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Pass the begging bowl.

WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell has suffered a 34 per cent fall in his share scheme-related pay for 2016 – to just £42m.

This week, Sir Martin received the £42m sum due to his participation in WPP’s long-term incentive scheme, known as LEAP, which has since been discontinued. Last year, he was awarded nearly £63m under the scheme.

Sir Martin’s full pay for 2016 won’t be announced until the world’s largest advertising group releases its annual report in April. But the lower payout from the share scheme means it’s likely to be below the £70m WPP awarded him for 2015 – one of the biggest pay packages ever given to a FTSE 100 chief executive.

That huge payout did not go unremarked by shareholders, with 34 per cent refusing to back the company’s remuneration policy at its annual meeting in 2016, up from 22 per cent the previous year.

Still, 2016 marks the last year that the LEAP share incentive scheme will pay out. After this, Mr Sorrell’s pay is expected to return to more meagre levels – of closer to £20m a year.

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