As advertising holding companies go, Toronto-based MDC Partners is on the small side. It generated revenues of $943.3 million last year, up 37% from 2010. But the company’s CEO, Miles Nadal, was paid a whopping $23.8 million in 2011 -- more than any other ad holding company chief and double the $11 million earned by Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the largest holding company by revenue ($16 billion in 2011) -- WPP.
According to a recently filed SEC document, Nadal’s total 2011 compensation was nearly fourfold the $6.3 million he made in 2010.
Cash payments to Nadal last year included a $1.5 million salary (up 12% from the previous year) and a $1.875 million bonus and an additional $500,000 related to retirement and health benefits among other perks, per the company filing. Most of the rest came in the form of stock awards.
While the company lost money last year, net income was not used as a benchmark to set executive officer compensation. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was used as a primary benchmark and the company said that the $90.7 million in EBITDA reported for 2011 (up 3%) exceeded the baseline target set for incentive bonuses. MDC also cited “strong organic revenue generation” (17%) and the completion of several acquisitions and transactions that “expanded and diversified the company’s portfolio” of agencies as goals achieved in 2011.
The SEC filing also stated that the company’s strategic and operating plans were taken into account in determining Nadal’s pay package, “and how Mr. Nadal performed against those plans.”
According to the filing, Nadal will also receive a $10 million bonus if the company’s common stock trades at $30 per share for more than 20 consecutive days. The stock is currently trading at around $10 per share. And if the company changes control and Nadal is not CEO of the new controlling company, he will receive a windfall of more than $25 million, per his employment agreement. (If the company is sold he stands to make a lot more than that as the single largest shareholder in the company).
Meanwhile, company CFO David Doft was listed as the second-highest-paid executive officer of MDC last year -- with a total compensation package of just under $1.7 million. Chief accounting officer Michael Sabatino earned $1.6 million and general counsel Mitchell Gendel and managing director Gavin Swartzman both earned a little under $1.6 million.