Monday 19 February 2018

Where are they now? Michael Bourke


NO STRANGER to the IMF, Michael Bourke might now find himself working closely with it once more as part of his duties at the Central Bank. He started out there in the Eighties, working in investment management, foreign exchange and accounting. He later spent three years at NCB stockbrokers, where he first met Dermot Desmond.

He then joined the IMF, where he advised Egypt on its debt restructuring and ran workshops with central banks of former USSR republics.

After leaving the IMF in the early Nineties, he was an adviser to the Bank of Lithuania. He also advised the Latvian Central Bank on introducing regulation and cleaning up the national banking system; and was appointed CEO of Rietumu, Latvia's fourth largest bank in 1997.

Latvia was in the throes of a massive economic transformation, and Rietmu soon had assets approaching €1bn. Dermot Desmond bought in for a 30 per cent stake in 2005.

Bourke retired from Rietumu in 2006 and returned to Ireland shortly afterwards.

Latvia had its own spectacular banking bust, and the EU and IMF bailed it out in 2008.

In June this year, Bourke joined the Irish Central Bank's risk advisory panel.

Last year, the Latvian government appointed him to the board of Parex Ban, which collapsed in 2008. Bourke is spearheading Parex's legal action against two of its former senior executives, whom the bank alleges enriched themselves at its expense.

Sunday Independent

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