Friday 28 July 2017

New Ireland makes key hires after 25 employees laid off

Tony O’Riordan returns to New Ireland as cfo
Tony O’Riordan returns to New Ireland as cfo

Sean Duffy

Some 25 long-serving employees at New Ireland Assurance have been made redundant in recent weeks, prompting concerns among staff that further cuts to the company's workforce may follow.

New Ireland has announced several changes at management level over the past number of months.

Interim managing director Mick Sweeney was appointed to the company at the beginning of this month and last week New Ireland announced a number of key appointments.

Dave Roberts, previously the company's head of finance, is to take up a new role as commercial director.

Tony O'Riordan will return to the firm as chief financial officer having spent over four years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dave Swanton, currently product director will lead a dedicated unit focused on pension products for SMEs.

This follows the earlier announcement that Deirdre Flannery will move from her role as the internal auditor of Bank of Ireland to New Ireland's chief operations officer.

Mr Flannery's appointment followed the imposition of a fine on New Ireland earlier this year by the Central Bank.

The company was fined €650,000 in July for breaches of the Consumer Protection Code.

The fine was imposed after regulators discovered New Ireland had provided incomplete information to consumers regarding New Ireland's investment products, including the performance of those products. The breaches occurred between July 1, 2012 and November 30, 2014.

The Central Bank said the firm had accepted the breaches.

The management reshuffle follows the resignation of Sean Casey as managing director in April. Non-executive director Rob Bowe also departed from his role on the board after nine years of service.

Casey's resignation came as a shock to staff when it was announced in April,bringing to an end a 16-year career at the firm.

New Ireland said it "does not comment on staffing matters".

New Ireland Assurance provides life assurance, pension and investment solutions to individual and corporate customers.

It has more than 500,000 policyholders and funds under management of over €15bn by the end of March 2016.

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