'Stars aligned' for McKeon with AMP
SIMON McKeon, a philanthropist and investment banker, will add a directorship of financial services giant AMP to his long list of commitments across the business and community sectors.
Mr McKeon was named Australian of the Year in 2011 in recognition of his work across a range of charities, businesses and community organisations.
Now he is set to become a non-executive director on the board of AMP, the largest superannuation manager in the country.
But Mr McKeon said he would not see himself becoming a director with a "portfolio" of different board seats on listed companies across Australia.
He said on Friday that he had been attracted to the position at AMP because of the crucial role that wealth management played in the lives of Australians, and because "business runs through my veins".
"It all made sense, the timing worked, the stars aligned. But there's no abrupt departure from what I've been doing. It will still remain an eclectic group of interests that are right for me," he said.
Mr McKeon is the executive chairman of Macquarie Bank's Melbourne office, chairman of the CSIRO board and led a review of health funding that was handed to the government last week.
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than a decade ago, he was the founding chairman of MS Research Australia between 2004 and 2010.
He said he was attracted to AMP because of the impact financial services had on millions of Australians, and the company's improvement over the past decade.
AMP has faced growing competition from the banks push into wealth management but strengthened its market position in 2011 through a merger with AXA Asia Pacific.
"AMP's had some dark days in years gone past," Mr McKeon said.
"The last 10 years has been one of the most fabulous restorations of iconic status that you'll see in Australian corporate history."
Mr McKeon will replace Nora Scheinkestel, who will retire at AMP's next annual general meeting.