In a continuing effort aimed at executive motivation and long-term investment in talent, Publicis Groupe has invited 200 key executives from across the world to participate in a new co-investment program based on their personal purchase of the Paris-based holding company’s shares.
The shares are bought in the open market through a dedicated company and the executive investors will receive a grant of free shares, if they have three years (France) or four years (international markets) of continued employment with the company. Executive investors may also benefit from stock options in newly-issued shares, assuming those employment conditions are met and based on the results of Publicis Groupe performance criteria, in comparison to its peers, in organic growth and operating margin.
Executives on the management board will only be granted the free shares based on the company’s performance under the same conditions applicable to the granting of stock options. Publicis chief Maurice Lévy has decided to no longer take performance shares or stock options and will not be participating in this new plan.
In 2009, Publicis Groupe launched a co-investment plan as part of a broader employment stock ownership initiative, which was subscribed to by 136 key execs. Like the new program, it was subject to three or four years of continued employment. Publicis said that the company wanted to continue those incentives based on the “resounding success” of that program.
“Given the increasing competitiveness of talent in the global market, it is crucial for the Groupe’s executives to be directly involved in the Groupe’s successes,” said Lévy in a statement. “Co-investment in the Groupe is the expression of its executives’ strong commitment as it requires taking a real risk with personal funds.”