WPP

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies AGM, WPP and Tesla

For those folks who invest in smaller companies, it’s always educational to attend the Annual General Meeting of Standard Life UK Smaller Companies (SLS) which I did today. This investment trust has been managed by Harry Nimmo and his team for many years and he has consistently beaten the company’s benchmark (currently Numis Smaller Companies Plus AIM index). Harry’s presentation highlighted that smaller companies were a “great place to be until the last 4 weeks”. He said that we often see sharp ...

The Departure of Sir Martin Sorrell

At last the highest paid and longest serving FTSE-100 CEO has departed from WPP after 33 years. His total pay last year was £48 million, down from the previous year’s “single figure” of £70 million. Sir Martin was certainly perceived to be a “star” businessman, and the financial performance of WPP pleased shareholders for many years. Despite recent problems the Annual Report of the company claims a Total Shareholder Return of 1,006% over the last twenty years as against a measly ...

WPP Pay and AGM Report

So 33% of investors in WPP voted against Sir Martin Sorrell's pay package of £70 million for last year at yesterday's AGM which made him the highest paid FTSE CEO. That has been reported in the financial media as indicating strong dissatisfaction with the figure, but surely the really astonishing aspect is that obviously 66% voted in favour (and that's ignoring the abstentions). It seems 66% of the mainly institutional voters think that pay at that level is perfectly reasonable! Or perhaps ...

All FTSE-100 CEO Pay Too High

ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight was interviewed on Bloomberg this morning (prior to the WPP Annual General Meeting). He suggested all FTSE-100 CEO pay was too high and it was damaging shareholder returns. Click on this link to see the video: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-06-08/all-ftse-100-ceo-pay-too-high-says-weight ShareSoc previously issued this press release on pay at WPP: https://www.sharesoc.org/pr79-wpp-remuneration.html and advised shareholders to vote against the Remuneration Report at the AGM. We have also recently issued our Guidelines for Remuneration in public companies which suggested pay is generally excessive in ...

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 ...

Pay at Weir, Reckitt-Benckiser and WPP

Yesterday saw Weir Group Plc defeated on pay. Both the Remuneration Report and Remuneration Policy resolutions were lost with 73% and 70% of votes AGAINST them respectively. This is a very damning blow to this FTSE-250 company which makes pumps for the mining and oil markets. The company subsequently issued a grovelling apologia for the proposals they had tried to implement which included a "stock awards" scheme that was based on share price performance rather than more direct performance criteria (such as ...

The Wonders of LTIPs, Pay at WPP and the Sprue Aegis AGM

Yesterday (3/6/2015), I attended the Annual General Meeting of Sprue Aegis (SPRP). Before discussing what was said at that meeting, it's worth reviewing a recently issued report by the High Pay Centre entitled "No Routine Riches".  It's a devastating critique of how the existing systems of "performance related pay" for directors has worked. To quote from the report: "We have looked at the growing complexity of awards that has pushed directors’ pay into the stratosphere, and found there is little discernible link ...

John Lee, WPP and Optimal Payments

As usual there was a thought provoking article by John Lee in the FT Money edition on Saturday (4/4/2015). He discusses the "one that got away" in his past investment history, which was a small company called Wire and Plastic Products. He invested £9,000 in 1984 in this manufacturer of supermarket trolleys but sold his shares for £25,000 when an unknown person named Martin Sorrell bought a large stake and the shares rocketed. It went on to become WPP (market cap ...
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