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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Fall from grace complete as former corporate titan swaps boardroom for cell

Published 30/07/2016 | 02:30

Denis Casey was jailed for two years and nine months Picture: Collins Courts
Denis Casey was jailed for two years and nine months Picture: Collins Courts

Denis Casey's journey from boardroom to courtroom and now prison cell marks one of the most spectacular falls from grace in Irish history.

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Before the crash, the chief executive of the stock-market-listed Irish Life & Permanent was one of the most powerful figures in Irish business.

In 2009, Casey walked away from the top job at ILP with payments amounting to a cool €4.57m.

His already high pay as one of the country's top bankers was bolstered by a massive €1.25m paid in lieu of notice and extra pension payments.

Two years later, Irish Life and Permanent needed a multi-billion-euro state rescue that ultimately saw the company nationalised and then broken up.

But in his prime, Casey was part of the Irish commercial elite. He had risen from ordinary beginnings to be a major corporate player.

Read More: Three top bank execs jailed for 'dishonest, corrupt' Anglo fraud

As a financial insider, he headed up industry groups like Financial Services Ireland and the Insurance Institute of Ireland. He served on the Financial Regulator's own Financial Services Consultative Industry panel.

Seven year later, he is serving time in a Mountjoy cell. The contrasts are simply staggering.

In 2008, his €1.1m-a-year job running the then Irish Life & Permanent TSB group put him at the top of the Irish corporate pile.

The group, valued at more than €6bn when Casey took the reins in 2007, was the country's only bank assurance business - an Irish giant straddling mortgages, insurance and investments.

Read more: How the top man in Irish banking ended up in jail

Its chief executive was a powerful figure. Casey had worked his way up the ranks over 30 years. He joined AIB straight after school at St Kevin's CBS in Dublin, moving to Irish Life in 1980.

At one stage, he collected weekly insurance payments door to door. He trained as an accountant and moved swiftly, methodically up the corporate ranks. Casey kept a relatively low profile but was known to be bright, ambitious and hardworking.

After losing his job in the wake of the banking crisis, he qualified as a barrister.

Casey's legal insight may now be in high demand among his new associates.

Irish Independent

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