Wednesday 24 May 2017

BoI in board overhaul as five pre-crisis directors to step down

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

BANK of Ireland last night unveiled plans for a major overhaul of its board, with five of its seven 'pre-crisis' directors set to step down next month.

The news comes as the Government and the Central Bank embark on parallel processes designed to rid bank boards of bosses who were in place before their institutions were bailed out.

It is understood that while neither the Central Bank nor the Government demanded the upcoming BoI board changes, the bank was "mindful" of both organisations' attitudes to long-standing directors.

The changes will see two of BoI's executive board members -- retail boss Des Crowley and capital markets chief Denis Donovan -- step down from the board but remain "core members of Group executive".

Deputy governor Denis Holt, an insurance executive who was appointed to BoI's board in 2007, is also stepping down, along with former secretary general of the Department of Enterprise Paul Haran, who joined the board in 2005.

Departure

The other departure is Heather Ann McSharry, an IDA director and former Boots Ireland boss who joined BoI's court in 2007.

A spokesman for the bank stressed that there would be no payoffs for any of the retiring directors since they would simply not go forward for re-election at BoI's June 15 AGM.

In a statement, BoI said the board changes were part of an "ongoing programme of change including renewal at management and board level". The appointment of new directors "may arise" when the bank agrees a "board renewal plan" with the Department of Finance later in the year, BoI added.

The departures were notified to the Department of Finance in recent days, while the Central Bank was only told of the board changes yesterday.

The changes are expected to be welcomed by both organisations, though some sources last night expressed surprise that two pre-crisis non-executive directors will go forward for re-election in June.

Solicitor Rose Hynes and former KPMG managing partner Jerome Kennedy both joined the board in 2007 and both look set to apply for re-election.

Irish Independent

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