The Irish Times - Business - - CAVEAT -

■ The gi­ant US in­sti­tu­tion, Bank of Amer­ica Mer­rill Lynch (BAML), com­pleted the for­ma­tion of its new Euro­pean head­quar­ters in Dublin over the week­end, when it re­ceived reg­u­la­tory ap­proval to merge its Lon­don and Ir­ish units. The Brexit-proof­ing move means 100 staff are switch­ing to Dublin, bring­ing the to­tal em­ployed to 800.

BAML had an­other rea­son to cel­e­brate this week, how­ever. Bank of Amer­ica has been op­er­at­ing in Ire­land for 50 years.

The bank held a cel­e­bra­tory din­ner ear­lier in the week at the Na­tional Gallery in Dublin, at­tended by, nat­u­rally, about 50 guests. These in­cluded lo­cal lu­mi­nar­ies such as Mar­tin Shana­han, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of IDA Ire­land; Mark Red­mond, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce in Ire­land; Ter­ence O’Rourke, chair­man of En­ter­prise Ire­land, former man­ag­ing part­ner of KPMG, and a di­rec­tor of The Ir­ish

Times; John Fitz­patrick, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Fitz­patrick ho­tel group and chair­man of the Ire­land Funds Amer­ica; and Neil Mur­ray, the Ir­ish-sound­ing Welsh­man who runs the Abbey The­atre.

Mean­while, prom­i­nent among those on the bank’s side at the din­ner were some of its most se­nior of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing Bruce Thomp­son, group vice-chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Euro­pean HQ; and Anne Fin­u­cane, also group vice-chair­man, and chair­man of the Euro­pean branch.

US-born Fin­u­cane, whose roots are also as Ir­ish as they sound, had yet an­other rea­son to cel­e­brate. Forbes this week named her in its top 10 of the most pow­er­ful women in global fi­nance, cred­it­ing her with help­ing to turn the bank around after the fi­nan­cial cri­sis. She also made over­all Forbes’s top 50 of the most pow­er­ful women on the planet.

■ Buried amongst the tax de­fault­ers listed by Rev­enue this week was a Done­gal com­pany, which made a VAT and cor­po­ra­tion tax set­tle­ment of €146,000. The Bor­der coun­ties, rightly or wrongly, are linked with a cer­tain driv­ing stereo­type: boy rac­ers. The Let­terkenny tax de­faulter was listed by Rev­enue as a “driv­ing in­struc­tor”. The name of the driv­ing in­struc­tor’s com­pany, how­ever, raised a few smiles in Dublin given the lo­cal stereo­type: Shaun Gal­lagher Mo­tor­sport Lim­ited.

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