By JIM AUGHNEY GUINNESS & Mahon, the private banking firm formerly run by the late Des Traynor, is being scaled down by its owners Irish Life
GUINNESS & Mahon, the private banking firm formerly run by the late Des Traynor, is being scaled down by its owners Irish Life & Permanent as a result of the impact on business arising out of a number of tribunals.
In particular, the activities of the Guinness & Mahon private banking division have been severely reduced and clients have been offered the alternative of switching their funds into Irish Life investment products such as the Scope series and banking facilities with Irish Permanent.
Guinness & Mahon has seen a number of its key personnel leave since the McCracken Tribunal into payments to politicians first revealed the so-called Ansbacher accounts through which former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey and others moved millions of pounds offshore.
More recently staff at Guinness & Mahon have been relocated throughout the Irish Life and Permanent networks.
The division's chief executive Peter Ledbetter left in March 1999 with a departure package of euro 316,000.
Harry Cassidy has left the bank where he had been promoted to head of private banking to set up his own fund management operation at the IFSC.
He was joined by another former Guinness & Mahon executive John Whyte.
The pair are targetting high-net-worth private clients with pension fund products - Approved Minimum Retirement Funds and Approved Pension Funds - following the changes in pension fund legislation contained in the 1999 Finance Act.
Prior to joining Guinness & Mahon Mr Cassidy was an executive with Bank of Ireland Asset Management.
Located at the IFSC, CHC Asset Management is a division of Custom House Capital Ltd set up by Patrick O'Sullivan and Dr Tony Burke which is approved by the Central Bank. CHC also provides fund management service for pension funds.
Following the merger of Irish Life with Irish Permanent a strategic review was carried out of all the two financial institutions' activities.
``We are still looking at all the activities going forward,'' Ray Gordon, Irish Life & Permanent spokesman said.
Some of Guinness & Mahon activities had been transferred into the mainstream activities of the Irish Permanent or Irish Life.
The slimmed down bank is being headed up by Ricky Robertson who reports to Irish Permanent's Billy Kane.