Friday 30 September 2016

Hobbs and wife earned €1.2m over two years from their finance firm

Gordon Deegan

Published 11/08/2015 | 02:30

Eddie Hobbs
Eddie Hobbs

Celebrity consumer advocate and Renua Ireland President Eddie Hobbs and his wife Mary paid themselves over €1.2m over the past two years from their financial services firm.

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New figures show the two received joint pay last year of €559,068, down 14pc on the €652,144 they received from Financial Development and Marketing (FDM) Ltd in 2013.

Mr Hobbs's wife, Mary Fehily Hobbs, is a well-respected businesswoman and last year served as President of Network Ireland, a voluntary organisation for women in business.

FDM employs six and the total pay - inclusive of directors' salaries - last year totalled €737,932, down on the €800,972 paid out in 2013.

Earlier this year, Mr Hobbs reduced his non-core business roles when he resigned his non-executive directorships at property firm Brendan Investments and wind turbine energy firm Airsynergy, as a result of his involvement with Renua.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Hobbs said that it would be "impossible" to combine an active role with FDM and the work of a TD "as the job of a TD is a full-time one and the commitment required intensive".

Private

Asked what factors he will take into consideration when deciding as to whether to contest the election for Renua, Mr Hobbs said: "All of the factors are non-political and mostly private.

"In the meantime I'm doing what I can as a volunteer in the capacity of President of Renua Ireland and overseeing its Enterprise Policy development, which means active engagement with the SME sector in particular."

Mr Hobbs also said "nothing in particular" led him to take less salary out of the firm last year.

"Most SME owners in these type of firms vary their remuneration to business performance during the year. It should be pointed out that Ireland has the most progressive income tax system in Europe so much is recycled to the Exchequer to pay for public services."

Mr Hobbs established FDM in the early 1990s and confirmed the business enjoyed single-digit percentage growth last year. It advises on €250m in assets under management, with some asset managers employed by the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan

The new accounts filed by the firm for the 12 months to the end of October last show that accumulated profits declined marginally from €325,713 to €285,376. The firm's cash pile last year declined from €304,145 to €293,405.

Mr Hobbs' income from his work in the media and writing books is entirely separate from the FDM business, which he pointed out is regulated by the Central Bank.

Irish Independent

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