The new chair of AMP is David Murray

David Murray. Getty
  • David Murray, an elder statesman in Australia’s finance industry, will start the process of restoring trust and confidence in AMP.
  • The new chairman of AMP has flagged changes to the board of directors.
  • But he has cautioned about moving to fast, saying the process must be measured so as to maintain stability.

David Murray, a former CEO of the Commonwealth Bank, will become the new chair of AMP as the financial services group moves to rebuild trust and confidence in its brand.

Murray, who will take up the role at the next Annual General Meeting in Melbourne next week, flagged changes to the board of directors.

“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,” says Murray.

“Restoring trust and confidence is not easy and does not happen overnight, but I am confident this can be achieved.”

His comments on maintaining stability echo that of Catherine Livingstone, chair of the Commonwealth Bank, where seven of nine non-executive directors have departed over the last couple of years, who has also cautioned about too rapid change.

Commenting on the APRA report on a failed culture of governance at the bank, Livingstone said: “What I am trying to do is balance the pace of renewal with the need to retain institutional memory.”

At AMP, both the previous chair, Catherine Brenner, and the CEO, Craig Meller, resigned following admissions in the financial services commission that AMP made false or misleading statement to corporate regulator ASIC over the fee for no service issue.

Today AMP rejected an allegation by the royal commission that it committed a criminal offence in the fee for no service scandal.

AMP says Murray will lead the redevelopment of governance processes including board renewal and the appointment of an additional Non-Executive Director.

He will also work with current Executive Chairman Mike Wilkins in leading the search process for a Chief Executive Officer for AMP.

Murray pointed to AMP’s position as an Australian institution, employing almost 6000 people.

“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,” he says.

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

Executive Chairman Mike Wilkins will return to the position of acting Chief Executive Officer when Murray takes his seat at the board. He will return to the board when a new CEO is appointed.

Wilkins says Murray’s appointment brings strong and experienced leadership to the company, strengthening governance and a commitment to change.

“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,” Wilkins says.

“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.”

Murray chaired the Financial System Inquiry, which reported to the Federal Government in December 2014. He also served as inaugural Chairman of the Australian Future Fund from 2006 to 2012.

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