WPP joins shareholders’ revolt against Chime’s remuneration policies

WPP joins shareholders’ revolt against Chime’s remuneration policies

Advertising giant WPP, the top shareholder in PR firm Chime, on Friday joined shareholders' revolt against the company's remuneration policies at its annual general meeting.

Nearly 25 per cent of Chime shareholders refused to support its future pay/remuneration policy for its executives, while 22 per cent of the shareholders turned down its last year's remuneration report.

However, WPP didn't directly disapprove Chime's remuneration report. Instead, it along with many other rebellious shareholders chose to abstain from voting on the report. With a stake of 17.7 per cent, WPP is the biggest shareholder in Chime.

Tensions between Chime and WPP are not hidden. In 2012, WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell had opposed the sale of public relations agency Bell Pottinger by Chime. Sir Martin is reportedly also unhappy with Chime's acquisition of Complete Leisure Group.

Nevertheless, a big majority (96 per cent) of votes cast was in favour of the company's remuneration report. It was a significant improvement from the last year's general meeting, when Chime Chairman Lord Davies failed to get support of nearly half of the company's shareholders for bonus scheme.

Separately, engineering firm Kentz suffered the biggest shareholder revolt to date this year. Nearly half (49.7 per cent) of its shareholders rejected its remuneration report.