Could this be the first of many? Macquarie Bank’s Treasury boss Ottmar
Weiss has decided to “retire” from the bank after amassing a fortune
worth almost $100 million over 19 years. However, millions of dollars of deferred bonuses will be withheld for
the next few months as the board watches its trading guru to ensure
he doesn’t intend to join a competitor.

The doubling of the Macquarie Bank share price over the past year has
the potential to cause a major problem for the bank because the
deferral of cash bonuses for up to ten years doesn’t matter as much now
that dozens of executives have made many millions on their Macquarie
options.


The AFR
attributed the departure of Weiss, and potentially others, to
the payment of $1 billion in bonuses earlier this year. However,
literally hundreds of millions of this would be forfeited if the lucky
recipients decided to leave in large numbers under the scheme that staggers bonus payments over a rolling ten-year period.

Crikey estimates that there are at least seven Macquarie Bank executives who
should be on the BRW list, but instead have made the prestigious Crikey
Revised Wealth (CRW) list. They are Allan Moss, David Clarke, Bill Moss, Mark Johnson, Richard Sheppard, Nicholas Moore and Tony Berg.

All of them still work for the bank, except for Tony Berg who moved
on
as managing director after a nine-year stint in 1993. Weiss would
certainly be knocking on the door but it does depend on how much of his
bonuses
have been deferred and how big his slice is from the executive options
scheme that has delivered paper profits of $1.7 billion since 1999 as
the following table shows:

Year Options Issued Strike Price Total Cost Current Value Paper Profit
1999-00 10.56m $19 $200.6m $668.3m $467.7m
2000-01 5.195m $24 $124.7m $328.8m $204.1m
2001-02 6.673m $35 $233.5m $422.3m $188.8m
2002-03 7.658m $31 $237.4m $486.4m $249m
2003-04 8.354 $29 $242.3m $528.7m $286.4m
2004-05 10.3m $34 $350.2m $651.9m $301.7m
Total 48.74m $28.50 $1.3887bn $3.0964bn $1.6977bn

We’ve asked the Millionaire Factory to help out with the figures from
1996 to 1999 and will bring you the full table when it comes through
with the numbers. Weiss would have been on the shares and bonus trough
for a decade before this table kicks in, so he’ll have no trouble
getting by for the rest of his life.

Crikey intends to track what happens to former Macquarie bankers, but not that many have left. Alistair Lucas bowed
out in 2001, Richard Jenkins left to set up his own funds management
business a couple of years ago and former infrastructure guru John
Caldan left in the late 1990s.

If you’ve spotted a product of the
Millionaire Factory forging a productive path away from the Holy
Dollar, drop a line to [email protected]

Peter Fray

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