Why is the Macquarie Group Ltd Share Price Down by 2.88%?

Macquarie Group Ltd’s [ASX:MQG] share price has sunk by 2.88%, amid a nervous response to the company’s annual general meeting today.

It was announced that CEO Nicholas Moore is retiring after a decade at the helm. He’s being replaced by the current group head of Macquarie Asset Management, Shemara Wikramanayake.

Earlier in the morning, the shares fell as much as 4.7%.

At time of writing, the company’s share price is sitting at $121.35AUD.

Why Has the Share Price Gone Down?

A change in leadership is always a bit of an unstable time for a company to go through, and no less for a national bank. The market could be unsure about what lies ahead.

Mr Moore was quick to reassure investors that he’d worked with Ms Wikramanayake for more than 30 years and was confident he was leaving the company ‘in a strong position and in safe hands’.

Ms Wikramanayake has been with Macquarie since 1987 and has taken on a number of high-powered roles in the business. She will be the first CEO the bank has ever had, as well as the only CEO in Australia’s top 20 biggest companies by market value.

Ms Wikramanayake released the following statement, paying homage to all that Mr Moore has done for the company:

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.

Ms Wikramanayake has also indicated that she’s not afraid of any challenges that may lie ahead, saying that there have always been challenges and that ‘with a challenge there’s always an opportunity.

What’s Next for Macquarie?

Over the last year, the Macquarie Group’s share price has gained 40.21%, compared to a gain of 7.78% for the S&P/ASX 200 Index.

And it seems others are welcoming new management. One insider has described her as ‘super-smart’ and Bell Potter Securities’ head of securities TS Lim is also singing her praises.

She’s the right person for the job….I don’t expect any change in the business model. They’ve de-risked the businesses since the global financial crisis and the returns are very good right now.’

The bank has maintained that it expects fiscal 2019 results to be in line with the previous year’s record profit.

While the future’s yet to be seen, it doesn’t sound like the new CEO is any cause for concern.


Ryan Clarkson-Ledward,

For Money Morning

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Ryan Clarkson-Ledward is an Editor at Money Morning.

Ryan holds degrees in both communication and international business. He helps bring Money Morning readers the latest market updates, both locally and abroad. Ryan tackles all the issues investors need to know about that the mainstream media neglects.

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