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Bank of Ireland names high-ranking female banker as new CEO

Bank of Ireland has appointed a high-ranking female banker, Francesca McDonagh, to succeed Richie Boucher as chief executive officer later this year.

The bank confirmed McDonagh, who is 42 and from the UK, will take over the reins on October 2. She is the first female CEO of an Irish bank and saw off internal and external competition to win the role.

Born in the UK, with two Irish grandparents from Dublin and Galway, she hasn’t previously worked in Ireland.

A spokesman for the bank also confirmed her remuneration will match that of Mr Bouchers, which reached €958,000 in 2016. It makes her the highest paid executive in any of the bailed out banks.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had signalled earlier this year the government would overlook the €500k salary cap restriction imposed on executives at bailed-out banks if the new CEO was an external appointment.

Ms McDonagh assumes the top position at Bank of Ireland after a two-decade career at HSBC, where she was most recently head of retail banking and wealth management for the UK and Europe.

Governor of the Bank of Ireland Archie Kane said the board had “conducted a thorough search” and described Ms McDonagh as “an exceptional candidate.”

He added that Mr Boucher had been “an outstanding success at Bank of Ireland, and leaves the Bank in a much stronger position than he inherited when he took up the role of CEO in February 2009.”
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