Friday 21 July 2017

Billionaire financier Dermot Desmond (65) has generated massive paydays from many of his investments, having initially set up NCB stockbrokers in the 1980s.

He sold out in 1994 for €49m and proceeded to turn that windfall into a billion euro war chest.

The IFSC-based investor is probably best known for buying London City Airport for €30m in 1995, selling out for €1bn in 2006, although he wasn't the only beneficiary of that coup.

The businessman also invested €475,000 into Denis O'Brien's Esat as it pitched for the State's second mobile licence. The tycoon ultimately netted €120m from the sale of his shares later.

Other successes include buying a €300,000 stake in Baltimore Technologies before selling out at the top of the market. He showed similar timing with Optimal Payments, where an initial €20m investment was turned into €180m.

A 2.8pc stake in betting giant Ladbrokes has been less

profitable with Desmond unleashing both barrels on management last November trying to scupper a merger with rival Gala Coral. He also owns biometric firm Daon, which

could turn out to be extremely valuable.

Very private, Desmond is known as one of Ireland's shrewdest investors.

It was his vision which helped lead to the establishment of the IFSC, putting Ireland on the international financial services map.

Friends laud his great charm (and undoubted skills on the golf course). But it's not all work for the man who also controls Celtic football club. Last year, world top 10 golfer Dustin Johnson dropped into Dublin to play golf with Desmond and his sons.

Desmond also owns part of the exclusive Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados and is developing another high-end development at Pink Sands in the Grenadines.

Desmond's sons are

becoming more prominent. Brett and Ross are bringing the Five Guys burger chain to

Ireland.

Online Editors

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