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De Ferrari hasn't resigned: AMP

AMP has confirmed its chief executive Francesco De Ferrari has not tendered a resignation, amid speculation.

The Australian Financial Review on March 25 reported De Ferrari was set to resign on the day, after just over two years at AMP. The report added former Sunsuper chief executive and current AMP Australia chief executive Scott Hartley would step in as his interim replacement.

AMP this morning released a statement to the contrary.

"AMP confirms there has been no change to the CEO's position and that Mr De Ferrari has not resigned," it said.

"The Board and Mr De Ferrari are working together and constructively discussing the future strategy and leadership of the group, post the completion of AMP's portfolio review. These discussions are ongoing and AMP will provide updates as required."

De Ferarri was Credit Suisse's Asia Pacific head of private banking before moving into the AMP chief executive role in December 2018.

During his time so far, AMP has offloaded its life insurance business to UK's Resolution Life, the much smaller global equities unit to Montreal-based Fiera Capital and plans for a part of its private markets business to American Ares Management.

Key executives have faced claims of sexual harassment from female colleagues. Former AMP Capital chief executive Boe Pahari eventually apologised, but still remained employed by the company and received substantial pay cheques.

Allan Gray portfolio manager Simon Mawhinney, who holds AMP Limited shares in his fund, did not attach much importance to the events.

"It is too bizarre and very unexpected. I don't even know what to think of it...as it happens the media was wholly inaccurate," Mawhinney told Financial Standard.

"There are two bits. One, if you are currently the CEO of AMP Limited, do you want to be the CEO of a smaller entity? I think that is a personal decision for Francesco. The second [thing] for the board to consider is who should be the CEO of AMP Limited and what should the management reporting structure be."

He said AMP Capital will eventually separate from AMP, even if Ares's 60-40 joint venture does not go ahead.

"No matter what happened, the AMP of tomorrow is going to be very different from the AMP of today, and the AMP of today is very different from the AMP of yesterday," he said.

He said if the Ares agreement does not proceed 100% of AMP Capital should be distributed in specie to current shareholders of AMP Limited, akin to BHP and South32.

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