Monday 29 May 2017

John Kerry Keane

ROISIN BURKE

There's usually an upside for a hedge funder in a currency crisis -- providing they bet the right way of course. For his investors' sakes, hopefully this well-connected former hack turned forex speculator has been shorting the euro.

For 40 years John Kerry Keane quietly ran the Kilkenny People Group, a business founded by his grandfather, and also edited the title paper one of the oldest in Ireland. He trousered €28m from selling to Scottish Radio Holdings in 2001.

Going on to invest his millions alongside some superwealthy names, he bought into two huge office blocks in Sandyford, Co Dublin, with partners including Sean FitzPatrick, Lar Bradshaw, Gary McGann and Denis O'Brien, Pat Gunne and Lochlann Quinn.

He and a number of big names bought British hotel chain Jarvis for €250m some years back. It is in the throes of hashing out a deal with its debtors. Fellow backers included former AIB boss Dan O'Connor and Michael Tunney.

Kerry Keane was an original member along with Larry Goodman and Jim Flavin of the consortium that bought Goldman Sachs's London headquarters 10 years ago. It sold this year for €280m -- €100m less than they paid for it.

Kerry Keane is chairman and a shareholder at a Geneva-based hedge fund called LCJ Investments, which specialises in foreign exchange bets. It is run by his daughter Leonora and son-in-law Conor MacManus.

He has been based outside Ireland for a number of years, owning a property in Antibes on the French Riviera and currently lives in Switzerland.

He's a former grand prior of the Order of St Lazarus, a Christian chivalric society that dates back to the time of the crusades.

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