if the share price falls below the price of stock vested, I get a double whammy: I pay tax on that rate and the value of what I can ultimately disclose.
There’s a very important distinction between people that have started a company from zero and stayed with it for 28 years and haven’t flitted from flower to flower, and people who do.
The risk I have taken is substantial and it goes against all conventional financial planning where they say to diversify your risk. But my dad always used to tell me to invest in the company you know best and that company is the company you work with.
Sorrell donated £21 million from his personal fortune to his charitable trust, the JMCMRJ Sorrell Charitable Foundation earlier this month, The Guardian reported.
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