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UPDATE 1-Australia's AMP says head of scandal-hit wealth unit resigns

(Adds background on Australian wealth arm and its results forecasts)

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Australia’s largest financial advisory firm AMP Ltd said on Thursday Alex Wade resigned as the chief executive of its domestic wealth arm, as the unit navigates hefty outflows and lawsuits.

The announcement comes just a week after AMP’s largest unit warned of A$4.4 billion ($3.17 billion) in net outflows in the first-half after the government eased rules on withdrawals from pension funds due to the pandemic.

AMP also forecast its first-half underlying profit to more than halve, blaming the coronavirus pandemic and unsettled markets for a slump in fee income and higher credit losses.

The company did not explain the reason for Wade’s resignation. He was promoted to head AMP Australia about 18 months ago

The 171-year old company is restructuring and trying to restore its reputation after a bruising public inquiry into the finance sector in 2018 revealed it had improperly charged fees and attempted to mislead regulators.

Blair Vernon, the chief executive of its New Zealand wealth unit, has been appointed as the acting CEO of AMP Australia, the company said in a statement.

Jeff Ruscoe will replace Vernon as the acting CEO of its New Zealand wealth unit.

AMP is set to release its first-half results and update the market on capital management plans, its strategy and a new plan for its funds management arm AMP Capital on Aug. 13 ($1 = 1.3893 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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