Director of €15bn State fund to step down

Eugene O’Callaghan will leave Ireland Strategic Investment Fund at end of December

Eugene O’Callaghan, the director of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, is stepping down.

Eugene O’Callaghan, the director of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, is stepping down.

 

State officials are to begin looking for a new director to lead the taxpayer-owned €15.1 billion Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif), after Eugene O’Callaghan announced he is to step down from the position later this year.

Mr O’Callaghan, a former senior executive with Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM), will depart the role at the end of December. He has led Isif and its predecessor, the National Pensions Reserve Fund, for a decade since 2010, assuming the role as the State experienced its last financial crisis.

He first joined the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which oversees Isif, in 2005. Prior to that he was chief operating officer and director of ILIM, where he worked for 15 years. He also previously worked as an investment banker in New Zealand.

The NTMA will begin recruiting for Mr O’Callaghan’s successor in coming weeks. Conor O’Kelly, the chief executive of NTMA, wished his departing colleague well in his “new chapter”.

Isif is effectively a State sovereign wealth fund, and prior to the coronavirus pandemic it was focused on investing in areas such as climate and housing. Following the arrival of Covid-19, the then government asked it to oversee a €2 billion fund to support larger businesses hit by the pandemic.