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Former Treasury secretary joins AMP board

Former Treasury secretary joins AMP board

Former Treasury secretary John Fraser will take up a position on AMP Limited’s board from next month and acting CEO Mike Wilkins could remain in his role until the end of the year, the wealth giant has announced.

During its interim 2018 results announcement, the wealth management group revealed that Mr Fraser would join the board as a non-executive director in September, subject to the group’s “usual pre-appointment processes”.

Mr Fraser retired from the Treasury department on 31 July after three and a half years in the role, with Scott Morrison’s former chief of staff, Philip Gaetjens, stepping into the government role.

The new AMP Ltd board appointment marks the latest move in AMP’s process of “considered board renewal” and makes the board once again a male-dominated space, following the departures of non-executive directors Vanessa Wallace and Holly Kramer, and the upcoming resignation of its long-serving director (and only remaining female board member), Patty Akopiantz, at the end of the year.

The announcement that AMP’s three female board members were resigning came as shareholders “demand[ed] board accountability and need[ed] to know that meaningful change is underway”, as a result of the ongoing fallout from the financial services royal commission.

Speaking of the new appointment, AMP chairman David Murray said: “We’re pleased to welcome John to the board. His appointment demonstrates that board renewal is well underway as we continue the rebuild at AMP.

“John brings a wealth of top-level experience across financial markets, governance and public policy to the AMP board table.

“He has an exceptional blend of public and private sector experience, in Australia and internationally, and his strategic insights will be a great asset for the organisation.”

Mr Fraser has formerly served as chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset and was deputy secretary to the Australian Treasury after holding a number of other positions in Treasury over a 20-year period.

Mike Wilkins to receive more than $1.5 million

As well as announcing Mr Fraser’s appointment, AMP also revealed the remuneration arrangements for its acting chief executive officer and its new chairman during the interim 2018 results announcement.

AMP acting chief executive Mike Wilkins, who stepped into the role on 20 April 2018, will receive fixed remuneration of $1.46 million, inclusive of superannuation, to 31 December 2018.

Mr Wilkins will also receive a fee of $70,100 for the additional responsibilities he assumed as acting executive chairman from 30 April 2018 to 20 June 2018 following the departure of Catherine Brenner earlier this year.

He will not otherwise receive any director fees while serving as an executive.

“Due to the interim nature of his role, he will not be eligible for any short- or long-term incentives,” a statement from the group read.

“His appointment as acting chief executive is expected to continue until 31 December 2018 but may end earlier upon the commencement of a permanent chief executive or a date to be mutually agreed by Mr Wilkins and AMP. In this case, Mr Wilkins’ fixed remuneration will be pro-rated accordingly.”

Meanwhile, the group’s new chairman, David Murray, who commenced his term as AMP chairman on 21 June 2018, will receive an annual fee of $850,000, inclusive of superannuation.

Mr Murray will not reportedly receive any additional fees for his participation in board committees or subsidiary company boards.

The AMP board said that it “believes the appointments of Mr Murray and Mr Wilkins provide strong and highly experienced leadership in the rebuild of AMP, strengthening governance and underlining the company’s commitment to change”.

[Related: AMP directors resign as shareholders ‘demand accountability’]

Former Treasury secretary joins AMP board
AMP, John Fraser
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