Saturday 21 April 2018

FDB now a takeover target as ceo quits

Andrew Langford: stepping down
Andrew Langford: stepping down
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

FBD shares plunged 10pc yesterday after chief executive Andrew Langford announced he was stepping down with immediate effect.

Chief finance officer Fiona Muldoon, a former head of banking and insurance supervision at the Central Bank, takes over as interim ceo and is heavily tipped to succeed to the top job on a permanent basis. A recruitment process is under way. Ms Muldoon joined FBD in March.

While the timing of his announcement surprised the market, the decision follows a steep fall in FBD's share price over the past year and a half, from a high of €19.30 each in January 2014 to below €9 on Thursday. The stock closed at €7.65 yesterday.

FBD issued a number of profit warning last year on the back of increased customer payouts which the company said related to the economic recovery. "I think given the challenges the group is enduring, a change of senior management looked inevitable," David Holohan, head of research, Merrion Capital, said yesterday. FBD is a potential takeover target, he said. "The decline in the value of the company to €270m leaves it the most exposed it has been in recent years to overtures from potentially interested competitors."

"Having worked with the company for most of my professional life, now is the right time to explore some new challenges and opportunities," Mr Langford said in a memo to staff.

"This will allow a new person to take the helm and bring the company forward into its next phase of development."

Irish Independent

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