While
Macquarie Bank’s latest cash box basks in the glory of buying telephone
directories in Europe, we couldn’t help but notice the Fin Review report today that a whopping $117 million in transaction costs were incurred on the $3.1 billion deal.

Furthermore,
it’s reported that Macquarie Bank’s own corporate finance team picked
up $40-50 million of that – nice work if you can get it. These
outrageous fees are clearly way above market rates and I’ll bet you
London to a brick it wasn’t tendered.

Where are the independent
directors of this cash box? No wonder shares in Macquarie Capital
Alliance Group remain at a healthy discount to the $2 float price,
despite yesterday’s 5c recovery to $1.72. Don’t be surprised if
Macquarie Bank is encouraged to spend its hard-earned bonuses buying
shares in the cash box, thereby creating a virtual circle of mutuality.

Today’s
Macquarie Bank result shows that assets under management rocketed by
42% to $89 billion over the year to March 30. The purchase of
directories company Yellow Brick Road will edge it ever closer to the
magical $100 billion figure as it rapidly moves towards assuming the
title of “Australia’s biggest fund manager”.

The specialist
property and infrastructure assets under management rose from $26
billion to $46 billion over the year as Brussels Airport, various
tollroads, a UK water business and UK transmission towers were added to
the burgeoning global portfolio.

With more than $300 million in
performance fees extracted out of its various listed funds, surely it
is only a matter of time before the independent shareholders and
directors of companies such as Macquarie Airports and the tollroad
behemoth Macquarie Infrastructure Group decide that internalising the
management will make their owners better off.