UPDATE 2-Outflows continue at Australian wealth manager AMP as reputation damage bites

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April 22 (Reuters) - AMP Ltd saw A$1.5 billion ($1.16 billion) in net outflows at its Australian wealth management business in the first quarter as the troubled financial firm continues to lose clients, sending its shares to a more than one-year low.

The wealth manager did not give an update on its talks with U.S. private equity fund Ares Management, which last month expressed interest in buying all of its private market business that falls under its asset management arm, AMP Capital.

That unit saw net outflows of A$2.9 billion, including A$1.3 billion largely from external clients.

AMP Capital had A$186.5 billion under management at the end of March, down 1.7% from three months earlier due to internal restructuring at Precinct Properties New Zealand and the sale of its global companies funds.

Shares of AMP dropped 3.9% in early trade to A$1.12, their lowest since April 3 last year. Other financial firms and the broader market were all higher.

Over the past three years, AMP has struggled to repair its reputation from a gruelling public financial sector inquiry that levied scathing criticism for wrongdoing at the company and other corporate culture questions that has seen it lose three-quarters of its market value.

Ares had walked away from a A$6.36 billion offer it made last year to buy all of AMP.

Meanwhile, assets under management at AMP’s Australian wealth management business jumped to A$125.7 billion in the three months to March from A$124.1 billion at the end of December as investment conditions improve.

“Business performance remained resilient during the first quarter as we continued to make progress on delivery of our transformation strategy to become a simpler, client-led business,” outgoing Chief Executive Francesco De Ferrari said.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group deputy chief Alexis George is set to take charge of AMP in the third quarter.

$1 = 1.2898 Australian dollars Reporting by Sameer Manekar and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Subhranshu Sahu