Shake-up sees four leave AMP Capital, Morningstar’s new ESG head

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by David Chaplin

AMP Capital cleaned-out its top ranks in Australia last week that included the exit of its well-respected head of real estate, Carmel Hourigan. In a statement, AMP Capital said, along with Hourigan, the leadership shake-out would also see the departures of three other executives.

The three others to depart are: Adrian Williams, chief operating officer and acting chief financial officer (CFO), leaving for “personal reasons”; Madeleine MacMahon, a 12-year veteran of the firm who was head of people and culture; and, Andrew Jones, head of infrastructure debt in the US.

The $200 billion-plus funds management arm of AMP has yet to replace Hourigan – who moves to ASX-listed property management firm Charter Hall as head of office – but has filled all other vacancies with internal appointments.

Aideen O’Donovan, currently head of finance, steps up as CFO while Simon Joiner has assumed the COO job (a role he performed for the group’s North West region). Williams will act as global transition manager until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Patrick Trears takes over as head of infrastructure debt (he previously led the US division of the unit) as Lisa Hurley and Lauren Crystal replace MacMahon, moving up from senior roles in the same department to share leadership of the people.

Early in July, the group’s head of listed infrastructure, Boe Pahari, took over from Adam Tindall as AMP Capital chief executive, in what proved to be a controversial appointment. Just days after winning the job, Australian press reported Pahari breached the company’s sexual harassment standards in 2017, sparking dissent in the ranks. In typical new-broom style, Pahari also revealed an executive reshuffle in addition to the four replacements. The internal job changes include:

  • Tim Smith, who moves to head of international distribution from a similar role with responsibilities for the US and Europe; and,
  • Simon Ellis, jumping from partner infrastructure equity to head of Americas in a newly created role with Matt Evans and Ruben Bhagobati named as co-heads of Europe, also new positions in the infrastructure business.

In a statement, Pahari said: “I’d like to thank Madeleine and Adrian for the important role they have played in the development of AMP Capital. Andrew has done an outstanding job to build our infrastructure debt business, particularly the success of the IDF series. They each leave with our best wishes. I’d also like to congratulate Carmel on her new role and wish her every success for her new challenge.”

The rest of the AMP Capital leadership group remains in situ while the NZ division is likewise unaffected.

However, AMP Capital NZ has seen a few changes of late including the exit of long-time bond manager, Warren Potter (reported here last week), and legal counsel, Andrew Penn.

An AMP Capital NZ spokesperson said Penn “left the business in February to take up a legal role outside of Wellington to be closer to family. At that point the New Zealand business took the opportunity to review how it sourced legal advice,” the spokesperson said. “Following that review it was decided to make greater use of AMP Capital’s in-house Sydney-based team supported by external New Zealand-based expertise.”

Penn, with AMP Capital for over 13 years, is also known for his short NZ cricket team career and this charity boxing bout where, despite being knocked out, he emerged victorious. He is now a principal with the Whanganui branch of regional law firm, Treadwell Gordon.

Elsewhere last week, global investment research house Morningstar named Hortense Bioy to a newly created position as head of sustainability research for Asia-Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regions. Bioy was previously Morningstar director passive strategies and sustainability research Europe. Morningstar took full ownership of environmental, social and governance research house Sustainalytics this April after buying 40 per cent of the firm in 2017.

In a release, Jeffrey Ptak, Morningstar head of manager research, said: “Given Hortense’s passion for ESG and our ambitions in this area, we felt now was a logical time to fully dedicate her to sustainability research.”

– Investment News, NZ

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