Business Irish

Saturday 18 November 2017

IFG cfo takes helm as chief executive McNamara quits suddenly

Paul McNamara succeeded Mark Bourke, above, who left for AIB
Paul McNamara succeeded Mark Bourke, above, who left for AIB
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Just over two years after he was appointed to the role, IFG chief executive Paul McNamara has suddenly stepped down with immediate effect.

He has been replaced by IFG's group finance director John Cotter, who held the interim chief executive role prior to Mr McNamara's appointment in 2014.

Mr Cotter had been named interim chief executive of the financial services firm after the previous chief executive, Mark Bourke, left to join AIB as its chief financial officer.

IFG has two main divisions - James Hay Partnership and Saunderson House. Both are based in the UK, and James Hay is the biggest division. It has over £20bn (€23.4bn) of client assets under administration. It provides financial investment services. Saunderson House is a specialist wealth manager.

It has not been revealed why Mr McNamara left IFG and the company provided no details as to his future plans.

Mr McNamara had been lured to IFG from Barclays, where he was managing director of its investments and insurance unit. He had previously held senior roles at Standard Life, HBOS (now Lloyds), AXA, McKinsey and Bank of Ireland.

IFG confirmed yesterday that McNamara had left the company.

"The board would like to express its appreciation to Mr McNamara for his leadership of the group over the past two years," the company said in a statement.

Chairman John Gallagher said that Mr Cotter would lead IFG "through the next phase of development and execution of the group's strategy".

Mr McNamara's sudden departure came as a surprise to observers, given that there had been no hint of a departure just two weeks ago when the company issued its first-half results.

The company reported that its operating profit for the period had risen to £4m from £2.2m in the first half of 2015, while revenue climbed 16pc to £40m.

But shares in the company fell as it delivered a cautious update.

"In James Hay, the macro environment, including turbulent markets, Brexit, and continued uncertainty over possible changes affecting pensions in the UK budget, led to an overall softening in the market," it said.

"In the absence of client book acquisitions, new business flow overall has reduced compared to the first half of 2015, in part as we continue to focus our distribution strategy on fewer higher quality adviser relationships."

Irish Independent

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