The below is an edited excerpt from a speech by Alex Wade to The Australian Financial Review Banking and Wealth Summit.
I'd like to discuss why I joined AMP – particularly at this time in its history:
Value of advice
I’ve recently learned that my great grandfather was a Vice-Patron of the Australia Mutual Provident Society when it formed back in 1849 – with AMP such a historic Australian brand and icon - I don’t think it is overstating to say that I feel a genuine obligation to help rebuild this company to what its core purpose was so many years ago – to be a certain friend in uncertain times.
I also believe in the value of what AMP has been doing for the last 170 years: supporting Australians prepare for and enjoy a better financial future and retirement. And I believe that financial advice is critical to this and I believe that now, more than ever, Australians need more advice and not less. This is a social problem that we need to help solve.
Clearly the industry is in the midst of major change and upheaval. However, good quality financial advice that is in the best interest of clients, combined with compelling and competitive client offers, improves lives – and I want to be part of that.
Wealth industry: an inflection point
Secondly, because despite what some may believe, this industry will continue to play an important role in the financial futures of Australians. It is not without significant challenges; there is market dislocation, with large players moving out of wealth management and financial advice.
However, businesses that successfully navigate the regulatory environment and the changing landscape, and build a sustainable, quality advice model that is affordable and reaches clients in a way that suits them – including digitally – will prosper.
I am confident that AMP is strategically placed to take advantage of the opportunities dislocation brings, since this is one of our core businesses.
I am up for a challenge
I knew that this job would not be easy - AMP had a very tough year last year reputationally and faces some business challenges.
We, like the industry, are operating in a complex and fast-changing changing regulatory environment and I think we can all acknowledge that we’ve made some mistakes.
However, AMP has a long, proud heritage of helping Australians. We have passionate employees, strong products, a strong advice network and a leading bank and asset management business. I am excited in the role I get to play to help clients and rebuild this organisation and the reputation of the industry more broadly.