Tuesday 12 December 2017

Nesbitt's driving ambition heralds the end of an era

Family stake in iconic department store to be wiped out if the banks take over, writes Ronald Quinlan

A 2010 registered Mercedes E250 convertible purrs gently to a halt at the kerbside on Dublin's Wellington Road. Even in this pocket of privilege, it stands out as a display of bold ostentation amidst the '06 and '07 plates affixed to the cars of other residents. The days when people obsessed about keeping up appearances are, as everybody knows, long gone.

Not that the driver of the gleaming cabriolet gives off the air of someone trying to be flash. Besuited and bespectacled, the 58-year-old chairman of Arnotts, Richard Law Nesbitt, makes for a curious sight as he alights from the sleek silver vehicle outside his three-storey-over-basement Georgian townhouse.

But what might appear to be an outward sign of a mid-life crisis to the casual observer is nothing compared to the very real crisis that Mr Nesbitt, a highly regarded senior counsel and businessman, is facing.

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