Tuesday 26 September 2017

Key players in Irish finance enjoyed long careers with HSBC

Michael Geohegan
Michael Geohegan
David Hodgkinson
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

MICHAEL Geoghegan and David Hodgkinson are two of the most important figures in Irish finance, but their business careers go back much further than their current positions at the Department of Finance and Allied Irish Banks respectively.

A Dubliner, Mr Geoghegan joined HSBC at the age of 20 in 1973 and moved through the ranks until he was appointed to the top job in the firm in 2006.

He seemed set for a long reign as chief executive, but his tenure came to an abrupt end when he was passed over for the position of chairman of the bank. He responded by resigning.

After leaving the bank, he was tapped by the Government to carry out a review of the National Asset Management Agency and picked to head up the NAMA advisory group by Finance Minister Michael Noonan last December.

His review made a number of recommendations, including having NAMA become more a "pro-active, externally focussed, entrepreneurial, confident business it needs to be" in order to make a return for the taxpayer.

While Mr Geoghegan has been tasked with guiding NAMA, Mr Hodgkinson is now trying to sort out state-owned AIB.

He joined HSBC in 1969 and held a number of positions, most notably in the Middle East, before becoming chief operating officer of the bank in 2006. He joined AIB as executive chairman in December 2010 and led the search for a new boss.

After David Duffy was named MD last year, Mr Hodgkinson became non-executive chairman -- a much less hands on role.

So far he is seen to have done a good job, but he admits AIB is at least two years away from being profitable.

Irish Independent

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