09 May 2015
Macquarie chief Nicholas Moore's pay soars to $16.5m
Nicholas Moore has emerged as the nation's second-highest paid CEO.
Nicholas Moore has emerged as the nation's second-highest paid CEO. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Macquarie Group chief executive Nicholas Moore makes more in 12 minutes than the average worker in Australia earns in a full working week.
The banking boss saw his pay for the 12 months to March jump 26 per cent to $16.5 million as Macquarie's earnings climbed, making him the nation's second-highest paid chief executive of a listed company.
He is trumped only by Nine Entertainment's chief David Gyngell, who made $19.6 million last year, boosted by a large bonus for the media company's successful float on the sharemarket.
The massive pay cheque means that based on a five-day working week, Mr Moore is paid $7933 per hour, or $1586 every 12 minutes, more than an average worker's full-time weekly earnings of $1542.
His remuneration included a base salary of $818,948, short-term benefits of $5.6 million and equity awards including shares of $5.8 million. About $1.1 million of his remuneration is paid in a profit share arrangement, with a large proportion retained in Macquarie stock and funds. The balance is made up of earnings on the previous year's restricted profit share, long-term employee benefits and performance-related remuneration.
Mr Moore's pay is closely linked to earnings performance and it peaked at more than $26 million before the financial crisis, In 2009, he was paid just $290,756.
His latest pay package was buoyed by Macquarie's profit jump in the past year - with another bumper year to come: The bank on Friday signalled that net profit will be "slightly up" in 2016 after it reported a $1.6 billion profit for the year ended March, its second-highest result ever.
Mr Moore's remuneration now far exceeds those of the bosses of Australia's big four banks, the highest of which was now-retired Westpac Banking Corp chief Gail Kelly at almost $11 million last year, followed by ANZ Banking Group's chief, Mike Smith, at $10.4 million. Mr Moore's pay does, however, pale in significance to the pay packets of his global peers at firms such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan. Goldman Sachs set aside $15.9 billion for compensation last year, more than a third of its revenue.
Mr Moore's bumper pay comes a week after Telstra's now departed chief David Thodey said his $12.8 million salary last year was indefensible when compared to those of other employees. Speaking on his last day in the job, he had called on companies to shrink the gulf between their top executives and worst-paid staff.
"I think there's a real issue with income disparity between what an average person gets and some of the really big salaries," Mr Thodey told Fairfax Media.
At Macquarie, once dubbed the "Millionaires' Factory", employees were also due to learn about their bonuses on Friday. The next highest-paid Macquarie executive is Shemara Wikramanayake, who heads Macquarie's asset management unit and is touted as a likely successor to Mr Moore. Her pay packet the past year surged 35 per cent to $16.3 million from $12.1 million in the bank's fiscal year 2014.
Macquarie's profit result beat analyst expectations of $1.51 billion net income as its three annuity-style businesses, which are less reliant on financial markets, saw their profit contribution climb by a third. Asset management, corporate and asset finance as well as banking and financial services are the core of that business.
The three divisions leveraged to capital markets - Macquarie Capital, Macquarie Securities and Commodities and Financial Markets - had a 19 per cent increase in profit contribution for the year.
The overall result was the banking group's best since it posted its highest-ever annual profit of $1.8 billion in 2008. The 2015 result also received a boost from a lower 35.9 per cent tax rate, compared with 39.5 per cent in the previous year.
The company flagged that this year's result would be "slightly up" again as it benefited from a lower tax rate in that financial year as well.
It has declared a final dividend of $2 a share, taking its payout to shareholders for the year to $3.30 a share.