AMP's appetite for destruction

The tale of woe that has become synonymous with AMP continues apace.

What a misnomer. For a company that apparently specialises in the business of wealth management, AMP (AMP) certainly has a less than stellar track record.

After a shock downgrade four months ago, citing problems in resigning customers to wealth protection insurance policies, little seems to have changed.

In fact, the situation now appears worse to the tune of $65 million.

A perennial disappointment from the day it first listed in June 1998 north of $25 a share, the company has experienced a series of humiliating disasters, at one stage coming close to the brink of destruction after a series of catastrophic UK acquisitions.

Having hauled itself back from the brink a decade ago, AMP again has failed to live up to expectations, particularly since the much vaunted $14.6 billion purchase of AXA Asia Pacific's Australian operations in 2011.

That purchase essentially combined the two great historic pillars of the Australian financial system - Sydney's AMP and Melbourne's National Mutual - both of which had fallen into disrepair in the wake of the 1987 stockmarket crash and the subsequent recession of the 1990s.

But the much anticipated synergies between the pair have failed to materialise.

AMP has underperformed the ASX 200 since the start of 2012 as the banks have surged ahead.

And investors, who were paying $6.75 for AMP stock in 2010, are now abandoning it at $4.74 this morning, after the news of the latest disaster sent it plunging another 4%.

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