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Saturday, 13th April 2024
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‘The life of Brian’ Back  
Brian Kelleher, senior relationship manager, AIB Global Treasury Services, describes a typical day in a business environment where markets move very quickly and one where ‘winning the deal’ gives as good a buzz now as it did 15 years ago.
7am: I leave for work each morning at 7.15 am. It is an early start in our house, as everyone needs to be in school or work early. On the way to the office in the IFSC I listen to Morning Ireland as this show covers off most leading news stories and gives me my news fix for the day.
Brian Kelleher



8am: Within AIB Capital Markets I work on the Institutional Treasury Desk in Global Treasury Services. Our team of eight oversees the treasury requirements of a large spread of institutional clients as well as a substantial number of large corporate customers. First task this morning is to check all customer foreign exchange orders left overnight. There has been USD weakness and we are delighted to have a good numbers of client orders filled and an FX Option Order executed overnight. This is a result for our Options Desk who have been working hard to bring timely and strategic products to customers.

9am: I co-ordinate a team meeting with the John Beggs led Economic Research Unit to discuss the ‘likely’ FX movement over the following days. The Economic Unit is a fantastic in-house support for our business and serves our planning needs well. Following this I plan the schedule for the day and return some e-mails. My colleague John O’Riordan and I then meet briefly to ensure our exchange desk is adequately staffed and all customer meetings are scheduled.

I consider the hours between 9.00am and 1.00pm as particularly crucial in the matter of customer service in our business. During the morning the Treasury Relationship Managers call their customers, updating them on overnight market movements and discussing new treasury deals that may be in the pipeline. Many customers require a brief synopsis of market movement and they appreciate it when their Relationship Manager understands their business. Over the years there have been huge improvements in dealing technology and our systems are state of the art. This allows our Relationship Managers to spend more time with customers and less time writing up tickets.

11am: I take a call about our web based cash management system – iBusiness Banking, and I agree to make a presentation of the system to an interested customer. The local sales teams are now empowered to sell our cash management and trade finance products to customers so it’s an exciting time for GTS. Customer feedback to date has been very positive and for the forthcoming meeting I am asked to put a detailed presentation in place regarding a structured transaction. Many requests of this kind come directly from customers, others from our internal Structured Finance unit. I also work very closely with my colleagues in AIB Corporate Banking on a number of such large ticket structured deals. The morning ends in a flurry of telephone activity as USD volatility increases.

1pm: I go to lunch with the treasurer of a large corporate client. He is anxious to know our view on the Euro/ Sterling relationship as he has substantial ongoing GBP receivables. I go through the options with him and offer to send out any further information he requires. I also inform him about the availability of our Economic Research Unit should he need its assistance around future planning. We discuss European interest rates and the likely timing of any changes to official rates. It is hard to believe that short-term rates have remained unchanged in over two years.

2.15pm: Back in the office my colleagues are discussing an internal briefing they have attended over lunch on the topic of oil prices and prospects for the immediate future. This is affecting many businesses, so it is important that Relationship Managers get a perspective on the drivers behind the price and its relationship to the USD. I have two very important meetings this afternoon. Firstly at 2.30pm I meet with Con O’Toole, our Business Risk Manager and his legal team, for our monthly check up on documentation and money laundering matters. Compliance is a very important part of my job role. We look over any outstanding mandate and contractual documentation issues. Problems in this area affect the smooth running of a dealing arrangement and correct documentation is a safeguard for the Bank and customers alike. This meeting goes well and we are on target to have any outstanding queries sorted in a very short timeframe. Following this meeting I return telephone calls and e-mails and also agree the pricing on a substantial structured transaction that we have been working on for a number of weeks.

3.30pm: Final meeting for the day is with our product management team. I have been working in the background on a new initiative and it is now time to bring in the experts. William Patten and his team in Product Management are experts in new product development and they play an integral role in the overall success of Global Treasury Services. Because of the nature of this new product the meeting lasts a little longer than originally planned but was very worthwhile. All new products require approval from our New Product Committee and its imperative this offering be packaged properly.

4.50pm: Back to my desk and I check over the work of the day. Colleagues have by now inputted the complex structured transaction and I must verify it prior to final input. I then call off all deals with our position keeper and tidy up for the evening.

5.45 pm: On the way home, I take a call from Michael O’Neill in PWC. Michael reminds me of our weekly meeting that evening, of the Muckross Park College Sports Development Committee, Donnybrook. We are working very hard at putting together the finance necessary to build a new Astroturf Pitch at the school. A difficult task but one that is close to my heart as my wife Noreen is a teacher in Muckross & my daughter Nancy attends the school.

6.30pm: Home to the family, homework to oversee and a few things to sort out around the house.

8.15pm: I head over to Muckross Park for the fundraising meeting which goes well. Home again at 10.30pm and turn in for the night, still thinking how we’ll find another 3 tickets for the match!

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