Scandal-plagued wealth management giant AMP has appointed Francesco De Ferrari as chief executive, a position that could see him earn A$8.3m (£4.7mm, $6.1m, €5.3m) in his first year on the job.
De Ferrari joins AMP after 17 years at Credit Suisse, where he was chief executive south-east Asia and frontier markets and head of private banking Asia Pacific.
His annual base salary will be A$2.2m, but he could make as much as $8.3m a year through short-term and long-term incentives.
The 49-year-old will have a remit to salvage the company’s reputation and turn around its weakening share price following multiple scandals that have rocked AMP following the royal commission into superannuation, banking and advice.
These scandals resulted in former AMP chief executive Craig Meller and chair Catherine Brenner resigning in April amid revelations the company’s financial advisers had been charging fees for no service.
Restoring the company’s reputation
AMP chairman, David Murray, said De Ferrari’s remuneration was based on the mammoth task he faced in leading the company’s recovery.
“We have designed a remuneration structure to drive the recovery of AMP and recognise the degree of challenge in the task ahead. His remuneration and incentives are directly aligned with the interests of shareholders.
“With his track record of commitment to clients and business performance, I have no doubt Francesco is the right person to lead the recovery of AMP and set the strategy for future growth,” Murray said.
Pay package criticised
Not all are happy with De Ferrari’s incentive package however, with Australian Greens politician Peter Whish-Wilson telling The Guardian it showed AMP “learnt nothing from the Royal Commission”.
“The culture in these financial services companies starts with the chief executive … The whole system is designed to give the chief executive incentives to get up profits and the share price. From the next person down the chain, and all the way down, it’s going to be all about making profits,” Whish-Wilson said.