Macquarie Bank appoints first female CEO, Shemara Wikramanayake

By Galia Ilan

The Sydney-headquartered banking and asset management firm, Macquarie Bank, has appointed its first ever female Chief Executive Officer.

Shemara Wikramanayake will succeed Nicholas Moore, who held the position for 10 years before his retirement.

Moore will be leaving his position as CEO of Macquarie Bank and step down from the boards of Macquarie Group on 30 November.

“It’s always a challenging decision but after 10 years it felt like the time is right,” commented Nicholas Moore during an analyst call, Reuters claims.

“With Shemara, we have a really outstanding successor.”


The position will place Wikramanayake, who has worked for Macquarie since 1987, as the only female CEO in Australia’s top 20 companies based on market value.

Prior to her new position, Wikramanayake was responsible running the firm’s Asset Management arm valued at $495bn.

When referring to the bank’s future, Wikramanayake stated: “I don’t feel any urgency to change, it’s not like when I stepped into asset management after global financial crisis.”

“Macquarie in the 30 years I’ve been here has always been a meritocracy, I've never felt barriers,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“I’ve never found inside Macquarie the quality of my ideas is judged on my gender, my ethnicity, my size, it's really about the quality of my ideas.”


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