It is understood Russell New Zealand has been negotiating with AMP Capital’s former head of institutional sales, Andrew Johnson, to take up a senior consultancy role.

However, Johnson, who departed from AMP Capital in July after almost nine years with the firm, denied any deal had been inked.

A Russell spokesperson confirmed the group was “recruiting for a senior consultant” with an announcement expected shortly.

The New Zealand institutional market is currently undergoing a shake-up with a number of investment consulting contracts up for review.

Johnson resigned from AMP Capital New Zealand last month following a restructure that also resulted in the departure of the group’s head of sales and marketing, Anthony Edmonds.

Both Johnson and Edmonds were ‘disestablished’ by AMP Capital as the group amalgamated their respective roles into the single head of distribution position.

The AMP Capital head of distribution role includes responsibility for sales and marketing along with relationship management and some product functions.

Neither Johnson nor Edmonds applied for the position, which remained vacant at presstime.

Johnson also knocked back rumours Russell NZ was recruiting him as managing director, the position formerly held by Ed Schuck.

Schuck resigned from Russell NZ late last year with his role partly taken over by Mark Blair, who runs the New Zealand business from his Sydney base.

At the time of his resignation in December 2008, Schuck, who had been with the firm nine years, told I&T News the New Zealand business managed about NZ$1 billion on behalf of “nine or 10” major clients.

He told I&T News Russell’s implemented consulting model had failed to gain much traction in New Zealand.

“In Australia funds seem
to go either completely DIY or buy full outsourcing from an implemented
consultant, in New Zealand they seem to prefer a semi-implemented approach,
using a range of multi-managers on a sector-by-sector basis,” Schuck said
last December.

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