AMP has appointed a US funds management heavyweight to head up AMP Capital, while confirming the date Francesco De Ferrari will step down.
After serving as senior managing director and chairman of the investment committee of State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) for almost a decade, where he had global oversight and responsibility for over 450 investment strategies and US$2.1 trillion in client assets, Shawn Johnson will officially begin the new role on 28 June.
Mr Johnson also previously served as the volunteer chairman of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC) from 2008-2010.
Though he will initially be based in Sydney, Mr Johnson will work across AMP’s key international offices of the private markets business.
The appointment follows the resignation of outgoing AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari in March, and the demotion of Boe Pahari last year after his initial appointment to the role of AMP Capital CEO ended in scandal for the wealth giant.
“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Shawn as AMP Capital Chief Executive,” 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.
“His experience as a leader in one of the world’s largest asset management firms, State Street Global Advisors, where he played a key role in markedly growing the business and navigating the global financial crisis, will be invaluable.
“Shawn has managed a joint venture holding of boutique asset management firms across North America, the UK, Europe and Asia, while also having experience in retirement planning in the US and Australia. Moreover, Shawn’s more recent experience with his own alternative asset businesses is a practical demonstration of his entrepreneurial capabilities.
“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.
“We would like to thank both Francesco De Ferrari and David Atkin for their leadership of AMP Capital and are delighted that David has agreed to extend his period as Deputy CEO to ensure a smooth handover to Shawn throughout July.”
Mr Johnson said of the appointment: “AMP Capital is a globally-respected investment manager, and I’m excited by the significant potential for international growth but also in Australia.
“I’m confident of its underlying strength and the depth of its investment, distribution, and operational talent. Our focus will be to harness these strengths as we set up as a new, independent organisation following separation from AMP.
“It’s an exciting challenge to which I believe I can bring my experience, passion and energy for growing businesses and leading a highly skilled organisation.
“I look forward to working alongside our talented teams, meeting our key clients, and moving our business forward.”
Meanwhile, the wealth giant also confirmed outgoing CEO Mr De Ferrari would step down on 30 June, with Alexis George to assume the role on 1 August. Chief financial officer James Georgeson would act as CEO over the interim period, AMP said.
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