AMP is undergoing a revolution under new CEO Andrew Mohl and Crikey’s insider Amberley Amper has all the inside dirt.

Mohl, who has come to the crease with the light fading, his side 5/30 chasing a big target, a bumpy pitch and a long thin bowler coming in out of the sun bowling hissing and fizzing pace ala big Joel, has quickly knocked the first few balls around the park for singles and seems to be sensibly biding his time before looking for a boundary.

He did get a note of caution from the UK umpire (The FSA) earlier this week after suggesting that not all the players who are running around the track had been able to pass the fitness test which had his team under the selectors glass.

Mohl, who has a no nonsense style and a reputation for clear if not imaginative thinking about running businesses has borrowed a bit from Sun Tzu who said, what ever you do, do it bloody quickly and smartly dropped some of the questionable batsmen from his team.

He came to the market promising greater disclosure, and the first thing he said was the cost of getting rid of Paul Batchelor was between Mr Batchelor and the board. In a public company. Why isn’t it between the board, the shareholders and Mr Batchelor?

Funds management wags are suggesting that he’ll be doing alright as long as he is Paul Batchelor, who they rated as uncommunicative and as one Melbourne based analyst said, he was a man who believed his own PR.

Gone are Tom Fraser as opener for the UK team, who was nicked from the UK competitor CNGU just three years ago has been dropped after presiding over a world of shit for nearly three years, internal mail from the analysts who met him was that he was smart, but skittish player confused by the changeable UK conditions, but regarded as a great student of the game.

Essentially dropped because he’s been out once too often trying to score runs quickly, but it appears that was his brief, so its hard to understand this one. Essentially they’ve evaporated his position, but more on that later.

Gone too are Tim Wade head of the now not required AMP International Andrew Jones head of HR, and Warwick Foster who came to AMP from the line up at Colonial where Batchelor swung the willow in first division.

Bad news for Peter Noble chief general counsel who appears to have been dropped after very few innings and some questionable umpiring decisions and slim volume of work.

Its been reported that he was in compeition with the only female member of the top 11 and the reshuffle would have meant he reported to her. Whatever the case Captain Mohl is on record saying he wanted someone with more run scoring ability.

(Note to self: get career in making up the reasons why people are axed – position redundant, no longer required etc etc when we know the reality is more like – dropped because he was a selection made by the old skipper, dropped hasn’t got runs for years, dropped he’s gets runs but he’s a drongo, dropped he’s just a goose – not saying that’s what happened here of course – personally I think it’s a really GOOD idea for AMP to rely on partners (read people who sell them things) to come up with its IT strategy. For crying out loud, isn’t that one of the ways we value companies like AMP efficient processing?)

Arguably the luckiest batsman still alive is tail ender Mathew Percival, the current Mark Waugh of the AMP 11. ,The boys on Bay 13 have been confused by the fact he’s staying his form has been not only questionable but should have been smart enough to see that the communications techniques and practices he was using were leading to the world of shit that the AMP 11 now find themselves in.

Not only was he selected by the old skipper from his work on the Colonial team, but he’s brought his old support staff, who must have been making sure his whites were pressed and polished because there has been no fall out from this team at all.

Just why there has been no fall out from this team is unclear as is how he’s managed to preserve his role. The word from the boys who are students of the game is that he’s tight with the selectors board and the Canberra boy’s.

The board selectors have probably got their eyes on this player and are looking for a return to form, though he is an elder statesman of the industry.

Questionable too is the role of weatherman Shane Oliver, as chief economist shouldn’t he have seen this market looming on the horizon like a great storm from over a desert and helped the team get the covers onto the pitch to see off the rain? Isn’t that his job or did he pass that message on and have the groundsman ignore him.

Making a shock return after a recent drop to the bench is Marc de Cure who was flicked for arguing with the skipper for it is reported wanting and openers slot.

The skippers gone and he’s in at first drop heading what is loosely called strategy and development.

Though the powerpoint pack that was emailed through this week has him slotted into the group next to Christine McLoughlin who is General Manager Office of the CEO which seems to run things like information and intellectual property security and is reported to be the reason why Peter Noble was dropped from the team.

The boys in Bay 13 are of the firm opinion that looking after the intellectual property at AMP shouldn’t be too time consuming a task.

While de Cure is an experienced batsman and performs well when the bowling is straightforward and the track is flat, (think Perth in January) he has been known to be able to create an innings out of thin air and perhaps this is what the skipper is hoping for. Frankly he’s basically given him stewardship for the development of the business, the question remains is he up to the task with a big season ahead.

Oddly Mr de Cure (every time I get a release with his name in it I am tempted to break into Killing an Arab” standing on a beach with a gun in my hand, staring at the sky, staring at the sand”) has picked up Cobalt and the renamed Virgin Direct.

Virgin Direct once a success now a strange business called Virgin Money. Its run by an ex-McKinzies consultant called Paul Pester who has for the past month or so dominated the advertising on Hotmail in the UK flogging its inexplicable red and white credit card to the punters and competing with Prudential’s Egg account. How its going is anyones guess.

Odd strategy that – whose money are they re-lending AMP’s? Must look into it.

Also quite why Mr de Cure (let me take your hand I’m shaking like, milk ” Love Cats!!) Quite why he’s got Cobalt – a life insurance run off company and an ailing UK start up are beyond me, but there you go, the skipper clearly thinks it’s the right thing to do, when he had the mandate to get who ever he wanted..

Another question in de Cures ( I won’t say it of you don’t – lets go to bed”) portfolio is why Virgin Money didn’t go to John Drabble who picked up all the UK’s problem businesses in the reshuffle.

Drabble who’s batted for AMP all through the grades to emerge in first division on a body of work which is considered by many to be pretty handy, despite the fact he’s regarded by internal punters as a medici prince, has been asked to look after all the businesses which AMP don’t seem to understand.

The selectors must have a close eye on Mr Drabble to see how he handles the tricky conditions of a new ball.

The rest of the UK businesses – the mature ones have been split off to Ian Laughlin who has the straightforward stuff; the Pearl, London Life, the remains of NPI and the direct sales force to look after

The split has been welcomed by most cricketing fans because its going to make the whole thing easier to understand – but this could also be a problem for the skipper Mohl, an easier to understand balance sheet is easier to value and the ancient art of smoke and mirrors will not be as easy to use.

Peter Fray

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