The mega-money at MacBank

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Macquarie Bank has been dubbed the "millionaire's factory" for over a decade, despite the Sydney-based bank's apparent objections. But now there's no denying it.

It is believed that nearly all the 2,076 staff who sit at "director" level - that is associate directors, divisional directors, executive directors and above - received at least AU$1m (US$824k) in the past year.

The bank's annual report revealed managing director Allan Moss and investment bank head Nicholas Moore took home AU$33.5m and AU$32.9m respectively, by far the biggest pay cheques for any listed Australian company.

The bank insists that its pay scales are in line with its global competitors - Macquarie now sources 57% of its profit overseas, much of this from Asia - although the top ranks still pale in comparison with the major Wall St firms.

Fixed remuneration (AKA salaries) accounted for just 3.1% of the AU$207m paid out to the top 12 divisional heads in 2006/07. A massive 62.6% came from short term bonuses relating to their share of bank profits, while another 34.3% came in the form of long term bonuses, a mix of retained profit share, options, and stock.

Still, Macquarie is finding it harder to retain its senior staff. In the last year, voluntary turnover at director level rose from 5% to 7% - suggesting that 140 had quit in the past 12 months - but the turnover rate in international centres such as Asia, Europe and the US was up to 14% - double the bank-wide average.

The bank says one quarter of its director-level staff have been with the company for 10 years or more, but one third - many from new acquisitions such as ING's Asian equities business - have been with the group for three years or less.

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