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AMP appoints Andrea Slattery to its all-male company board

Jessica Yun
Andrea Slattery has joined the board of AMP, bringing the total number of women board directors to one. <em>(Photo: Getty, Adam Taylor)</em>
Andrea Slattery has joined the board of AMP, bringing the total number of women board directors to one. (Photo: Getty, Adam Taylor)

Embattled wealth giant AMP has appointed a woman to its board of directors which was, until recently, entirely dominated by men.

Andrea Slattery, an executive in the accounting and self-managed super fund sector, was yesterday appointed as a non-executive director to the financial services institution.

Andrea Slattery. (<em>Source: AMP)</em>
Andrea Slattery. (Source: AMP)

Her appointment will become effective 15 February.

At the time of writing, AMP’s webpage of its company directors displayed eight men.

<em>(Source: AMP)</em>
(Source: AMP)

The board of AMP, as it is pictured here, looks markedly different from 12 months ago when it boasted four women among its ranks.

It wasn’t long after the banking Royal Commission kicked off before it claimed the scalps of several high-profile executives, including AMP’s CEO Craig Meller, who announced his resignation in March last year.

Just a week after Meller resigned, AMP’s chair Catherine Brenner announced she was leaving the company, alongside the financial firm’s group general counsel Brian Salter.

May 2018 saw two AMP directors, Vanessa Wallace and Holly Kramer, preemptively resign after it became clear that they would not be re-elected at the company’s next AGM.

Meanwhile, a third director – Patty Kopiantz, also the company’s longest-serving director – was due to depart by the end of 2018.

AMP was left with no women on its board of directors after the four women parted ways with the firm.

Following the departures, Louise Davidson – the chief executive of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) – questioned why it was Wallace and Kramer who resigned and not others.

“We look forward to hearing more from the company about why these particular directors and not others have resigned,” Davidson said late May last year.

“We … categorically reject the link which some have tried to make between governance failures at AMP and gender.

“We strongly encourage AMP to make sure they don’t end up with no women on their board as a result of this development. There is no shortage of appropriately skilled, experienced and talented women for directorships in Australia.”

On Wednesday, one day prior to the appointment of Slattery, the Australian Institute of Company Directors named and shamed AMP as one of four ASX200 companies without a single woman on its board.

TPG, ARB Corporation and Emeco Holdings were the other three ASX200 firms without any female board directors.

So who is AMP’s new – and only – female director?

Andrea Slattery established and spearheaded the SMSF Association, the independent professional body representing Australia’s self-managed super fund sector.

She’s also currently a board director for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Argo Global Listed Infrastructure and the South Australia Cricket Association.

Her areas of speciality include Australia’s accounting, superannuation and retirement income systems.

AMP chair David Murray said Ms Slattery’s vast experience would be valuable to the company as it continued to try to simplify and reset its business under new chief executive Francesco De Ferrari.

“Andrea’s considerable experience in financial services, as a business leader, non-executive director and an expert in change brings a strong mix of skills to the AMP board,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“Andrea has built trusted relations with government, industry and consumers, and been a strong advocate for the self-managed superannuation industry, and financial services in general.”

—with AAP

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