NTMA’s Cathy Bryce to return to AIB in top role

State taps overseas expertise for non-executive roles to taxpayer-controlled bank

The opening came as the previous head of the division, Colin Hunt, was named before Christmas as AIB’s new chief executive.

The opening came as the previous head of the division, Colin Hunt, was named before Christmas as AIB’s new chief executive.

 

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is set to lose recently-hired senior official Cathy Bryce, who has decided to rejoin AIB to head its corporate, institutional and business banking division.

Ms Bryce joined the NTMA last August as director of the National Development Finance Agency, which advises State authorities on public investment projects. She was also appointed director of NTMA’s NewERA unit, which advised the Government on State bodies, earlier this year.

Ms Bryce had previously worked for more than two decades with AIB, most recently as head of international and syndicated lending. She will take up her new role in the coming months, according to the bank.

The opening came as the previous head of the division, Colin Hunt, was named before Christmas as AIB’s new chief executive. That appointment took effect earlier this month.

Meanwhile, AIB also revealed on Monday that the State has found two new members for the board of AIB, in which taxpayers retain a 71 per cent stake following the lender’s bailout during the financial crisis.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe nominated Ann O’Brien, an Irish native and former senior partner with Deloitte in New York, and Raj Singh, chief risk officer at Swiss private banking group EFG International, as non-executive directors at the bank. They will join the board on April 25th.

The move follows a decision by the Government early last year to abandon the practice of appointing public interest directors to bailed-out banks, in favour of nominating candidates put through the standard Public Appointments Services process used by state bodies. The final public interest directors, who were appointed after taxpayers were forced to guarantee the financial system in 2008, stepped down from their respective institutions at the end of 2017.

Public interest directors appointed to the boards of rescued banks during the crisis were primarily made up of former senior politicians and civil servants, including former Tánaiste Dick Spring, one-time secretary general of the Department of Finance Tom Considine and former Fianna Fáil minister Ray MacSharry.

It is understood that the Minister’s officials plan to follow up the AIB non-executive appointments with two nominees to the board of Permanent TSB, in which the State retains a 75 per cent stake, and one independent director to the board of Bank of Ireland, which is almost 14 per cent taxpayer-owned.

Ms O’Brien, a past student of University College Dublin and Trinity College, Dublin, has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, having lived and worked in the UK, Luxembourg, France and the US.

Mr Singh has 34 years’ business, risk and corporate governance experience gained across large complex financial services groups. He previously worked as chief risk officer at life insurer and asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen and at German insurance giant Allianz.