Fi­nancier Tiar­nan sees bright fu­ture

MONEY BUSI­NESS CEO RE­BUILD­ING HIS COM­PANY

Bray People - - 2008 Review - Mary FOG­A­RTY

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.

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