CEO of Top Irish Securities Firm Davy Resigns After ScandalMarch 7, 2021
(Bloomberg) — Brian McKiernan, chief executive of Ireland’s biggest securities firm Davy, resigned after regulators accused the company of a “lack of candor” in dealing with one of the worst scandals to hit Dublin’s stockbroking community in years.
The board has also accepted the resignations of Kyran McLaughlin as a non-executive deputy chairman and Barry Nangle as head of bonds, the Dublin-based firm said in a statement Saturday. Bernard Byrne, deputy CEO, has been appointed interim chief executive.
“As we reflect on the Central Bank investigation, our priority now is to restore trust in the integrity and robustness of our control environment and culture,” John Corrigan, chairman of the firm said.
The move comes after the Irish central bank said this week Davy provided “misleading details” during a probe into a deal involving 16 staff, including some of its top executives. The case involved a consortium of employees buying bonds from a client in a personal capacity, the central bank said, without the customer knowing they were the buyers.
“I regret my role in a transaction in 2014 and I am very sorry for the hurt that it has caused to the reputation of Davy and its people,” McKiernan said in a personal statement. “I have decided to stand down from my role as my continued presence in light of the extended commentary on those events is damaging for the company and my colleagues.”
Davy was fined 4.13 million euros ($4.9 million) by the regulator.
Initially, Davy tried to weather the episode, offering “deep regrets.” However, in recent days, pressure has built on the company. The government called on it to offer clarity, and key clients, including the national debt office and Bank of Ireland Group Plc, publicly aired their concerns. The board quickly started a review of the affair at the firm, which lies at the center of Irish corporate life.
Davy was joint bookrunner on a syndicated sale of 5.5 billion euros worth of state debt in January and of 6 billion euros in June. It also acted as a global co-ordinator on the government’s sale of part of its holding in AIB Group Plc in 2017, which raised about 3.4 billion euros.
McKiernan had been chief executive since 2015. He joined Davy in 1989 and was named managing director of its private clients unit in 2001.