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AMP board takes responsibility for governance failures, pays price in board diversity

Today’s announcement of the resignations of Vanessa Wallace and Holly Kramer from the AMP Board, following that of Board Chairman Catherine Brenner last week, and the expected year-end departure of Patty Akopiantz signals the board is appropriately taking responsibility for the governance failures of the company. These directors were all among the longest serving members of the board. They are also all of the women who were on it.

The challenges facing AMP have just grown. As they set about refreshing their corporate culture and repairing their reputation, they also have the opportunity to increase the diversity of their board. Many studies, including one last year from KPMG (ASX 300+ for mid-market enterprises: Secrets to success) show that companies run by gender diverse boards perform better.

“There is a pool of diverse, suitably skilled talent in Australia, keen for opportunities to serve on top ASX boards. The breadth of experience women and people of diverse backgrounds bring to boards can assist in driving the critical culture change needed for governance reform,” said Steven Burrell, chief executive officer of Governance Institute of Australia.

“Will AMP find places at their board table for this talent? We’ll wait and see” he added.

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