UPDATE 1-Wealth Manager AMP sees outflow as reputation damage bites

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(Adds details of Q1 performance, background)

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 after three years of reputational damage.

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

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.

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. ($1 = 1.2898 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, Additional reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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