Wednesday 21 March 2018

The Punt: Doing the work of two men

Ulster Bank's Ellvena Graham
Ulster Bank's Ellvena Graham
Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

The Punt

The country's most senior woman banker is moving on. Ulster Bank's Ellvena Graham has called it a day after 33 years with the bank she joined in Belfast in 1982 straight out of school.

Testament to her advanced multi-tasking skills, the departing woman will be replaced by two men.

Ellvena Graham worked most recently as managing director of SME Banking for Ulster Bank as a whole and as the bank's Northern Ireland head.

As the public face of Ulster Bank in the North she took the heat at Stormont over the bank's botched communication of major job cuts last year, a crisis she diffused with clarity and an apology. She is off to pursue other interests and will join Ulster Bank's board as a non executive director in the coming months.

Richard Donnan is taking over as managing director of Ulster's SME, corporate and institutional business in Northern Ireland, in addition to his current responsibility for retail banking nationally, and Eddie Cullen will take over the SME business in the Republic, where he is already responsible for corporate and institutional banking.

Who'd be a master of the universe?

Would you like to work in the financial services industry? You might want to think again, because, according to a recent survey, the work is boring, wages are stagnant and your co-workers are less than inspiring.

The study by Options Group, the findings of which were published by the 'Financial Times' yesterday, showed that just one-fifth of those who took part said they were content with their job. Gordon Gekko stuff it ain't, it seems. Half of the 100 people that were interviewed, who were mostly in senior positions in banks and stockbrokers, said there were roundly unhappy.

The survey, now in its fifth year, has produced consistently downbeat findings amid mass job cuts and a big regulatory squeeze since the crisis, said Jessica Lee, an Options Group director

"In an environment where pay and bonus pools are stagnant, brute politics and internal credit-stealing are ascendant," one anonymous investment banker was quoted as saying.

Other reasons for low job satisfaction included a proliferation of rules turning brokers into "utilities" and "greedy senior managers" that are only interested in protecting their own perks.


Pick a career in journalism instead. Your co-workers will be terribly charming.

Sponsors' toast to Guinness

Who doesn't love a pint of Guiness? Nothing is quite as associated with Irish-ness and our diddly dee image abroad as a good 'ol pint of the Black Stuff, to be sure to be sure, meaning that the power of the Guiness brand has long been coveted as a sponsor.

It would come as no surprise to the majority then that Guinness has emerged as Ireland's most appealing sponsor so far in 2015.

The finding was made in the latest release of the quarterly Irish public sponsorship pulse from Dublin-based sponsorship agency Onside,

Guiness beat off competition from the likes of Vodafone, SuperValu, AIB and Bank of Ireland to claim the top spot.

One in 10 of the public named the brand as the best sponsor in the market in the year's first quarter.

With rugby clearly at play in the sponsor line-up revealed by the latest Onside public survey, Pro12 and 6 Nations sponsor Guinness was also joined by 3Mobile, Aviva and RBS/Ulster Bank in terms of appealing most to the Irish public.

Despite some strong rivals also vying for the number one spot, it comes as no surprise to the Punt that Guiness managed to top the pile in terms of coveted sponsors.

Despite the fact that its creator, Arthur Guinness, was a committed Unionist and the company considered disassociating itself from its Irish reputation as recently as the 1980s, shure didn't O'Bama himself give his pint the thumbs up when he visited in 2012, begorrah!

Irish Independent

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