Business Irish

Sunday 19 November 2017

Ex-Ulster Bank boss poised to quit Oaktree

Tom Lyons

CORMAC McCarthy, the former chief executive of Ulster Bank, plans to step down as an adviser to Oaktree, a multibillion investment fund.

McCarthy will end his association with the $78bn fund in September, the month before he formally joins Paddy Power as CFO.

With Oaktree, he looked at buying house builders McInerney and at a variety of other business opportunities across Ireland.

McCarthy, chief executive of Ulster Bank from 2004 until 2011, was Oaktree's eyes and ears in Ireland after he left banking after a less-than-brilliant career. Ulster Bank under his leadership pioneered the 100 per cent home mortgage and ramped up the price of commercial property and what was known during the boom as 'development land' but is now called fields.

McCarthy's best-known gamble was to back Sean Dunne when he set a then record land price of €400m when buying seven acres occupied by the Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels in Dublin 4.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster's parent, now owned by the British taxpayer, has taken provisions of over £11bn to cover loan losses at its Irish subsidiary.

The bank's Irish subsidiary, like its parent, has been dogged by technology problems for the last three weeks.

McCarthy's reinvention as chief finance officer and executive director of Paddy Power, the bookmaker, puts him back on top of the pile with one of Ireland's great companies.

Sunday Indo Business

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