AMP chairman Catherine Brenner has resigned

SuppliedOutgoing AMP chairman Catherine Brenner.
  • AMP Chairman Catherine Brenner has resigned.
  • The company’s general counsel, Brian Salter has also left the company and will forfeit his bonus.
  • The AMP Board announced that all directors will have their fees reduced by 25%.
  • The resignations follow AMP’s admission that it made false statements to ASIC about charging customers fees for no service.

AMP chairman Catherine Brenner has announced her resignation, effective immediately.

Brenner will be replaced by Mike Wilkins, who will take on the role of executive chairman in an interim capacity until a suitable replacement is found.

In a statement to the ASX this morning, AMP also announced that group general counsel and company secretary Brian Salter is leaving the company and will forfeit his bonus.

Brenner’s resignation follows AMP’s admission that the company told ASIC it was no longer charging customers fees for no service — despite that practice continuing.

SuppliedActing AMP chairman Mike Wilkins

Brenner’s resignation follows that of the company’s CEO Craig Meller, who stepped down on April 20 amid the ongoing scandals.

Rowena Orr, senior counsel assisting the commission, said senior managers at AMP knew that charging fees for no service was a breach of the law — but this continued even after AMP had reported it to the corporate regulator ASIC.

Orr also said that changes made to a report written by law firm Clayton Utz — which appeared aimed at limiting findings about the knowledge of senior executives of the fee-for-no-service — amounted to “misconduct”.

The royal commission was told that a draft so-called independent report fromn Clayton Utz was changed 25 times — at the request of AMP — apparently to hide the senior executives’ involvement.

The AMP board said it has sought legal advice about the Clayton Utz report.

“Having considered and assessed the matters, the Board is satisfied that the former Chairman Catherine Brenner, former Chief Executive Officer Craig Meller and the other directors did not act inappropriately in relation to the preparation of the Clayton Utz report.”

“The Board, including the former Chairman, were unaware of and disappointed about the number of drafts and the extent of the Group General Counsel’s interaction with Clayton Utz during the preparation of the report.”

The AMP board also said it will reduce fees paid to directors by 25% for the remainder of the 2018 calendar year.

“I am deeply disappointed by the issues at hand and am particularly concerned for the impact they have had on our customers, employees, advisers and shareholders,” Brenner said.

“As Chairman, I am accountable for governance. I have always sought to act in the best interests of the company and have been in discussions with the Board about the most appropriate course of action, including my resignation.”

“The Board has now accepted my resignation as Chairman as a step towards restoring the trust and confidence in AMP.”

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