AMP appoints new AMP Capital CEO

Ex-State Street Global Adviser senior executive Shawn Johnson will lead AMP Capital through the demerger and public listing of its private markets business.

AMP Limited has appointed a new chief executive to lead AMP Capital, bringing the almost year-long search for a new CEO to a close.

The ASX-listed parent company’s appointment of Boston-based Shawn Johnson – a former senior managing director and chairman of asset manager State Street Global Adviser’s investment committee – will see him lead the proposed demerger and public listing of AMP Capital’s private markets business, which is set to be completed in the first half of 2022.

Johnson is due to commence his new role on 28 June and will initially be based in Sydney. AMP Capital deputy chief executive David Atkin, who is currently leading the business, is expected to continue in his role until 31 July, before departing the firm.

In a statement, AMP chair Debra Hazelton said: “Shawn’s extensive experience and knowledge of global investment management, particularly private markets, makes him an exceptional leader for AMP Capital.

“As AMP Capital separates from AMP and establishes a new culture and brand, Shawn has clearly demonstrated his capability to lead and inspire teams of highly capable investment professionals.”

Johnson’s appointment follows an international search for a new chief executive to lead the firm which began when global head of infrastructure equity Boe Pahari – who was briefly chief executive of AMP Capital from June to August 2020 – stepped down from the role due to pressure from shareholders over sexual harassment allegations made against him by a female subordinate in 2017.

In April, AMP Capital announced Pahari would be leaving the firm. In recent weeks, the global leadership team of its infrastructure equity business underwent further changes, including the departure of global head of social and aged care Julie-Anne Mizzi.

Earlier this week it was confirmed Mizzi, who is based in Sydney and oversaw the AMP Capital Community Infrastructure Fund as part of her role, will be joining Plenary Group in September to lead its new infrastructure funds management business.

Mizzi’s appointment follows AMP Capital’s confirmation last week that a proposal from Plenary to take over management of AMP Capital’s Community Infrastructure Fund is currently under review by the vehicle’s independent board committee.

In addition to Johnson’s appointment, AMP Limited announced its chief executive Francesco De Ferrari – who also led AMP Capital on an interim basis following Pahari’s sudden resignation from the chief executive role – would retire from his role on 30 June. ANZ deputy chief executive Alexis George will commence as AMP’s chief executive on 2 August, with chief financial officer James Georgeson serving as acting chief executive in the interim.