Wednesday 13 December 2017

Donegal native got €800,000 bonus year before collapse

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

WILLIE McATEER was Anglo's second-in-command in the run-up the bank's meltdown.

As finance director and head of risk, he was at the coalface of efforts to prevent the collapse of the lender, allegedly even earning the praise of the then financial regulator Patrick Neary.

Mr Neary's "Fair play to you, Willie" -- allegedly congratulating the banker for his efforts to fight the crisis -- has become one of the standout quotes of the boom.

Now 61, Mr McAteer originally trained as an accountant before moving into corporate leasing and eventually banking with Anglo Irish.

At the bank, he worked closely with former Anglo boss Sean FitzPatrick and then his successor David Drumm.

Both Mr FitzPatrick and Mr Drumm were seen as big characters, capable of winning business for the bank on the lending side.

Mr McAteer's softer spoken efforts focused on investors in the bank's shares and bonds.

As one of the bank's top executives, Mr McAteer, originally from Donegal, travelled widely and regularly, drumming up interest in the bank.

It was well-paid work. Mr McAteer earned €2.19m during his last three years with the bank, including an €800,000 bonus in 2007, just a year before the bank had to be bailed out.

Like a number of his peers at the top of the bank, Mr McAteer was a borrower from Anglo as well as an employee -- largely to fund his big investments in Anglo shares.

Mr McAteer stepped down from the Anglo board when the bank was nationalised, and has kept a very low business profile since.

He is not listed as a director of any companies and is not thought to have taken up any new role since Anglo.

His €1m home in Dublin's leafy Rathgar has been on the market for some time.

Irish Independent

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