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BFCSA: Nicholas Moore exits Macquarie with $27.9m payout

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Nicholas Moore exits Macquarie with $27.9m payout

The Australian 12:00am May 4, 2019

Joyce Moullakis


Macquarie Group’s former boss Nicholas Moore has departed the Millionaire’s Factory with a $27.9 million bumper payday, and continues to “provide services” to the asset manager and investment bank.

Macquarie’s annual report, released to the ASX, showed Mr Moore’s exit pay sitting at $27.9m, including total direct remuneration for his time as CEO during Macquarie’s 2019 year of $13.6m.

His retirement at the end of November spurred the bringing forward of previous-year share awards of about $18.2m, boosting the final payday.

That figure relates to retained pay since 2011, the vesting of which was accelerated because of Mr Moore’s departure.

The payment included a salary of $554,645, short-term bonuses of $3.2m and equity awards including shares of $20m.

Mr Moore also has $81.5m, as at the March 31 Macquarie share price, of restricted share units. Subject to board approval, they may vest over a two-year period.

The bumper payment from Macquarie — even though a large slice relates to awards from previous years — could spur controversy in a post-Hayne royal commission environment where banker pay is in the firing line.

The big four banks have been under pressure to contain executive salaries given a spate of scandals uncovered at the royal commission, which also questioned the accountability of those at the top.

Mr Moore, however, did present well at the royal commission last year, emphasising that Macquarie’s model was highly levered to retaining staff and performance.

Mr Moore’s pay peaked at $32.9m in 2007 ahead of the global financial crisis. In 2009, during the fallout and seizure of funding markets, he was paid just $290,756.

Macquarie was dubbed the Millionaire’s Factory prior to the crisis as its bankers benefited from big pay packets as the group worked on large deals and expanded around the globe.

Mr Moore, who is known for not selling a single share in Macquarie, owns a stake in the group worth $274.7 million, according to Bloomberg figures.

He will also bank final dividends of about $7.7m after Macquarie declared a payment of $3.60 per share to coincide with its annual earnings results.

The company reported that full-year net profit climbed 17 per cent to a record $2.98bn for the 12 months ended March 31.

But Macquarie also warned of a tougher year ahead, saying earnings were expected to be “slightly down” in the 2020 year.

The annual report showed new CEO Shemara Wikramanayake’s annual pay dipped for 2019. Her total reported remuneration fell to $18m from $18.9 in 2018. That total included a $722,632 salary, short-term benefits of $5m and share-based payments of $7.4m.

Head of the commodities and global markets unit Andrew Downe booked higher 2019 pay than the CEO, which Macquarie attributed to “exchange rate movements” as he is paid in Singapore dollars.

Mr Downe earned total pay of $18.2m, up from $15.2m in 2018.

In March, he announced he was stepping down from his role in the executive committee but would continue to run cash equities and retain regional leadership for commodities and global markets in Asia.

The annual report also contained the interesting revelation that Mr Moore hadn’t completely disappeared from Macquarie’s top ranks.

It said: “He (Mr Moore) continues to receive a portion of his salary for his services since stepping down as CEO.”

Ms Wikramanayake told The Weekend Australian having Mr Moore available as a sounding board was “really valuable”.

“He’s basically trying to make sure we have a very smooth transition, particularly through the year-end results,” she said. “He’s basically been given a nominal level of compensation” in that advisory capacity.

The earnings announcement also showed that longstanding head of Macquarie Capital, Tim Bishop, would step down from his role to become chairman of the division.

He joins Mr Downe and former co-head of corporate and asset finance Ben Brazil in vacating a marquee executive role at Macquarie in recent months.

Mr Bishop is being replaced jointly by Daniel Wong, global co-head of infrastructure and energy and Michael Silverton, who lead the Americas, Europe and Asia Group.

Across the group, Macquarie’s compensation expense-to-income ratio for 2019 was 38.3 per cent.

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