AMP CEO De Ferrari won’t get a new life insurance deal

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 6-Dec-18

Merlon Capital is among the AMP shareholders that oppose the sale of its life insurance business. However, AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the $3.3bn deal will proceed, arguing that the wealth manager lacks the global scale to compete with much larger international rivals in the life insurance sector. De Ferrari has also expressed support for AMP’s vertically integrated business model, but says this will be unwound if the final report of the financial services commission recommends it.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CREDIT SUISSE AG, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD

AMP’s new CEO starts in the hot seat

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 3-Dec-18

Francesco De Ferrari starts his first day as CEO of AMP on 3 December, having previously been head of Credit Suisse’s Asia-Pacific private banking business. De Ferrari says he is determined to make the most of the impetus provided by the banking royal commission to bring about change in the way that AMP does business. Hamish Carlisle from Merlon Capital says De Ferrari should give AMP shareholders the opportunity to vote on the proposed sale of the AMP Life division, as well as renegotiating the deal if possible.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE AG, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, ATLAS FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SHAREHOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION

AMP digs in as fresh queries arise over insurance arm sale

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 22 : 1-Nov-18

AMP’s acting CEO Mike Wilkins has defended the wealth manager’s $3.45bn deal to sell its life insurance arm, arguing that it is in the best interests of long-term shareholders. He adds that AMP’s board felt that it was appropriate to proceed with the transaction without putting it to a shareholder vote, although Dean Paatsch of proxy advisory firm Ownership Matters believes that the size of the deal means it should have been approved by shareholders. An ASX Limited spokesman has indicated that the deal is unlikely to breach listing rules.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, OWNERSHIP MATTERS PTY LTD, ASX LIMITED – ASX ASX

Fundies blast AMP over $3.4b fire sale

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 22 : 31-Oct-18

Allan Gray Australia and Merlon Capital Partners are among the institutional investors that have criticised AMP’s proposal to divest its life insurance business. They believe that the $3.4bn sale price undervalues the life business, and Merlon has flagged the possibility of seeking an extraordinary general meeting to challenge the deal. Merlon has written to AMP arguing that the deal demonstrates a "reckless disregard" for shareholders’ funds, while Simon Mawhinney of Allan Gray describes it as a "disastrous deal" for AMP’s shareholders.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, MACQUARIE COUNTRYWIDE MANAGEMENT LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, AXA ASIA PACIFIC HOLDINGS LIMITED

AMP implodes as investors flee amid fund outflows

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 26-Oct-18

Wealth manager AMP has advised that its fund outflows totalled $1.5bn in the September quarter, compared with just $243m in the previous corresponding period. Acting CEO Mike Wilkins says lack of fund inflows is a bigger concern than the rise in outflows, adding that the problem is likely to persist until the financial services royal commission delivers its final report. AMP has also announced a $3.3bn deal to sell its life insurance business to Resolution Capital. AMP shares reached a record low on 25 October, reducing its market capitalisation by $2.3bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION CAPITAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

InvoCare and Propel set to win from Hayne royal commission

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 5-Oct-18

The Hayne royal commission has slammed the funeral insurance sector, and has urged the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to use new product intervention powers to close down "junk funeral insurance". Listed funeral companies InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners, which offer only pre-paid funeral contracts, are likely to benefit from the commission’s attack on funeral insurance. InvoCare CEO Martin Earp says funeral insurance does not offer value for money, while Propel CEO Albin Kurti contends funeral insurance ends up costing consumers more when compared to pre-paid contracts.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, INVOCARE LIMITED – ASX IVC, PROPEL FUNERAL PARTNERS LIMITED – ASX PFP

Suncorp kept misleading ads campaign

Original article by Michael Roddan, Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 21-Sep-18

The financial services royal commission has been told that Suncorp-owned insurer AAMI faced potential fines of up to $7.2m for misleading advertising in November 2017, but it was fined just $43,800 by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The radio ads promoted AAMI’s commitment to completely replace a policyholder’s home if it was destroyed, but failed to disclose that this was subject to a cost limit. AAMI’s in-force premium revenue from these policies was $426m for the year, providing a strong incentive to continue the ad campaign.

CORPORATES
SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED MOTOR INSURERS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE LIMITED, AAI LIMITED

AMP still taking fees from the dead

Original article by Ben Butler, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 3 : 18-Sep-18

Paul Sainsbury, the head of wealth management at AMP, appeared before the banking royal commission on 17 September. He told the inquiry that AMP had been charging life insurance customers a fee even after being informed that they had died. Sainsbury said the practice had been occurring since 2016, and the extent of the problem had been discovered after the royal commission was told earlier in 2018 that the Commonwealth Bank had engaged in similar practices.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, DOVER FINANCIAL ADVISERS PTY LTD, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, BORAL LIMITED – ASX BLD, COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL

PM apologises for lack of action on banks

Original article by Michael Roddan, Elizabeth Redman
The Australian – Page: 2 : 13-Sep-18

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told question time on 12 September that he regretted not holding the banking royal commission sooner. He described as appalling the evidence concerning the treatment of Baptist minister Grant Stewart who had tried to get Freedom Insurance staff to cancel a useless life insurance policy sold to his Down Syndrome son, with one employee calling Stewart a "bloody whinger". Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was highly critical of the misconduct of life insurer ClearView, which has admitted to 300,000 alleged breaches of criminal law over the provision of unsolicited advice.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, FREEDOM INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX FIG, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW

Sack them all, says insurance boss

Original article by Michael Roddan, Elizabeth Redman
The Australian – Page: 2 : 11-Sep-18

The banking royal commission commenced its investigation into the life insurance sector on 10 September. Senior counsel assisting the commission, Rowena Orr QC noted the industry had paid $6 billion worth of commissions to financial planners over the five years to 2017, suggesting this was a key factor behind the sector’s unethical behaviour. ClearView chief risk officer Greg Martin admitted to the commission that it had breached anti-hawking laws more than 300,000 times, and that it had a "full on sales" culture.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. JOINT COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW