Business Irish

Thursday 22 February 2018

Central Bank fails to find replacement for chief economist

Lars Frisell quit the Central Bank for an IMF role last year
Lars Frisell quit the Central Bank for an IMF role last year
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE Central Bank has been unable to find a replacement for chief economist Lars Frisell despite a six-month search, the Irish Independent has learned.

Mr Frisell left the Central Bank in March to take up a job with the International Monetary Fund's Africa training institute in Mauritius.

His post was advertised globally after his resignation was announced in November, with the closing date for applications in early December.

A spokeswoman for the Central Bank confirmed that the top job has still not been filled. The process remains open and deputy governor Stefan Gerlach has assumed Mr Frisell's responsibilities while the process continues, she said. However, it is understood an appointment is not imminent.

Mr Frisell's resignation was the latest in a series of high-profile departures after former financial regulator Matthew Elderfield left early last year to take up a post with Lloyds Bank in London. Fiona Muldoon, who was the bank's No 3 and director of credit institutions and insurance, also announced in November that she was leaving.

Mr Elderfield's decision to leave was announced just months after his former deputy Jonathan McMahon also left the bank. Mr McMahon left the Central Bank after two years in 2012 and is now a partner and global head of bank restructuring and regulation at Mazars.

Duties as chief economist include managing the economics directorate, providing advice to senior management, and publicly presenting the Central Bank's views on economic issues.

It comes as top brass in Dame Street are looking at the possibility of introducing pay increases and other incentives in a bid to attract and retain top talent.

Top Central Bank officials are planning to change management structures when an organisational review is completed next year. The review will be wide-ranging and cover internal structures and career paths.

"The bank has been subject to the various public sector pay adjustments in recent years and the review will also include an examination of potential reward models for the future," it said.

Mr Frisell joined the Central Bank in June 2012 from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority where he had been chief economist since 2009.

Before that, he held a number of roles at the Swedish Central Bank – the Riksbank – including as deputy head of the financial stability department, and head of the macroprudential and financial markets division. He has also worked in research roles at the Riksbank, the ECB and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung.

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