Total remuneration at Macquarie Group dropped to $105.8 million for the year through March, down from the $162.8 million bonanza a year earlier.

The best paid banking executive team in Australia has had taken collective $57 million pay cut.
Total statutory remuneration at Macquarie Group for just over a dozen key management personnel, including chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake and head of commodities and global markets Nicholas O’Kane, dropped to $105.8 million for the year to March 31, down from $162.8 million a year earlier.
A number of executives have left the so-called Millionaire’s Factory during that period, including the well-remunerated former boss Nicholas Moore and the former head of the notorious capital and asset finance division, Ben Brazil — which has left a sizeable hole in the group’s salary bill. The reduction in pay for Macquarie executives employed by the company in both fiscal 2019 and 2020 totalled $15 million.
That included a $3.1 million haircut for Ms Wikramanayake — to $14.9 million compared to the prior year’s $18 million — and a $4.1 million pay cut for Mr O’Kane, whose pay dropped from $18 million to $13.9 million.
Macquarie provides two different breakdowns of how it pays its key executives, due to the tricky accounting in the company’s profit share pool. On an “awarded” pay basis, which attempts to capture profit pool distributions, Ms Wikramanayake enjoyed a $1 million boost in pay to $18.1m. On that basis, Mr O’Kane was docked $1 million to $19.5 million.
This year, for the first time, Macquarie paid 100 per cent of its short-term bonus into its profit pool, where remuneration is reinvested into the business.
Mr Moore is charging taxpayers just $1 for his services representing the government’s interests to Virgin Australia’s administrators, after recieving statutory pay of $27.9 million in his last year at the group in 2019.
Chairman of Macquarie’s remuneration committee, Michael Hawker, said the pay cuts balanced the “solid financial results and the impact of COVID-19 with the expectations of APRA, our clients, shareholders and the community”.
The 8 per cent slide in Macquarie’s annual profit, and a sharp slump in the group’s share price, triggered a drop in return on equity for shareholders from 18 per cent to 14.5 per cent.
“The board believes that it is critical that Macquarie maintains its strong entrepreneurial culture that incentivises innovation, motivates further growth and drives sustained success,” Mr Hawker said.
The awarded profit share for the executive committee was cut by 7 per cent, while the cash component of the profit share model was cut for all executives. The company is also paying out out profit share allocations to senior staff in equity issuance, which limits the impact on the bank’s capital.
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