Business Irish

Thursday 18 January 2018

Standard approach to cooling-off periods for civil servants needed

John Corrigan is expected to be apointed as the new chairman of Davy’s Stockbrokers in the coming days. Photo: Martin Nolan
John Corrigan is expected to be apointed as the new chairman of Davy’s Stockbrokers in the coming days. Photo: Martin Nolan
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

A standard approach to so-called cooling-off periods for departing senior public servants should be put in place to improve transparency, Fianna Fáil's Finance spokesman Michael McGrath said yesterday.

The call came as John Corrigan, the former head of the state's debt management body, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), is expected to be formally announced as the new chairman of Davy Stockbrokers in the coming days.

Mr Corrigan was himself replaced at the NTMA by former NCB stockbroker Conor O'Kelly in January after the former served a five-year term during which he oversaw the country's return to the international markets.

It is not clear whether Mr Corrigan is subject to any restrictions on taking up a new post in a related field so soon after his departure.

The NTMA declined to comment last night.

Mr McGrath said he was not criticising Mr Corrigan's appointment, but suggested a standard approach to so-called cooling-off periods should be put in place for departing senior state officials to remove any questions.

"John Corrigan has a wealth of valuable experience across the wide range of functions covered by the NTMA. It's not surprising that there is a private sector organisation working in related fields would value that experience want to have him on board," Mr McGrath said.

"I think the issue for the state is to have a standard approach to the question of cooling off periods for people who are leaving senior positions after making a valuable contribution."

Mr McGrath said the policy concerning departing senior officials varies from organisation.

"I'm not criticising this individual appointment, but I think it would be in everybody's interest if there was a more streamlined procedure in place governing the whole issue of cooling-off periods just to remove any suspicion for the benefit of the new employer, the employee and indeed the state, any suspicion of a conflict of interest," the TD added.

Mr Corrigan will replace Brian Davy on the board of the country's biggest brokerage business.

In November, it was announced that Brian McKiernan had been appointed as Davy's new chief executive.

He took over from Tony Garry who stepped down last month.

Mr McKiernan had been a member of the senior executive team at Davy and a board member of J&E Davy. He joined the firm in 1989 and was appointed Managing Director of Davy Private Clients in 2001.

It was announced last month that Davy had bought outsourcing services firm Trusted Advisor, which provides outsourcing services to independent financial advisory firms in compliance, research, marketing, IT and business development.

Irish Independent

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