AMP Australia boss Scott Hartley has hired ex-Yellow Brick Road and Wealth Market chief executive Matt Lawler to head up advice as part of a broader refresh of the group’s executive leadership team.
Speaking to Professional Planner, Hartley describes the “energy and passion” Lawler has for the advice industry.
“Matt’s an experienced leader with great vision and commercial acumen, and the ability to build the alignment both in strategy and vision internally and externally.”
Lawler is well known in advice circles for his executive roles at MLC and then NAB, together with his work with major broking firms. He comes to the role from Wealth Market, where he has been CEO for over three years.
While he doesn’t start for another few months, Lawler tells this publication he’s “looking forward” to joining in AMP in July.
“There’s lots of upside for a business that has had its challenges in recent times. I’m excited to work with the hardworking AMP Advice team and the advisers to transform the business into a significant and influential advice business, in a new era of financial advice.”
According to Hartley, Lawler’s appointment is an important step in AMP’s transformation into a tighter, more efficient advice business. Lawler’s ascension comes at the expense of current managing director, David Akers. While the CEO paid tribute to Akers’ leadership during a turbulent period for the wealth manager, he emphasized how important it was to find the right leader for AMP’s next phase.
“David has done a very good job leading the advice business, after being thrown into the role during the Royal Commission, and handled it with integrity, resilience and vision,” Hartley describes. “He also had to deal with a lot of industry context issues around grandfathered commissions ending, FASEA, and the things AMP needed to do as well around BOLR changes 18 month ago.
“David handled that well but the person who often has to do that heavy lifting is often not the right person to rebuild and take us forward,” he continues.
Since taking the reigns earlier this year, Hartley himself has been active in speaking to advisers about the future business model for AMP advisers.
To lead this drive, the CEO says he was looking for someone who intimately understood advice and had led large transformations in advice businesses, “but also understands what a more nimble lean and competitive advice business should look like and leads with a lot of energy and passion”.
Lawler has been an engaged member of the advice community and has spoken out on the need for institutional licensees to reduce their reliance on product subsidisation, as well as the responsibility of brokers to match the educational and ethical uplift of their adviser stablemates.
His appointment headlines what AMP calls a “complementary mix” of seven direct reports that make up Hartley’s new AMP Australia team, including Anna Shelly who swaps CIO roles from Equip super/Catholic Super to AMP, and Sunsuper chief financial officer Jason Sommer who comes in as director of transformation and investments.
AMP Australia will also run an an updated operating model with the super and platform divisions being separated.
After last week announcing a significant price cut while calling out other platform providers for playing “opaque games” by offering rate cards, the group has appointed current AMP Capital global head of product Edwina Maloney as the new director of AMP’s platform division.
Hartley’s new AMP Australia team will come together on July 1 this year, the same commencement date as new group chief executive, current ANZ deputy CEO Alexis George.