Investors Sceptical On AMP Plan To Merge Banking, Wealth

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

So was yesterday’s restructure announcement why AMP shares slumped from a recent high of $1.91 to a new all-time low on Wednesday of $1.595?

AMP will merge its bank and Australian wealth unit as part of another shake-up of its structure ahead of the deal to spin off its life insurance arm.

AMP announced the business combination and the departure of its respected AMP Bank chief executive Sally Bruce on Thursday.

The merged units would be called AMP Australia.

AMP’s other business units – its unlisted investment arm AMP Capital and it’s New Zealand wealth management — will remain as separate units, but the latter could be sold if efforts to find a buyer are successful.

AMP has promoted the head of its Australian Wealth management, Alex Wade, to oversee AMP Australia. He will be assisted by Rod Finch who will take up the position of managing director of the business.

AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari said the changes would help reinvent AMP as a client-led, simpler business.

“Bringing together our bank and wealth management teams in Australia will drive a more integrated organisation better able to pursue the significant opportunity we see in providing more holistic wealth services for our clients,” Mr. De Ferrari said.

“Closer integration of the businesses was part of our long-term plan, and with Sally’s decision to step down we have been able to accelerate our internal re-organisation,” Mr. De Ferrari said.

AMP is trying to offload its life insurance arm and mature businesses to Resolution Life in a deal that has been recast because of opposition from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand

AMP and Resolution reworked in August in the hope the new agreement would meet RBNZ’s requirements that a separate pool of capital be set aside to protect the interests of New Zealand policyholders. Approval has not been forthcoming up to now.

AMP shares finished at $1.595 yesterday but not before hitting a new all-time low of $1.57.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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