Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC
05 April 2004
For release at 07.00 5 April 2004
William Lipner to retire from TNS board
Taylor Nelson Sofres plc (TNS), a world leader in market information, announces
that William Lipner will not be standing for re-election to the board at the TNS
annual general meeting on 12 May 2004 and will retire from his position as Vice
Chairman on that date.
Mr Lipner joined NFO WorldGroup, Inc. (NFO) in 1974 and became CEO in 1982.
Under his leadership, NFO developed from a US access panel business into a major
market information company, operating in 44 countries and listed on the NYSE.
TNS completed the acquisition of NFO in July 2003.
Mr Lipner said, "After spending 30 years at NFO, I believe now is the right time
to retire from the company. The merger of TNS and NFO is a good one and has
created one of the world's largest market information groups. My retirement
will come shortly before the first anniversary of the merger, at a time when the
integration of the two companies is substantially complete. During the past
year, I have become even more familiar with the depth and breadth of the entire
management team in the enlarged group and believe the company is in good hands."
Tony Cowling, Chairman of TNS, said, "We respect and understand Bill's decision,
but are disappointed that we will no longer have his guiding counsel on the
board. Bill has made a remarkable contribution to NFO over the past 30 years
and has played an important role in the successful integration of the two
companies. One of Bill's many strengths is his ability to develop an outstanding
management team and many of these individuals are now playing important roles in
the enlarged group. We wish to thank Bill for his commitment to the successful
implementation of one of the largest mergers in the history of our industry. In
May, he will be proposed as honorary Chairman Emeritus of TNS NFO in the US, and
we trust that his long association with the company can continue in this way."
In accordance with the terms of the service agreement he held with NFO, Mr
Lipner is entitled to a severance payment of £365,000, equivalent to nine months
salary and bonus, and to continue to receive health insurance and other benefits
for a period of three years, estimated to have a total value of around £200,000.
In addition, the company intends to restructure Mr Lipner's current
supplementary pension arrangement, which is provided separately from the NFO
pension fund. The future value of the premiums payable under this arrangement
is held in trust on the TNS balance sheet and premiums would have been payable
until 2012. It is the company's intention under the termination agreement to
make a payment of £3.4 million to Mr Lipner to fund this supplementary pension
and associated tax charges and the company will have no further funding
obligations or potential liabilities relating to it. It is anticipated that,
after taking into account the associated relief against corporation tax, the
impact of terminating the supplementary pension arrangement is cash and earnings
neutral for TNS.
For further information, please contact:
Mike Kirkham, Chief Executive +44 (0)20 8967 4022
Lyndal Kennedy, Investor Relations Manager +44 (0)20 8967 1384
Margaret George, Citigate Dewe Rogerson +44 (0)20 7638 9571
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors
TNS is a leading global provider of market information. We collect, analyse and
interpret information to help our clients better understand the needs and wants
of their customers. We provide research, advice and insight on market
understanding, advertising and communications, new product development, brand
performance and stakeholder management. We are also one of the leading
providers of social and political polling.
From our global network, which spans 70 countries, we provide local expertise
and knowledge, together with internationally consistent information and analysis
to multi-national organisations.
TNS is listed on the London Stock Exchange (TNN). Further information can be
found on www.tns-global.com.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange