Dumped AMP legal counsel Brian Salter claims he learned he was sacked by the firm's public statement

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  • Former legal counsel Brian Salter says he was “disappointed to learn from AMP’s stock exchange announcement this morning that it had decided to end my employment”.
  • He had been on leave for just 10 days after AMP announced a review of issues related to the financial planning business raised in the financial services royal commission.
  • “I have not engaged in any wrongdoing,” he said in a statement.

Brian Salter, the now former AMP legal counsel, didn’t know he had lost his job until a public statement by the company to the ASX this morning, he says.

He had been on leave since April 20 when AMP announced a board committee to review issues related to the financial advice business raised in the financial services royal commission.

This was part of a raft of measures by AMP as it apologised “unreservedly for the misconduct and failures in regulatory disclosures”. The financial services giant had admitted to the royal commission that it made false statements to corporate regulator ASIC about the fee for no service issue.

Today, AMP mentioned Salter’s departure as part of an announcement that Catherine Brenner had resigned as chairman. She followed CEO Craig Meller, who stepped down earlier this month following evidence in the financial services commission that AMP gave false information to corporate regulator ASIC.

“AMP also announces that Group General Counsel and Company Secretary Brian Salter will leave the company. His outstanding deferred remuneration will be forfeited as a result of the Board exercising its discretion,” the company said.

The royal commission had been told that a draft so-called “independent” report from law firm Clayton Utz was changed 25 times, at the request of AMP, apparently to hide involvement by senior executives in the fee-for-no-service “misconduct”.

Salter said he was “disappointed to learn from AMP’s stock exchange announcement this morning that it had decided to end my employment” but he believes his departure was necessary.

“I accept without reservation that AMP must take immediate steps to restore confidence and respect of and re-earn the trust from all its stakeholders,” he says.

“This requires not only refreshment of the board with suitably qualified directors but also changes in the senior executive team. My departure is a necessary part of this process.”

Salter, in a written statement, said he did not engage in any wrongdoing.

“AMP was entitled to seek legal advice from Clayton Utz and work with Clayton Utz in the preparation of its ‘fee for no service’ report,” he says.

“Clayton Utz has stated publicly that its report and its independence were not compromised. Clayton Utz has also stated publicly that its terms of reference were clear and required it to prepare a report independent of management of the AMP Advice business being reviewed and under the instruction of the AMP Board and its Group Legal Counsel.

“In the fullness of time, I expect Clayton Utz’s report will be better understood.”

In a statement issued late today, the company said “AMP informed Mr Salter this morning before the ASX announcement that his employment was terminated”.

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