Sir Martin Sorrell battles to attract board members for his new venture, S4 Capital, after WPP spat

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Sir Martin Sorrell battles to attract board members for his new venture, S4 Capital, after WPP spat

  • Since leaving WPP, Sorrell has been in a spat over the ownership of MediaMonks
  • City sources claim the very public argument is scaring off candidates
  • Sorrell is hunting for non-executive directors for his new venture, S4 Capital

John Reynolds, Financial Mail on Sunday

Bust-up: Sir Martin Sorrell is struggling to attract board members for his new venture, S4 Capital

Bust-up: Sir Martin Sorrell is struggling to attract board members for his new venture, S4 Capital

Bust-up: Sir Martin Sorrell is struggling to attract board members for his new venture, S4 Capital

Sir Martin Sorrell is struggling to attract board members for his new venture, S4 Capital, amid his ongoing row with WPP, City sources say.

They claim the very public argument between Sorrell and his former employer is scaring off candidates. Sorrell is hunting for non-executive directors to sit alongside Sky Bet chairman Paul Roy, 71, and veteran financier Rupert Faure Walker, 70.

Two executives from MediaMonks, the Dutch digital production company that S4 bought for £266 million, are expected to join the board, but Sorrell is looking to recruit more, including a female, American, digitally-savvy director.

Veteran media analyst Paul Richards is expected to join S4 in January to lead investor relations.

Investment houses Schroders, Miton and Lombard Odier and Lord Rothschild have ploughed £11 million into the venture, Sorrell has put in £40 million, a share placing has raised £130 million and £45 million has been lent by HSBC.

Since leaving WPP, Sorrell has been in a spat over the ownership of MediaMonks, which escalated into a potential legal battle.

Claire Enders, chief executive of Enders Analysis, said: ‘People just don’t want to be involved in bust-ups. If the acrimony dies down it’s going to make it a lot easier for Martin to get talented people.’

An S4 spokesman said: ‘We are not commenting on speculation surrounding any appointments.’

Separately, WPP is expected to announce the appointment of its new chief executive in September. Longstanding executive Mark Read is a favourite to take on the role. 

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