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Mark Johnston and Anthony Lewis: Leading the evolution of Group Treasury at Macquarie

Macquarie’s Group Treasury division manages capital, funding, liquidity and structure and sits at the centre of the organisation. Co-Heads Anthony Lewis and Mark Johnston say Group Treasury is actively involved in transforming the organisation through data, technology and collaboration. As a result, it offers a diverse range of career opportunities.


Growing a modern Group Treasury 

Anthony Lewis has spent almost two decades with Macquarie and was recently appointed Co-Head of Group Treasury.

“Group Treasury seeks to ensure that Macquarie maintains a strong and efficient balance sheet so that we can support our businesses as they continue to look for opportunities to support their clients, and the communities in which we operate,” Anthony explains. “We also provide strategic advice and analysis to the businesses and senior management, and important financial information to our regulators.”

Anthony says that Group Treasury is going through an exciting phase of change and innovation.

We’re aiming to harness data, technology and automation in everything we do in order to set ourselves up to effectively partner with the businesses. To achieve this, we’re investing in transformation programs, our people and collaborating with teams across the organisation."

Anthony is optimistic about the future.

“Treasury’s scope has grown significantly over the last couple of years,” he says. “We have a diverse and talented leadership team driving us forward and are excited about the future."


A multitude of diverse careers 

Anthony believes that at Macquarie, the people and the entrepreneurial culture go hand in hand. “People are always looking for ways to improve, to do things better,” he explains. “That means you can work on different areas or projects from year-to-year without formally changing roles. It is a great environment for continual learning and development.”

Anthony’s own career is a case in point. With a Bachelor of Commerce and Law, he briefly working in banking and finance law before realising he wanted to move into financial services. “I wanted the opportunity to take end to end accountability for transactions, as opposed to being solely focussed on one aspect.”

He started at Macquarie in 2002 where he initially focused on structured finance working with corporate and banking clients. Then in 2004, he transferred from Macquarie’s Sydney office to London.

“London was a great opportunity for me,” Anthony says. “Macquarie was experiencing strong growth, and I enjoyed exposure to new businesses and new markets.”

When the Global Financial Crisis hit, Anthony’s team moved into the centre to focus on achieving optimal capital outcomes for Macquarie, balance sheet management and group structuring. This team later merged into Group Treasury.

“My manager at the time recognised that our team’s ability to connect the dots across different disciplines - to solve problems and create opportunities - meant we were well placed to help the tackle some really important issues for the Group,” Anthony says. “Macquarie’s businesses became my clients, and it was a great opportunity to develop a much deeper understanding of Macquarie’s business as a whole.”

Anthony was made an Executive Director in 2010, with responsibility for the EMEA and North American Group Financial Management teams. In 2013, he returned to Sydney to take on a global role as Head of Transactions and Structure in Group Treasury. In early 2019, Anthony became Head of Capital before being appointed Co-Head of Group Treasury in mid-2021.

Anthony credits the support he was given by his managers for the rewarding career he has enjoyed at Macquarie.

“I have always felt well supported by my managers. They have actively looked for opportunities for me to grow as a leader and take on more responsibility,” Anthony says. “It has reinforced the importance of spending time with my team on their development and careers.”

Anthony comments on the importance of having balance between work and other priorities.

“Being there for family is hugely important to me. I will often tailor my week to make sure I can be present for important moments,” he says. “We are very focused on helping the entire team achieve the right balance between work and life priorities. Our long-term commitment to hybrid working is a big part of that.”


A problem-solving approach

Mark Johnston graduated with a Masters in Science and Mathematics at UNSW, before completing a PhD in Mathematics at Cambridge.

He says that, while he enjoyed academia, he wanted a more practical career and spent the first five years of his post-university career as a consultant for a large accounting firm, working with blue-chip companies.

Motivated by a desire to follow projects through to completion, he joined Macquarie’s Risk Management Group in 2006.

“I liked that Macquarie was a locally headquartered global institution, full of people with good ideas, and I could see that banking and finance was an environment in which I could challenge myself,” Mark reflects.

Mark spent four years in the Risk Management Group and was made Head of Risk and Capital Analysis.

In 2010, he joined Group Treasury as the Head of Balance Sheet Management, responsible for capital and funding management, liquidity risk management and business performance review. He was then appointed Co-Head of Group Treasury in 2016.

“The common thread across my career has been combining depth and detail in technical areas with the bigger picture,” Mark says. “I like solving problems that are a bit tricky, with an analytical bent.”

As Co-Head, Mark says that one of his career highlights has been sitting on the Asset and Liability Committee, which met multiple times a week during the pandemic to help steer Macquarie through economic stress.

“We assessed what was going on in the markets and the Group every day, to ensure we had financial capacity,” Mark explains.


A culture of reinvention

Mark says Group Treasury's aim is to strengthen foundations and enable growth by working with Macquarie’s businesses to give them the financial resources they need.

“We work with the businesses to understand their needs, and tell the Macquarie story to investors,” Mark explains. “We also play an advisory and consultative role, engaging with stakeholders including the businesses, regulators, investors, and other institutions.”

“I’ve been in Group Treasury for over a decade, but what we do now is very different from 10 years ago. The team has expanded from 30 to around 500 people and we’ve taken on new challenges and responsibilities.”

Group Treasury’s global team now spans six offices, from Sydney to London, New York, Dublin, Gurugram and Jacksonville, and Mark says Macquarie’s continual reinvention has been a big driver of this journey.

“Macquarie is more international now than it was 10 years ago, and there’s a growing focus on engaging with community issues, including climate change, as well as a big focus on purpose and impact,” he explains.

“One thing that has been constant through my time with Macquarie is the opportunity to work flexibly, and it’s something I’ve taken advantage of through different stages of my life,” Mark recalls. “When I had young children, it enabled me to spend more time with them. Today, I still work flexibly to spend more time with family or even fit in some of my own interests. For example, one day per week I choose to start work later and go for a morning bike ride with my wife and friends."

Flexibility and work life balance empowers us to do the best work possible, and I find that at Macquarie people really support each other to achieve this."

As Co-Head, Mark says he actively spends time matching people with challenges and opportunities that allow them to thrive. 

“We need curious mindsets and a variety of backgrounds. Macquarie has a bias to ‘yes,’ and people are positive, open to change and accountable,” Mark says. 

“The best idea generally wins, rather than position, which means you can have as much impact as you want and that makes the work very interesting.” 

Mark says that to be successful at Macquarie you need to be open to opportunities and be prepared to follow the work you enjoy. 

“It’s this approach that led me to my position at Group Treasury, and now I have the opportunity to work directly on some of the biggest issues and opportunities for Macquarie,” he concludes.

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