AMP pushes on with board renewal after year of turmoil


“As a director of AMP Capital Holdings, Debra already understands our business and our work to reinvent AMP as a more streamlined, sustainable business with a high-quality client offering,” chairman David Murray said.

Mr Matthews will remain a director on the AMP Life board.

Meanwhile, on Monday the Federal Court heard AMP’s challenge against the admissibility of an expert report being used by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in a case against AMP.

The case, which will start in eight weeks before Justice Michael Lee, is over ASIC allegations that AMP failed to ensure its financial planners complied with a duty to act in clients’ best interests.

To make its case, ASIC will refer to client files of advisers that it alleges deliberately replaced customers’ life insurance policies with similar cover in order to earn commissions, and it also plans to use an expert report by Sandra Birkensleigh, a former PwC partner who is now an independent director, including at MLC.

Elizabeth Collins, SC, representing AMP, challenged ASIC’s use of Ms Birkensleigh’s report by saying there was a “mismatch” between Ms Birkensleigh’s expertise and the questions ASIC had asked of her.

AMP also has its own expert report from a former ASIC official.

Justice Lee indicated his preference was for a combined expert report that included the views of both experts used by ASIC and AMP, where they were asked consistent questions. He said that in some cases, expert opinions were like “ships that pass in the night” and it would be more “pragmatic” to have a joint report from both experts.

“Call me old-fashioned. What I’m actually trying to do is run this case in a way that I get assistance from these people about questions which I have to decide,” Justice Lee said.

An AMP spokeswoman said the company was “pleased” the court had sought to address its concerns about ASIC’s expert evidence about insurance re-writing.

“AMP has been co-operating with an ASIC investigation of the matter, which commenced in 2014 shortly after AMP terminated the financial adviser at the centre of the matter and reported him to ASIC,” she said.


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