AMP's David Akers. (Source: AMP)

Former managing director of AMP’s advice businesses, Michael Paff, will take up a general manager role in the recently sold AMP Life business, as part of a restructure announced internally yesterday under the group’s new wealth management head, Alex Wade.

As part of the leadership restructure, David Akers, who was previously acting group executive of AMP’s advice business, was made managing director of business partnerships. AMP’s advice business partnerships oversees the AMP Financial Planning, Hillross, Charter and Jigsaw.

Rod Finch, who was made director of superannuation, retirement and investments less than a year ago, was appointed director, wealth products and platforms.

Wade will lead an expanded portfolio bringing together AMP’s advice, wealth management, product and customer solutions teams. Wade, who was previously with Credit Suisse Private Banking as head of developed and emerging Asia joined AMP at the end of last year, replacing Paul Sainsbury who was group executive, wealth solutions & customer who is understood to be remaining with the business during a handover period.

An AMP spokesperson described the transformation of its wealth management business to be one of the company’s most important priorities this year as it aims to “move quickly to become a more client-focused business”.

“The appointments are the first step towards making this happen,” the spokesperson said.

AMP’s new chief executive, Francesco De Ferrari, acknowledges the challenges ahead for the wealth giant following financial and reputational damage suffered as a result of the Hayne royal commission.

“2018 has been a challenging year for AMP… The royal commission has been a confronting but valuable experience for the financial services industry and has served as a catalyst for change at AMP,” he said.

The cost of the royal commission to date for AMP comprises $469 million (post tax) in advice remediation and related costs plus $32 million in legal and other expenses incurred in the preparation for, and response to, the royal commission, the company disclosed in its 2018 full-year results.

AMP stated it had provisioned $290 million ($415 million pre-tax) plus a $50 million per year contingency, for three years, for advice remediation in July last year following revelations that led to its chairman at the time stepping down and ongoing investigations into its fees-for-no-service practice.

In May last year, Paff went state to state visiting AMP Financial Planning practices and reassuring them their buyer of last resort agreements remained in place.

Paff, who was previously director of wealth protection (Life Insurance) products at AMP before he took up the leadership role in the advice business, will now report to Megan Beer, who is in charge of leading AMP Life through the separation and transfer to Resolution Life, which is expected 2H 2019. AMP has already announced that Beer will join Resolution as CEO AMP Life and Head of Resolution’s Australasian region upon completion of that deal.

 

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Smith is the editor of Professional Planner’s print and digital platforms. He is an experienced financial journalist, editor and multimedia producer who has held senior editorial positions both in mainstream press and trade media.