AMP Capital appoints Australia MD as it ‘resets and refocuses’ domestically

Marsha Beck starts immediately in the newly-created role, with AMP Capital’s strong performance in 2018 offsetting a torrid year for the fund manager’s parent group.

AMP Capital has appointed Marsha Beck to the newly-created position of managing director, Australia.

Beck’s role is effective immediately and mirrors managing director roles that AMP Capital already has in other Asia-Pacific regions, including New Zealand, Japan and China.

In a statement, AMP Capital’s Asia-Pacific director Craig Keary said the creation of the MD Australia role comes after a “challenging and dynamic 12-month period” for both the industry and AMP Capital’s Australian business.

Beck previously led AMP Capital’s global consultant and account management strategy for its Asia-Pacific client division and has held roles with Fidante Partners and Perennial Investment Partners.

She will lead the Sydney-based fund manager’s client-facing sales teams in Australia after a tumultuous year for AMP Capital’s parent group, which has seen more than half of the company’s value wiped out on the Australian Stock Exchange following revelations at the Financial Services Royal Commission of charging customers fees for no service in its wealth management business.

AMP’s shares closed at A$2.25, down from a 52-week high of A$5.47 prior to the Royal Commission.

AMP revealed today (14 February) that its net profit in the year to 31 December 2018 would fall 97 percent to A$28 million, down from $848 million the previous year, thanks largely to fallout from the Royal Commission.

The AMP Capital business unit, though, performed well in the year, with underlying profit rising 7 per cent to A$167 million thanks to stronger fee income and growth in external assets under management.

It was not implicated during the Royal Commission, but AMP’s group results presentation noted that there may be flow-on implications for the business unit from changes to the wealth management division.

A spokeswoman for AMP Capital said that the Royal Commission was not the catalyst for the creation of Beck’s new MD Australia role but acknowledged that it is “certainly one of the challenges the business is facing, like others in the industry”.

In his statement on Beck’s appointment, Keary said it was important to have the right leadership in Australia while “we reset and refocus our efforts domestically”.

“The strong qualities Marsha brings in terms of customer advocacy and engagement with clients will be important as we reposition our Australian business,” he added.

AMP Capital managed A$17.3 billion (up from A$12 billion in FY2017) on behalf of 302 direct international institutional clients as at 31 December, up from A$12 billion a year earlier. The firm said that its real assets business, including its infrastructure equity and debt strategies, contributed to external net cashflows of A$4.219 billion, down from a record A$5.477 billion in 2017.

The group said that one of its strategic priorities for 2019 was to “continue international expansion and leverage strategic partnerships” in the AMP Capital business. The fund manager holds a 15 percent stake in China Life AMP Asset Management Company, which increased its AUM in the year by 10.1 percent to RMB201.7 billion (A$41.7 billion).

It also holds a 19.99 percent stake in China Life Pension Company, which grew AUM by 35.7 per cent from 2017 to reach RMB720.7 billion (A$149.1 billion).

AMP Capital itself is 15 percent owned by MUFG Trust Bank.