Andrew Keating to join CRH after leaving Bank of Ireland

BoI implies pay may have been a factor in chief financial officer’s decision to leave

Andrew Keating, announced he was stepping down as chief financial officer at Bank of Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson

Andrew Keating, announced he was stepping down as chief financial officer at Bank of Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Andrew Keating, who announced on Tuesday he is leaving as chief financial officer of Bank of Ireland, has agreed a deal to join CRH, the €23 billion-listed building materials giant that is Ireland’s largest company.

Mr Keating will not be joining CRH as chief financial officer, however. It is understood that the incumbent at CRH, Senan Murphy, will continue in his position as the head of the group’s finance function. Mr Keating is expected to join CRH as group director of finance, effectively reporting to Mr Murphy.

When it announced his departure, the bank said Mr Keating was leaving to take up “a senior finance role in an international organisation outside the financial services sector”. He also currently sits on the bank’s board of directors.

The bank also complained that State-enforced pay restrictions in Irish banks “hamper our ability to attract and retain the people we need to run and develop our business”, implying pay may have been a factor in the decision to leave.

Salary cap

Banker salaries are capped at €500,000, while banker bonuses are effectively banned via an 89 per cent special tax that can only be overturned with the approval of the Oireachtas. Bank of Ireland and AIB have lobbied the Government heavily to lift the caps, but so far Ministers have yet to budge.

Mr Keating was paid a salary of €468,000 at Bank of Ireland last year, with additional benefits of €30,000 and a €53,000 pension contribution for a total remuneration package of €531,000. His counterpart at CRH, its chief financial officer Mr Murphy, was paid a package in 2018 worth almost €2.8 million.

Richie Boucher, the former chief executive of Bank of Ireland, sits on the board of CRH and is also a member of its remuneration committee. Bank of Ireland said that Mr Keating had told colleagues on Friday that he is joining CRH as “group director of finance”. CRH has yet to comment.