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The Punt: When 'you pay peanuts, you get monkeys'

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The terminal's eastern façade now stares down on the old arrival and departures building which is lying empty and idle. Ryanair's Michael O'Leary wanted to make it a hub for his budget carrier. But Cork Airport, or rather their Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) owners, chose to keep it moth-balled

The terminal's eastern façade now stares down on the old arrival and departures building which is lying empty and idle. Ryanair's Michael O'Leary wanted to make it a hub for his budget carrier. But Cork Airport, or rather their Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) owners, chose to keep it moth-balled

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The terminal's eastern façade now stares down on the old arrival and departures building which is lying empty and idle. Ryanair's Michael O'Leary wanted to make it a hub for his budget carrier. But Cork Airport, or rather their Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) owners, chose to keep it moth-balled

Bloomberg cut to the chase yesterday with a story about AIB's search for a new CEO by the always excellent Joe Brennan entitled; "Wanted: Irish Bank CEO for 'Peanuts' to Recoup $24bn Aid".

The main quote came from Ryanair's always quotable Michael O'Leary. "You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Some artificial cap on salary of €500,000 is just entirely inappropriate if you want to get AIB back into the market, floated and become a successful bank again."

The Punt can't help noticing the airline boss is mellowing almost by the day. O'Leary was certainly full of praise for out-going AIB chief executive David Duffy. Duffy "seems to be doing a very good job at AIB and it's no great surprise that he's left," said O'Leary who earns €1.8m at Ryanair as well as much more lucrative options. "The days of altruism are gone."

But perhaps the best observation came from London headhunter John Purcell. "These jobs, where you're working for politicians, you'd almost need a danger money premium. You can be sure that if politicians want to deflect blame when something goes wrong, they'll always take the easy route of bashing the banker." The same seems to be happening in Aer Lingus these days.

Paddy Power is till tipping AIB insider Bernard Byrne as the favourite for the job. Readers can also take a punt on Fergus Murphy, products director at AIB, and Mark Bourke, CFO for less than a year.

Checkout checks in at conference

There's been a lot going on this week between Aer Lingus, mortgage rules and all the rest, so it's inevitable that some staples of the business calendar at this time of year haven't got as much coverage as they usually might.

Among them is the annual retail conference held by 'Checkout' magazine in Dublin.

This week, timely presentations included one from Leo Crawford, the CEO of retail group BWG, which controls the Spar franchise in Ireland and has just tabled a €23m bid to buy the trading business of ADM Londis.

John Paul O'Reilly, commercial director at Tesco Ireland was also among this year's speakers, as was David Cotter, the country manager at Procter & Gamble for Ireland.

During polls of delegates at the conference, 40.2pc believed that Aldi will experience faster growth this year than Lidl in Ireland. But 24pc think discounters will see their growth slow this year.

Good and not so good news then perhaps for Dublin-based PR agency Presence PR, which has just taken over the consumer account for Aldi.

Greencore chairman keeps it cool

The Punt was in attendance at the Greencore agm on Tuesday, where chairman Gary Kennedy faced some hostile questions from shareholders, despite the business continuing to grow impressively.

But Kennedy is an old hand and the agm passed off without too much trouble.

A former group director of finance and enterprise technology at AIB - a job from which he retired with a bumper pay package - Kennedy is to be found on all sorts of boards.

Kennedy (56) was appointed to the Greencore board as a non-executive director in 2008 and became chairman in January 2013.

In June 2013 he became chairman of Green REIT.

Kennedy is also on the boards of Friends First and a number of other companies.

In a previous life he was on the boards of IBRC, Elan and the IDA.

He's a former group vice-president of Nortel Networks Europe.

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