Former top AIB executive Mulhall joins Vision Consulting

Vision plans to double staff from 200 over next three years

Robert Mulhall, the former head of both AIB’s Irish retail and UK divisions, has joined Dublin-based management consulting firm Vision Consulting to re-establish a financial services division for the first time since the financial crash.

Vision has been led by majority owner Billy Glennon since 1989 and currently specialises in servicing the utilities, healthcare and public sectors. About half of its 200 employees are based in Ireland, with the remainder in the UK and US.

The company helped set up contract tracing call centres for the HSE during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the mobilisation of the GP and pharmacies vaccination programme.

Vision plans to double its workforce over the next three years in line with growth in financial services, according to Mr Mulhall, who joined the company last month.


“Having worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years, I’m excited to bring that experience and Vision’s proven abilities in mobilising change programmes rapidly, eliminating organisational complexity and enabling mindset and behavioural change to clients in the FS sector in Ireland, UK and the US,” he told The Irish Times. The initial focus will be on Ireland and the UK.

Mr Mulhall (48) worked for AIB between 1995 and 2022, with his time with the group broken by a two-year gap between 2013 and 2015, when he worked with consulting group Accenture in the United States.

He stepped down as head of AIB’s UK unit last summer, after overseeing a restructuring of the division.

The executive took over the helm of the bank’s UK division in 2020 and oversaw a review of its operations in light of Brexit. This resulted in the group’s exit from the SME lending market in Britain and the closure of eight of its remaining 15 retail branches in Northern Ireland last year.

The bank sold its £500 million (€557 million) small-business loan book to London-based challenger lender Allica Bank last summer. AIB’s exit from the labour-intensive SME segment of the British market will save it an estimated €35 million in the coming years.

Sources said last year that Mr Mulhall, who had been commuting between Dublin and the UK, decided to hand in his notice as he would otherwise have had to commit to another two or three years to see the UK division through its next phase, while it targets growth in corporate lending in niche areas such as renewable energy, manufacturing and warehousing in Britain.

Mr Mulhall headed up AIB’s Irish retail and commercial banking business between 2015 and early 2020 and was among senior figures at the group to apply as it searched for a new chief executive in late 2018, in the wake of Bernard Byrne’s decision to quit. Colin Hunt, another internal candidate, was ultimately selected.

“On behalf of everyone at AIB, I sincerely thank Robert for his significant contribution to the group during his first period with the bank from 1995 to 2013, and in particular over his six years of service since returning in 2015,” Mr Hunt wrote in a statement in response to questions from The Irish Times.

“He has shown enormous commitment, passion and leadership – always putting the customer at the centre of his decision-making,” he added.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times