Business Irish

Sunday 17 December 2017

Billy Kane


THE former Irish Life & Permanent boss set up two major car finance businesses and pioneered the equity release mortgage model in Ireland.

He got his BComm at UCD in 1976 then spent a year with British Leyland, as a finance analyst. He returned to Ireland and joined Rank Xerox as a photocopier salesman later moving to IT rival Sharptext.

He joined Woodchester and was instrumental in it becoming one of Ireland's biggest finance companies. He was director of investments, 1984-1988, then director of Woodchester Investments UK until 1992.

He then established Irish Permanent Finance, building it into a rival of Woodchester.

He was bought out and made retail banking general manager at Irish Permanent in 1995, and chief executive of the PLC it became in 1999. He led the merger between TSB and Irish Life & Permanent, then retired in 2001.

He founded Ship in 2003, offering loans to older people using their home as security.

Ship's owner, Finance Ireland, entered the subprime market, launching Nua Homeloans in 2007, but sold its Nua stake for par value a year later.

In 2009, Ship withdrew its new products, after cancelling its AIM and IEX stock market listings in 2008 to cut costs.

He and two colleagues bought Citibank's personal loan business in Ireland in 2007, trading as Everyday Debt Management Group, a debt purchase and management business.

The Wicklow native now lives in Rathfarnham.

Sunday Independent

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