AMP, the biggest listed wealth manager in Australia, announced that it has hired Credit Suisse veteran banker, Francesco De Ferrari, as its new Chief Executive Officer on Wednesday. De Ferrari will have his work cut out for him to mend the firm’s reputation, as it is currently in the midst of a regulatory crisis.
Particularly, the Banking Royal Commission has accused the firm of charging its customers fees for no service. Then, at the board level, worked to deceive a regulator about it. This has seen the company lose half its board and nearly A$5 billion ($3.7 billion).
Instead of promoting internally, the Australian financial planning firm opted to hire offshore. The move to AMP will end De Ferrari’s 17-year-long tenure at the Swiss multinational investment bank. His most recent position at the firm was CEO South East Asia and Frontier Markets and Head of Private Banking Asia Pacific.
According to the statement released today, AMP will pay the 49-year-old A$17.7 million on top of his salary. He will succeed Mike Wilkins, who served as interim CEO since April this year.
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Before returning to his position as a Non-executive Director on the AMP Board, Wilkins will work with De Ferrari to ensure a smooth transition. De Ferrari will also join the AMP Limited Board as an Executive Director at the financial planning company’s first Board meeting in January next year.
De Ferrari’s Experience Aligns Nicely with the Future of Amp
During his career at Credit Suisse, De Ferrari dealt with the US Department of Justice and with Italian authorities for the bank. According to the statement, this was a huge asset to his candidacy, as it shows he has the ability to steer the firm through any regulatory changes or actions that result from the Royal Commission.
Commenting on the appointment, AMP Chairman David Murray, said: “Francesco is an outstanding leader with a strong track record in international wealth management and extensive experience in redesigning business models to drive turnaround and growth.
“We have designed a remuneration structure to drive the recovery of AMP and recognise the degree of challenge in the task ahead. His remuneration and incentives are directly aligned with the interests of shareholders. With his track record of commitment to clients and business performance, I have no doubt Francesco is the right person to lead the recovery of AMP and set the strategy for future growth.”
De Ferrari added: “I’m encouraged by the process of change already initiated by the Board, and I’m committed to accelerating this change, while maximising the opportunities we have both in Australia and internationally.”