Macquarie Group has revealed its highest paid banker will exit after nearly three decades, coinciding with the company announcing a fall in a profit. In its third quarter results, the company announced veteran banker Nicholas O’Kane would depart the bank after 28 years and step down as head of commodities and global commodities “to pursue opportunities outside Macquarie”. Mr O’Kane has famously earned more than the heads of some of the biggest banks in the US, including JPMorgan and Citigroup, with his reported $58 million salary in 2023 outpacing the Macquarie’s chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake’s $30.4m pay packet. The group revealed Simon Wright — who is head of the Macquarie’s financial markets division — would replace Mr Kane later in the month. Mr Wright has been at Macquarie for 35 years and will join the executive committee from April 1. The change-up within the commodities and trading arm of Macquarie was revealed at the same time the bank posted a fall in after tax profit, saying the metric was “substantially” down in comparison to the same period in the prior financial year. This was largely due to a smaller fee and commission income from trading revenue. Macquarie also flagged net operating income for the second-half of 2024 is expected to be substantially down on last year. The division run by Mr O’Kane was significantly lower mainly due to “exceptionally strong results” in the prior year due to higher energy and gas prices. Ms Wikramanayake said the incumbent retained a cautious approach to market conditions and said volatility in global markets and commodities may create some opportunities. “Underlying client franchises were resilient in ongoing uncertain conditions with continued customer growth, fundraising and new business origination a feature across all of our businesses,” she said. Macquarie holds a capital surplus position of $9.7 billion and its banking division has a common equity tier one capital ratio of 13.4 per cent, which is much higher than the prudential regulator’s standards. Shares in Macqurie following the update dropped by as much as 4.3 per cent, but had recovered slightly and ended the trading day down 1 per cent to $186.25 a share. Mr O’Kane’s large salary in the previous year was driven from the strong earnings from the commodities and global markets business, in part due to heightened prices for resources such as iron ore, gas and oil. Macquarie Chairman Glenn Stevens at the time defended Mr O’Kane’s salary, noting the bank was competing for talent in a global marketplace. “This is an exceptional year so it’s not a surprise that there are some exceptional numbers,” he said. UBS said the trading update was “weaker than expected” with its consensus flagging downgrades in its share price outlook. The broker believes financial year 2024 performance will be down by around 16 per cent of the prior year. Macquarie’s assets under management business stood at $882.5b at December 31, which is a one per cent decline on the prior quarter. Its banking arm booked a three per cent rise in total deposits to $135.6b, while the home loan portfolio grew by the same amount and came in at $117.9b. Total funds across Macquarie grew 6 per cent to $132.8b, while business lending grew by 6 per cent to $15.5b. The value of car loans in the banking arm however dropped by 8 per cent.