He has just retired as a partner with accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), where he led the firm’s insolvency department.
He had been with PWC for 34 years, working in the audit division and management consultancy, before moving to head the insolvency arm in 1987.
Mr Grace has been involved with a number of high-profile receiverships and liquidations throughout his career.
In 1998, he was appointed by the High Court to investigate the affairs of National Irish Bank and was also involved in the receivership of failed Cork stockbroking firm W&R Morrogh.
He is also well known as a former rugby international, winning 25 caps for Ireland between 1972 and 1978 and captaining the side on eight occasions. He also toured with the Lions in 1974.
Paddy Power chairman Fintan Drury said yesterday: “Tom will bring a wealth of experience and a great deal of practical business savvy to our board. I look forward to him making a strong contribution to the development of the business in the years ahead.”
Mr Grace’s appointment comes as a new chief executive started yesterday.
Former Greencore finance director Patrick Kennedy replaced John O’Reilly as chief executive. Shares in Paddy Power closed up nearly 5% yesterday at €12.70.