Friday 18 October 2019

Anglo: it's goodnight from me, and it's goodnight from him

Shane Ross

Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm said goodbye to the Irish business world on a low note, just 10 days ago, in time for the Christmas holidays.

FitzPatrick, the man who has been 'Mr Anglo Irish Bank' for over 30 years, stepped down as chairman of the ailing bank after it was discovered that he had been concealing massive loans of €87m from Anglo shareholders for eight years.

FitzPatrick also bade farewell to other prestigious directorships, including ones at Aer Lingus, Smurfit Kappa and Greencore.

He has seen his wealth destroyed by the meltdown in Anglo Irish shares. His personal shareholding in Anglo has tanked from a value of €80m to barely €1m at current levels.

FitzPatrick had taken the chair of the bank's board in 2004 following a long stint in the chief executive's seat. But it turned out to be shifting the deck chairs on the Titanic. Such a move is not approved by corporate governance gurus.

FitzPatrick's hand-picked successor as chief executive, David Drumm, resigned within 24 hours of FitzPatrick's departure. Drumm is due to stay on in the short-term pending the appointment of his successor. He succeeded FitzPatrick in 2004 -- a surprise choice -- as heir apparent and long-time Anglo director Tiarnan O'Mahony, was expected to be favoured. Instead, O'Mahony founded ISTC, a banking operation which was one of the most spectacular casualties of the credit crunch, losing over €800m of investors' money.

Also in Business