Macquarie Bank – It’s not about the building


Macquarie Bank
It’s not about the building

Veldhoen + Company’s first Australian project.


“My belief is that we actually end up with a better community if more people are more effective at their work.”

Peter Maher, CEO Macquarie Bank


logo Macquarie bank

A global diversified financial group
Staff of 14,000 across 25 countries

In 2009 Macquarie Group’s Banking and Financial Services division (~3000 staff) leased a new headquarters at One Shelley Street, Sydney.

Attributes Macquarie wanted to define through the new work style and work place:

  • Transparancy
  • Collaboration
  • Teamwork

“What was important was to set a vision and goals, right at the start.”

Alison Creed, Program Director, One Shelley St Project


Leadership recognised the potential in adopting ABW to align One Shelley Street workspace and workstyle with the goals and values of the organisation and to embody the brand. But one challenge in particular was identified: How to break down silos?

One Shelley Street would be home to one division, but that division was made up of many different business units. Cross-collaboration and inter-business teamwork were not part of the existing behaviours at Macquarie Bank.

“It’s about moving our team and our business forward and our relationships with our clients forward. You never get to the destination. It’s always about improving, the movements along the journey and recognising how they can inform decisions that you may make”

Peter Maher, CEO Macquarie Bank


The new environment that Macquarie occupied in 2009 was light-filled, transparent, diverse and colourful.

6 months after the move, the users were surveyed to discover how they felt about the new way of working:

  • 92% would prefer NOT to return to their old way of working
  • 73% of people said the implementation to ABW had changed their view on working for Macquarie positively
  • 55% of people said the new way of working had made them more effective in their performance – only 6% of people thought they are less effective

The early post-occupancy experience at One Shelley St revealed continuing challenges like “How do I supervise a team I can’t see?” and “How can a team be a team when they are not necessarily in the same place?”

But as Peter Maher pointed out, resolving these issues was part of the ongoing journey and part of a permanent process of change management.

Project gallery

Some images from our work in this space

Architects: Clive Wilkinson Architects

Photos by: Shannon Mc Grath

“There’s enormous power in what happens in terms of people connecting with each other. You see people just running in to each other, reinforcing discussions, having those discussions. Good business networks are built on good business relationships, but also on the social aspect of those relationships.”

Anthony Henry, Divisional Director, Macquarie Group’s Business Services Division

Download the complete case study of the Macquarie Bank Project

Recent Posts

For more about this project please contact Luc Kamperman

Start typing and press Enter to search

GLG connecting professionals in an ABW environmenttype in a few keywords, don't forget the important one you entered at the Yoast plugin.