Drumm follows chairman in leaving Anglo

 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE:ANGLO IRISH Bank chief executive David Drumm resigned his position at lunchtime yesterday following the departure the previous evening of chairman Seán FitzPatrick and non-executive director Lar Bradshaw.

It is understood that Mr Drumm accepted that his position was untenable in light of the details that emerged about Mr FitzPatrick's practice of moving loans worth €87 million between Anglo and Irish Nationwide Building Society for a period of eight years up to 2007.

The transfers took place either side of Anglo's year-end to hide the loans from shareholders.

While Mr Drumm has stepped down with immediate effect, Anglo said he would "work" with new chairman Donal O'Connor "through a transition phase" until a new head of the bank is appointed.

"The board will commence a process to appoint a new chief executive immediately," Anglo added.

Mr Drumm was a surprise choice to succeed Mr FitzPatrick as chief executive in 2005, at the age of 39. He boldly stated his intention to double profits within five years, a target he achieved in just two.

In a statement, Mr Drumm said: "It is appropriate for me to step down today given the resignation of Seán FitzPatrick and given the strong statement of support for the bank and its recapitalisation programme by the Minister for Finance. Good progress is being made on the recapitalisation.

"It is undoubtedly in the best interests of Anglo that a new chief executive is appointed to lead the bank through its next phase of development."

Mr Drumm said Mr O'Connor's appointment as chairman "augurs well" for Anglo and its shareholders. "It gives the bank fresh impetus and an upward trajectory," he added.

In response to Mr Drumm's resignation, Mr O'Connor said: "David's decision has been made to ensure that Anglo Irish Bank can move forward with new momentum. He deserves great credit for that. We will have an orderly transition and I am confident that the bank will progress well through this important time."

Mr Drumm was one of the best-paid banking executives in Ireland, earning total remuneration of €3.27 million in the year to the end of September 2007. This included a €2 million bonus.

One of eight children, "Drummer", as he is known to friends, is the son of a truck driver from Skerries. He left school at 16 with his Leaving Cert and turned down an offer from what is now Dublin City University to join a small accountancy practice.

His rise to become the chief of Ireland's fourth-largest bank was dramatic, and his fall equally so.