Monday 18 December 2017

AIB confirms Bernard Byrne as new chief executive

Bernard Byrne is subject to salary cap and can’t get bonuses
Bernard Byrne is subject to salary cap and can’t get bonuses
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

AIB has confirmed the appointment of insider Bernard Byrne as its new chief executive.

He succeeds David Duffy and takes on the role with immediate effect.

Mr Duffy announced his resignation in January from the State-owned bank, having headed it since December 2011, when he succeeded then executive chairman David Hodgkinson.

Mr Duffy is leaving to become chief executive of Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank, part of the National Australia Bank group.

Mr Byrne (47) was a leading contender for the top AIB post, along with the former head of EBS, Fergus Murphy. EBS is now a unit of AIB, having become part of the group in 2011.

The Department of Finance had approved Mr Byrne's appointment back in April, but his appointment also had to receive clearance from the European Central Bank's Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). The SSM now regulates banks in the Eurozone.

Up to his appointment as chief executive, Mr Byrne was AIB's director of retail and business banking, a role he took on earlier this year.

He'll be subject to the Government-imposed €500,000 pay cap and won't be entitled to any bonuses.

AIB chairman Richard Pym welcomed Mr Byrne's appointment.

"Having been one of the leading architects of AIB's customer-led strategy over the last number of years, Bernard is very well positioned to ensure that the momentum created by David Duffy and the senior management team is maintained," he said.

Mr Byrne will also lead the bank as the Government prepares to start selling part of its stake in the institution, which was bailed out to the tune of €21bn.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has indicated that the Government might sell a 25pc stake in the bank late this year or early in 2016. The State also controls €3.5bn in preference shares in the bank, and €1.6bn of contingent convertible bonds (CoCos).

The State's 99.8pc stake in AIB was valued at €13.3bn at the end of last year.

Mr Byrne joined AIB in late 2010 from semi-state ESB, where he had held roles including group finance and commercial director.

He had originally joined ESB International in 1994, and was commercial director for international investments there. He left in 1998 to become finance director with IWP International, the personal care products group. He was later the deputy chief executive of the business.

In 2003, Mr Byrne attempted to undertake a management buyout of IWP, which was then listed on the stock exchange. The bid was rejected, and Mr Byrne left soon afterwards. He rejoined the ESB in 2004.

Irish Independent

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