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New AMP CEO commences role

A new chief executive officer has stepped up to the helm of wealth giant AMP, stepping into the role that was temporarily filled by interim CEO Mike Wilkins.

Francesco De Ferrari has officially commenced his role as CEO of AMP, succeeding Mike Wilkins, who had served as interim CEO since April 2018.

As announced earlier this year, the two will work together to “ensure a smooth transition”, while Mr Wilkins will return to his position as an independent non-executive director on the AMP Board.

Mr De Ferrari will join the AMP Limited Board as an executive director at the first board meeting in January 2019.

Speaking of his appointment, Mr De Ferrari said: “I am proud to join AMP at such an important juncture for the company. AMP is an iconic organisation; it plays an important role in the financial wellbeing of Australians and the wider financial system.

“This year, AMP has faced into some of the most challenging days of its 169-year history. However, I strongly believe in the company’s purpose, and I look forward to overcoming recent challenges and leading AMP’s return to growth.”

The new CEO said that his “immediate priority” was to review the business model and develop a new strategy.

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“The Royal Commission into the Banking, [Superannuation and] Financial Services Industry has provided an additional impetus for change in our business– and I’m determined we seize the opportunity,” he said.

“Our focus must be on doing better for our customers, shareholders and people. I’m committed to taking decisive action to continue the reset of the business and to earn back trust in driving the recovery of AMP.”

AMP Chairman David Murray added: “I am pleased to welcome Francesco to AMP.

“As a proven change agent who thrives on the challenge of transforming businesses, his extensive experience in international wealth management and redesigning business models will be critical in creating the AMP of the future.”

He continued: “The board looks forward to supporting Francesco as he leads the transformation of our business through significant external and regulatory change.”

Mr Murray thanked Mr Wilkins for his “leadership and stewardship of the company through recent challenging times”.

“Mike has initiated substantial changes to pave the way for the new CEO, and I look forward to retaining his valuable insights and contribution as he returns to his position as a non-executive director on the board,” he said.

Mr De Ferrari has over 20 years of experience in the wealth management industry, including private banking and management consulting.

He spent 17 years in executive roles at Credit Suisse in Asia and Europe, including nearly seven years as head of Credit Suisse’s Asia Pacific private banking business, where he overhauled the operating model and worked on improving culture and controls within the business, and as CEO of South East Asia and Frontier Markets.

Previously, Mr De Ferrari led Credit Suisse Italy’s private banking operations in Milan, where he overhauled the onshore private banking business.

The new CEO holds an MBA from INSEAD, and a bachelor of science in economics and international business from the Stern School of Business, New York University.

[Related: Former CBA boss begins role as AMP chairman]

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