Shemara Wikramanayake Lands A Billion-Dollar Deal


When it comes to being the most powerful female financier Shemara Wikramanayake is the name. She is the CEO of Macquarie Group Ltd and upon recently being appointed to the position has emerged victorious in signing a massive deal with Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.

The deal was finalized at an astonishing price of US$1.7B which will augment the company’s asset management to an estimated US$276B in America. This will raise its position to the top 25 most active managers in the country.

The 59-year-old and her teams of experts persuaded and offered to promote annuity-style businesses, something Waddell and Reed have been looking into for more than ten years. It took weeks of hard work, planning, and negotiations for both parties to land on the same page and come to an agreement that would be equally satisfying for the companies involved.

Wikramanayake is said to have paid a hefty 47 percent premium share price. Experts have praised her for playing this move and have voiced that this no doubt has been one of the contributing factors in making Waddell and Reed agree to sell its firm.

People who had knowledge about the matter shared that the initial talks of acquisition resulted in a straightforward “NO” and it was not only the Aussie who made multiple visits to convince the asset management firm located in Kansas. Discussions were held and kept private at Wikramanayake’s request.

She was clever enough to use an appropriate strategy and carefully approached the situation. She seized the chance to lend a helping hand to an already struggling and weakened firm ultimately hitting the nail on the coffin and grabbing Waddell and Reed Financials attention

Regarding her work experience in the business sector, Shemara said people from her company did not have the confidence nor the trust in her to handle such a significant endeavor.

She added that they did not think that “a very young-looking, brown-skinned female would be able to get the job done in what was an important moment in his company’s journey.” This only encouraged her to focus on the things she had control over and that was how to make this a success.

Wikramanayake is on the path of breaking stereotypes and over the years has proved many to have been harboring wrong perceptions about her investment decisions. She is sure that she will make the next move only when the right opportunity arises.

Last year Shemara topped the list for Australia’s most highly paid Chief Executive Officers.