CEO Designate, Macquarie Group, 57
Macquarie appointed Wikramanayake as CEO in July 2018, making her the first woman to head the company and one of Australia’s highest paid women and financial executives. She will assume the post in November 2018. Since joining Macquarie in 1987, Wikramanayake has climbed up its rungs, from roles in corporate services to heading its prudential function, a job that saw her review all transactions in which the investment bank took a principal position. She also established infrastructure funds in North America, led the asset management branch, and became chair of the group foundation focusing on philanthropy. From her new, high-profile platform as CEO of the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager, she says she wants to bring more women into finance and convince girls that it is a compelling career.