July 26, 2018 (LBO) – Shemara Wikramanayake is set to take over as CEO of global investment bank Macquarie in November of 2018. Ms. Wikramanayake was born born in the UK and spent time schooling in Sri Lanka. Her father was a Sri Lankan medical doctor.
Macquarie is a globally diversified financial group employing more than 14,000 people in 25 countries. Its CEO was the highest paid of any listed company CEO in Australia. It has a market cap of US$30bn and is one of the world’s largest listed investment banks.
Wikramanayake was the bank’s second-highest paid person in the 2018 financial year. She earned a total $16.7 million, less only than CEO Nicholas Moore who took home $18.9 million. Fairfax Media reported last year that the 56-year-old CEO designate had not sold a single a Macquarie share in her 30 years with the company.
The official statement from the company follows below:
Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG; ADR: MQBKY) Chairman, Peter Warne, today announced Nicholas Moore’s decision to retire as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Group and the Board’s decision to appoint Shemara Wikramanayake, currently Group Head of Macquarie Asset Management, in his place.
Mr Moore will retire and step down from the Boards of Macquarie Group Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited effective 30 November 2018, shortly after delivering the Group’s results for 1H19 and completing the usual investor roadshow alongside Ms Wikramanayake. Ms Wikramanayake will be appointed to the Boards of Macquarie Group Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited.
Mr Warne said: “In considering the transition from Nicholas’ immensely successful decade as CEO of Macquarie, I’m delighted to have a candidate of Shemara’s calibre to take the Group forward. Nicholas has been central to Macquarie’s growth and evolution over many years, transforming the Group into the global, diversified business it is today. Shemara takes over a business with significant momentum and market-leading positions and does so with the international track record, vision and strong sense of our unique culture to make this a very successful transition.”
Mr Moore said: “I have worked with Shemara for more than 30 years and I am reassured in deciding to retire later this year that I leave Macquarie in a strong position and in safe hands. I have been honoured to lead our teams through a period of unprecedented market change, profitable growth and many projects that have positively impacted our clients and the communities in which we operate around the world. Macquarie succeeds thanks to the opportunities that flow from the commitment and expertise of our people and these are qualities that I’m confident will continue to flourish under the leadership of Shemara and the broader management team.”
Ms Wikramanayake said: “I am honoured to be asked by the Board to succeed Nicholas as CEO of Macquarie. I have had the privilege of working with him for 30 years, including the last 10 with him as CEO. He leaves Macquarie in an outstanding position, having led the business to a record level of earnings, a robust funding and capital position, an excellent leadership team and solid momentum for the future. I look forward to working with the Board, management and our entire Macquarie team to build on Nicholas’ remarkable legacy for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
Ms Wikramanayake joined Macquarie in 1987 and worked with Mr Moore in Corporate Services and then in establishing Macquarie Capital, which at that time included advisory; infrastructure funds; corporate leasing and lending; and cash equities. She was appointed Head of Macquarie Asset Management in 2008, when Mr Moore became Group CEO. In her time at Macquarie, Ms Wikramanayake has worked in nine cities in six countries and across several business lines. This has included establishing and leading Macquarie’s corporate advisory offices in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and the infrastructure funds management business in the US and Canada. Ms Wikramanayake also serves as Chair of the Macquarie Group Foundation.