Will new executive faces move AMP beyond De Ferrari era?

AMP Limited has opted for the injection of new faces to its wealth management team in what appears to be a strategy to move through the later stages of controversial “transformation” strategy and exit of chief executive, Francesco De Ferrari.

Those new faces will also be dealing with AMP’s remaining advice businesses at a time when the company’s approach to Buyer of Last Resort (BOLR) arrangements move further through the courts and the company takes in-house control of spinning off its Private Markets business.

Importantly, the man overseeing the changes announced to AMP Australia’s Wealth division and AMP Bank is also a relative outsider, AMP Australia chief executive, Scott Hartley, who was once touted as a potential replacement for De Ferrari until the company opted to bring in ANZ’s Alexis George.

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As Hartley, the previous chief executive of Sunsuper, made clear in this week’s announcement he was looking for both experience and new faces.

Primary amongst the appointees if former MLC executive, Matt Lawler who supplants David Akers as managing director, Advice with the clear message from Hartley that with the transformation project reaching its final stages it was the right time for a change in leadership.

Lawler is well known to the financial planning sector having moved through a succession of senior executive roles over the past decade from MLC, Yellow Brick Road, One Vue and, most recently, Wealth Market.

According to Hartley, Lawler and the other new senior executive appointments will be in place by July and noted that AMP had sought to recruit individuals who have “a strong sense of urgency about the changes we need to see in our business”.

“Matt Lawler takes over from David Akers as managing director, advice. David has led the advice business and AMP’s aligned advice network through a very difficult period of industry disruption and regulatory change, and has positioned the advice business well to capitalise on the opportunities for AMP and its advisers,” Hartley’s announcement said.

“David has led the business with strength, integrity and vision. With the transformation now well underway, it is the right time to transition to a new leader, who is well positioned to take the advice business through the next phase of transformation and growth.

“Ahead of Matt’s arrival, David will continue to lead the Advice business to maintain the momentum we have in our advice transformation, with the priorities for the business and the network remaining unchanged.”

The other key leadership changes announced by AMP this week can be found here.

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Interesting. The new AMP CEO doesn't start till after 30 June 2021, but a direct report to the CEO decides to put in place a somewhat new management team? I know that some of the AMP folk (most likely newbies who probably have poor redundancy packages) are getting very excited on LinkedIn (sucking-up), but really? Barely a dream team. An ex-head of corporate super who saw major plans walk out the door (with a few more to go) and a bunch recent blow-ins who will achieve virtually nothing (like there previous roles in the industry). AMP is unfortunately an ongoing joke being played on all staff, shareholders, advisers, customers and the industry in general. Sad. Very sad.

The way things are going, there won't be much of AMP left to manage by Alexis when she comes in. Soon it'll also be a case too many chiefs given the number of people they've made redundant who actually did the work.

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