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Goodbody seeks permanent MD in time for AIB’s €138m takeover

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Goodbody Stockbrokers has been told by the Central Bank to have a permanent managing director selected by the time its €138 million takeover by AIB is completed.

This has prompted senior executive Brian O’Kelly, who was being lined up to take on the role of interim managing director as the deal is concluded, to reveal internally in recent days that he plans to leave the stockbroking and wealth management firm once it goes through, according to sources.

It is expected that the purchase will be finalised later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Goodbody’s long-standing managing director, Roy Barrett, had already told staff early last month, as the planned transaction was announced, that he would be stepping down as the purchase is completed.

It is understood that AIB has already quietly commenced a search for a permanent managing director for Goodbody, which is expected to look at both external and internal candidates at the bank. Mr O’Kelly, currently co-head of investment banking at the firm, has told AIB that he would not be putting his name forward for consideration, the sources said.

AIB’s chief executive, Colin Hunt, is intent on integrating Goodbody more fully into the banking group – creating more synergies between both – than when the firm was previously owned by the bank for 21 years until early 2011. Mr Hunt was a previous chief economist at Goodbody.

Spokesmen for Goodbody and AIB and a spokeswoman for the Central Bank declined to comment.

Stake

Mr Barrett is set to receive about €10.6 million from the sale of his 7.7 per cent stake in Goodbody to AIB, while Mr O’Kelly is poised to get €4.5 million. Goodbody’s 51 per cent owner, Kerry-based financial services group Fexco, will receive all of the €70.4 million it is due on the completion of the deal.

However, management and staff, who own the remainder, will receive an upfront payment of only 60 per cent, with the balance payable over two subsequent years, according to sources. Mr Barrett and Mr O’Kelly are the two biggest staff shareholders.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and Central Bank will each have to approve a deal. Any permanent managing director will have to go through a necessary fitness and probity assessment with regulators.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe signed off on the takeover deal last month to allow Goodbody to continue to pay bonuses to staff, even as its parent will remain subject to an effective ban on variable pay across bailed-out Irish banks.

The deal also envisages 30 AIB corporate finance and wealth management staff transferring to Goodbody Stockbrokers by the end of next year and benefitting from the brokerage’s variable pay policy.

Mr Donohoe said at the time that the staff transfers were necessary for AIB and Goodbody to generate “significant synergies”. However, he said that safeguards are being built into the transaction to ensure that it does not otherwise become a way of getting around bonus restrictions that apply to banks.

Davy deal

Goodbody’s larger peer, Davy, was also put up for sale last month as the firm seeks to rebuild trust in the business and address concerns about former senior executives involved in a bond deal scandal in 2014 remaining as major shareholders.

Bank of Ireland, which owned the majority of Davy between 1988 and 2006, is seen as the most likely acquirer of the business.

Davy has been grappling since early last month with the fallout from a €4.1 million Central Bank fine and reprimand. The firm breached market rules by failing to identify whether a conflict of interest existed as 16 of its employees, including top executives, bought junior bonds in Anglo Irish Bank from a client in November 2014 without disclosing that they were the buyers.

The regulator also found that Davy kept its own compliance officials in the dark on the deal.

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Hotel Indigo debuts in Austria

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Hotel Indigo opened its first hotel in Austria, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt. Located a short walk from the city’s historic center, the hotel offers 158 guest rooms, a rooftop garden resembling an urban jungle, a restaurant, and a lobby bar.

 

Taking inspiration from a famed local architect, Otto Wagner, a key member of the Secessionist movement, guests will find touches of gold used throughout the fixtures in the bathrooms as well as intricate patterns, made famous by Otto, woven into the carpet design in the hallway, and the tiles behind reception. Otto’s love for gold, Art Nouveau design, and ornate patterns can also be seen at famous local buildings such as the Majolikahaus, a short walk from the hotel. From ground level, the building looks innocuous, but as guests look skywards, they will see the top floors are decorated with exquisitely sumptuous floral motifs in brightly colored porcelain and gold leaf, a hallmark of the new style.

 

Stefanie Augustin, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt, commented: “We are pleased to open our doors and accept our first guests into the first Hotel Indigo in Austria. We sit in the heart of the surrounding neighbourhood and strive to make all the locals proud, by helping to bring a bit of that external story in so guests can truly experience what Vienna has to offer.”

 

 

 

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Tolent secures Newcastle resi project (GB)

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Tolent will put up 135 ‘ultra-modern’ system-build homes, with designs selected from an architectural competition. Sunderland’s new Vaux neighborhood, being built on the site of an old brewery, will eventually have 1,000 homes, according to the plans, as part of a drive to double the number of people living in the city centre. The homes will stand alongside The Beam and City Hall – the latest development to rise from the ground at Riverside Sunderland. Construction work on the scheme is expected to start within weeks, forming the first of the new distinct neighbourhoods that will create city centre housing for up to 2,500 residents.

 

The properties are based on the winning designs in the Homes of 2030 competition, which was launched in March 2020, and managed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, to encourage the design of environmentally-friendly homes that support people in leading independent, fulfilling lives as society ages.? Construction work on the development is due to start this summer and the first tranche of homes should be completed by the end of 2023.

 

Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have taken this final step to get work started on our flagship residential scheme at Riverside Sunderland. The housing developments on Riverside Sunderland will be world-class, and Tolent is an ideal partner to deliver them, based locally and capable of building these aspirational homes.”

 

Tolent chief executive Paul Webster said: “Vaux neighbourhood is an amazing project that showcases the strides being taken in Sunderland to modernise the city centre. The world-class houses being built will provide a community fit for the future and an archetype for sustainable housing. As a truly local business, we are proud to be involved in the project and to showcase our ability to meet and exceed the capabilities of national contractors on a local level. The project will complement a number of local landmarks that we have constructed including The Beam, Beacon of Light and Echo Building. We have been working closely with the entire team since being appointed preferred bidder back in September and we can’t wait to get started.”

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BlackRock acquires Dagenham urban logistics development (GB)

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A joint venture (JV) between Chancerygatea fund managed by Credit Suisse Asset Management, and Hines has forward sold a 172,000ft² urban logistics development in Dagenham to a fund managed by BlackRock for an undisclosed sum. Dagenham Council has approved plans to speculatively build 15 Grade A urban logistics and industrial units at the development which is called Zephyr Park. The units range from 5,490ft² to 34,670ft² and are available leasehold and freehold. Construction is due to commence in August this year. The six-acre site was previously owned by wholesale electrical distributor Rexel UKSituated on Rainham Road between the A12 and A13, Zephyr Park is located less than half a mile from Hackman Capital Partners and Dagenham Council’s proposed €348.5m (£300m) film and TV studios.

 

Chancerygate managing director, Richard Bains, said: “Zephyr Park will be an outstanding urban logistics development which will generate continued investment and job creation for Dagenham. Forward selling Zephyr Park to BlackRock shows the strength in urban logistics as an asset class. It is also a testament to the high specification, a sustainable product we build as it attracts businesses to locate to our developments ensuring they are best placed to continue to grow. We look forward to working with Hines and BlackRock to deliver Zephyr Park and expect to achieve practical completion in summer 2023.”

 

Greg Cooper, Hines managing director, industrial and logistics, added: “We are pleased to have executed this opportunity to recycle this asset, with the value generated illustrating the unabating demand for high-quality logistics developments. It is an asset class which remains a key focus for Hines in the UK, and we are continuing to explore opportunities to grow our portfolio of both big box and urban facilities.”

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