Filing Details Extent Of Grey CEO’s Golden Years

In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Grey Global Group disclosed a 20 percent hike in CEO Ed Meyer’s pension.

The filing, which also revealed that the top executive’s contract was extended from December 2004 to December 2005, shows his pension has increased to $82,288 a month from $67,777. Amending an employment agreement originally executed in 1984, the filing covers Meyer’s compensation when he leaves the holding company. (The 77-year-old executive has not said when he plans to exit Grey.)

If Meyer should lose his job without cause or choose to end his employment, the filing says he is entitled to his base salary for the remainder of his contract and a bonus for the year of termination (equal to the sum of the previous two annual discretionary bonuses he received and the average of the previous awards allocated to Meyer under Grey’s senior management incentive program, which pays out every five years).

Grey’s 2004 proxy statement is not yet on file, but according to last year’s proxy, Meyer earned $3.3 million in salary and $450,000 in bonuses in 2002. In 2001, he brought home a bonus of $225,000.

If Meyer is unable to perform his duties because of disability, he is entitled to comparable remuneration.

In addition, Grey will provide Meyer with life insurance, disability insurance, health plans and medical reimbursement plans for as long as Meyer requests.

The filing also cites a $3 million payment five days after Meyer’s termination of employment, referencing an earlier version of the contract, but it is not clear what that amount represents.

Grey vice chairman and chief financial officer Steven Felsher did not return calls.

For the remainder of Meyer’s life, “or such shorter period as may be mutually agreed upon,” Grey will retain him as a consultant. For that work, Grey will pay Meyer $5,000 per month during the first five years and $1,000 a month thereafter, or a sum mutually agreed upon. Meyer is also entitled to staff assistance and office-support services.

Some of the more interesting details in the filing describe the perks in store for Meyer during the five years after he leaves Grey. He is entitled to office accommodations and dining facilities (either at Grey or elsewhere), along with two secretaries with “skill levels” comparable to the “senior” secretaries he employs as a CEO. Those staffers are to be paid salaries and benefits commensurate with that senior status.

Meyer will get a car and driver, comparable to his current circumstances, with upkeep and associated expenses to be paid by the agency. He is also to be reimbursed for all travel and entertainment expenses.

Within 120 days of his job termination, Meyer will be entitled to take up to $100,000 worth of furnishings and artwork from his office at Grey. The SEC filing also states that the agency will seek Meyer’s “suggestions” on up to $100,000 worth of charitable contributions each year, although Grey is under no obligation to make those donations.