May 13 (Bloomberg) -- Macquarie Group Ltd., Australia’s biggest investment bank, named Benjamin Way Asia chief executive officer, replacing Alex Harvey, who will become chairman for the region and global head of principal investments.
Way, 40, head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for North Asia and Russia, will retain his leadership role at the unit in Asia, the Sydney-based firm said in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. As investment chief, Harvey succeeds John Hughes, who is retiring after 17 years at Macquarie.
The appointments came after Macquarie reported its biggest full-year profit since 2008, led by fund management. CEO Nicholas Moore, 55, has been focusing on less-volatile businesses including asset management and lending to offset the cyclical nature of investment banking and trading.
Harvey will move back to Sydney from Hong Kong, according to the memo. He became CEO of Asia in February 2012 and assumed additional responsibilities as the regional head of investment banking after Kalpana Desai left last year.
Jeremy Wernert, head of Asia equity capital markets, will become the regional head of Macquarie Capital, the group’s investment-banking unit, according to a separate memo.
Fiona McDonald, a company spokeswoman in Hong Kong, declined to comment on the appointments.
Way joined Macquarie in 2006 and has been in Asia for 14 years, taking up senior posts in Taipei, Seoul, Beijing and Hong Kong, the memo showed. Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, the business that he helps manage, invested A$4 billion ($3.7 billion) of equity in assets and divested A$6.5 billion in the past fiscal year, according to its 2014 annual report.
Investors are showing interest in infrastructure as governments look to sell assets, Moore said in an interview on May 2. Clients in Japan, China and South Korea are examining cross-border opportunities, the CEO said.
Net income rose 49 percent to A$1.27 billion in the year ended March, Macquarie reported this month. Profit from fund management rose 39 percent to A$1.05 billion. Assets under management climbed 23 percent to A$427 billion.
Profit of Macquarie Capital jumped 87 percent to A$280 million, the company said.
The bank is boosting its principal investment business, whose activities include providing capital to clients making acquisitions and investing in companies preparing to go public. It hired Mike Turner, a founding partner at 3i Group Plc, Britain’s oldest private-equity firm, in January 2012 to head principal investment for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Paul Su, formerly with 3i Group, joined the bank last year as head of its advisory and capital-raising unit for Greater China.
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