(Pictured: Stephanie Weston)
Stephanie Weston, the director of investment management of AMP Financial Services who oversaw about A$90 billion in assets, left the firm last Friday because of the review of her 17-person team which will now be either abandoned or integrated into the investment teams at the associated AMP Capital Investors.
Weston, a former principal of Mercer, had been at AMP for just under two years. Her role was to manage the AMP Life assets as well as to oversee the management of assets of the AMP Financial Services superannuation clients. Prior to her five years at Mercer, Weston had been a senior executive of the Reserve Bank of Australia, in Sydney and London, for about 15 years. It is understood she does not have another job to go to.
Her departure, which took place before the AMP restructuring review was complete, is part of a cost-cutting exercise by the new management of AMP, under CEO Craig Mellor, and long-time boss of the investment business of AMP Capital Investors, Stephen Dunne.
Weston’s team will be either offered new jobs within AMP or made redundant under the restructure program for the whole organization, which was announced late last year.
It is arguably the largest team of investment professionals to be put in that position – and on the market – in recent memory.
For AMP, the team was also expensive and its work was largely duplicated by the investment professionals at AMP Capital Investors, who come under the multi-asset group run by Sean Henaghan, the highly regarded former Towers Watson executive who oversees the big Future Directions multi-manager fund and other investment areas for both institutional investors and planners. The team includes AMP economist and asset allocation head, Shane Oliver, and former investment head of iPac, Jeff Rogers.
The AMP restructure will streamline investment manufacturing and distribution (and cost some jobs), but will have little impact for the firm’s institutional clients. In fact AMP is adding to its manufacturing capabilities through continued expansion in Asia.