Shareholder spring reduces top pay awards

Kate McCann
Follow Kate
The legacy of the shareholder spring has reduced top executive pay in the FTSE 100 by seven per cent, according to new research.

The pay packages of top bosses fell by five per cent in 2012 and seven per cent last year, the report from remuneration experts Manifest and MM&K suggested.

The research also listed the top ten highest paid chief executives in the FTSE 100, with Martin Sorrell of advertising giant WPP topping the list with a total pay packet of £29,846,000.

Speaking in April this year Jeffrey Rosen, chairman of WPP’s remuneration committee, said: “While the level of vesting will undoubtedly attract public attention, the close relationship between WPP’s pay and performance is again demonstrated by the considerable value that has been created for share owners during that period.”

Sorrell’s pay package has bucked the trend set out by Manifest and in­creased by 70 per cent. Almost a fifth of WPP investors voted against executive pay at the firm’s annual meeting last month.

The fall in executive pay overall follows increasing calls from investors for smaller remuneration packages for top corporate staff.

Notable recent examples include fund-managed Fidelity, which revealed it had voted against half of the executive pay deals it had been party to at annual meetings this year. The group, which owned stakes in a number of listed companies, said it voted against remuneration proposals for 52 per cent of FTSE 350 firms it had voted on this year.