Macquarie boss Moss steps down

The long-serving head of the Australian firm, Allan Moss, steps down to be replaced by Nicholas Moore. Macquarie's share price tanks in bearish market.
Allan Moss will retire in May after 15 years at the helm of the Australian financial services business Macquarie Group. Moss will be replaced by the current head of Macquarie Capital, Nicholas Moore.

The chairman of the Macquarie group, David Clarke, made the announcement on February 6. Moore has been appointed to the board of Macquarie Group with immediate effect.

Shareholders reacted negatively to the news and Macquarie Group shares lost almost 8% during the course of Wednesday's trading (the day the announcement was released) to close at A$61 ($56). The share dropped despite an analyst and investor briefing in which Moss confirmed that Macquarie expects to post another stellar year of earnings. The broader Australian market was also weak on US worries and closed down 3% the same day.

Macquarie shares recovered marginally over the course of the next two trading days and closed the week at A$62.50. Broader market sentiment also improved.

Clarke termed Moore the obvious choice to succeed Allan Moss saying: ôNicholas has led the development of our Macquarie Capital business which provides more than 50% of the groupÆs profits. We reaffirm our guidance that this will be another record year. Subject to market conditions over the next eight weeks, we are expecting to achieve a profit of at least $A1.8 billion ($1.6 billion) for the year ending March 2008.ö

Moss has been with Macquarie for 30 years, the last 15 as managing director and chief executive officer. Moss commented that his decision to retire was a difficult one but he felt ôthis is the right time to hand overö. MacquarieÆs transformation from a domestic business to one earning a majority of its income from outside Australia is attributed to MossÆ leadership and vision.

Moore has been with Macquarie for 20 years and a member of its executive committee for more than 10. Michael Carapiet, who has been global joint head at Macquarie Capital Advisers since 2001, will succeed Moore as head of Macquarie Capital.
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