Saturday 16 December 2017

The outsider who believed he was infallible

Blinded by his limitless ambition, Sean FitzPatrick transformed an also-ran bank into a swaggering financial giant. Now the empire he created -- just like the Celtic economy it fed -- is in tatters

Charisma is hard to define but we all know it when we encounter it. Sean FitzPatrick belongs to that lucky group of men and women who ooze this rare quality, which has allowed him to charm everybody from former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to the Financial Times columnist Mrs Moneypenny, who cooed recently that he was Ireland's best-looking businessman.

Small, with white curly hair, a permanent tan and a ready smile, the 62-year-old banker looks like a jolly hobbit as he pulls down his gold frame bifocal glasses to the tip of his nose and cracks a joke or opines about the state of the nation. His well-cut grey suits, perfectly ironed shirts and yellow silk ties made him stand out in a profession notorious for drabness, but FitzPatrick is no snob or Flash Harry.

His charm allows the former banker to work a room and maintain a large network of friends in Dublin and further afield.

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