AIB and Ulster Bank both make senior executive appointments

Robert Mulhall takes on AIB role vacated by Bernard Byrne

This is Bernard Byrne’s first senior appointment at AIB since he became chief executive Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

This is Bernard Byrne’s first senior appointment at AIB since he became chief executive Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times


AIB has appointed Robert Mulhall as director of retail and business banking, replacing Bernard Byrne who took over the post of chief executive in May.

AIB’s staff were informed of the appointment today and told that Mr Mulhall would move into the role next month. This is Mr Byrne’s first senior appointment snce taking over as chief executive.

Ulster Bank has also made two changes to its executive management team in the Republic.

Paul Stanley has been appointed as interim chief executive while Ciarán Coyle has taken on the new role of chief administrative officer and will join the bank’s executive committee.

Mr Mulhall was recruited from consulting group Accenture, where he had worked since 2013 in the United States as managing director of distribution and marketing consulting services for North America.

In his role with Accenture, Mr Mulhall worked with a number of large financial services companies in the US and Canada, helping them to formulate their strategy around distribution in light of changing consumer behaviour and potential disruption in the financial services industry

Before Accenture, Mr Mulhall had worked at AIB for more than 18 years in a number of areas, including retail banking, digital innovation, change management, governance and risk, customer relations, strategic marketing, and operations management.

As head of direct channels at AIB he worked on the implementation of a new strategy across internet, mobile, contact centre and self-service.

He was also behind the roll-out of The LAB in the Dundrum Towncentre, Ireland’s first digital banking hub.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Byrne said: “Banking is a rapidly-evolving landscape with fast-changing consumer trends and AIB is keeping pace with those changing customer needs and expectations.

Robert is bringing years of experience to bear on this critical area.”

Ulster Bank

Mr Stanley was Ulster Bank’s chief financial officer. He became interim chief executive on Monday following the departure of Jim Brown, who has moved to the UK to lead Williams & Glyn, a new challenger bank that is part of Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank’s parent company.

Mr Stanley had been tipped to get the role on a permanent basis and it’s not clear if he is in the running for this plum post, or when an announcement on a new chief executive will be made by Ulster Bank.

Mr Brown’s appointment to William & Glyn had been announced by RBS in April.

Mr Coyle was previously head of banking operations, where he led a large team responsible for the day-to-day operations of the bank.

He also worked in the retail and services divisions of Ulster Bank, including as head of change. This involved centralising all change activity across the bank and delivering on its regulatory and business transformation programmes.

The position of chief administrative officer is new within Ulster Bank. It effectively takes over the role of chief operating officer.

That job had been filled by Chris Davis, who has also moved to the UK to take up a role with Williams & Glyn.

Commenting on Mr Coyle’s appointment, Mr Stanley said: “This is a significant and strategic appointment for Ulster Bank, aligning our operating model more closely with RBS”.