Double-Digit Pay Raise For Omnicom's Wren in 2013

Omnicom CEO John Wren received a double-digit bump in total compensation in 2013 to nearly $18.1 million, up 22% from the $14.8 million he received in 2012, according to company financial documents.

That made Wren the highest compensated executive at the company last year. The biggest piece of that income came in the form of a $10 million cash payment from the company’s Non-equity Incentive Plan Compensation. He also drew a $1 million base salary as well additional performance based remuneration.

Wren’s big raise came as he managed Omnicom to a solid growth year in 2013—the firm  posted organic revenue growth of 3.5%, tied with WPP at the top among the major holding companies and above the 3.1% average holding company growth last year according to Pivotal Research analyst Brian Weiser. (MDC, not included in that calculation posted organic growth over 8% albeit from a much lower revenue base).



Company CFO Randall Weisenburger was the second highest compensated executive at Omnicom in 2013 with total remuneration of just under $12 million, a 13% increase from the $10.6 million he earned in 2012.

Rounding out the top-5 highest compensated executives at the company last year were SVP Finance and Controller Philip Angelastro ($2.4 million); Treasurer Dennis Hewitt ($1.3 million), and General Counsel Michael O’Brien ($2 million).

Omnicom is the first of the major ad holding companies to report executive compensation for its top managers last year, although WPP reported last month that CEO Martin Sorrell received a roughly $38 million payout in early 2014 as part of long-term incentive compensation program.

Executive compensation has been a sore spot for many investors in recent years. Two years ago shareholders voted against WPP’s compensation package and as a result Sorrell agreed to a reduced salary, smaller contributions to his pension and more restricted opportunities under its long- and short-term incentive compensation programs. Most of the publicly traded holding companies this year will allow investors to vote on an advisory basis at annual meetings for or against their companies’ pay programs.

Omnicom also reported that it will hold its annual meeting this year on May 20th at the offices of its PR subsidiary FleishmanHillard, in Washington, D.C. With the company still awaiting regulatory approval for its proposed merger with Publicis Groupe, it’s not likely shareholders will be asked to vote on the merger at that meeting. The companies now hope to complete the merger sometime in the third quarter.

Omnicom has put up for re-election at its meeting its existing slate of members of its board of directors. Bruce Crawford, 85, is Chairman of the board.

There are no resolutions from shareholders on this year’s voting ballot. For the last two years, the Controller of the City of New York John Liu has submitted a proposal demanding that the company make public its filings to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. It was voted down both years. But Liu has asked Omnicom and Publicis to file data on the gender and ethnic make-up of their workforces in proxy materials distributed to shareholders before they vote on the merger. 

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