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AMP appoints new chair, Hazelton to depart

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By Jessica Penny
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3 minute read

The company has named the successor of Debra Hazelton, who is leaving AMP after a three-year tenure.

AMP has announced the appointment of Mike Hirst as its new chair after Debra Hazelton announced her intention to retire at the conclusion of this year’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 12 April.

Ms Hazelton steps down after almost five years as a non-executive director on the AMP Limited board, and after serving as chair of AMP since August 2020.

Meanwhile, Mr Hirst has been an independent non-executive director on the AMP board since July 2021, and became chair of its risk and compliance committee in 2022.

He brings more than 40 years of board and executive experience to his new role, including nine years as chief executive officer of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Prior to this, Mr Hirst worked in senior executive and management positions with Colonial Limited, Westpac Banking Corporation, and Chase AMP Bank.

Moreover, he served as deputy chair of the Treasury Corporation of Victoria and previously held non-executive directorships with Austraclear, Colonial First State, Rural Bank, and Barwon Health.

Commenting on the transition, Ms Hazelton said that it is the “right time” for the reins to go over to Mr Hirst.

“During my tenure as chair, AMP has undergone a significant transformation to set the company up for a sustainable future,” she said.

“We have a strong chief executive officer and management team in place, the board has been renewed, the business is repositioned, the strategy reset, the AMP portfolio is simplified, the capital base is strong, and substantive legacy issues are resolved.

“I believe now is the right time for me to hand over to Mike Hirst, as the company embarks on a new chapter focused on growing as a retail bank and leading wealth manager in Australia and New Zealand.

“Mike Hirst will be exemplary as AMP’s chair, with his deep financial services knowledge and experience, and having already contributed significantly to the AMP board since his appointment as a non-executive director.”

On Wednesday, AMP commended Ms Hazelton’s achievements while chair, highlighting her success in improving the firm’s culture and governance, renewing the executive leadership team, and leading its portfolio simplification and strategic reset.

Mr Hirst also thanked Ms Hazelton for her tenure on the AMP board.

“I would like to thank Debra for the enormous contribution she has made to AMP, and the strong leadership she has shown during a transformative period for the business.

“I feel very privileged to be taking on the role of chair and recognise that we need to continue the hard work in delivering on the strategy and realising improved value for shareholders.

“AMP has a dedicated management team and a clear strategy that it needs to deliver on. I look forward to working with Alexis as she leads the business to deliver growth opportunities and to drive improved investor and customer value,” he concluded.