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AMP Life sale nears completion, new execs appointed

AMP Life has appointed a chief investment officer and a deputy, as its sale to Resolution Life crosses New Zealand central bank's concerns raised last July.

The sale was first announced in October 2018 for $3.3 billion and the completion date set for the second half of 2019. However, it was blocked by an objection raised by the New Zealand central bank in July 2019.

AMP revised down the amount to $3 billion ($2.5 billion in cash, and about 20% stake worth $500 million) in August 2019 and updated completion date to first half of 2020.

As a part of the change in ownership, Greg Bird will be the new chief investment officer and chief actuary for AMP Life, a spokesperson confirmed. Bird was previously the group actuary for AMP Limited.

AMP Life's chief investment role has been held by Jeff Brunton, a senior investment director at AMP Capital, on a secondment since July 2019 while then-chief investment officer Sean Henaghan took planned extended leave.

Brunton will now move to AMP Life's deputy chief investment officer.

Megan Beer is still the AMP Life chief executive, a spokesperson said.

The sale is expected to complete on June 30, and AMP said it will update the market on July 1.

"The cash proceeds of A$2.5 billion from the sale will be used to fund separation costs (which remain unchanged at A$320 million post tax), repay debt (A$800 million) and fund capital dis-synergies (A$160 million)," it said in the August 2019 revised sales agreement announcement.

New Zealand central bank approval

This morning's announcement comes as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand agrees to a revised arrangement after 18 months of deliberation, including seeking advice from APRA.

RBNZ wanted Resolution Life to agree to ring-fencing assets held in New Zealand for the benefit of NZ policyholders as the control and ownership of the local business changed from AMP Life to Resolution Life.

A new trust, managed by officers in New Zealand, will now hold the capital and assets in New Zealand. It will be governed and managed by a new locally-incorporated insurer Resolution Life New Zealand (RLNZ) as the trustee. RLNZ's board will include majority of NZ resident independent directors.

AMP Life will also form a sub-committee (including RLNZ independent directors) to its main board, with the purpose of providing advice to the AMP Life board on matters relating to interest of NZ policyholders.

Resolution Life New Zealand's board will be chaired by Anne Blackburn, Resolution said in a statement.

Read more: Resolution LifeAMP Limited
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