Sunday 17 December 2017

Big names of 2011 -- from the successes to the meltdowns

Roisin Burke takes a look at who did well this year, and who can't wait to bid farewell to the past 12 months

Roisin Burke

THE WINNERS: John Teeling: Chairman, Cooley Distillery: THERE'S nothing like a pre-Christmas multimillion windfall to lift your spirits. The maker of Jim Beam bourbon shelled out $95m (€73m) for Cooley Distillery, the independent whiskey maker Mr Teeling founded in 1987.

Mr Teeling and his family could stand to make some €19.6m from the sale. Which will bring good cheer to his family fireside this Christmas.

Kelly Martin

CEO Elan

Elan seriously fell from grace in recent years but it seems to be back. Shares doubled in price in 2011, nowhere near their 2008 peak, but much recovered on recent levels.

Martin and other top Elan execs have come under fierce fire in recent times for lavish spending on private jets and over safety issues around the company's Tysabri drug. Big shareholders mutineed, analysts heaped on scorn and a €800m debt pile had built up.

The sale of Elan's drug technology business to Alkermes helped it shed its $1.27bn load of debt down to just $270m. Revenue for Tysabri is up. Financial stability seems to have been achieved. Now it can focus on developing its neuroscience play with treatments for such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

CEO since 2003, Martin is due to step down from his $2m a year role in May 2012, following last year's calls for a shake-up of the board.

Aidan Heavey

CEO Tullow Oil

The long-anticipated $2.9bn €2.2bn) sale of one-third of Tullow's Uganda project stake to Cnooc and Total should be a sealed in January. The partnership is expected to unlock a $10bn investment in the East African country. Tullow is the leading explorer in Uganda, having won first-mover advantage with finding massive reserves of oil in the Lake Albert rift basin there.

Self-professed "crap accountant" Mr Heavey wants to double or treble Tullow's €13bn market cap to keep shareholders happy in coming years.

Kevin Cardiff


In Europe, as in Ireland, failure appears to be no barrier to reward.

The European Parliament voted to back Kevin Cardiff's appointment to the €276,000-a-year job in the European Court of Auditors.

This was despite public criticism related to the loss of €3.6bn down the back of a Department of Finance sofa on his watch and over his role in events that led to the collapse in the Irish banking sector.

Elsewhere, it's been a winning year for a few public servant figures that featured strongly in overseeing much of the affairs of state during the boom years.

Former secretary-general in the Department of the Taoiseach Dermot McCarthy departed with a €713,000 package. Former secretary- general at the Department of Enterprise, Sean Gorman, retired on a package worth €634,087.

Greg and Niall Turley


The Turley brothers made about €80m between when their technology firm sold to UK private equity firm ECI Partners this summer.

Based in Dublin with a small office in Seattle in the US, Cartrawler was founded in 2004, growing out of a family car-hire business. It provides car-hire booking software to airlines, travel agencies and the tourism trade. It had revenues of €141m in 2010, according to Greg Turley.

The brothers retain a minority stake and places on the board. Over 500 car hire firms, including global giants Avis and Hertz, currently use Cartrawler's software.

Paddy Holohan


The mobile phone software firm that developer Holohan founded was bought by Canadian Blackberry maker Research in Motion in a €77m deal. Newbay clients include T-Mobile, Telefonica, France Telecom and US Cellular.

The former Baltimore Technologies' marketing and product management executive founded Newbay in 2002, and a number of other former Baltimore executives joined him. Barry Maloney's Balderton Capital and Fidelity Ventures financed him.

John Hearne

and Ronan Roche

CEO and CTO of

Curam Software

IBM recently finalised the deal to buy Mr Hearne and Mr Roche's 20-year-old quiet Irish tech success.

Curam's software technology is designed for government agencies to deliver social welfare and health services. The British department of pensions and several US states, including the city of New York, are users.

Former Apple Computer employees Mr Hearne and Mr Roche co-founded Curam in 1990. Mr Roche also worked at the Department of Social Welfare, learning how the transaction systems could be better managed and they eventually brought that framework to Curam.

No figures for the deal were revealed but Hearne said the company was to have revenues of $100m in 2011, suggesting a price in the region of $150m. It is thought Hearne and Roche could have each got 25 per cent of that.

Paul Kerley


and Norkom founder

In one of the first deals of the year and one of the biggest ever for an Irish technology firm, Mr Kerley landed a sweet €15m or so from the sale of his financial software group, Norkom.

A €217m cash offer from British defence firm BAe Systems was accepted by the board in February.

Mr Kerley founded the company in 1998 and took the company public in 2006. Providing anti-fraud software to the financial services industry, it has six of the 10 biggest financial groups in the world as clients.

Mr Kerley departed Norkom months after the sale but remains a consultant.

Paddy McKillen

Property investor

A determined Mr McKillen fought a long-running legal battle against Nama to keep most of his loans out of the agency, taking a case to the Supreme Court

Nama subsequently decided not to acquire his circa €2bn loans.

His property empire is estimated at €1bn plus in value.

Something of an international man of mystery despite all his property interests, he's been in the property game since the 1980s. He co-owns the Jervis Shopping Centre and Nama HQ, the Treasury Building and has stakes in Wagamama, Captain America's and Champion Sports. He also owns property in Britain, France and the US.

Owen Killian

CEO, Aryzta

The head of the Swiss-Irish bakery giant scored a package worth a whopping great €7m in salary and shares in 2011. It's a huge leap on last year when he earned less than €2m.

Most of his 350 per cent pay hike came from a bonus linked to earnings targets, added on to a basic salary of €1.05m. Aryzta's shareholder value has risen by €1bn since 2008, with latest annual profits of €333m.

An agricultural science graduate, Roscommon man Mr Killian joined Aryzta predecessor IAWs in 1976, working in the seeds department. He worked his way up through the ranks of the company and was a protege of Philip Lynch. He became CEO in 2003.

Other senior management in Mr Killian's team also benefited from the generous bonus structure, including chief financial officer Patrick McEniff, chief operating officer Hugo Kane and company secretary Pat Morrissey, sharing part of a remuneration pot of €17.9m.

Peter Kelly


Another Roscommon man, Peter Kelly, landed a nice bit of cash when he sold his US- based online car auction firm Openlane for $210m (€161m) in cash to rival firm Kar.

Originally from Emlagh, Castlerea, former McKinsey consultant Mr Kelly helped set up Openlane. Mergers and buyouts through the dotcom boom saw it become one of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in America.

It is not known what share of this deal Mr Kelly netted. Openlane generates circa $100m in revenue and sells 300,000 cars and vans to auto dealers through its online platform. Kelly remains as CEO.

Breon Corcoran

and Patrick Kennedy

Paddy Power

Paddy Power board members, including outgoing CEO Breon Corcoran, shared €6.8m in 2010, accounts released this year revealed.

CEO Patrick Kennedy earned about €4.73m, largely through more than 84,000 bonus shares vesting, plus €735,000 in paper profits on options awarded during the year.

Mr Corcoran also scored big time with €2.25m worth of shares vesting based on the year-end share price. He owns nearly 288,000 shares in Paddy Power, valued at €11.2m. Options, gains and a €785,000 salary mean he earned close to €3.59m for the year.

Cormac McCarthy

Ex-Ulster Bank CEO

The company you lead losing millions doesn't need to hold your career back, as former Ulster Bank chief McCarthy is discovering.

One of the few bank bosses to survive the banking crisis, he stepped down in mid-2010 to "pursue other opportunities". Ulster Bank took massive losses post banking crisis -- a £368m (€442m) hit in 2009 alone. Total loss provisions at Ulster since the crisis began are £7.3bn.

Paddy Power appointed him to its board in September and he became a director at food retail and distribution group BWG in May.

Sunday Independent

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