Macquarie rebuilding wealth division


By Kate Kachor

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Macquarie Bank has stepped up staff recruitment across its banking and financial services business unit after a spate of senior departures.

The listed financial services firm has advertised a number of executive wealth and compliance roles on its company website and with external third-party financial services-specific recruiters.

The roles include financial control executive, senior risk manager, director of compliance for wealth management and senior managers for compliance.

It is understood a number of senior roles across the financial services division were left vacant after staff departures in the past few months.

Those departures are believed to include Macquarie Private Wealth chief operating officer Natasha Yeoh, Macquarie Private Wealth head of risk Brad Veale as well as Banking and Financial Services chief investment officer Craig Swanger.

In May, Macquarie head of banking and financial services Peter Maher informed the company’s chairman of his decision to retire. Macquarie executive Greg Ward has since replaced Maher.

It is believed Maher is yet to leave Macquarie and is helping Ward transition into the role.

As part of the change, Ward will remain in his roles as deputy director of Macquarie Group and chief executive of Macquarie Bank.

Financialobserver understood reports head of Macquarie Private Bank Jay O’Neil was among the departures were incorrect, with O’Neil still employed in the role with the banking group.

Macquarie’s banking and wealth division came under siege earlier this year when its Macquarie Equities Limited (MEL) division agreed to an enforceable undertaking (EU) with the corporate regulator.

The EU followed a nine-month ASIC investigation that uncovered a number of recurring compliance deficiencies “by and in the supervision of MEL’s advisers”.

MEL is a division of Macquarie Group and is authorised under its Australian financial services licence to offer financial advice. It carries on a financial product advice business under Macquarie Private Wealth.

In January, former Colonial First State program manager Michelle Weber joined Macquarie in the role of program director.

Last month, Fairfax media reported Weber was hired to head up the EU program – known internally as Project Linus – and address the corporate regulator’s concerns.

A Macquarie spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by financialobserver on the existence of Project Linus or an update on the progress of the EU.

Weber’s previous role at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia-owned investment business was as supervision and monitoring program executive.

As at 30 June 2013, Macquarie’s banking and financial services division had retail cash deposits of more than $32 billion.

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