Message from Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation

It was a great privilege to succeed Shemara Wikramanayake as Chair of the Macquarie Group Foundation (the Foundation) in December 2018 when she became Macquarie’s new CEO and Managing Director. During Shemara’s five years as Chair, over $A137m was contributed to non-profit organisations, and volunteering hours increased by 188%; from 32,000 in 2013 to 60,000 in 2018. Shemara led the Foundation with passion, expertise and a determination to make an impact in the communities in which our staff live and work, and I look forward to continuing this important work.

Last year we also welcomed three new members to the Foundation Committee, further diversifying the range of experience and widening the geographical spread of members represented on the Committee. You can see our Committee members later in this annual report. 

During the year, a record $A31.7 million was donated to more than 1,600 non-profits around the world by Macquarie staff and the Foundation. This year we continued to demonstrate Macquarie's support for employee community engagement by matching a record $A12.4 million of our staff’s fundraising efforts, one-off donations and regular payroll giving, supporting the causes they feel passionately about. Through these efforts by staff, matched by the Foundation, and together with the annual grant making program, over $A360 million1 has been contributed to thousands of community organisations around the world since inception in 1985. 

Our focus on the communities where Macquarie staff live and work helps to leverage staff time, expertise and networks for greater social impact. In FY19 close to 53,000 hours of voluntary community service, including pro bono work and community board positions, was contributed globally. We also recognise the pro bono and leadership role staff play when serving on non-profit boards and are pleased that more than 240 employees gave back to the community sector in this way. 

In 2016 the Foundation undertook a review of its strategic goals and set three key priorities for 2017-2019. I’m pleased to report that we have now made significant progress against these priorities. We anticipate this will deepen the impact of Macquarie’s philanthropic work amongst its community partners and more generally. 

  1. The Foundation now has a global grant making focus area to effect greater social impact, using both our financial resources and the skills and networks of Macquarie staff. Supporting social and economic opportunities for young people in the communities where staff live and work now represents the majority of the global granting budget. In our annual report we share four impact stories from around the world. All with a common cause: to mobilise young people with new opportunities and pathways into the workforce.
  2. We continue to increase staff engagement with non-profit partners by integrating these initiatives into Macquarie’s learning and development framework, thereby also developing the skills of our staff.
  3. We launched our new platform, known as ‘My Community’, in October 2018, improving the ability for our people to engage with community initiatives and enabling us to better measure and report on those activities. The platform consolidates previous sites, making it easier for staff to track their individual giving activities. 

To extend our long-standing commitment to philanthropy, in late 2018 we announced the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award. The Award is a $A50 million commitment to initiate or build on bold ideas to address social need. Find out more about the Award here.


  1. Since inception in 1985.