Macquarie Group has confirmed the appointment of Shemara Wikramanayake as its new managing director and CEO. She is the first female ever to be at the helm of the bank.

Wikramanayake, who leads Macquarie Asset Management, will replace the current managing director and CEO Nicholas Moore.

The appointment will be effective from 30 November this year, when Moore will retire after delivering the Group’s results for  H1 19.

Reactions to new Macquarie CEO

Macquarie Group chairman Peter 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.”

Wikramanayake joined Macquarie in 1987 and has worked in several business lines including the experience of working with Moore in Corporate Services and in establishing Macquarie Capital.

Since 2008, she has been the head of Macquarie Asset Management.

Additionally, Wikramanayake was been associated in establishing and leading Macquarie’s corporate advisory offices in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysia, as well as the company’s infrastructure funds management business in the US and Canada.

Commenting on the appointment, 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.”