AIB conducts internal CFO search as Donal Galvin tipped

Bank will select new chief financial officer ahead of annual results on March 1st, say sources

Bernard Byrne, outgoing CEO of AIB: The changes at the top are occurring against the backdrop of salary caps and a ban on bonuses that has been in place since the outset of the crisis. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

AIB is understood to be conducting an exclusively internal search to find its next chief financial officer (CFO), according to sources, with speculation focusing on Donal Galvin, group deputy finance chief and treasurer.

The bank, whose current CFO, Mark Bourke, is set to join private equity-controlled Portuguese lender Novo Banco in the coming months, is preparing to select a new finance head within weeks, ahead of its annual results on March 1st, according to sources.

Outgoing AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne, who also handed in his notice last year, is set to preside over the results presentations, as his successor, Colin Hunt, awaits final regulatory approval.

Internal speculation has been focused for some months on Mr Galvin (45) being the most likely successor to Mr Bourke. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that he is the favourite candidate. Mr Galvin, group treasurer for almost three years, was selected as deputy CFO last October.


AIB and Mr Galvin declined to comment when contacted by The Irish Times.

A former senior executive with Dutch financial group Rabobank in the Netherlands, Hong Kong and London, Mr Galvin joined AIB as head of treasury in August 2013 after 3½ years with Japanese investment banking and trading group Mizuho Securities' Hong Kong operations.

Wholesale debt markets

Mr Galvin played a key role in AIB’s return to wholesale debt markets following the financial crisis that forced AIB into a €20.8 billion taxpayer bailout and 99.8 per cent State ownership.

Both he and Mr Hunt were among a group of top executives involved in an international investor roadshow carried out by AIB ahead of the Government selling an initial 28.8 per cent stake in the bank on the stock market in June 2017.

Selecting internal executives for the top jobs would make it easier for the Government to press the button on further share sales in time. However, AIB’s depressed market value – at just over 80 per cent of book value, or the estimated value of its assets – makes this unlikely in the near term.

The changes at the top are occurring against the backdrop of salary caps and a ban on bonuses that has been in place since the outset of the crisis.

While the Department of Finance is currently considering a working draft of a Government-commissioned report into remuneration across the sector, which is understood to highlight that the status quo is unsustainable as banks struggle to attract and retain top executives, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said last week that he has no immediate plans to ease the restrictions.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times