Sor­rell de­nies pay­ing sex worker with WPP funds

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY RAVENDER SEMBHY

SIR Martin Sor­rell has de­nied us­ing com­pany funds to pay for a sex worker while at the helm of WPP.

The ad­ver­tis­ing guru ear­lier this year left WPP, the com­pany he founded more than 30 years ago, fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of per­sonal mis­con­duct.

WPP car­ried out an in­quiry into al­le­ga­tions that Sir Martin mis­used com­pany funds, but the de­tails of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion were never dis­closed.

Over the week­end, it was al­leged in the Wall Street Jour­nal that the probe looked into whether he used com­pany cash to pay for a sex worker.

How­ever, Sir Martin’s spokesman “stren­u­ously” de­nied the claims.

A spokesman for the ty­coon said: “Sir Martin signed a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment when he stepped down which pre­cludes him from dis­cussing any of the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his de­par­ture.

“He has rigidly ad­hered to this obli­ga­tion and will con­tinue to do so.

“As re­gards the al­le­ga­tions which have ap­peared in the Wall Street Jour­nal, Sir Martin stren­u­ously de­nies them.

“He will be mak­ing no fur­ther com­ment at this time.”

WPP has said that it can­not dis­close any de­tails of the al­le­ga­tions be­cause it is pro­hib­ited by data pro­tec­tion law from do­ing so.

The al­le­ga­tions come ahead of what is ex­pected to be a fiery WPP an­nual gen­eral meet­ing to­mor­row, where Sir Martin will again be the fo­cus.

In­vestors will vote on key ap­point­ments and the ad­ver­tis­ing gi­ant’s pay re­port.

But two in­flu­en­tial share­holder advisory groups — Glass Lewis and PIRC — are rec­om­mend­ing in­vestors re­ject the group’s re­mu­ner­a­tion re­port, which in­cludes a pay­out to Sir Martin.

Glass Lewis has said that with­out more in­for­ma­tion from WPP, share­hold­ers were un­able to de­ter­mine whether Sir Martin was a “good leaver”, adding that it has “se­vere reser­va­tions” about the firm’s pay plans, given the lack of trans­parency.

Sir Martin is in line to re­ceive £14m from WPP, hav­ing re­ceived £48.1m the year be­fore.

He will also hoover up nearly £20m in pay­outs from WPP over the next five years as part of an exit deal with the firm.

Sir Martin ear­lier this month con­firmed his re­turn to the London stock mar­ket, with the for­mer WPP boss to head up the newly formed S4 Cap­i­tal.

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