News AMP chair, director resign amid shareholder revolt over handling of sexual harassment allegations

AMP chair, director resign amid shareholder revolt over handling of sexual harassment allegations

David Murray was appointed AMP's chairman in June 2018, following Catherine Brenner's resignation earlier that year. Photo: ABC News
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AMP chairman David Murray has resigned, effective immediately, as has AMP director, and former treasury secretary, John Fraser.

The financial services company has been rocked by a series of sexual harassment complaints affecting senior managers, with allegations the company and its board of directors failed to handle them appropriately.

The recently appointed head of AMP Capital, Boe Pahari, is also stepping down from that role, effective immediately.

Mr Pahari will resume work at his previous level with the company.

AMP’s chief executive, Francesco De Ferrari, will assume leadership of the AMP Capital business for the time being while the company searches for a permanent replacement for Mr Pahari.

AMP said the resignations of Mr Murray and Mr Fraser, and the demotion of Mr Pahari, are in response to feedback from some major shareholders about the initial promotion of Mr Pahari to head one of the company’s main business units despite a previous sexual harassment allegation against him.

Mr Murray said he and the rest of the board had always treated the harassment complaint against Mr Pahari seriously.

“My view remains that it was dealt with appropriately in 2017 and Mr Pahari was penalised accordingly,” he said in a statement.

“However, it is clear to me that, although there is considerable support for our strategy, some shareholders did not consider Mr Pahari’s promotion to AMP Capital CEO to be appropriate.

“Although the board’s decision on the appointment was unanimous, my decision to leave reflects my role and accountability as chairman of the board and the need to protect continuity of management, the strategy and, to the extent possible, the board.”

Mr Murray is replaced by current AMP director Debra Hazelton, who has been on the board since June 2019 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector.