Business Irish

Monday 22 September 2014

Anglo 'public interest' man sitting on €8m AIB pension

Published 11/11/2012 | 05:00

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GARY Kennedy, the former AIB executive turned public interest director of taxpayer-owned bank IBRC, has a whopping pension that would cost €8m to fund, according to pension experts. Actuarial calculations show just how hefty Kennedy's pension is from AIB which is now 99 per cent State-owned after a €20bn taxpayer bailout.

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Kennedy joined the board of Anglo Irish Bank, now called IBRC, in 2010. He was paid €59,000 as a director in 2010. Kennedy has become a multimillionaire through his involvement with Irish banks. He was group director of finance and enterprise technology from 1997 to 2005 with AIB.

He missed out on the chief executive of AIB post to Eugene Sheehy and later decided to leave the bank. His severance package included €579,000 for loss of office plus a bumper €2.01m put into his pension fund. Kennedy then became a "special advisor to the group on finance and risk" until 2007 a period during which the bank went mad throwing money at property.

Kennedy is now a serial board room director, having picked up plum roles at Elan, Friends First and Greencore. He is also a director of medial devices firm Radissen Diagnostics.

Kennedy's former boss at AIB, Michael Buckley -- now chairman of DCC -- also has a major pension pot dating back to his time at the bank. In 2006, Buckley's AIB pension pot was estimated to be worth €15.6m. At that time, it was estimated that AIB had provided for pension pots worth €36m for four of its top executives including Michael Buckley, Gary Kennedy, Eugene Sheehy and Aidan McKeon.

Last week it emerged that AIB had used State bailout money to help prop up its staff pension fund, with chief executive David Duffy confirming that the money was being used to pay the bumper pensions of some of the bank executives who were at the helm during the lending binge, including former boss Eugene Sheehy.

Last week Sheehy indicated that he would take a voluntary cut to his AIB pension. In a statement, the former bank boss said that he would take a cut in his annual pension to €250,000 from between €300,000 and €325,000. "I fully appreciate the ongoing difficulties facing the bank and the economy, and this is a personal decision on my part," Sheehy said.

AIB has written to 15 former executives and directors who served at the bank from 2005 to 2008, asking them to take a voluntary cut in their pension payout.

Gold-plated pensions and vast banking salaries caused fury last week as it also emerged that six top Anglo Irish Bank (now IBRC) executives were being paid more than the government cap of €500,000 per year. Nama also revealed that it was paying €15.5m in fees and salaries to developers working for the State property agency.

See Shane Ross, Back Page

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