The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), an association of 70 UK-based public sector pension funds, asked its members to oppose WPP Plc’s remuneration report at the advertising firm’s annual meeting, citing “excessive” payments offered to its chief executive.
PIRC, an advisory firm and LAPFF’s research partner, last week asked WPP shareholders to oppose Chief Executive Martin Sorrell’s pay, while Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) last month asked the shareholders to accept it.
Sorrell’s pay increased by 56 pct over the past five years to 70.4 million pounds ($101.4 million), which is twice the year-on-year average increase in the company’s total shareholder return over the same period, LAPFF said on Monday.
The forum said Sorrell’s total variable pay was more than 58 times his 1.15 million pound ($1.66 million) salary, which is the highest of the sector peer group and in the top 10 highest CEO salaries of the FTSE 100.
WPP was not immediately available for comment.
Some other big British companies have also faced shareholder opposition to executive pay packages this year in a resurgence of investor activism against excessive boardroom salaries.
In April BP shareholders voted against Chief Executive Bob Dudley’s $20 million pay deal for 2015 after the company made a record annual loss.
WPP’s annual general meeting is to be held on June 8. ($1 = 0.6946 pounds) (Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)