AIB appoints ex-Virgin Money chief as chairman

Jim Pettigrew appointed as successor to Richard Pym

AIB has appointed the ex-chairman of UK bank Virgin Money as its new chairman.

Jim Pettigrew (63), who is originally from Dundee, Scotland, will succeed Richard Pym, who stepped down earlier this year, with immediate effect.

The bank said Mr Pettigrew had been appointed non-executive director and chairman of the board following a selection process.

AIB said Mr Pettigrew had more than 30 years’ experience in UK and international financial services leadership in public, listed and private company environments, including at board level, as chief executive and as chairman.


He was a former chairman of Scottish Financial Services, the Scottish financial services trade body, and served as co-chairman of Scotland’s Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB) with the first minister of Scotland.

Mr Pettigrew recently retired as chairman of Virgin Money and CYBG (Clydesdale Bank) having overseen the bank's successful demerger from National Australia Bank, its IPO and acquisition of Virgin Money.

The Irish Times reported last February that AIB was preparing to appoint acting interim chairman Brendan McDonagh as its new chairman but Mr McDonagh, the current vice-chairman, withdrew his candidacy for personal reasons.

Mr McDonagh said Mr Pettigrew “brings a wealth of experience to the group including in retail banking which, combined with his track record of providing clear strategic direction and vision at both the executive management and board levels, will enable him to make a very significant contribution to the board and the group over the coming years”.

Senior independent director Carolan Lennon, who led the appointment process, said: “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Brendan McDonagh, our deputy chair, for his leadership of the board and the AIB group through the Covid pandemic. We look forward to his continued contribution to the board in the future.”

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times