Saturday 24 March 2018

TH€ PUNT: Harvey off to pastures new

Scaffolding and fencing company Siteserv's founder Brian Harvey is waving farewell to the company he set up almost a decade ago.

The UCD graduate will be replaced by Dell veteran Sean Corkery, who takes over as chairman and chief executive.

The young-looking Harvey is heading for pastures new after more than 20 years in the hire-and-sale industry both here in Ireland and in Miami.

Siteserv has had a rocky few years, which has seen the company's fortunes ebb and flow along with the rest of the economy and Siteserv was taken over by Denis O'Brien last year.

Despite the odd stumble, Mr Harvey can depart with his head held high.

He leaves behind a company that now employs more than 2,700 people in 50 locations in Ireland and the United Kingdom, where it earns more than half its revenues these days.

While The Punt does not know quite why Harvey is leaving, the departure seems by all accounts to be amicable, with Harvey expressing fond regret and O'Brien hailing Harvey's "crucial role in building Siteserv into the impressive business it is today", while also taking the time to "wish him well in the future".

If only all corporate partings could be so amicable.

Wanted: psychic economist

CALLING all economists: big job going in Dublin! Must be able to tell the future.

Culchies like The Punt know there are no small jobs in Dublin but this one is a humdinger for a dismal scientist who thinks they have what it takes to make it in banking.

Bank of Ireland chief economist Dr Dan McLoughlin, pictured, is set to retire from the bank in August.

Dr Dan has kept a relatively low profile of late but was something of a household name during the go-go years of the housing boom, not least for the hopelessly optimistic prediction in 2007 that the economy looked to be heading for a "soft landing".

That's so much water under the bridge now, of course, and The Punt wonders how the next incumbent's predictions will fare.

But what a tempting gig for an ambitions economist. Who better than the bank's in-house number-cruncher to keep the likes of shareholder-directors Wilbur Ross and Prem Watsa abreast of developments in Ireland, especially now that the economy appears to be turning a corner (its catching!)?

Word from the inside is that work to identify a successor is under way, though The Punt hasn't seen a jobs ad yet and there is tumbleweed blowing through the vacancies page on the bank's own website.

Credit czar's come a long way

FOR someone tasked with getting the banks lending to small firms again, John Trethowan cuts a remarkably relaxed figure.

Yesterday, the genial Northern Irishman was happy to make small talk with journalists at the Department of Finance ahead of a briefing on his Credit Review Office's latest report into how AIB and Bank of Ireland are dealing with small and medium enterprises.

It's fair to say, however, that he was probably a slightly less relaxed figure 15 years earlier when he made his first visit to Merrion Street.

At that time he was a senior executive with National Irish Bank and had been tasked with getting the bank through the DIRT and bogus non-resident accounts scandals that were engulfing the lender at the time.

Those meetings with then Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy were fraught to say the least, but it's fair to say Mr Trethowan and the bank eventually came out the other side of the problems.

Today, the so-called "credit czar" is far removed from his days trying to sort out a scandal-hit bank.

A consummate insider, especially in Northern Irish business where he sits on several boards, Mr Trethowan now has very strong support within the department. That's a far cry from a decade and a half ago.

Irish Independent

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