Cordiant unveils the `Super' share

Cordiant, formerly Saatchi & Saatchi group, yesterday confirmed details of new executive share option schemes which could give chief executive Charles Scott the right to subscribe for `Super' options worth up to eight times his £365,000 salary - or around £2.9m.

A company spokesman said that this was not a guaranteed profit for Mr Scott, and that the new share option schemes needed the approval of an extraordinary meeting of shareholders on 16 March. He added that precise working details of the schemes, and which other executives might receive the Super options, had still to be decided by the new Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

The company also said it felt the new schemes would not attract the flak directed at former chairman Maurice Saatchi for an alternative share option scheme that helped trigger his ousting last year.

A spokesman said: "The new schemes are very different because they are within the guidelines of the Association of British Insurers. The previous one was not."

Cordiant is understood to have taken soundings from institutional investors about the proposed schemes - embracing a performance share option scheme and a so-called phantom share plan - and received a positive response.

The super options, which could also affect other top group executives, is dependent on the company achieving growth in earnings per share which put it in the top 25 per cent of FT-SE 100 companies over five years. They will only be exercisable after the fifth anniversary of the date of grant.

The ordinary options will only become exercisable if, over any three years from their date of grant, earnings per share have grown by a greater annual percentage than inflation plus 2 per cent. The ordinary options will be open to up to 30 or 40 executives who could subscribe for shares worth four times their salary.