Australia's AMP maintains CEO has not quit; reveals talks on future leadership

March 26 (Reuters) - Embattled wealth manager AMP Ltd reiterated that Francesco De Ferrari would remain its chief executive officer, after a local media column said on Thursday he would resign.

AMP said on Friday De Ferrari had not resigned, but the board was working with him and “constructively discussing the future strategy and leadership of the group, post the completion of AMP’s portfolio review.”

The company said these discussions were ongoing.

Shares of the scandal-hit AMP fell 3.6% before trading was halted for more than 20 minutes on Thursday following the column in the Australian Financial Review. AMP, in a brief statement later, confirmed De Ferrari was not stepping down from his role.

De Ferrari took on the top job in December 2018 to give AMP a new direction after a banking royal commission revealed widespread misconduct by the company, including charging customers for services it did not provide and misleading regulators.

Recently, U.S.-based Ares Management pulled a A$6.36 billion takeover offer for AMP, instead of choosing to buy 60% of the private markets business of its asset management arm in a major setback for AMP. (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)