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Mohl gets top job at AMP

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    AMP on Monday appointed Andrew Mohl as chief executive officer on a full-time basis, choosing to avoid a long international search that could have further undermined confidence in the group.

    "We have taken advice regarding the availability of suitable candidates in Australia and overseas and decided that an extended international search for a new CEO is not in the best interests of AMP's shareholders, customers and employees," said AMP chairman Stan Wallis.

    A spokesman for AMP confirmed that group representatives had held consultations with a number of executive search companies to see who else might be available to fill the role, but had decided that they already had the best man for the job.

    The spokesman said AMP is confident that the early appointment of Mr Mohl as chief executive on a full-time basis will provide stability to the group following recent upheavels.

    Mr Mohl is currently in New York, where he will address a Merrill Lynch investment conference on Tuesday.

    Many fund managers and insurance analysts have indicated in the past week that they would be happy to see Mr Mohl - who earned a solid reputation as head of AMP's Australian and New Zealand financial services businesses in recent years - in the top job.

    He will assume his full-time role on October 7, taking over from Paul Batchelor, who stepped down last week following a sharp slump in AMP's share price and controversy over the lack of disclosure and investigations by regulators.

    The sweeping changes in AMP's senior management team will not end with the appointment of Mr Mohl.

    Mr Wallis has said he will resign as chairman of the group in about six months while Paul Leaming will shortly take on the role of acting chief financial officer.

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    This follows the surprise announcement last month that Marc de Cure plans to step down as the group's chief financial officer. No official explanation has been given for Mr de Cure's decision to quit the post.

    AMP's shares rallied late last week after Mr Batchelor was replaced on an interim basis by Mr Mohl and the group announced that it would not need to inject further shareholder capital into its UK subsidiaries in spite of further falls in the UK equity market.

    AMP said new proposals made to UK authorities would enable the Pearl Assurance with-profits funds in the UK to meet minimum regulatory capital requirements, even if the UK's FTSE fell to 3,000 points.

    However, its shares slumped 5.8 per cent on Monday after it went ex its 26 interim dividend and following another sharp slump on Wall Street on Friday. Shares in AMP were down 71 to $11.60 in early afternoon trading.

    Meanwhile, AMP confirmed that strong demand during the institutional bookbuild process last week led it to increase the size of over-subscriptions for its Reset Preferred Shares offer to $400 million from $250 million, which meant the group could raise up to $1.15 billion.

    AMP, which initially planned to raise up to $1 billion, said it was important for its retail shareholders to have the opportunity to participate in the RPS offer.


 
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