Macquarie infra veteran to retire

Michael Carapiet will leave the firm effective July after a 22-year tenure during which he helped build up Macquarie’s infrastructure advisory and funds businesses. He currently serves as executive chairman of Macquarie’s investment banking and securities divisions.

Michael Carapiet, one of the architects of Macquarie Group’s business model and a key driver behind the Australian financial services giant’s infrastructure advisory and funds business, is retiring.

Macquarie said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange that Carapiet will retire in July, ending a 22 year tenure with the company. He will be vacating the positions he holds as executive chairman of Macquarie Capital, Macquarie’s investment banking business, and Macquarie Securities Group, Macquarie’s cash equity and derivates sales and brokerage division.

Michael Carapiet

Macquarie Group chief executive Nicholas Moore said in the statement that Carapiet was “central” to Macquarie’s global expansion and helped grow a number of significant businesses. Among these was Macquarie’s alphabet soup of listed infrastructure funds, such as the Macquarie Infrastructure Group, the firm’s first listed toll road fund, its airports fund, Macquarie Airports, and the Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group. Carapiet held board seats at various times each of the three funds.

Carapiet also took a leading role in guiding the firm’s investment banking division, where few deals escaped his glance. In April 2009, Infrastructure Investor named Carapiet – nicknamed “Caras” by many of the firm’s investment banking staff – one the most influential investors in global infrastructure.  

His tenure at the firm was not without controversy, though, as the some of the businesses he helped pioneer ran into difficulties. To preserve their share values in the wake of the financial crisis, Macquarie Infrastructure Group split its toll road portfolio into two groups of assets based on risk profile, Macquarie Airports spun out of Macquarie and the Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group was sold to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in a deal that valued the telecommunications infrastructure-focused fund’s equity at A$1.64 billion.

Macquarie said Roy Laidlaw, currently the group head of Macquarie Capital and Macquarie Securities, will replace Carapiet in the role of executive chairman of Macquarie Securities and will continue as Group Head of Macquarie Capital. Stevan Vrcelj, currently the head of cash equities, will take over as group head of Macquarie Securities.

Carapiet’s retirement will mark the second senior leadership change at Macquarie in the last month. On 17 March, Macquarie announced that David Clarke tendered his resignation from the board of Macquarie Group and Macquarie Bank Limited due to ill health. Clarke, who had spent 40 years with the firm and seen it grow from a 12-person company into a global business, passed away a few weeks after his resignation.