Monday 19 February 2018

IBEC must get Ireland's CEOs together more often

IBEC'S conference for the nation's chief executives, held at the National Convention Centre in Dublin yesterday, was a rather sombre affair.

There was little humour on show and far less optimism than might be expected.

Still, the €400-a-head event was an undoubted success, with many heavy hitters attending and staying for the other presentations.

It's not often that one sees Christoph Mueller of Aer Lingus, IFSC czar John Bruton and the stock exchange's Deirdre Somers all on the same escalator.

A sign of how well the day went was that most delegates stayed for lunch and the afternoon lectures, which included a passionate presentation from Glen Dimplex's Sean O'Driscoll.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the day was that it was more than a decade since IBEC had brought together the nation's chief executives.

They shouldn't leave it so long next time, given the straitened times we live in.

Ryanair's top batsman

UK barrister John Swift is once again fighting Ryanair's corner -- this time in the UK, as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), headed by Irishman John Fingleton, sets its sights on the airline's almost 30pc shareholding in Aer Lingus.

Mr Swift has successfully batted for Ryanair in previous cases involving the European Commission and his reprise of the role, this time against the OFT, will be an interesting affair.

He is described in the Chambers law book as "totally unpompous" and "user-friendly".

But then again, he'd need to be when dealing with Michael O'Leary.

More potential fares

TALKING of the Ryanair chief, his wife Anita gave birth to their third son and fourth child over the weekend.

"That's three colts and a filly now -- all planned with military precision, so I only have to pay for one wedding," he was quoted as saying at the company's results presentation in London on Monday.

At a press conference afterwards, he mused: "I don't know what I'm conservatively worth, but it must be a hundred million or two.

"Yet I get an allowance for having kids, called child benefit," before adding that he enjoys "having children -- or at least I enjoy making them. I don't need an incentive to have them."

RBS rings the changes

MIKE Bamber, the Belfast-based chief executive of Ulster Bank's retail markets division, has joined parent Royal Bank of Scotland's retail consumer distribution business on an interim basis.

The Liverpool supporter became managing director of branch banking, with responsibility for RBS's automated teller machines network in Britain, this week.

He will be replaced in Ireland by another northerner, Richard Donnan, while Mr Bamber works with Ulster's parent.

The Ards Peninsula native reputedly refuses to sit in his office in Donegall Square East, preferring to sit at a small desk surrounded by his colleagues.

Irish Independent

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