Bank of Ireland’s Patrick Kennedy develops a taste for Jazz

Lender’s retiring chairman is moving into a non-executive role in the pharma sector

Patrick Kennedy may be stepping down from the hot seat at Bank of Ireland after his 14 years on the board but he is not walking away from the corporate world.

The former Paddy Power/Flutter chief executive and KPMG alumnus is among the most high-profile independent directors in corporate Ireland and is predictably in demand.

Within days of the news that he was calling time on his six-year term as chairman at Bank of Ireland, having seen the lender through some of the most challenging times in its history, Irish domiciled orphan drugs group Jazz Pharmaceuticals came calling.

Kennedy will join the board from the beginning of next month, replacing former Icon clinical-trials group chief executive Peter Gray, who is not expected to stand for election at the company’s next agm in August. Kennedy’s appointment will preserve the Irish-based input at Jazz, which operates largely in the United States.


Jazz came to Ireland with the $500 million (€461 million) takeover of Seamus Mulligan’s Azur Pharmaceuticals back in 2011. Mulligan, a former Elan executive, is one of the most successful Irish pharma entrepreneurs. Kennedy will join Mulligan who still sits on the Jazz board.

And it could prove as financially rewarding for Kennedy as the onerous role at Bank of Ireland HQ.

Kennedy was taking home €394,000 for helping Bank of Ireland chart a way back to normality after the chaos of the financial crash, bailouts across the Irish banking sector and tighter regulatory oversight.

On the basis of the most recent information available on Jazz’s boardroom remuneration, he might fare even better there.

Directors at Jazz made upwards of $468,000 in 2022. Granted, that included stock awards, but it certainly seems that Kennedy, who also serves as chairman at CarTrawler, will not be out of pocket in his new, slightly lower-profile role.