01 September 1997

IF YOU HAVE TEARS prepare to shed them now! The recent hysteria on the world stock markets has deprived WPP’s chief executive Martin Sorrell of the third tranche of his controversial £25m incentive plan. The terms of Marty’s deal required WPP shares to stay above the target price of 265p for a period of sixty days ending 28 October. At the start of that day’s trading they stood at 277p and Marty’s wallet pulsated with pleasure. But cruel fate intervened and WPP shares plummeted in tandem with those elsewhere, later recovering but, tragically, not quite to the magic 265p. At 261.5p they stuck and Marty’s bonus of 1.17 million free shares - estimated value £3.24m - slipped tantalisingly from his grasp. But all is not lost. If Marty can cajole WPP shares above the 304p mark for sixty consecutive trading days before September 1999, he will receive the entire £25 million of shares due to him under the plan.