Sunday 26 March 2017

New firm at IFSC plans to capitalise on financial meltdown

Joe Brennan

Chris O'Connell, the former head of property at Shelbourne Developments and ex-finance director at EBS Alan Merriman have been hired to head up a new boutique corporate finance firm in the IFSC.

Advisory company Elkstone Capital is the brainchild of former Barclays hot-shot Roger Jenkins who is hoping to put together deals expected to emerge from the global financial crisis including possible transactions in Ireland.

However, Mr O'Connell, who previously worked with IBI Corporate Finance and investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London and Frankfurt, said that the firm's initial focus would be more on international deals.

"There's as much a chance of us doing a deal in Brazil as in Ireland," he told the Irish Independent. Elkstone, which has considerable contacts in the Sovereign Wealth Fund space from Mr Jenkins's background as an international investment banker, is also understood to be interested in deals in the energy, commodities, infrastructure and property sectors.

Potential

Mr Jenkins also suggested in an interview in the UK over the weekend that the firm may seek out deals expected to emerge out of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) process. Mr Jenkins is reported to have earned up to £40m (€45.4m) a year before he quit Barclays abruptly last year.

Mr Merriman, who spoke of the "need for accountability" as he stepped down at EBS early last year as the society reported a €38.2m annual loss, said the decision to locate Elkstone in Dublin "demonstrates the real potential for the IFSC and Ireland to move up the value chain". It is understood that Mr Jenkins's decision to base the outfit in Ireland is a much about the country's favourable holding company regime as it is about it being in the eurozone and in the middle of international zones where the star dealmaker operates.

Irish Independent

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