Clarke, who is stepping down for health reasons, was appointed joint managing director of Hill Samuel Australia – the company that was to become Macquarie – in 1971.
He served as executive chairman of Macquarie Bank from its foundation in 1985 until March 2007.
Clarke has been replaced by Kevin McCann, Macquarie's lead independent director.
McCann has been an independent voting director of Macquarie Group since August 2007, and has prior experience in his current role – he was acting chairman of both entities between November 2008 and August 2009.
MQG shares grew 0.09% on Thursday to $34.710.