AMP NZ chief, Blair Vernon, will make the trek back across the Tasman after his fill-in gig in Australia ends in January next year.
Scott Hartley will take up the reins at the embattled Australian wealth management giant on January 11, according to an AMP statement released last Friday.
Most recently, Hartley served as chief of Queensland-based mega superannuation fund Sunsuper amid a long career in mainly institutional-type executive roles in the Australian financial services industry.
Vernon took over as interim head of AMP Australia this August following the surprise departure of Alex Wade, who exited under a cloud just 10 months into the job.
AMP chief, Francesco De Ferrari, said in the release that Hartley would “strengthen our executive team as we drive forward our transformation of the business”.
“Scott will build on the high-quality work that Blair Vernon has performed in his four months as Acting CEO. Blair stepped into the role at short notice and has been decisive in keeping our transformation activity moving and managing the complex legacy issues of the business,” De Ferrari said. “He has earned tremendous respect within AMP Australia and will remain a key member of my leadership team.”
Jeff Ruscoe has been acting chief of the NZ wealth business in Vernon’s absence.
AMP also dipped into the Australian superannuation back catalogue to source the new deputy chief of its funds management arm this month. David Atkin, ex head of another outsized super fund, Cbus, was named deputy CEO of AMP Capital early in December. Atkin will be second-in-command to De Ferrari, who added the AMP Capital top job to his broader company responsibilities in August as the brief incumbent, Boe Pahari, returned to his former head of infrastructure role in the wake of publicity surrounding a sexual harassment incident.
AMP Capital has since seen a flood of senior executive departures with Craig Keary, Asia-Pacific managing director, the latest to go. Keary was made redundant in December after nine years with AMP Capital. The NZ arm of AMP Capital, now headed by Rebekah Swan, previously reported in to Keary.
De Ferrari has been busy shoring up the AMP business as it faces a A$6.4 billion takeover bid from Los Angeles investment firm, Ares Management.
Elsewhere last week, Mercer NZ bolstered its investment team with two new appointments.
Formerly with ANZ Investments, John Hepburn joins Mercer as investment consultant taking on responsibilities for “assisting clients with the development of investment strategies and portfolio structures”, the group said in a note.
“Prior to joining Mercer, John gained five years of experience in the London financial services industry in roles across investment manager research and equity analysis, before returning home to New Zealand to join the Capital Markets team at PwC,” the note says. “He also spent five years with ANZ Investments in New Zealand in roles across portfolio management and investment research.”
Along with Hepburn, Mercer has hired Hayden Tyrrell as investment analyst with duties including “portfolio analysis, client reporting and client operations”.
Tyrrell, who studied at the University of Waikato, also gained some funds management experience in the UK at a boutique multi-asset shop before taking up a role at a technology consultancy firm.
Mercer is still recruiting for a chief investment officer to replace Philip Houghton-Brown with a decision likely in the new year. Hougton-Brown ended his eight-year career with Mercer in September to take up the head of investment solutions role left vacant by Matthew Goldsack.
Meanwhile, Auckland-headquartered investment boutique, NZ Funds, is looking for a head of funds management, understood to be a newly created role.
The job description says the head of funds management role is designed to “make a significant contribution to our ambitious direction”.
In addition to managing a team of about eight, the head of funds management would also help “with the transition to a new investment and pricing system”, among a long list of other responsibilities.
NZ Funds has more than $1.3 billion under management, including about $300 million in its KiwiSaver scheme.
Founded over 30 years ago, NZ Funds now boasts “a nationwide team of over 80 investment, advice, technology and client services professionals spread across seven offices throughout the country”, the ad says.