IPG Proxy Statement Details Lowe Retirement Plan

NEW YORK — Interpublic Group’s proxy statement filed this week showed that Frank Lowe, chairman of Lowe and Octagon, will retire effective January 2, 2003. Lowe has the option to exercise 270,000 shares of IPG stock options on Jan. 1, 2003.

His retirement agreement includes continuance in an advisory position to those companies, for which he will receive $250,000 per year. The consultant’s role is for an initial term of one year and thereafter it is subject to renewal by mutual agreement.

In addition, Lowe will get a $250,000 increase in special deferred benefits allotted to him for a period of 15 years. Lowe, who turns 60 this year, stands to receive benefits ranging from $300,000 a year, if he elects to begin receiving them on his his 60th birthday, to $556,200 a year if he waits till he’s 64.

According to the proxy, McCann-Erickson WorldGroup CEO Jim Heekin received a one-time payment of $750,000 after IPG determined the number of performance units granted to him under the company’s long-term performance incentive program, for 1997-2000 “didn’t adequately reflect” his increased role and his contribution to IPG’s profitability in that 4-year period.

IPG chairman John Dooner received a reduced bonus of $500,000 in 2001, down from the year before in which he received $1.5 million. Heekin’s bonus was also less, from $1.2 million for 2000 to $600,000 for 2001.

Heekin and Lowe were replaced earlier this year when IPG reduced the number of insiders on its board.