Friday 19 January 2018

TH€ PUNT: Greene looks to mine some gold in latest IFSC venture

We've heard much about the career history of Neville Isdell, ex-Coke CEO and recent buyer of the CHQ shopping centre (right) in Dublin's IFSC last week, but what of the man who is running with the project on the ground – Mervyn Greene?

The Punt has been reviewing the former Morgan Stanley man's LinkedIn page and sees an eclectic career history ranging from stock-broking and investment banking to uranium exploration adventures in Namibia and Australia and, more recently, to a visiting lecturer gig at UCC – just a short drive from Greene's Kinsale home.

Mr Greene, who is pictured in a tuxedo on his page, is clearly somebody who enjoys obscure and varied investments. Not content with mining uranium, he was also group CEO of Chris Fowler International, a specialist international financial printer for high-value documents produced by financial firms which was sold to Spanish-listed Service Point in 2008.

He told The Punt yesterday that he is looking forward to the next challenge, which is bringing customers into what may well be Ireland's most empty shopping centre.

"It's a unique one-off right in the middle of an important and expanding part of Dublin," he said. The Punt, which sometimes has a salad there in the excellent Toss'd take-away, wishes Mr Greene luck.


McCarthy's REIT of passage

CBRE's Caroline McCarthy has a touch of the pioneering spirit in her.

The Capital Markets team executive director at the property adviser is to leave her post at the beginning of September to move into Ireland's first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

She will become the company's new chief investment officer, a crucial role in the development of Green REIT as it seeks to firmly establish itself in the Irish market.

It has had strong beginnings. Shares soared in the first day of trading on Thursday, and rose again yesterday.

Under the executive director role at CBRE, Ms McCarthy (above) served a variety of clients, including pension funds, banks and high net worth investors, in acquiring and disposing of investment property in Ireland, the UK and continental Europe.

Prior to joining CBRE, she established the property investment team within Bank of Ireland Private banking.

Enda Luddy, CBRE's managing director, was magnanimous about losing one of his staff. "Caroline has been a valued member of our Irish capital markets team for the last 10 years and we are sorry to lose her," he said.


Nothing 'ludicrous' about Paddy Power's Cawley catch

RYANAIR'S outgoing deputy chief executive Michael Cawley has a new mantle – he has just joined the board of Paddy Power as a non-executive director. The move makes sense.

The Punt didn't realise until now just how similar the two companies are. Both are relatively young, and started out as Davids in industries full of Goliaths. Both are textbook examples of shrewd management and innovative thinking and, as a result, both now dominate their respective sectors.

Mr Cawley joins an interesting and diverse board. Its chairman is Nigel Northridge, former Gallagher Group boss, where he oversaw its £9.4bn (€10.9bn) sale. Also at the table is former O2 chief Danuta Gray.

Still, we bet Mr Cawley has not enjoyed the scrutiny of his directorships of late. Earlier this month Ryanair was accused of "cronyism" by a shareholder watchdog after it gave him a non-executive role. The airline said the accusation was "ludicrous".


Irish Independent

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