Business Irish

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Mike Sullivan

ROISIN BURKE

THE former US ambassador to Ireland was on AIB's board for almost a decade. Born in 1939, Mike Sullivan was raised in Douglas, Wyoming. He practised law for 20 years and then served two terms as governor in Wyoming, 1986-1995. He then held a fellowship at Harvard for a year before returning to legal practice.

Having backed Bill Clinton's run for presidency, Sullivan was rewarded with the ambassadorship. He touched down in Dublin in January 1999, wearing his trademark cowboy hat. A good deal of his time here was spent nurturing relationships to support the Good Friday Agreement.

Post-ambassadorship in 2001, he became an independent director of AIB, and of its US bank Allfirst, where the $691m Rusnak fraud would be uncovered in 2002. In 2004 he chaired a committee responding to Deloitte's investigation into foreign exchange charging problems at AIB which led to €31.6m in refunds but no staff disciplinary action. He also served on AIB's audit committee. His directorship ended in mid-2009, the year of the multibillion bank bailout.

He is now a partner in law firm Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons's Wyoming office. He's been a director at Kerry since 2004 and is on the North American Advisory Board of UCD's Smurfit Business School. He's also on the board of US oil and gas explorer Cimarex, construction company Sletten and First Interstate Bank. His directorships net him circa $300,000 a year.

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