This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Pay at WPP

ShareSoc has issued a press release advising investors to vote against the Remuneration Report at WPP Plc. In particular we think the pay of CEO Sir Martin Sorrell is excessive (£70 million in 2015). See https://www.sharesoc.org/pr79-wpp-remuneration.html for the full press release.

This is one of several advisory notices on pay we have issued to ShareSoc Members recently. The previous ones were on Reckitt Benckiser, Anglo American and BP. It is very clear that the reforms to tackle excessive pay introduced by Vince Cable, which were more disclosure and votes on remuneration, have not been sufficient to restrain the growth in the pay of directors of public companies. Surely more needs to be done. As this writer said in a previous blog post on pay at Weir, it needs to be simplified, reduced in magnitude and set by people who are not beholden to their fellow directors. The activities of remuneration consultants have also contributed to both the complexity and racheting up of pay in recent years. These are my personal opinions of course. But there are surely solutions that need to be seriously considered.

In the meantime ShareSoc has been focussing on remuneration of late with new ShareSoc director Cliff Weight who has experience in this field contributing substantially. Indeed he has written a number of analyses of pay in companies which are present in a new on-line Forum available to ShareSoc Members.

Roger Lawson

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