Like all golf courses in the State, Lahinch Golf Club overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Co Clare is closed under the current Level-5 lockdown restrictions.
However, there has been a flurry of activity on members' WhatsApp groups this week following news late on Tuesday that Davy had hired international professional services firm Alvarez and Marsal to carry out a review of matters arising from the stockbroker's recent Central Bank of Ireland fine – including a "forensic assessment" of staff trading over the past seven years.
The links course, host to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2019, just happens to count Alvarez & Marsal's man in Ireland, Tom McAleese, as a long-standing member. As are two of the Davy 16 involved in the Anglo Irish Bank bond trade that was at the centre of the Central Bank investigation: former Davy chief executive Tony Garry and former bonds director Finbarr Quinlan.
While McAleese declined to comment, it is understood that the former Barclays banker and head of Alvarez & Marsal's bank restructuring practice in Europe – who has, among other things, advised in the past decade on the setting-up of Spain's answer to Nama as well as the overhaul of Tajikistan's banking system – will not play any part in the Davy review.
Finding a professional services firm that has had no past dealings with the largest securities firm in the State was always going to be difficult, which was why it took almost two weeks for Davy’s board to tie down a name. Davy said on Tuesday that Alvarez & Marsal had no known prior connection with the company.
The Davy review will be led by Paul Sharma, managing director with Alvarez & Marsal Financial Services in London and head of the regulatory practice and one-time top UK regulatory official, and will be conducted by a London-based team.
The outcome of this work – which Davy has “committed to sharing” – will be eagerly anticipated, including in west Clare.