Financial services company AMP has put its New Zealand initial public offer (IPO) on hold.

The company, part of Australia's AMP, said it would focus this year on the separation of AMP Life and New Zealand wealth management, which will include the repatriation of significant information technology and support services.

"The separation will establish AMP New Zealand's wealth management business as a standalone business unit with a mandate to accelerate business growth," Blair Vernon, AMP New Zealand's managing director, said.

"Given the focus on separation, AMP has deferred IPO consideration until separation completion," he said in a statement.


"We are also focused on continuing to support advisers to respond to the unprecedented period of change occurring in our industry, which reflects our unwavering belief that the provision of sustainable access to advice is critical for all New Zealanders and their long-term financial wellbeing.

"At the same time, we continue to promote and support appropriate and transparent practices across our industry and seek to maintain our leadership position in terms of advice and conduct standards," he said.

AMP said that it expects to receive its individual report from the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank as part of its review of the sector, after which it would "address any further actions to continue to protect the interests of our customers".

Meanwhile, AMP New Zealand's wealth management business reported operating earnings for 2018 of $57 million, broadly unchanged from the previous year.

Operating earnings were offset by lower wealth management income resulting from a decline in assets under management (AUM) margin.

AUM fell by 3 per cent to $11.6 billion, largely reflecting unfavourable investment market conditions.

AMP's KiwiSaver Scheme continued to grow with $5.1b in funds under management, a slight increase from 2017.

"Despite challenging market conditions, we continued to deliver on our commitment to provide high-quality advice and services to support our customers through the country's most extensive and diverse network of financial advisers," Vernon said.


In Australia, AMP's profit slumped to just A$28m ($29.2m) in calendar 2018, down from A$848m in 2017, as the company suffered a weaker performance in its superannuation and investments division and fallout from Hayne royal commission.