Finance Dublin
Finance Jobs
Thursday, 18th April 2024
    Home             Archive             Publications             Our Services             Finance Jobs             Events             Surveys & Awards             
In appreciation: Richard Keatinge Back  
R?is?n Brennan pays tribute to Richard Keatinge.
Born in Kenya in 1947 as the son of the resident magistrate of Mombasa, Richard Keatinge studied economics and politics in Trinity College Dublin, graduating in 1969.

He started his career as a financial journalist on a graduate programme with Reuters in London. Richard returned to Ireland in 1971 and joined The Irish Times, of which he was business editor from 1975 to 1978. His stewardship in The Irish Times was noteworthy for a shift towards in-depth, penetrating evaluation of the business news of the day.

During this time, Richard took the part-time Masters in Business Administration in University College Dublin and was awarded the Sir Charles Harvey Award for the top student in his year in 1975. In 2003, UCD honoured Richard by choosing him as its Alumnus of the Year.

Richard had a busy career since he departed the media in the late 1970s to take up a series of high-profile jobs in the corporate sector.

In 1978, he joined the Investment Bank of Ireland and worked with the then IBI Managing Director, Richard Hooper, for the next five years on a variety of M&A deals. Although the economic circumstances of the period were very strained, Richard’s transition from journalistic observer of the Irish business sphere to key adviser and deal-maker for IBI’s high-profile clients proved highly successful. His attributes of strong financial acumen, exceptional application, stamina and ability to work under pressure meant that he thrived in the corporate finance environment.

Richard’s efforts did not go unnoticed by IBI’s parent, Bank of Ireland Group, and in 1983, he was promoted to Head of Strategic Planning for the Group before eventually being appointed Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland Britain. He was a member of the Court of the Bank from 1987 to 1990.

He resigned from Bank of Ireland Group in 1990 and thereafter was Executive Chairman of NCB Stockbrokers and an Executive Director of property company, Hardwicke Limited. In 1993 he re-joined Bank of Ireland as Managing Director of IBI Corporate Finance, a post he occupied for six years prior to his retirement in 1999.

Richard was a driving force during his time as Managing Director of IBI and brought great success to the firm. He had a very strong appreciation of the competitive environment within which IBI operated and he emphasised the importance of being proactive with existing and prospective clients. Aware of the increasing importance of private companies in the M&A arena, Richard established a team focusing on these companies. This team has since been expanded and continues to thrive in the current environment.

Deal-making opportunities for Irish corporates increased in line with the growth in the economy in the mid to late 1990s and Richard was never far from the forefront of many of the big deals that occurred during that time, including the flotations of Irish Permanent plc and Ryanair plc, Bank of Ireland’s acquisitions of Bristol & West Building Society and New Ireland Holdings for Stg?600 million and IR?273 million respectively, the IR?380 million merger of Avonmore Foods with Waterford Foods and an IR?155 million rights issue for Jefferson Smurfit Group plc in connection with its acquisition of Cellulose du Pin.

Frankness and open communication were key to his success in managing IBI’s corporate finance team. He fostered an environment of trust where people could express opinions openly and yet, ultimately, were allowed to get on with the job.
All of us in IBI who worked with Richard remember him fondly as a good friend. His larger than life personality meant that he was a big part of our lives during his time with IBI and afterwards.

In 1999, Richard left IBI so he would have time to do some things that he did not have an opportunity to do while at the helm of IBI. However, his love of the deal meant that he was never too far away from the cut and thrust of the action even in retirement. He was chairman of builders’ merchant group, Heiton Group, when it was bought by Grafton Group for €353 million in 2005, and was a vital force in steering the company through this significant and successful deal. He was also a director of retail group, BWG, when private equity firm, Cognetas, sold the company to management in 2006 for €390 million.

Unsurprisingly, given his vast experience and sound judgment, Richard was highly sought after by Irish companies as a seasoned non-executive director and served on the boards of PJ Carroll & Co. Ltd, Allianz Insurance, Stafford Holdings and NTR plc. He was also a director of the Irish Takeover Panel and a governor of St. Patrick’s Hospital.

Never a man to do things by halves, in his personal life, Richard threw himself into his twin passions of fishing and horse-racing. Richard was enormously proud of his children - sons Benjamin and Douglas and daughter Rebecca. His untimely departure at the age of 60 is a huge loss to his wife Athene and their children. We in IBI convey our deep sympathy to all of Richard’s family.
It was once said that “along with success comes a reputation for wisdom”. Richard embodied huge success delivered with tremendous wisdom. He will be sorely missed.

Digg.com Del.icio.us Stumbleupon.com Reddit.com Yahoo.com

Home | About Us | Privacy Statement | Contact
©2024 Fintel Publications Ltd. All rights reserved.