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Former CBA boss becomes chair of AMP

AMP Limited has announced that a former CEO of CBA will join the AMP board as chairman after the upcoming 2018 annual general meeting.

Following on from the recent announcement that AMP chairman Catherine Brenner had stepped down from the role of chairman, it has now been revealed that David Murray AO will take up the position after the upcoming AGM, on or before 1 July 2018.

Current executive chairman Mike Wilkins will return to the position of acting chief executive officer on that date.

Mr Murray, who was the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank between 1992 and 2005, will reportedly lead the redevelopment of governance processes at AMP including “a process of considered board renewal and the appointment of an additional non-executive director in the near term”.

He will also work with Mr Wilkins in leading the search process for a new CEO for the group.

Following the appointment of a new CEO, Mr Wilkins will return to his role as a non-executive director.

Mike Wilkins commented: “We’re delighted to welcome a person of David Murray’s outstanding calibre to the chairman’s role. His appointment brings strong and experienced leadership to the company, strengthening our governance and our commitment to change.

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“David has deep experience of financial services, particularly banking and wealth management, as well as the industry’s regulatory environment through his leadership of the Financial System Inquiry. He brings a strong risk mindset and a clear appreciation of community expectations for AMP as well as the wider financial services industry.

“This is part of the reset that is necessary for the company, and I look forward to working with David, the board and management to rebuild public confidence in the company and to restore shareholder value.”

Speaking of his appointment, Mr Murray said: “AMP employs almost 6,000 people, many of whom are Australians serving its customers across wealth management, superannuation, financial advice, life insurance, asset management and banking. It is a significant financial institution and needs to play a role within the Australian financial system which supports the building of trust and confidence in that system in the community.

“I look forward to working with the board and executive management to support AMP’s people in achieving that outcome.

“As part of this, I am committed to meaningful board renewal but recognise the process must be measured so as to maintain the stability of AMP in the immediate future. Restoring trust and confidence is not easy and does not happen overnight, but I am confident this can be achieved.”

Mr Murray served as CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for 13 years, during which time he oversaw the transformation of the organisation from a partly privatised government-owned bank to a modern, integrated financial services company.

He also served as the inaugural chairman of the Australian Future Fund from 2006 to 2012, when his statutory term ended, and as the inaugural chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. 

Mr Murray also chaired the Financial System Inquiry, which reported to the Australian government in December 2014.

In 2001, he was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to Australian Society in banking and corporate governance, and in 2007, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to the finance sector, both domestically and globally, and for his service to the community.

Reputation now in “tatters”

Mr Murray’s appointment comes after a range of “shocking revelations” were revealed during the royal commission.

The financial services company has reiterated its “unreserved apology” for failings in its advice service, but said it “strenuously denies” the allegation made by the royal commission that it has committed a criminal offence.

A report by Morningstar analysts has outlined a litany of obstacles that AMP will be facing thanks to the “shocking revelations”.

“AMP’s poor corporate governance and risk management has now materially impacted AMP’s reputation as a trusted financial adviser,” the report said.

“We believe its strategy to focus investments and grow its wealth management business is now in tatters as a result of the royal commission.”

Four separate shareholder class actions are also now being lined up against the group, on the grounds that the company breached its obligations to customers and engaged in “misleading and deceptive representations to the market”.

[Related: AMP denies it committed a criminal offence]

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