In his first full year at the helm of UK-based Aegis Group, the parent company of Carat, Isobar and other media and digital ad shops, CEO Jerry Buhlmann earned nearly $3 million in 2011. That’s according to the company’s recently disclosed Remuneration Report.
That report and other documents were released as the company prepares for its annual meeting in London on May 10.
Excluding stock options and awards, Buhlmann’s pay package increased by about 30% to a little more than $2.55 million, including salary, bonus, benefits and pension payments. Gains from stock options and awards added another roughly $440,000. Buhlmann’s employment contract automatically renews each year with provisions for both sides to opt out of the arrangement.
Bonus and stock awards are tied to financial growth targets, shareholder returns and how the company performs compared to competing holding companies, according to the Aegis report. In 2011, Aegis generated $1.8 billion in revenues with nearly 10% organic revenue growth, about double what it achieved the prior year. That was higher (on a percentage basis) than most of the other holding companies.
In a letter to shareholders in the company’s just issued 2011 Annual Report, Buhlmann predicted that in 2012 Aegis would deliver “sector-leading organic revenue growth which we expect to convert into further [profit] margin progression and earnings enhancement for our shareholders.”
The company kicked off 2012 with a huge win: the global General Motors media assignment with ad billings of $3 billion. That one win topped the company’s net new business total for all of 2011: $2.7 billion. Buhlmann described the GM victory as “the most significant new business win in Aegis’s history.”
Last year, Aegis sold off its Synovate research unit, a defining event that turned the company into a pure-play media-focused firm. That singular focus will help the company’s performance going forward, Buhlmann stated in his letter to shareholders. “We are now well-placed to build on the significant momentum the business is already demonstrating.”