Bank of Ireland’s search for a new CEO is set to continue next year

It is still unlikely that the Bank of Ireland will have a permanent replacement for outgoing chief executive Francesca McDonagh before next year, despite the availability of former CFO Myles O’Grady following his surprise departure from Musgrave.

The bank is understood to be continuing a full search process using internal and external candidates and will appoint an interim CEO when Ms McDonagh joins Credit Suisse next month.

The struggling Swiss investment bank yesterday appointed Ms McDonagh as chief operating officer – three weeks ahead of her expected launch – as part of the first major leadership reshuffle under new chief executive Ulrich Koerner.

Credit Suisse originally hired Ms McDonagh in April to oversee the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, but that role will now be handed over to Francesco de Ferrari, the bank’s head of asset management.

Mr O’Grady, who announced his own departure from Bank of Ireland just under a year ago, is quitting his job as Musgrave’s CFO just five months after joining to pursue a managerial role in another industry.

The move has led to speculation in the banking sector that Mr O’Grady could return for the top job at Bank of Ireland.

Mr O’Grady did not respond to messages asking for comment. The Bank of Ireland declined to comment.

Mr O’Grady was a respected number two at Bank of Ireland and had a successful career at AIB, where he led that bank’s €3 billion IPO in 2017.

Ms McDonagh blamed his loss on caps on bankers’ wages and bonuses, which she says puts banks at a “competitive disadvantage” in attracting and retaining managerial talent. He was the second CFO to leave the bank in two years after Andrew Keating left for a position at CRH in 2019.

While Irish banks can pay a maximum of €500,000, both men made far more than that amount in their post-banking jobs.

However, should Mr O’Grady return to Bank of Ireland as CEO, he could expect to receive the same uncapped €950,000 that Ms McDonagh has been paid since Richie Boucher took over – roughly the equivalent of €950,000 1m is said to be he may have been offered at Musgrave. Bank of Ireland missed the opportunity in its interim results earlier this month to appoint an interim CEO, but Ms McDonagh has again pushed for a lifting of salary caps.

She said the bank had submitted a submission to the Treasury Department’s Retail Banking Review calling for the salary cap to be removed.

“It’s not just for high-paying roles like CEO or CFO,” said Ms. McDonagh. “It is also for the 9,000 colleagues in the bank. We cannot adequately reward excellence or incorporate new achievements into compensation packages.”

Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe has made no suggestion that he plans to lift the salary cap. A Treasury Department bank review is due to be completed in November.

The salary cap doesn’t appear to have hampered the bank’s talent search, however, as an informed source said the candidates that came out were better than expected and not limited to the local talent pool.

Additional reporting from Bloomberg

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/bank-of-irelands-search-for-new-ceo-to-continue-into-next-year-41929751.html Bank of Ireland’s search for a new CEO is set to continue next year

Fry Electronics Team

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