Advertising and PR group WPP has confirmed that founder and chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell has taken home a share package worth £62.78m under the company's co-investment, performance-based, management incentive compensation plan, LEAP.
A total of 15 WPP senior executives were involved in the scheme, which covered a five year performance period from 2011 to 2015, during which time the firm's share price rose by 98 per cent.
When the scheme began in 2011, Sorrell's 3,982,605 shares were worth £2.47m – £6.6475 per share. The value of Sorrell's holding increased by 137 per cent, with a vesting price of £15.76435 per share on 14 March 2016.
Having exercised his option to receive the shares yesterday, Sorrell then sold £30.23m worth in order to discharge tax liabilities.
"Martin Sorrell has a sufficiently large enough shareholding in WPP for him to be incentivised to deliver performance, for all shareholders," said Tim Bush, head of governance and financial analysis at shareholder advisory group Pirc.
Bush added that, given Sorrell's shareholding, of around 19m shares worth approximately £300m, gives him dividends of £8.5m annually "all of his other remuneration ‘incentives’ are somewhat superfluous".
"Indeed [Sorrell] is at the point in his career, where planning for his succession is critical to the long-term success of the business," he continued.
"It is difficult to determine whether this pay attaches to him or to the job. That does not give clarity on his succession at precisely the time it is needed."