The embattled ASX-listed AMP has confirmed chief executive Francesco De Ferrari will exit the business with ANZ deputy chief, Alexis George, to step in as replacement in the third quarter of this year.
In a statement, AMP says De Ferrari would “continue to lead AMP during the interim period and ensure a smooth handover to Ms George”.
“He will continue to work in partnership with the Board and lead AMP’s key strategic initiatives, including discussions on the proposed transaction for AMP Capital’s private markets business with Ares Management Corporation,” the statement says.
The 30-day exclusive period for the proposed Ares joint venture to purchase 60 per cent of the AMP Capital private markets business lapsed this week with no formal agreement.
Debra Hazelton, AMP chair, said in the release: “As we noted last week, with our portfolio review reaching completion, the Board and Francesco agreed that it is an appropriate time to begin the transition to a new CEO to take AMP forward.
“Francesco has led AMP through an extraordinary period, responding to unprecedented external challenges, all while successfully executing a complex transformation program. His strategy has materially reshaped the group, simplified AMP and sharpened the focus of each of our businesses on their strongest growth opportunities. He led our business through the disruption of COVID-19 and successfully delivered key programs including client remediation and the completion of the sale of AMP Life.”
George will receive an annual salary of A$1.7 million with a sign-on award carrying a face value of over A$4 million, the AMP statement says.
De Ferrari will remain in charge until at least July 1, retaining all contracted incentives.
“Francesco will remain eligible for his short-term incentive for 2021. In addition, he will receive a payment of A$300,000 (less applicable tax) in respect of the additional work he undertook in FY 2021 to support the AMP Capital business. He will not be eligible to receive any other incentive awards in respect of future years,” the release says.
“Francesco will receive a lump sum of A$200,000 (gross) as reimbursement of some of his relocation costs.”
In the statement, De Ferrari said: “The portfolio review concluded that unlocking the growth potential in private markets is best delivered either in partnership with a global player or via separation from the group. As a result, the future AMP will be largely focused on domestic wealth management and banking opportunities. I’m confident this will deliver the strongest outcome for our shareholders, however, it means the group will have a very different business mix and geographic profile requiring a different strategic focus from the CEO.”