AMP picks former C. Suisse banker De Ferrari as new CEO

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Ending months of speculation, AMP, the troubled Australian wealth giant, has confirmed its new CEO is to be Francesco De Ferrari.

De Ferrari, who will take up his new role on 1 December, was formerly chief executive, South-East Asia and frontier markets at Credit Suisse, and head of private banking at APAC.

‘Serious change agent’
He faces the daunting task of turning around the fortunes of the “big four” member. AMP’s chairman, David Murray, today heralded the arrival of De Ferrari as a “serious change agent.”

Along with several other financial institutions, AMP has been embroiled in a scandal which led to Australia’s royal commission launching a series of investigations into mistreatment of clients by wealth businesses and that it misled APAC, the country’s financial regulator.
The fallout led to the loss of former chief executive Craig Meller, former chairman Catherine Brenner, and several other board members all of whom resigned amid shareholder outrage.

Murray commented: “From the perspective of shareholders, regulators, commentators, they will simply question whether somebody who has been inside this system has got the capacity to think more broadly… compared to someone who has been in markets where this has been done before.”

‘A challenging year’
De Ferrari said that while 2018 had “clearly been a challenging year” for the company, added he was optimistic about the challenge before him: “I’m encouraged by the process of change already initiated by the board, and I’m committed to accelerating this change,” he told reporters.

AMP shares closed down 1.8% at close of trading today, at A$3.39.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.