AMP Capital NZ has further thinned-down its executive ranks with head of multi-asset group, Peter Verhaart, leaving the $19 billion fund manager last week.
Verhaart, who joined AMP Capital in 2011 following its takeover of Axa, will serve out a period of gardening leave until the end of April.
In a note to clients sent last Thursday, Grant Hassell, head of AMP Capital NZ, says Verhaart’s exit followed “a decision to simplify the provision of these [portfolio management and advice] services and to more closely leverage the insights from our global multi-asset business”.
“From today, Keith Poore (Head of Investment Strategy and Portfolio Management) will report directly into Sydney-based Debbie Alliston (Head of Multi-Asset Portfolio Management),” Hassell says in the note. “This will more closely align the portfolio management teams and their research for the benefit of our investors. Dan Mead (Investment Research Manager) will report to Keith. Bevan Graham (NZ Chief Economist) will report directly to Shane Oliver (Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist) in Sydney.”
Hassell told Investment News NZ (IN NZ), Verhaart’s departure would probably mark the last big change for AMP Capital NZ after a long period of restructuring.
Last year, Nick Dobson, head of alternative assets left the firm after a 17-year career with AMP Capital NZ. Dobson’s exit also came after an earlier rationalisation of AMP Capital’s NZ offering that saw its in-house local equities and property management outsourced or shipped back to Australia.
AMP Capital was one of the first NZ managers to transition all its funds to the new Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC) regime. Last week, the group also said it would launch a new direct investment service, lowering the minimum investment from $100,000 to $2,000.
Prior to the AMP purchase, Verhaart headed Axa Global Investors, the-then investment firm’s NZ multi-management operation.
Before joining Axa in 2007, he served an eight-year stretch as head of investment consulting for Mercer NZ.
Last week, AMP Capital also restructured its leadership team across the Tasman, ditching Sharon Davis, as AMP Capital director Australia and New Zealand and chief operating officer (COO).
Hassell said Davis was one of his reporting lines in the Australian AMP Capital executive.
In a statement, AMP Capital said it had created three new regional distribution teams – Australia and New Zealand, the North-West region (Europe, India, Middle East and the Americas) and Asia – and appointed heads for each division.
“Craig Keary, who currently leads distribution in Australia and New Zealand, becomes director, Australia and New Zealand,” the AMP release says.
Following the distribution changes, and with current chief financial officer (CFO), Margaret Payn, also picking up COO duties, Davis’ role “is no longer required”, the AMP statement says.
“Sharon has made an exemplary contribution to AMP Capital and AMP and I am working with her to consider other opportunities across the AMP Group,” Adam Tindall, AMP Capital chief, said in the release.