Sydney-based Macquarie Group does not expect UK withdrawal from the EU to be a “material event” for the group.

David Fass, Macquarie’s head of Europe, said in his presentation at the firm’s annual operating briefing that while protracted deliberations over Brexit had been a distraction internally, they had not caused a negative impact to Macquarie.

Macquarie has been in the UK for 30 years, with more than 1,500 staff based there, Fass said.

The group, which employs over 15,000 people around the world, managed AUD532.1bn (€334.4bn) as the end of last year.

“Progress on licence applications to supplement existing EU licences is well advanced, and work with regulators to secure these prior to March 29, is ongoing,” he said.

“Macquarie is subject to application processes that may cause one or more licences to be issued in the second quarter of calendar 2019.

“Contingency arrangements are being put in place for a small number of clients who could be affected by this if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal or transition agreement on March 29.”

Fass, who takes over as chief executive of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) in April, said Macquarie was broadening its focus in Europe in markets including Germany, France, Spain, The Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Macquarie had a long-standing and deep commitment to the UK as the hub for the EMEA region’s operations, and this would continue to be the case, he said.

During the briefing, Macquarie Group managing director and CEO Shemara Wikramanayake announced that Paul Plewman would be the next CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Wikramanayake, who succeeded Nicholas Moore last year, said MIRA raised AUD7.4bn of AUD8.7bn in new equity in Europe in the December quarter.

Wikramanayake said the capital raised was significant and showed the inverse relationship between volatile equity markets and infrastructure investment.