Kelaher to leave IOOF

IOOF has announced new leadership following the fallout from the Royal Commission, with managing director Chris Kelaher to leave the embattled wealth firm.

Allan Griffiths has been named IOOF's new independent, non-executive chair. He has been acting in the role since early December 2018 when APRA took action against IOOF over evidence given during the Royal Commission.

Kelaher's resignation is effective immediately but he will continue on current leave arrangements before his employment officially ends on July 2.

Kelaher will receive $1.27 million in lieu of his contractual notice period, along with accrued leave entitlements.

During the Royal Commission, it was revealed IOOF left some superannuation members in expensive legacy products despite board members recognising conflicts of interests existed.

In December last year APRA sought to impose licence conditions and disqualify five of IOOF's executive leaders, including Kelaher.

APRA singled out Kelaher as an executive whose actions were not in accordance with the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act, describing him as someone who "demonstrated a failure to understand the covenants under the SIS Act and obligations of a trustee under trust law."

Commenting on the departure of Kelaher, Griffiths said: "The board would like to acknowledge the vision and contribution of outgoing managing director, Chris Kelaher."

"His transformative, value-accretive acquisitions built true scale in the business and enabled us to offer broad access and genuine choice of products and service to our clients and their advisers.

"This, in turn, has delivered strong growth in funds under management and administration and in total shareholder returns."

Kelaher said: "It has been a privilege to serve as the managing director of IOOF for the last 10 years and I am proud of what IOOF has achieved over that period."

"In the interests of the company, it is time for IOOF to move forward under new leadership. I wish the company every success in the future."

IOOF confirmed all of Kelaher's unvested LTI performance rights will lapse and his STI deferred shares will remain subject to 'look-back'.

Griffith said of the board's approach to leadership: "Succession planning is a key aspect of the board's remit and the robustness of our succession plan enabled us to appoint Renato Mota to the role of acting chief executive in December."

He went on to say that as acting chief executive Renato has: "Driven the change program to shape our business to be fit-for-purpose in the new financial services environment and demonstrated an unwavering dedication to serving our clients and supporting their advisers."

Australian Ethical divested its $8.8 million stake in IOOF in January this year. Its head of ethics research Stuart Palmer said the decision was driven by IOOF's failure to put governance and conflicts of interest management arrangements in place to safeguard super members.

Also in January, ANZ revised its wealth sale agreement with IOOF following APRAs regulatory action.

IOOF is also facing a potential class action from investors who bought IFL stock between 27 May 2015 and 6 December 2018.

The proposed action argues that IOOF was aware its conduct would have significant legal and regulatory risks and so breached its continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading conduct.

Read more: IOOFRoyal CommissionAPRAChris KelaherAllan Griffiths
Link to something 2FryECqq