Davy chairman to step down as chair of investment managers' body

Move not linked to Davy controversy, Irish Association of Investment Managers says

John Corrigan has been chairman of the IAIM since December 2016, the year after he became Davy chairman. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

John Corrigan has been chairman of the IAIM since December 2016, the year after he became Davy chairman. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

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John Corrigan, chairman of Davy, is stepping down as chairman of the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM) in a move the body says is not linked to the turmoil at the embattled stockbroker.

The association, which is the funds sector lobby group for global and domestic institutions, said Mr Corrigan signalled in 2019 that he wished to leave the board in 2020 but agreed to stay because of coronavirus. He then told the board in December that he planned to stand down in March, the association added.

Mr Corrigan will be succeeded from April 1st by Paul Price, chief executive of Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Ireland). Asked by The Irish Times if there was any link between Mr Corrigan’s exit and the €4.13 million Central Bank fine on Davy this month that prompted moves to sell the broker, an IAIM spokesman said “none”.

Mr Corrigan, former chief executive of the National Treasury Management Agency, has been chairman of the IAIM since December 2016, the year after he became Davy chairman.

Controversy

The stockbroker has been at the centre of a controversy since the Central Bank imposed the fine on March 2nd over a 2014 deal in which a group of 16 Davy executives bought Anglo Irish bonds being sold by a client, Northern property developer Patrick Kearney. The group of 16 – the O’Connell Partnership – bought the bonds without notifying the compliance function within Davy.

The Central Bank penalty led to the departure of top Davy executives, its removal as a primary dealer in government bonds and the decision to sell the business. Davy has meanwhile asked an international professional services firm to review matters arising from the Central Bank investigation.

“In late 2019, John indicated that he wished to step down from the board in Q1 of 2020 but due to the impact of Covid he agreed to remain involved. In December 2020 John informed the board he would be stepping down in March 2021 and a process to appoint a new chair commenced,” said the IAIM.

Mr Price’s appointment was agreed and ratified at the March board meeting. “The board of the Irish Association of Investment Managers wish to acknowledge and thank John for his service.”

Mr Corrigan’s tenure at the IAIM was not without controversy. The Government criticised the association last year when it chose as its chief executive Michael D’Arcy, the former minister of state for finance who lost his Dáil seat in the 2020 election.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said at the time that he was “not happy, or in any way comfortable” with former office holders taking up posts where they had political responsibility “immediately after or within months of having left office”.

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