“ADVERSITY-PROSPERITY” – By Des Kelly
Very often, miles apart, to reach even a semblance of prosperity from dire adversity, is something very few of us can accomplish, but, here we have a shining example of this Sri Lankan lass, through sheer determination, making it, from the very nadir, to the pinnacle of success, to finally become the highest paid “Woman-Company Executive Officer”(C.E.O.)in Australia. Just think about it. From one of the tiniest Islands in the sun, to one of the largest Island Continents in the World. A Sri Lankan C.E.O. who is not just a Woman, but also the highest paid one, for the very first time. I’ll say no more, except to congratulate the lady, on behalf of the thousands of Sri Lankan Patriots around the World. You may have heard about it already, but eLanka now gives you the full story of this truly amazing feat.
1. How a young girl forced to flee Sri Lanka with her family and just $200 to their name overcame adversity to become Australia’s highest paid CEO – By BRITTANY CHAIN FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
Source:Daily Mail –
- The highest paid CEO in Australia and her family immigrated from Sri Lanka
- Shemara Wikramanayake arrived in Australia when she was 14 years old
- The family had just $200 to their names, but went on to all become successful
- Her older sister is a top lawyer and her younger brother is a surgeon
The highest paid CEO in Australia and her family immigrated from Sri Lanka with just $200 to their names when she was 14 years old.
Macquarie Group chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake became the first female to take the spot as Australia’s highest paid CEO on Tuesday, taking home $18million during the 2018/19 financial year.
The 57-year-old and her two siblings have all found success since they arrived in the country as teenagers.
Shemara’s older sister Roshana is a top lawyer at the NSW Bar Association while her younger brother is employed as a surgeon in rural NSW.
Macquarie Bank Managing CEO Shemara Wikramanayake during a media briefing
Her father Ranji previously told the Australian Financial Review the family had enjoyed a life of privilege growing up in Sri Lanka, but that they fell on tough times before finally settling in Australia in 1975.
The Wikramanayake’s came from a long line of highly educated barristers and powerful figures.
Ranji graduated from medical school in 1958 and moved to London with his wife, Amara, for further training in the same year.
The young couple settled down and started a family in England. They had two daughters, Roshana in 1960 and Shemara the following year.
Shemara Wikramanayake, in 1983 with her extended family. From left, brother and future surgeon Priyan, aunt Anna Maria, uncle and barrister Nimal, Shemara aged 21, sister and future lawyer Roshana and mother Amara
In 1962, when Shemara was just one, the family returned to their home in Ceylon, Sri Lanka, with most of their extended family.
Ranji had been hired as a consultant physician at Colombo General Hospital at just 32 years old. Despite his youth, he was considered one of the top five physicians in the country.
During this period, he developed an interest in researching diabetes – a passion which would one day flourish in Australia.
The couple gave birth to their third child, a boy named Priyan, and shortly after they relocated back to England.
Political unrest and unfounded allegations against Ranji’s father – a successful barrister – forced the family to flee Sri Lanka and return to London.
But the move was costly.
Shemara’s uncle previously told the AFR the entire family once ‘had a very privileged life… we didn’t want for anything,’ but when they arrived in England, they came with very little.
Ranji struggled to find permanent work in the medical industry during his second stint in London.
He filled in for other doctors and commuted to Birmingham for weeks at a time, where he slept in hospital quarters Monday-Friday just to get by.
So in 1975, Ranji made a call on the future of his family. They would move to Sydney, where he was offered a part time job at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
When they arrived, they had their possessions and $200 cash.
‘We lost everything in 1970 and we started life again,’ Ranji previously told AFR. ‘And we started everything again when we moved to Sydney.’
Macquarie Group’s incoming CEO Shemara Wikramanayake poses for a portrait ahead of the Macquarie Group’s Annual General Meeting
The family rented for six months before scrounging together the money to buy their first home in the harbourside suburb of Rose Bay.
From there, they were able to purchase another home in the exclusive Vaucluse overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Shemara and her sister were enrolled in the exclusive $34,000-a-year Ascham School.
Shemara’s older sister Roshana went on to become a senior policy lawyer at the NSW Bar Association, while her younger brother works at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital in Bowral as a surgeon.
On Tuesday, Shemara was officially named the highest paid CEO in Australia – making history as the first female executive to take the title.
Her $18million salary was $5million more than the next corporate boss, according to OpenDirector’s annual CEO pay report for the Australian Financial Review.
Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake ahead of the Macquarie Group annual general meeting
The former corporate lawyer earned a base salary of $722,000 but her remuneration package swelled with performance bonuses and share options.
She earns more than $346,000 a week or more than 211 times an average Australian full-time worker’s $85,000 salary leading the investment bank and financial services group, dubbed the ‘millionaires’ factory’.
The English-born banking veteran last year became Macquarie Group’s first-ever female managing director and CEO.
She had previously worked for the company in nine cities across the globe, and was first hired in 1987.
In 2019, she was also named one of the American Fortune magazine’s ‘Most Powerful Women’ for her work tackling climate change and her other role with the World Bank’s Global Commission on Adaptation.
Ranji said his daughter doesn’t discuss her personal life in the public sphere, as is company policy.
But he did say they are part of ‘an amazing family. We are very private people… Under impossible odds, we have all succeeded.’
2. The highest-paid CEO in Australia is a woman for the first time ever, as Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake surges to the top – By SHARON MASIGE
Source:Business Insider –
Shemara Wikramanayake is Australia’s highest paid CEO. Image credit: Louie Douvis, SMH
- Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake is the highest paid CEO in Australia, the first woman ever to top the AFR’s CEO pay survey.
- Wikramanayake earns more than $18 million dollars, followed by Goodman CEO Gregory Goodman – $12.8 million – and CSL CEO Paul Perreault – $11.7 million.
- Wikramanayake was also named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women.
It’s no surprise Macquarie’s CEO is making bank, but this time it’s different.
Macquarie Group’s CEO Shemara Wikramanayake is the highest-paid chief executive in Australia – becoming the first woman to take the title position – according to The Australian Financial Review’s latest CEO pay survey.
Wikramanayake topped the latest list with a reported pay of more than $18 million, according to the survey, conducted by data company OpenDirector. It ranks the 50 highest-paid CEOs in the country, using figures based on the total pay listed in annual reports.
Wikramanayake was one of four women on the list including Coca-Cola Amatil CEO Alison Watkins ($4.1 million), Mirvac Group CEO Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz ($4.8 million), and Fortescue Metals CEO Elizabeth Gaines ($5 million).
Wikramanayake was announced as managing director and CEO of Macquarie Group back in July 2018, taking over from Nicholas Moore. She made history at the time by becoming Macquarie’s first female CEO.
Starting at the investment bank – known informally as the ‘millionaires’ factory’ – in 1987, Wikramanayake ascended in rank to head up Macquarie’s asset management division in 2008 and eventually CEO. During her time, Wikramanayake has worked in nine cities across six continents and established Macquarie’s corporate advisory offices in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
In 2019, Wikramanayake was named one of Fortune’s ‘Most Powerful Women’ internationally. According to Fortune, Wikramanayake focused on climate change this year, becoming one of a handful of CEOs to be named as a commissioner of the World Bank’s Global Commission on Adaptation. The initiative, which counts Bill Gates and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon among its list of commissioners aims to ramp up action to fight climate change.
Who else made it on the list
Only five CEOs earned over $10 million dollars in the AFR’s CEO pay list. Following Wikramanayake’s more than $18 million pay was Gregory Goodman, CEO of property company Goodman ($12.8 million), biotech company CSL’s CEO Paul Perreault ($11.7 million), Treasury Wine Estate CEO Michael Clarke ($11.4 million) and BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie ($10.5 million).
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce ranked 18th on the list at $6.6 million, a 14.7% decrease from the year before.
Earlier this year the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) revealed the 10 highest-paid CEOs in the ASX200 listed companies in the 2018 financial year. The ACSI list, however, looked at the ‘realised pay’ – the value of cash and equity received – with Qantas boss Alan Joyce topping the list at the time at $23.9 million.