Sorrell to take on WPP with new advertising venture

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 30 May 2018

Former WPP boss Martin Sorrell is set to become the executive chairman of a financial holding company, according to multiple reports.

He is expected to become the chairman of Derriston Capital and use it as a vehicle to build a “next-generation” advertising group. More details are to be released shortly.

Derriston, which has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2016 and specialises in medical technology, is said to be acquiring S4 Capital, an entity controlled by Sorrell.

Sky News is reporting Sorrell would put £40m of his own money into the venture.

The move is reminiscent of Sorrell's early days at WPP, starting with a shell of a company and turning it into a £16bn company throughout his 33-year tenure.

Sorrell served at WPP for more than 30-years before being stood down amid personal misconduct allegations last month.

Since his exit from WPP, Sorrell vowed he would not retire from the industry and said he wanted to "reinvent" the traditional model of advertising.

He told a conference in New York this month that successful agencies in future would need to be "more agile, more responsive, less layered, less bureaucratic, less heavy" than traditional advertising firms.

Sorrell's contract with WPP did not have a non-compete clause, which means he can establish a business to compete with the likes of Ogilvy and JWT.

The circumstances of Sorrell's exit from WPP have not been disclosed, but were strongly denied by Sorrell at the time.

It was recently announced that Sorrell will be speaking at Cannes Lions in June.

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