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Macquarie gets its first female CEO

The appointment of Shemara Wikramanayake as the group's first female CEO is a good move that will enhance the company's focus on global infrastructure and energy investment, says Morningstar.

Mentioned: Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG)


The appointment of Shemara Wikramanayake as Macquarie Group's first female chief executive is a good move that will enhance the company’s focus on global infrastructure and energy investment, says Morningstar.

The diversified financials group on Thursday morning announced Wikramanayake, a 30-year veteran of the company, would replace Nicholas Moore, who will end a 10-year tenure as managing director and chief executive when he steps down in November.

Wikramanayake, who is currently group head of Macquarie Asset Management, has also been appointed to the board of Macquarie Bank.

Shemara Wikramanayake Macquarie Group

Shemara Wikramanayake has been at Macquarie since 1987

Morningstar senior banking analyst David Ellis welcomed the move, saying it was good for the company and for diversity more broadly.

"We like the appointment and see no risk to Macquarie's very successful long-term strategy," Ellis said.

"She's a Macquarie veteran and has led the most profitable and fastest growing business unit, Macquarie Asset Management, for the past 10 years. And she will enhance Macquarie's focus on the interconnectedness between global infrastructure and energy investment.

"She's also the first female CEO of a major investment bank and asset manager, demonstrating Macquarie is leading the charge in executive diversity and a move that we believe will be very much welcomed by the broader investment community."

At 11.30am, Macquarie Group was trading at $122 – a 6.5 per cent discount to Morningstar's fair value estimate of $130.

"Looking ahead we forecast impressive returns on equity around 17 per cent per year and an attractive dividend stream for the next five years at least," Ellis said.

Moore said he had worked with Wikramanayake for more than 30 years and was confident he was leaving the company "in a strong position and in safe hands".

Wikramanayake, 56, joined Macquarie in 1987 and has worked for the group in six countries and across several business lines.

Born in the UK before her family moved to Australia, Wikramanayake becomes the only female CEO among Australia's 20 biggest companies by market value.

In a statement, Wikramanayake said she was honoured to take on the role.

"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," she said.

The announcement was made before Macquarie's annual general meeting on Thursday.
Macquarie has maintained its outlook for 2019 fiscal year earnings to be in line with the previous year.

 

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Morningstar with AAP

Lex Hall is a Morningstar content editor, based in Sydney.

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© 2024 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither Morningstar, its affiliates, nor the content providers guarantee the data or content contained herein to be accurate, complete or timely nor will they have any liability for its use or distribution. This report has been prepared for clients of Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or New Zealand wholesale clients of Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. Any general advice has been provided without reference to your financial objectives, situation or needs. For more information refer to our Financial Services Guide at www.morningstar.com.au/s/fsg.pdf. You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Our publications, ratings and products should be viewed as an additional investment resource, not as your sole source of information. Morningstar’s full research reports are the source of any Morningstar Ratings and are available from Morningstar or your adviser. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a financial adviser. Some material is copyright and published under licence from ASX Operations Pty Ltd ACN 004 523 782.

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