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Macquarie Promotes Asset Management Chief to CEO

Shemara Wikramanayake will become the Australian bank’s first female chief executive when Nicholas Moore retires in November.

  • By Amy Whyte

The head of Macquarie Group’s roughly $365 billion asset management business has been tapped to succeed Nicholas Moore as managing director and CEO at the end of this year, the firm announced Thursday.

Shemara Wikramanayake, who has led Macquarie Asset Management since 2008, will be the first female chief executive at the Australian bank, as well as one of the most senior women in what is still a largely male-dominated industry: All of the bulge-bracket banks currently have male CEOs.

“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,” Moore said in a company statement.

Wikramanayake joined Macquarie in 1987, working with Moore in the bank’s corporate services division. When Moore became CEO in 2008, Wikramanayake was appointed head of the bank’s asset management arm. Under her leadership, the unit’s assets under management more than doubled from A$232 billion at the end of the 2008 fiscal year to A$495 billion ($365 billion USD) as of March 2018. 

She also serves as chair of the Macquarie Group Foundation, the bank’s philanthropic arm.

Moore will retire as managing director and CEO effective November 30, 3018, and will also step down from the boards of Macquarie Group Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited. Wikramanayake will be appointed to both boards in addition to being named CEO.

“Nicholas has been central to Macquarie’s growth and evolution over many years, transforming the group into the global, diversified business it is today,” group chairman Peter Warne said in the statement. 

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