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Monday, 15th April 2024
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A Day in the Life: Tom McAleese Managing Director of Barclays Bank Back  
As managing director of Barclays Bank Ireland plc, Tom McAleese is responsible for managing and growing the bank's presence in Ireland. On a daily basis, this involves identifying new business opportunities, keeping up to date with all of the bank's various departments, dealing with the firm's corporate profile and meeting with potential job candidates.
6.15am The alarm clock goes off, I get up, get into the gym gear and head for the gym on the way to work. I usually try to go to the gym 2 - 3 times a week depending on the travel schedule which gets the energy levels up for the day.
Tom McAleese

8.15am After the gym, I drive to the office and have a power breakfast ! (a cup of tea and bowl of porridge) to kick-start the day. I typically scan the financial pages of the newspapers, some daily broker reports and our in-house research (Barclays Wealth produce a very good weekly markets summary) to see if there is any client / market activity. At the moment we are seeing increasing amounts of M&A activity in the Irish market, which generates funding and risk management opportunities for us with our clients.
There is also a lot of press commentary (mainly 'prophets of doom') on the state of the economy and the housing market at present, however most analysts' predictions show circa 5 per cent growth for 2007 and 4 per cent for 2008 which is still not bad!

9.00am I walk around the office to say hello, catch up on overnight email and plan the day ahead.

9.30am Stick my head into the dealing room and catch up with Ciaran Kane, head of treasury. Ciaran's team is currently working on a number of large derivative transactions linked to a range of local authority, PPP, property and corporate transactions. Ciaran's team has access to advice from Barclays Capital, a market leader in the area of foreign exchange, interest rate and inflation derivatives.

10.00am Grab a coffee to get a business update from Helen Kelly, one of our industry relationship directors, who covers the retail & wholesale industry sector. This sector is still active as strong consumer demand has resulted in Irish and overseas retailers continuing to seek expansion opportunities in Ireland.

10.30am Meeting with our PR agency (WHPR) to review media coverage. Good recent coverage of the move to our new headquarters, Two Park Place and also the recent investment property seminar we hosted. We agree more of the same for the coming months.

11.10am Take a call on my mobile from the finance director of a company we have been targeting recently, who is looking to make a potential sizable acquisition. Set up meeting for the following day to discuss the financing of the transaction. I discuss the outline deal with Helen briefly to get her sector view as it has a retail focus and she confirms we have recently closed a similar deal in France - being a global bank gives us access to a broad range of industry sector and product expertise which is relevant to our client base.
11.30am Further catch-up on email and phone calls.

12.00pm Catch up with our head of sales support to discuss what actions we are taking as a result of our recent customer survey.

12.30pm Myself and Rob Roughan, our investment banking relationship director, attend a customer lunch with the CEO and FD of the business. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the capital structure advisory review work which Rob has just conducted and the potential capital markets implications of the review on the client's business. The meeting goes well and we plan to further explore the funding options that were discussed which will help drive the company's growth.

14.30pm Return a call to a local finance adviser who has a European investment property opportunity. I pass the details onto Henry Cleary, head of our real estate team who will revert. We are seeing an increasing amount of pan-European property deals, and with Barclays Capital now well established as a leading European bank in this sector, we have a great opportunity to help our property clients grow overseas.

15.00pm Catch up with Orla McCarthy, HR manager. As the business is growing we are continually recruiting talent and we discuss the various vacancies. Orla has a potential relationship banker candidate and we meet the candidate for an informal chat. A key part of my role is involved in meeting and assessing new talent (therefore lots of cups of coffee!).

16.00pm Quick catch-up phone call with Adrian Doran, head of business banking Belfast on deal activity. We are also currently rolling out a branch network in Northern Ireland - Adrian informs me that the first two branches have been successfully launched over the week-end. This should provide a real boost to our business bank offering in Northern Ireland.

17.00pm End of day catch-up with James Kelly, finance director, who is responsible for running the finance, risk and operations functions of the bank. We review the progress on a wide range of projects, a number of which relate to the ever more complex regulatory and legal framework we operate in.

18.00pm Last round-up of email and phone calls. I also plan what is on for tomorrow and also catch up on any necessary reading. I have a credit paper to read and also some preparatory notes for a customer meeting tomorrow.

19.00pm I leave the office and arrive home at about 19.30. Hopefully there is still some food left in the pot !!

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