mauriceReaders of this blog will recall that Publicis Groupe supremo Maurice Lévy’s €900,000 “salary sacrifice” isn’t quite as altruistic as it appears (although, all credit for some skilful self-publicity on his part).

Among the emoluments he won’t be foregoing is a one-off “deferred compensation payment”, which crystallises when he (supposedly) retires at the end of this year.

Thus far, the exact amount has been shrouded in mystery. It was with great interest, therefore, that I read the following extract in The Economic Times:

PARIS: Publicis boss Maurice Levy is set to collect 16.2 million euros ($21.6 million) in deferred pay this year after the advertising agency hit some performance targets and based on the length of his service as chief executive, according to a regulatory filing.

“The deferred compensation is due to Maurice Levy because of his commitment to carry out his responsibilities until December 31, 2011,” Publicis said in its annual report. “It was from the beginning a loyalty tool that was not linked to his departure from the group but to his commitment to remain in his post until the end of his fixed contract.”

A loyalty tool, eh? More perhaps what Arthur Daley, of saintly memory, would have called “a nice little earner”.