Bank of Ireland expands its Private Banking business with the launch of a new Direct Business for Private Clients

Bank of Ireland Private Banking today (22 February ’08) announced plans to expand its business with the launch of a new direct Private Banking arm that will actively target business from non Bank of Ireland clients.

Sean O’Murchu, previously Head of Retail Channel Management, will lead this direct business. A new team of seven senior private bankers have been appointed and this number is expected to grow as the business develops. In addition, a dedicated market research unit has been launched to support the development of the business.

Commenting on the launch of the direct business, Sean O’Murchu said: “Over the last 10 years, there has been a huge surge in wealth creation in Ireland as a result of which we have seen excellent growth in our private banking business. Private Banking’s profitability and assets under management has seen a threefold increase in the past four years. We’ve built much of this on the strength of relationships throughout our branch network in the high net worth market. However, we are increasingly growing the number of clients who have no connection with Bank of Ireland and we are seeing a growth in enquiries from those who have been using other firms. Our new dedicated direct business will target these high net worth individuals who have had no previous relationship with Bank of Ireland.

“As the leading private bank in Ireland we have been to the forefront in assisting extremely busy high net worth clients’ grow their hard earned wealth. Last year, in our annual ‘Wealth of the Nation’ report, we highlighted the existence of 33,000 millionaires in Ireland. We believe that any of these is a potential client for us. Given the turmoil in various markets in recent times, many wealthy individuals are not only seeking out smart investment opportunities but also looking for advice as to how best to preserve their wealth.

“We are in the business not only of growing wealth but also of wealth preservation which is critical in the present market conditions. Relative to our peers, our investment funds produced solid performances in 2007 and we remain confident that there will be significant value to be re-gained in markets this year. In contrast to other private client businesses, we stayed away from exposing our clients to areas such CFDs, CDOs and buyout funds in 2007, decisions that have proven well grounded given the issues we’ve seen of late. We believe that as a consequence of these types of issues many investors will put their advisors under greater scrutiny and will increasingly turn to firms such as ours”.

The Bank also sees the coming year as presenting buying opportunities for overseas property. “We believe that the current environment will present excellent buying opportunities in 2008 and beyond. We expanded our portfolio into Asia, the US, Spain, Sweden and Denmark last year and we will see continued diversification geographically and by sector during 2008”, added Sean O’Murchu.

The new Direct Private Banking business has access to a team of in-house financial specialists who advise on fund management, alternative investments, property investments, credit facilities and retirement planning. Private Banking’s partnerships with leading worldwide investment firms provide clients with local knowledge and on the ground expertise in the U.K., Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

The new direct business can be contacted on 01 6378600.


Anne Mathews
Media Relations Manager
Group Corporate Communications
PH 00 353 1 604 3836 or 00 353 87 246 0358

Note to Editors:
Bank of Ireland Private Banking has approximately €10 billion of assets & liabilities under management, with property accounting for almost €3 billion of the total. It has invested in prime commercial property markets including the UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Asia (South Korea) and the US. Approximately €1bn is under investment in their multi-manager funds. At any point in time, Private Banking has approximately 15-20 of the world’s leading investment fund managers and property experts working on behalf of their clients.