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Wednesday, 17th April 2024
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The bankers' banker Back  
As director of corporate banking with Bank of Ireland, Padraig Rushe is in charge of providing a comprehensive range of services to banks, fund managers, administrators, insurers and various other related businesses.
6.30am I leave the house to ensure I reach Bank of Ireland's College Green branch for a breakfast launch event which my colleague, Derek Collins, director of new business, was hosting with the American Chamber of Commerce.

Some people have strange misconceptions about what they describe, with a hint of amusement, as 'banking hours'. That was the view among a considerable number of my customers when I worked in New York in the late 80's and early 90's - especially one property developer client who took pleasure in comparing my so-called nine-to-five 'banking hours' with the round-the-clock hours he claimed to put in!

8.30am I was delighted to see the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheal Martin, at the seminar. American clients are always impressed with the commitment of successive Irish Governments' to the ongoing development of Ireland's attractiveness for mobile inward investment. Seminars also offer new business opportunities, and after meeting the managing director of a new aircraft leasing company, I make a mental note to do some more research on this sector. It certainly seems to be making a resurgence in the IFSC.
Click for large image...
Padraig Rushe


9.00am I am back in the Baggot Street head office and it's time to check up on the deluge of e-mails and messages that await me. A Blackberry is great when you're on the run, but there are times when you need the office environment for this sort of chore!

9.30am We have a team meeting. My team looks after IFSC clients and multinational companies (MNCs). A few new syndicate credit facilities are being arranged by some MNCs, but more and more the old principles of lending are being turned on their head - margins seem to be tightening even though maturity periods are being pushed out further and further! Since our last team meeting we have won mandates to provide banking services to three new businesses. Big wins do wonders for the team's morale and self-confidence.

10.30am Back to the desk and the e-mails. Dermot Desmond's office have been on about the upcoming IFSC International evening in late March. Since this is the 20th anniversary of the IFSC, I'm delighted to have Dermot along to speak to over 500 guests about what was his brainchild. Twenty years ago, many people thought Dermot was mad when he floated the idea of the IFSC to Charlie Haughey, now the IFSC is regarded rightly as a stroke of genius!

11.30am Some colleagues from Bank of Ireland Securities Services arrive to discuss developments in the hedge fund sector, a rapidly developing source of business. One of their clients is looking for a credit facility so we discuss how we can support them.

13.00pm Not one of those mythical long lunches that bankers are supposed to engage in! This one is a sandwich and coffee in the Westbury to meet a former colleague who is about to set up a new capital markets business in the IFSC for a US boutique investment bank. We discuss the logistics and timings involved and to ensure we are ready for business.

14.00pm I'm back late for a presentation by our Global Project Finance team on the various initiatives they are involved in. It is crucial that across Corporate Banking (and indeed across the group in general) we are aware of what new services and initiatives are being developed by other colleagues.

15.30pm An impromptu visit from the Sales Manager of our Corporate Credit Card business who brings some good news about one of our MNC clients. Another colleague drops in to remind me that we have to go to the Merrion Hotel later to meet an American client before going to the Unicorn for dinner.

16.15pm But, before I can even think of dinner I need to catch up on recent developments within this US company. Ahead of that, there is the all-important job of responding to a new credit proposal - we pride ourselves in our fast turnaround times for credit proposals and that speed of response is the very least customers expect and receive.

19.00pm A relaxing glass of wine in the Merrion before heading off to the Unicorn. The American clients are in good form so dinner is very pleasant and relaxed. Engage in the usual Unicorn people-spotting and the Americans are impressed - they wouldn't expect to see so many recognised names out socialising like this in Washington.

23.30pm A very pleasant evening ends too late for the last DART, so it's a taxi home. As I go home in the early hours, I think if I ever meet that New York property guy again I can talk to him about 'banking hours'.

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