FBD in spotlight over CEO probe

Eamon Quinn

Shares in FBD, the stock market-listed insurer, will be closely watched this morning, after its board ordered an investigation into chief executive, Fiona Muldoon, following allegations made about her conduct by the firm’s chief human resources officer.

The chief human resources officer made the complaints and the board subsequently launched an investigation into Ms Muldoon, it has emerged.

A spokesman for FBD made no comment, yesterday, to questions about how long the investigation would take or whether FBD had contacted Fairfax, the Canadian financial giant that helped recapitalise the Irish insurer three years ago, to inform it on the matters.

In a brief announcement to the stock exchange, after the close of market trading on Friday, the company provided no details on the nature of the “allegations” made against the chief executive and on the investigation.

The statement did, however, say that Ms Muldoon would remain as chief executive.

“FBD Holdings notes a recent press enquiry, regarding internal allegations made against the chief executive, Fiona Muldoon. An investigation relating to this matter is ongoing. The investigation is being conducted with due regard to the rights of all the parties involved. Ms Muldoon remains in her position as chief executive of FBD,” the statement to the market said.

Shares in FBD have had a spectacular recovery, since sinking below €6 a share in 2015, after the insurer slid into losses.

Ms Muldoon has helped the turnaround in its fortunes and secured the recapitalisation deal with Fairfax, which involved a convertible shares deal. FBD raised €70m in rescue funding by means of a 10-year convertible bond — with a 7% annual interest rate — from Fairfax.

FBD shares closed almost 1% higher, to €10.60, on Friday, and have climbed over 30% in the past year.

Following the recovery from its crisis, analysts had widely tipped the insurer to resume paying dividends next year.

The insurer was hit earlier this year by the winter storms, but the costs were less than many feared.

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