She hasn’t yet started in the top job, but Shemara Wikramanayake is already getting plenty of global attention.
The first female CEO designate of Macquarie Group has just taken out the 5th spot on the international version of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list.
Fortune notes that since joining Macquarie in 1987, Wikramanayake has moved from roles in corporate services to heading it prudential function. She has also established infrastructure funds in North America, led the asset management branch, and chaired the group’s philanthropy foundation.
Wikramanayake was appointed CEO in July 2018. She starts in the role later this year.
“From her new, high-profile platform as CEO of the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager, she says she wants to bring more women into finance and convince girls that it is a compelling career,” writes Fortune.
Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines is the second Australian to appear on the list, in the 35th spot. Gaines was appointed CEO in November 2017, following a profit dive and fall in decline for iron ore from China. She was previously CFO with Fortescue.
There were no Australians on the list of 50 in 2017.
Number one on the Most Powerful Women list is Emma Walmsley, the CEO of British pharma firm GlaxoSmithKline, for her ability to bring change to the 300 year old company in the just 17 months she has been there.
In the second spot is Ana Botin from Spain, the executive chair of Banco Santander, the Eurozone’s largest bank according to market capitalization.
Third on the list is Isabelle Kocher, the CEO of French energy company Engie, where she’s delivered on a massive plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
And number four is Dong Mingzhu, who has worked herself up from being an air conditioner saleswoman, following the death of her husband at age 30, to now being chairwoman and president of Gree Electric Appliances.
Rounding out the top ten is Chua Sock Koong, Group CEO of Singapore Telecommunications, Alison Cooper, CEO of Imperial Brands, Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek, Wan Ling Martello, CEO of Nestle for Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Isabel Ge Mahe, Managing Director of Apple for Greater China.
Read more on Shemara Wikramanayake here.