BoI high-fliers jump ship to join rival

FOUR of Bank of Ireland’s top asset management employees have jumped ship to share a €16 million windfall with an Australian-owned rival.

Sydney-based Perpetual Trustees said yesterday it hired Des Sullivan and John Nolan, two of Bank of Ireland Asset Management’s (BIAM) top four chief investment officers, as well as senior portfolio managers Richard Kelly and John Forde.

The company is to set up a Dublin headquarters for its new global equities asset management business. The office will employ 16 people and received support from IDA Ireland.

“We commenced a comprehensive global search to identify and secure the best individuals to establish our global equities capability,” said Perpetual wealth management executive Gerard Doherty.

A spokesperson for the four said they would build a strong global equities business at Perpetual. Perpetual, which is quoted on the Australian Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of almost €1 billion, put in place a €16m share deal for its new Dublin staff if they meet specified revenue targets. Bank of Ireland said it was sorry to see the four leave, but said it was bullish on its ability to cope without them.

“While it is always regrettable to see colleagues depart, BIAM is uniquely positioned in the strength of its brand, its excellent global reputation and the tremendous strength in depth of its 21-strong asset management team,” said BIAM chairman Denis Donovan.

The bank has appointed BIAM director Leona Nicholson as deputy chief investment officer and has given other top executives more responsibility.

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