Irish entrepreneur and publisher Michael Lafferty dies

Born in Roscommon, Lafferty moved to London and built a successful career in financial publishing, research and training

Irish entrepreneur and media publisher Michael Lafferty (73) has died after a short illness. Living in Richmond, Surrey, he was the founder and chairman of Lafferty Group and the Retail Banking Institute.

Born in 1950 in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, he was one of 12 children in the family. Mr Lafferty moved to London at 17, and qualified as a chartered accountant at the age of 21, after which he worked for Touche Ross (now Deloitte).

In 1975 he joined the Financial Times, where he worked for six years as banking correspondent, accounting correspondent and as a LEX columnist.

He created his own publishing business in 1981 in an attic room in his London home in Hammersmith, with the launch of the Retail Banker International newsletter. The business grew over the years to employ 120 people at one point, with offices opened at various stages in London, Dublin, New York, Washington DC and Singapore.


In 1988, he received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Having established a successful portfolio of financial newsletters in the pre-internet era, Mr Lafferty later branched out into management reports, research, conferences and training.

In 2014, he set up an office in Westport, Co Mayo, which is now home to the Retail Banking Institute and Lafferty Group. The institute provides independent professional education and certification for individuals and organisations in retail banking.

Commenting on his death, Caroline Hastings, chief executive of Lafferty Group, said: “I’m privileged to have worked closely with Michael, who was a visionary and a great friend and colleague for almost 10 years. My deepest sympathies are with his family. We will all miss him. We are proud to continue the work he started and we’re committed to continue his mission to deliver excellence in retail banking education and research to every part of the world for our members and clients.”

Mr Lafferty is survived by his two daughters, Catherine and Isabella, and three grandchildren. He will be buried in Ballaghaderreen.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times