Massive bonuses for Saatchi trio

Click to follow

Three senior directors of Saatchi & Saatchi, the advertising agency that has just agreed to a £1.2bn takeover by Publicis, are to be handed bonuses running into millions as a result of the takeover.

Three senior directors of Saatchi & Saatchi, the advertising agency that has just agreed to a £1.2bn takeover by Publicis, are to be handed bonuses running into millions as a result of the takeover.

The payments demonstrate the massive rewards given by the board of Saatchi - which forced its founder and former chairman, Lord Saatchi, to resign five years ago after a row about how much he was paid.

Kevin Roberts, the freewheeling chief executive of Saatchi, is to be paid a bonus of $1.96m (£1.3m) as compensation. This payment is equal to a year's salary, bonus and benefits. Yet it is not compensation for loss of office, as Mr Roberts is staying with Publicis.

Indeed, he has been handed a generous package to remain at the company, being paid $900,000 a year with an expected bonus of the same amount. He also receives pension payments worth around $150,000 a year and options.

When Publicis takes control of Saatchi he will be able to exercise his existing share options in Saatchi, generating a profit of around £6.6m at current share prices.

Bob Seelert, Saatchi's chairman, receives a less generous but perhaps more unusual deal. He will pick up compensation of $500,000 for change of control but then will be re-employed, receiving $300,000 a year plus a pension of $75,000.

For this he will only be required to "be available" for 75 days a year. This means he will pick up the equivalent of $4,000 for each day he is available to work at Publicis.

Mr Seelert has options in Saatchi currently worth £5.77m and phantom options - which are effectively the same but without the inconvenience of Mr Seelert having to buy any shares - worth £2.33m.

Bill Cochrane, the finance director of Saatchi, will receive compensation of $600,000 and be re-employed at a salary of $450,000 plus a $225,000 bonus. He will be given share options in Publicis, his current options in Saatchi being worth £4.63m.

The only senior executive director of Saatchi who is actually leaving is Wendy Smyth, the corporate affairs director. She is to receive two years' salary and bonus, worth £406,000, and is able to cash in options worth £3.32m.

The contracts that resulted in the Saatchi directors receiving the massive payments were approved by Saatchi's non-executive directors, led by Sir Peter Walters, the former BP chairman, who was instrumental in ousting Lord Saatchi.

Saatchi shareholders meet on 16 August to approve the deal to sell out to Publicis.

Comments