WPP is trying to push through a controversial multimillion-dollar bonus scheme for its chief executive. The holding company is said to be confident the scheme will be approved at its general
meeting June 2, despite stiff opposition from UK shareholder groups. U.S. shareholders, who collectively hold a 38% stake in WPP, are expected to support the plan.
According to the
incentive scheme, senior managers who invest in the company's shares will be rewarded with up to five times as many free shares, as long as the firm hits certain key performance targets, including
outperforming its rivals. CEO Martin Sorrell can invest up to $19 million in the company's shares during the coming five years, potentially earning free shares worth $95 million, based on the
current share price.
Opposition to the WPP scheme is the latest example of a growing movement of shareholder activism -- a number of other remuneration reports have been voted down in recent weeks in the U.K.