Woman joins AIB executive committee


AIB has become the first Irish bank to appoint a woman to its top executive committee. Ms Susan Keating (51), who is president and chief executive of AIB's US subsidiary, Allfirst, will join the nine-member group executive committee which runs the bank.

Women are represented at board level at Bank of Ireland and AIB, but shareholders regularly criticise these companies for their failure to promote female employees to key management positions - despite the disproportionately high number employed.

Ms Keating succeeded Mr Jerry Casey to head up Allfirst in 1999. She joined the AIB group in 1996 when the bank purchased the First Maryland Bank, now part of Allfirst. Ms Keating is from Los Angeles and is married with one daughter.

Mr Frank Bramble, chief executive of AIB's US division, has been on the executive committee for some time. Ms Keating's appointment is being viewed as a sign of a strong commitment by the bank to its US banking operations.

Mr Gary Kennedy, 43, is to take on a wider role in the group executive committee, adding the group finance and risk functions to his existing role as managing director of AIB enterprise networks and the e-business division. Mr Con O'Sullivan (55), currently head of AIB's finance and corporate services, will become deputy to Mr Kennedy.

The bank also announced the retirement of Mr Pat Ryan (56) from the executive committee and from his position as group treasurer. Mr Ryan will continue to have a relationship with AIB on a part-time basis, assisting with the strategic direction of a number of projects. His main involvement will lie in ensuring the completion of the bank's preparations for satisfying the Basle II regulatory requirements.

AIB group chief executive, Mr Michael Buckley, chairs the committee. The other members are, Mr Bramble, Mr Gerry Byrne, managing director, AIB Poland; Mr Colm Doherty, managing director, AIB Capital Markets; Mr Kennedy, Ms Keating, Mr Mike Lewis, head of AIB human resources; Mr Aidan McKeon, managing director, AIB UK and Northern Ireland, and Mr Eugene Sheehy, managing director of AIB's Irish retail operations.