AMP CEO reflects on handling of advisers’ mental health

AMP’s chief executive, Alexis George, has reflected on the firm’s response to addressing the mental health concerns of its adviser network following its controversial changes to its Buyer of Last Resort (BOLR) arrangements in 2019.

In May last year, the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals released a survey of 44 AMP financial advisers, 70% of which were exiting the network in response to AMP’s decision to cut ties with less-profitable advisers.

It found 89% had experienced a significant increase in stress levels since August 2019, when AMP’s previous CEO, Francesco De Ferrari, announced changes to the firm’s BOLR arrangements, which would later lead to the exodus of many advisers and an eventual class action lawsuit.

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Speaking at an Allan Gray investor webinar, Allan Gray chief investment officer, Simon Mawhinney, asked George what could have been done differently in respect to the mental health of its financial adviser network following these changes.

“It is really hard for me to comment on everything that's happened in the past, right, because I think it's important for me to judge where we were when I arrived, where we are now,” George said.

“I had many advisers contact me before I started, telling their stories and sharing their stories. I think it's really been a very, very difficult time for advisers. And I think we need to acknowledge that, not just advisers at AMP but across the whole industry.

“And mental health clearly is an issue for many people, given what's happened over the last couple of years.”

She said AMP had since put a lot of effort and resources into supporting the mental health of its advisers and its people more generally.

“It’s certainly a topic that's really important to me, and I do a lot of work on it in my spare time, volunteering. So I think we're cognisant of that and supportive of that. And I acknowledge all of those things.

“But in our advice space, particularly, we did need to make some changes to be sustainable for our customers, for our advisers, and for our shareholders. And I don't know what happened at the past, but I know the current team always does that with the mental health and wellbeing of our network and our people in mind.”

The outlook for George was positive with her acknowledgement that this was “probably the most optimistic advice community… for many years”.

“I think there is an opportunity with the Quality of Advice Review to see positive changes. I think the regulators are also saying, ‘how can we simplify things and help you simplify things?’ I think there's some really positive momentum there.”

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It seems a touch incongruous that an organisation called the "Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals" would be representing planners who are upset about having to leave AMP and its associated financial security blanket.

AMP we’re no security blanket, they locked advisers in with their contracts and robbed them and then threw them under the bus. The AIOFP have helped bring the truth out.

Maybe approach Mr De Ferrari for his comments on this significantly serious matter..ask how is feeling…whether his life has been torn apart, his self confidence and self worth destroyed and whether he believes he still has a future left?
Then approach David Murray to ask whether he believes his negotiated hugely expensive sign on fee for Mr De Ferrari was a good decision and whether it was beneficial for AMP Shareholders, their employees, their loyal long term advisers and the AMP brand.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. AMP is an abomination of a business, they are the most unethical firm in our industry. I’ve never been licensed with them, but sadly I’ve heard the stories of the harm they have caused. I hope they cease to exist.

I don’t know much about the bolr here and while it may have been a generous security blanket per the above comment, I didn’t get any self reflection in her comments. It was a “ don’t ask me, wasn’t my fault, and a big [email protected] u fellas, I volunteer. Anyhow, at least amp has got a good women to promote women to exec positions and ignore the remaining blokes lol.

No security blanket, they sold crap non compliant registers at 4 x on going revenue and then stole them back destroying their aligned advisers in the process. Criminal.

C'mon Alexis, you can't just walk away from the past! AMP is a company, it still continues, and it has a LOT to answer for (preferably in dollars for my fallen comrades!)

AMP sold books at 4 x ongoing income to planners with an agreement to buy them back at the same rate. These books were full of fraud, non existent clients etc then they broke their bolr contracts and devalued the books for compliance issues they created, took them from advisers for next to nothing before onselling them to the next victim in their long standing scam. If they are sorry for this behaviour then they can settle the class action and compensate advisers for their lost income and mental health damage.

AMP intentionally destroyed and robbed advisers with their PSO and BOLR scams, cooked up audits to steal businesses and destroy lives and then sold them to other advisers for profits. They should be fined and prosecuted. If the new CEO wants to repair the brand she can start with settling the class action and compensating planners for their destroyed mental and financial well being.

AIOFP helped publicise the damage AMP inflicted on its advisers. There was no security blanket, they locked advisers in with their contracts after selling them fraudulent books at 4 x non existent income and then robbed them and destroyed them mentally after breaking contracts and stealing their books to sell to the next unsuspecting planner.

I watched the interview with Allan Gray and she did was not empathetic or genuine when she made the comment. She has simply ignored past/history which is only 2 years ago, and passed the buck and said it's not my fault. Putting her there was merely a gender move by AMP to look politically correct.

I agree with all comments. Alexis is another pawn in this big GAME of AMP's. She knows it too. She is there as a tool to convince the shareholders that 'the past is gone and to look forward' branding AMP under a new CEO, new strategy etc. This is purely marketing. I recommend that you watch the AMP AGM from May 2022 and you will notice the spin taking place between her and Deborah Hazelton. I strongly recommend watching the part when the "salary resolution' votes were counted and their salary increases were approved. Actions say a thousand words and to it told me it isn't about the planners or caring or providing mental support (which alexis said they care about with Allan Gray) it was about ' i want a pay rise, i deserve a pay rise'......

The AIOFP seems to be the only group that actually looks after advisers. Thank god for them.

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