Sunday 19 November 2017

Towering man of finance takes the scenic route

FINANCIAL Regulator Matthew Elderfield is semi-regularly accosted by the public for a natter on the banking crisis, but the towering Briton's fame has apparently yet to reach the ranks of An Garda Siochana. Leaving his office on Monday afternoon, Elderfield was promptly told by the boys in blue that he couldn't cross Dame Street.

The newly-named Central Bank Deputy Governor ended up arriving at the annual European Insurance Industry conference half an hour late, thanks to a detour via Christchurch, as Obama-mania swept through the city.

Yet another thing that wouldn't have happened in Bermuda, one expects.

Plane spotting

MYSTERY shoppers come in all shapes and sizes, as Aer Lingus cabin crew found out last week.

Nestling inconspicuously down the back on an inbound flight from Heathrow was none other than Ryanair chief financial officer Howard Millar -- aka the man who holds the purse strings at Aer Lingus's 29pc shareholder and would-be all-out buyer.

Luckily for Aer Lingus, the flight went off peaceably, and the cabin crew peddled beverages and Sky shopping with an almost Ryanair-like enthusiasm.

Millar might not have been so impressed on Aer Lingus's red-eye to Brussels on Monday, when the catering tray was left behind by "mistake" -- so passengers who wanted to buy breakfast instead had to make do with free biscuits and water.

Ryanair, as all seasoned travellers know, would never countenance leaving an airport without its full contingent of stuff to sell.

Hague not vague

AT the packed meeting to launch the long overdue British-Irish Chamber of Commerce, the new group's interim president, Fergal Naughton of Glen Dimplex, joked about being too young to introduce himself as president of any chamber of commerce.

"Don't worry," UK Foreign Minister William Hague assured Naughton: "The problem of being young is temporary."

Mr Hague and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore formally launched the new group.

Hague, well known as a wit, had a steady trade on the after-dinner speech circuit before being elevated to cabinet.

He was once the youngest Conservative Party leader in modern times.

Interim president Fergal Naughton and interim CEO Peter Byrne had worked on the launch for months before it.

The body has begun recruiting for a permanent CEO, with a president due to be elected once the group is up and running.

That prompted Mr Hague to point out that interim appointments are often anything but.

"I've met people who've been doing things on an interim basis for 30 years," he said.

Around 300 business leaders packed into PWC's Dublin headquarters for the launch party last week.

Irish Independent

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