Monday, April 16, 2007

Those benefits of EBS mutuality

Although not a shareholder, I’ve been watching the EBS boardroom battle with a little added interest, as I worked for a couple of years with Ted McGovern, EBS Chief Executive, during his time with Bank of Ireland.

One item on Eithne Tinney’s protest agenda is Ted’s very generous remuneration and pension package. This aspect amused me because I always felt that Ted had something in common with Oscar Wilde: two men of simple taste - they only like the best. That’s an expensive habit, best if you can find someone else to fund it.

Press reports of the prolonged and contentious EGM, at which Tinney narrowly lost her bid to retain her board seat, include an attack from the floor on Senator Shane Ross, who has been orchestrating a “save Tinney” campaign, by one Mary Caffrey. She accurately described Senator Ross as “a self-serving, publicity-seeking individual, both as a journalist and a politician".

While the press reports correctly identify Mary as Ted McGovern’s wife, it’s not clear that this was revealed to the assembled members when she made her attack on Ross.

Expect to hear as little as possible from EBS for an extended period. Ted will batten down the hatches and wait for the storm to pass. Don’t expect any resignations, justifications or contrition.

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