01 September 1997

CORDIANT DIRECTORS unveiled a master plan to de-merge Saatchi & Saatchi from Cordiant Communications Group whilst retaining ownership of sister agency network Bates Communications. The top seventy managers in each agency will be invited to invest up to £150K of their own cash in incentive shares. If the prime target of doubling earnings per share is reached between 1998 and 2000, a manager investing, say, £50,000 would receive shares to the value of £800K. Cordiant chief executive Bob Seelert, a US national who last year earned £920,000 is to take the same role at Saatchi & Saatchi, while Bates chairman Michael Bungey will become chief executive at Cordiant. Bungey refuted allegations of nest-feathering with the immortal oxymoron: 'This is the real world of the worldwide advertising industry.' Cordiant shareholders’ subsequently approved the demerger plan.