Business Irish

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Bank of America to host women's event ahead of Dublin hub opening


Anne Finucane says more progress is needed in helping women move into positions of power
Anne Finucane says more progress is needed in helping women move into positions of power
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is expecting to receive Central Bank clearance for its new European base in Dublin by the end of the year. In the summer, the bank announced it was merging its UK and Irish operations ahead of Brexit.

Anne Finucane, vice chairman of Bank of America, told the Sunday Independent: "We made a decision early on that we would seek to fully implement a cross-border merger whether it was a hard or soft Brexit because its very hard to be in the reactive mode, we felt we needed to be proactive.

"We've had a 50-year relationship with Ireland, excellent workforce, good relationship so we made a decision to head-quarter our bank in Ireland, pending regulatory approval. We are hopeful we have that by early December and be fully operating."

Finucane will be in Dublin this week as Vital Voices, an organisation which supports women leaders, and Bank of America host a Global Ambassadors Programme in the city. She said that access to capital was essential for female entrepreneurs.

"We want to see more women come forward with a startup, have an absolutely solid business plan and some angel investors but to do that you need to know what a business plan needs to look like, what sells, where one might access capital. But I would say in the States we are beginning to see some of that, that I might not have seen even five years ago."

However, she said more progress was needed. "We need to accelerate at quite a pace, at multiples of the current pace to get women into positions of power."

This the 18th Vital Voices/Bank of America programme in six years and this week's event will provide mentoring to women entrepreneurs from around the world. Speakers include author and TV personality Martha Stewart; former chief commissioner for Human Rights in Northern Ireland, Monica McWilliams; designer Louise Kennedy; and Cherie Blair CBE QC.

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