Macquarie's equity markets rainmaker retires

Ottmar Weiss plans to spend more time with his family, while Kim Burke succeeds as head of the equity markets group.

One of Macquarie Bank's most high profile group heads, Ottmar Weiss, is retiring from the equity markets group, handing over to Kim Burke who moves back to Sydney from Hong Kong to take up the post.

Weiss has been instrumental in developing Macquarie's equity markets group into a multi-million dollar business, and has spearheaded the bank's international expansion in equity sales and trading, warrants and structured products.

In the first quarter of the bank's current financial year international income swelled to 44% of income compared to 37% of total income last financial year. Much of this revenue was derived from the equities business.

Weiss has also made headlines as part of a select group of executives at the bank that last year pulled A$89.3 million in remuneration. Weiss himself was the third highest paid group director in the 2005 financial year, earning a total of A$11.5 million.

Commenting on his departure, Macquarie's managing director and CEO, Allan Moss, said: "Weiss's reputation for identifying talented and entrepreneurial individuals and engendering strong loyalty within his team have been notable features of his leadership style over the years. We are sad to see him depart but we understand his reasons for doing so and are confident of a smooth transition of responsibilities to Kim Burke."

Burke will assume the group role in October after a three-month break between the Hong Kong and Sydney postings.

A trained lawyer, Burke joined Mac Bank in 1992 in the equity structured products division. In 1998 he moved overseas becoming head of equity markets in South Africa and then on to Hong Kong where he has run Macquarie's equity business in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore since 2000.

Weiss and Burke worked together on the 2004 acquisition of ING's equity business in Asia.

In succeeding Weiss, Burke also joins the bank's 12-member executive committee.

Moss said Burke was well qualified to lead the equity markets group and would also bring experience to the bank's executive committee. "The average tenure at the bank of the other executive committee members is more than 19 years."