WPP boss £48m pay voted against by a fifth of investors

WPP boss £48m pay voted against by a fifth of investors
More than one in five shareholders at advertising giant WPP have voted against chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell s £48m pay package.

The move makes it the seventh year in a row that more than 20% failed to endorse the boss s pay.

Investors also raised concerns over succession plans at the business when Sir Martin, 72, finally retires.

Last year 34% of investors refused to back his pay deal of £70.4m - the biggest in UK corporate history.

The vote took place at the company s annual general meeting on Wednesday and saw 21.3% of shareholders either vote against his pay or abstain.

WPP has attempted to reign in the vast sums paid to Sir Martin since 2012, when he faced a 60% revolt by investors.

Since then, he has been paid more than £210m.

Investors said they also wanted the board to give clearer indications over the company s future.

Major investment funds, including Standard Life Investments, Royal London Asset Management and Hermes asked chairman, Roberto Quarta, for clarity.

Deborah Gilshan, stewardship and governance director at Standard Life Investments, which has a 1.5% stake in WPP, said: "[Succession] remains the key governance risk to our long term investment in WPP.

"Unusually, the CEO s service contract may be terminated by either the company or Sir Martin without any notice.

"Given this, we suggest the board consider what lead time would be required to ensure an orderly succession and discuss this with Sir Martin."

Mr Quarta insisted succession planning was well underway with key talent across the WPP group meeting the board.

He added that a "constantly refined list" of external candidates was also available.

Sir Martin has constantly defended his high pay, pointing out that WPP, which he essentially founded in 1985, continues to grow from strength to strength.
News Topics :
Businesses who pay excessive salaries to senior executives represent the unacceptable face of capitalism , Prime Minister Theresa May has said. The excesses of some bosses was undermining confidence and damaging...
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable says new claims about Sir Martin Sorrell mean WPP must come clean over his exit from the advertising giant. It follows reports a WPP...
The country s biggest public businesses may soon have to publish the gap between the pay of their chief executive and an average worker. Business Secretary Greg Clark says directors...
Image caption WPP shareholders challenged the firm s board in June, amid anger over the way it handled the departure of founder Sir Martin Sorrell Shareholders are getting increasingly fed...
Sir Martin, 73, the driving force behind 33 years of dealmaking at WPP, stepped down in April after the board investigated claims of misconduct. Confirmation of the Derriston deal, first...