Business Irish

Friday 27 April 2018

The Punt: New faces for PTSB shake-up

Ronan Harris is vice-president of large customer sales for Google Europe, Middle East and Africa
Ronan Harris is vice-president of large customer sales for Google Europe, Middle East and Africa

THERE's a shake-up going on over at the board of Permanent TSB. Two new non-executive directors have been appointed, but the bank is bidding farewell to another.

Chairman Alan Cook said the appointments were part of the board's refreshment, which suggests that it was getting a bit dull and needed a bit of zest.

In a notice to the stock exchange, Mr Cook announced Julie O'Neill and Richard Pike as the board's latest additions.

Ms O'Neill is a former secretary general at the Department of Transport. She also sits on the board of Ryanair, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Mr Pike has extensive experience working with financial institutions, helping them to manage enterprise risk more efficiently while effectively addressing financial services industry regulations, guidelines and standards.

But Pat Ryan, who has been a director of the group since 2009, has advised the board that he won't be standing for re-election and will retire in May.

"Julie's experience in the public sector arena and Richard's in the financial services risk and regulatory area will be invaluable to the group and I look forward to their contribution," Mr Cook said.

Last October, the IMF said that the bank was "returning to profit rather slowly" but that it was not "beyond hope". Comforting words for the board's newest members.

COMMUNICORP IN SAFE HANDS

COMMUNICORP's newest non-executive director has a diverse background.

Ronan Harris, pictured above, is vice-president of large customer sales for Google Europe, Middle East and Africa, and sits on the board of Google Ireland.

Added to that, he is also chairman of ICT Ireland, a member of the executive council of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the homeless charity Focus Ireland.

Communicorp chairwoman Lucy Gaffney said his experience in both the foreign and domestic markets will be invaluable to the radio company.

The UCD electronic engineering graduate began his career with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in Japan and went on to spend nine years in Japan in consulting, before returning to Ireland in 2001 to work in private equity. He joined Google in 2005. A perfectly modern CV.

GOLF-MAD SCOTS MAKE PR PITCH

Alex 'Braveheart' Salmond still has a big mountain to climb in terms of pushing a vote for Scottish independence in September.

It will either mark the triumphant culmination of a long bid for freedom, or the death knell of the Scottish first minister's political career. Either way, Scotland still needs to underpin its economy.

Tourism is the country's fourth-biggest economic activity, generating £11bn (€13.3bn) in revenue in 2011.

On the golf side, it wants to become the world's leading golf destination by 2020, with 70pc of golf tourists to Scotland originating from the UK and Ireland (as if we don't have enough of our own golf courses).

A total of 185,000 people from here visited Scotland in 2010, compared with 309,000 in 2007, and Scotland is keen to get more of us back to its shores. So now it's looking to hire PR firms across the island of Ireland to encourage us to do so. Tenders are being sought to provide services to VisitScotland, with a deadline of February 12.

The contract is for an initial six months with a chance to extend it for an additional two periods, each of 12 months' duration. An appointment under the tender process is expected to be made later next month. It will certainly be interesting work if the world says hello to its newest independent state come autumn.

Irish Independent

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