Willie Walsh to become chairman of new NTMA board

Former airline boss will ‘play important role’ in new structure, says Noonan

Willie Walsh, chief executive of the International Airlines Group, has been appointed to the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) Advisory Committee and will become chairman of the board.

The announcement was made today by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan who said he was being put in place to "play an important role" in the NTMA's transition to a new structure.

The NTMA is responsible for borrowing on behalf of the exchequer and managing the national debt. It is also the State Claims Agency and manages of the National Pensions Reserve Fund.

Currently, the role of the committee is to assist and advise the agency in various matters and to advise the Minister on the remuneration of the chief executive.


However, those structures are set to somewhat change. Draft NTMA legislation, expected to be enacted early next year, will abolish the advisory committee and establish a board.

The board’s role will be similar to a commercial semi-state, ensuring the NTMA performs its functions effectively as well as setting out strategic objectives.

A strategy for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) will also form part of its remit.

“I am delighted to be appointing Willie Walsh as Chairman of the NTMA Advisory Committee. It is also my intention to appoint him as Chairman of the NTMA’s Board of Directors, which will be established when the forthcoming legislation is passed,” said Mr Noonan.

“Willie Walsh is an ideal candidate for the role of Chairman of the National Treasury Management Agency Board given his position as a global business leader, his extensive experience of corporate change, and his equity and financial market experience.”

Mr Walsh is a former head of Aer Lingus and British Airways.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times