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So much for complaints about CEOs making too many multiples more than their underlings…

That’s exactly not the case at Macquarie Group, where Bloomberg profiled commodities trading business head Nick O’Kane, last week. Because of his incredible performance, O’Kane is making A$57.6 million ($38.6 million) for the year through March 2023, the report says.

It’s a salary that’s even higher than Chief Executive Officer Shemara Wikramanayake, who made A$32.8 million on the year. The CEO’s pay was up 27% from the year prior, while O’Kane’s was up a stunning 59% due to a 54% surge in profit from his commodities unit for the year. His unit was helped by volatility in North American gas and power, Bloomberg wrote.

O’Kane’s salary was even more than top bank CEOs like Jamie Dimon, who took home $34.5 million during the same year. 

A book about the investment bank wrote that “… O’Kane built a matrix of leases over gas and energy transmission networks, making Macquarie the most powerful player in the US market,” after the firm acquired his downstream nat gas trading operations in 2009. The purchase was characterized by O’Kane as  “a really significant step change in our energy business and really helped us grow into the business that you see today.”

Macquarie provides hedging products for commodities and also acts as a working capital lender to metals, energy and agricultural companies, the report says. It’ll also trade commodities “where there is an imbalance between the supply and demand for commodities”.

Macquarie chairman Glenn Stevens said of O’Kane’s pay last week: “It’s worth emphasizing that he’s put that collection of businesses together over 25 years, assembled an incredibly capable team of people, and the model here is that the people that generate the return, share with shareholders in that return.”

“This is an exceptional year so it’s not a surprise that there are some exceptional numbers,” he added. 

“If you have a great idea, you will get the opportunity to be able to chase that idea down and build a business and you never know what that might come into,” O’Kane concluded. 


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