Tuesday 10 December 2019

Thomas Molloy: Bawls of malting ire greet the Greencore top table

GREENCORE effectively severed its manufacturing connections with Ireland on Tuesday when shareholders voted to sell off the malt business.

While 99pc of shareholders approved the deal, some farmer shareholders tore up their ballot papers and stormed out.

A less ostentatious dissenter was dapper Kilkenny man and former chief executive Chris Comerford, who abstained during voting.

Mr Comerford left Greencore shortly after the 1990 privatisation, promising to write a book.

One can't help suspecting there are many who regularly give thanks that the tome is yet to appear.

NAMA post

MICHAEL Murray, a former adviser to Charlie McCreevy during the finance minister's stint in Brussels, and Mary Harney, is the latest person to find a job at the National Asset Management Agency, according to an internal note distributed to employees.

Mr Murray has taken up a post as portfolio asset manager, where he will report to John Mulcahy, formerly of Jones Lang LaSalle, who is the agency's head of portfolio management.

Mr Murray previously worked at Bank of Ireland.

Weather vane

Labour's Sean Sherlock says that he doesn't dabble in shares on the side, but he wasn't going to let the appearance of stock exchange bigwigs before a key Oireachtas committee this week go by without asking for their view of where the local market is heading.

ISE chairman Padraig O'Connor was suitably non-committal. "I think I'd be mad to make a prediction," he parried, before going on to talk of "encouraging signs" such as increasing liquidity in the market, which is leading to "price action determining reality".

New FSI chief

EBS chief executive Fergus Murphy has replaced National Irish Bank's Andrew Healy as president of Financial Services Ireland, the IBEC group which represents the industry.

Mr Murphy made his debut appearance on Wednesday to introduce Bundesbank boss Axel Weber to a large gathering in Trinity College.

His basic message was that the industry must exploit the next 12 months of low interest rates because rates are likely to rise.

The IFSC is very close to naming a new ambassador or czar as these people are invariably known these days, he added.

Bravery award

FINALLY, this week's bravery award goes to Postbank chief executive Margaret Sweeney, who defied the doubters by turning up at Accenture's International Women's Day celebrations in the Westbury Hotel on Monday despite the bank's decision to pull out of Ireland which was announced just days earlier.

This year's theme was appropriately enough 'Resilience in the Face of Change'.

Other speakers included State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy and Accenture's organisation effectiveness managing director Yaarit Silverstone.

Irish Independent

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