Saturday 18 November 2017

Noonan will have a veto on AIB's new chief executive

AIB Chief executive David Duffy
AIB Chief executive David Duffy

Patrick Edwards

Allied Irish Banks will allow Finance Minister Michael Noonan to veto a new chief executive to replace David Duffy, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information act.

AIB chairman Richard Pym told Mr Noonan in a letter dated January 16 that "the bank will seek your approval prior to making that appointment".

Mr Noonan said earlier this week that AIB is close to finalising a short list of internal and external candidates for the chief executive post. He added that there would be no political involvement in the selection process.

The documents, obtained by TV3 News, show that Mr Pym was "very disappointed" by the resignation resignation of David Duffy, inset, last month.

Mr Pym wrote to Mr Noonan three days before the resignation to inform him of the move.

The letter, released to TV3 News under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that the chairman was "very disappointed to see David depart".

Mr Duffy wrote to Michael Noonan on the day his departure was announced, describing his resignation as "a very difficult decision on a personal and professional level". He wrote that "while I am going to spend time overseas in my next appointment, my goal is to return to Ireland thereafter. If I can offer any support in the years to come...please be assured that I will make myself available".

In his reply to Mr Duffy, Mr Noonan wrote that he "appreciates the kind offer of future support and will certainly keep it in mind".

The documents show that the Department of Finance prepared a questions and answers document to deal with press queries about Mr Duffy's surprise resignation. One of the questions asks if there was a "clash of personalities" between David Duffy and the new chairman Richard Pym because "Mr Pym has a reputation for being tough and hands-on".

Another question asks if there were any issues with the Department or the minister which could have contributed to the resignation. The suggested answer highlights there was mutual respect on both sides but does say that, "From time to time, hard stances had to be taken by the shareholder."

Irish Independent

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