FBD has questions to answer over investigation into allegations made against its CEO

Allegations against Fiona Muldoon have ‘not been upheld’, but the issue is shrouded in secrecy

On Monday, FBD chairman Liam Herlihy and the listed company's board said an independent investigation by law firm William Fry into internal allegations made against its chief executive Fiona Muldoon had concluded.

“The allegations have not been upheld,” the 72-word statement said, adding that Muldoon and her management team would “continue to develop the business” with the “full confidence and support” of the chairman and the board.

The news was well received by investors; FBD's share price rose more than 3 per cent in Dublin the following day. Prem Watsa's Fairfax must have been particularly pleased, as it is poised to convert a bond into a near 19 per cent shareholding in the company next month, which could generate a tidy profit for the Canadian financial group if sold on to other investors.

Welcome relief

Davy described the news as a “welcome relief” for shareholders, adding that the investigation had cast an “unwelcome shadow” on the company since it was first revealed on June 29th.


It also reduced its profit forecasts for the company by 4 per cent for 2019 and by 1 per cent for 2020, partly due to claims inflation.

However, the brevity of FBD’s statement left a lot of pertinent questions unanswered. Who made the allegations? What was the precise nature of the allegation? When were they made? What were the precise findings of the report authors? How much did the investigation cost the company? Why wasn’t the report published? Does the complainant still work for the company? Were the complainant’s legal costs covered by FBD? Who decided that the allegations had not been upheld?

Shareholders have the right to answers on these and other questions relating to this serious issue.