WPP facing a new investor revolt over boss Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay

Nearly as many as one in four shareholders expected to reject £17.6m pay deal

Advertising giant WPP was today braced for another revolt over chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay after a big group of local authority pension funds and a shareholder advisory group declared their opposition.

It is thought as many as a quarter of shareholders could fail to back his £17.6 million pay deal at next week’s annual meeting — although that would be less dramatic than the near-60 per cent vote against seen a year ago.

The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, which acts for UK public-sector pension funds, will vote against the remuneration report because Sorrell’s pay was still “exceptionally high”, despite changes to his bonus scheme.

LAPFF said it had particular “concerns” about the new, long-term incentive plan because Sorrell could earn up to 9.74 times salary — a high level for a UK chief executive.

PIRC, which advises City shareholders including LAPFF, made its own call for investors to oppose the remuneration report and bonus plan, saying the rewards were “excessive”.

Both organisations welcomed WPP’s decision to change the bonus scheme after last year’s massive revolt but said the board was still being too generous.

“We recognise that WPP has sought to change its remuneration policy,” said LAPFF chairman Kieran Quinn. “However, the scale of reward available, and paid in the past year, remains very substantial.”

However, WPP’s decision to cut Sorrell’s salary by £150,000 to  £1.15 million — thus reducing his bonus payout — and other steps appear to have won round several other past critics. American shareholder advisory group ISS, which opposed WPP’s pay a year ago, has backed this year’s deal.

The Association of British Insurers has also issued an “amber-top”, alerting investors to the issue, rather than last year’s “red-top” call to reject the remuneration report.

Last year, 60 per cent failed to back Sorrell’s £12.9 million package. In 2011, WPP was hit with a 42 per cent revolt. 

WPP owns agencies JWT, Ogilvy & Mather and AKQA. Clients include HSBC, Barclays, Unilever and Nike.

Next Wednesday’s meeting will take place in London for the first time since the group moved its tax base back from Dublin.

WPP today signed a major global partnership with social media site Twitter which allows the companies to collaborate and share data. “Twitter’s relevance continues to grow,” said Sorrell.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits