Financier Tiarnan sees bright future
MONEY BUSINESS CEO REBUILDING HIS COMPANY
ENNISKERRY-BASED financier Tiarnan O’Mahoney is refreshingly optimistic that the future is bright for the money business in Ireland, his finance company ISTC having begun its recovery with close to a €1 million profit this year.
‘We had difficulties,’ said the CEO as he rebuilds the company, which was bought last March by Collins Stewart for €5 million, 200 shareholders having absorbed a €165 million blow.
‘We needed an investor to survive and we found one. ISTC never collapsed or failed,’ he said, firmly countering reports suggesting just that.
To put it in context, shareholders in Irish banks lost in the region of €54 billion.
Collins Stewart ISTC, to give the company is its full name, is in fact a
finance company, rather than a bank with a particular speciality being the sourcing of money for banks looking for capital, a service very much in demand right now.
The practices of the company were never called into question by the Ombudsman, countering reports suggesting that bonds were sold to the retail market in Ireland.
On the economic downturn, O’Mahoney speculated that ten years from now, it is likely that the alarming headlines charactaristic of the current zeitgeist will have faded from memory.
‘Let’s see where we finish in three years time. I would make a bet with you that a decade from now, you will have forgotten about the current situation,’ said O’Mahoney, with a grounding reminder that in the early ‘90s interest rates soared to almost 100 per cent, putting a temporary stop to lending.
He has seen his fair share of ‘interesting times’ - having graduated from college in 1980 when 190 of his 200 class-mates were forced to emigrate for work - remember the poster at Dublin Airport highlighting just that.
‘They say that the young have never seen such hard times,’ he reflected.
‘I for one am pleased that people under 40 have not had to struggle at that level,’ he said, with a resolute ‘we will get through this.’
His optimism, however, is not without a satisfying dose of reality. ‘It will be tough in 2009, and possibly the year after that,’ he said. ‘ But it will be resolved. Some companies will struggle, others will not make it, but the banking industry must go on.’
‘(And) Our business is all the stronger.’
In his own backyard, Mr. O’Mahoney has applied to build a 10,000 square foot home on the side of his existing house in Enniskerry and if that’s not a sign of a man with confidence in the economy, what is?
Enniskerry-based financier Tiarnan O’Mahoney.