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Padraic O’Connor to step down from Euronext board after term ends in May

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Padraic O’Connor, former managing director of NCB Stockbrokers and ex-chair of the Irish Stock Exchange

Padraic O’Connor, former managing director of NCB Stockbrokers and ex-chair of the Irish Stock Exchange

Padraic O’Connor, former managing director of NCB Stockbrokers and ex-chair of the Irish Stock Exchange

Padraic O’Connor, a former managing director of NCB Stockbrokers and once chairman of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), is stepping down from the supervisory board of Euronext next year after one term.

Mr O’Connor, who joined the board when Euronext bought the ISE in 2018, will retire after the company’s annual general meeting in May according to the board’s “rotation schedule”, according to the stock exchange.

His departure is part of a wider refresh of the supervisory board following Euronext’s acquisition of Borsa Italiana in April, which brought CDP Equity and Intesa Sanpaolo on as reference shareholders after they invested €579m.

The pan-European exchange will see a complete turnover of directors by 2025 as the group implements its new governance model, although shareholders can opt to elect retiring members to a further term.

Euronext’s board structure guarantees a directorship for one Irish representative.

Mr O'Connor’s scheduled retirement comes after a fund management company he supervised as director was penalised by the Central Bank following a “deliberate” breach of financial regulations.

Sarasin Funds Management Ireland Limited (SFMIL), the offshore funds arm of wealth manager Sarasin and Partners, was this month fined €385,000 and reprimanded by the Central Bank for “breaches of investment restrictions and inadequate supervision of delegates”.

Mr O’Connor has been a director of SFMIL since 2013. The breaches, which regulators said risked the total loss of client assets, occurred in 2017 when a money manager hired by Sarasin “deliberately breached certain investment concentration restrictions” when merging two funds.

The Central Bank found that SFMIL directors were not aware of the breach for eight weeks and the designated director for compliance was on sabbatical without a replacement.

During the period in question directors also signed off on quarterly reports from the investment manager that it had not, in fact, received.

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Mr O’Connor came to public prominence during the Mahon Tribunal in 2007 when then-taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s claimed the stockbroker had given him £5,000 to help defray personal costs following his separation.

Mr O’Connor denied the claim and said in his own testimony that the money was a corporate donation from NCB to Mr Ahern’s local political organisation, although he admitted that the company used a false invoice to process the payment in 1993.


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