Tuesday 12 December 2017

Where are they now? Vincent Sheridan


VINCENT Sheridan led the State's biggest health insurer during some lively times. He successfully pushed for risk equalisation, a levy on competitors, to compensate VHI for its older client base.

Worth €30m a year to VHI, the measure made it through the gamut of government approval and the national and EU courts, and sensationally resulted in rival BUPA leaving the Irish market in 2007.

His tenure saw several premium hikes at VHI, sometimes in double-digit percentages, which he argued were necessary due to rising healthcare costs. His time also saw the introduction of a broader range of health plans, new products such as multi-trip travel insurance and a venture into healthcare clinics.

Though a Dubliner, he boarded at Blackrock College from age eight. He got a first B.Comm from UCD in 1969, then served articles with Reynolds McCarron O'Connor in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2, and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1972.

His first job was with Norwich Union, where he became group chief in 1990. During his time there, he took the investment business back from Britain and also set up a building society.

When Norwich Union merged with Hibernian in 2000 he was first made deputy chief executive, and then a year later he became the CEO.

He was approached to take the top job at VHI and accepted in 2001. By the time he retired in mid-2008 he was on a package worth €422,000.

VHI recorded a surplus of €62.8m for 2007, but had a net deficit of €65m at the end of 2008, with subscriptions plummeting in the recession.

The 61-year-old is married to Aileen, with four grown-up children. He is a director at FBD Insurance.

Sunday Independent

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