IAIM appoints D'Arcy as CEO, with 1 year opt out on 'lobbying' activities, as asset management body aims to gear up expertise for post Brexit growth in Ireland
28 September 2020: The Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM) has appointed former Minister of State with Responsibility for Financial Services, Michael D’Arcy as its new CEO. John Corrigan, Chair of IAIM said, 'The industry is growing exponentially in Ireland and our expectation is for this trend to continue. This is our first step in onboarding the necessary expertise and competencies to face the challenge'. However the appointment was today criticised by opposition TD Paul Murphy of RISE (part of Solidarity - People Before Profit) on the grounds that Mr D'Arcy the former Minister had been in office less than a year before taking up the appointment, despite the fact that both D'Arcy and the IAIM stated explicitly that he will not be engaged in any lobbying activities for at least a year after taking up the new post.
Murphy in a statement called for the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) to investigate the appointment, arguing that it breaches the 2015 Regulation of Lobbying Act.

Describing the Irish Association of Investment Managers as a 'corporate lobby group' Murphy said 'this appointment contravenes the ban on Ministers and other designated public officials working as or for lobbyists within 12 months of leaving their elected position'.

Deputy Murphy said: “The claims that D’Arcy is exempt from the ban because he promises he won’t personally lobby are beside the point. The law is clear he is not allowed to work for a lobbyist either, which is precisely what he is trying to do.

“This ban exists for a reason, and to be honest it doesn’t go far enough. For too long there has been a revolving door between the government and corporate lobbyists. Politicians that look after the interests of big business in turn get looked after by big business. Rather than brown envelopes, it’s cushy jobs. But the end result is the same - we have a government by the rich, for the rich.”

In its statement announcing the appointment, AIIM makes no mention of 'lobbying' activities.

Its statement was as follows:

"Mr D’Arcy will work closely with IAIM Chairman, John Corrigan on the development of the IAIM strategic plan in the context of the challenges and opportunities facing the investment management industry. In his role as CEO, Mr D’Arcy will be responsible for re-setting the IAIM agenda and priorities, given the changing landscape post-Brexit. His role will entail growing the presence of IAIM and the voice of investment managers in the context of the broader domestic financial service sector and helping to promote Ireland worldwide as a pre-eminent destination for investment management firms. He will also be responsible for leading the contribution of the IAIM around key areas, such as sustainable finance and ESG, collaborating with the other key local and international stakeholders.

"John Corrigan, Chair of IAIM said, “We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Michael D’Arcy as the new CEO of the Irish Association of Investment Managers. The industry is growing exponentially in Ireland and our expectation is for this trend to continue. This is our first step in onboarding the necessary expertise and competencies to face the challenge.

“Ireland is one of the world’s leading centres for investment management, and the industry is uniquely positioned to play an integral role in the economic and social recovery post-Covid-19. However, we need to ensure that the regulation, policies and joined-up industry thinking in Ireland support this growth.

“We are moving into unchartered waters in a post-Brexit environment, both domestically and internationally, and we believe Ireland has a once in a generation opportunity to make real changes and be at the very heart of new initiatives such as ESG and sustainable financing.”

"Michael D’Arcy commented: “I believe that crucially now, there is a huge opportunity for Ireland, as the UK exits the EU, to help shape the future agenda of not just investment managers and firms where there is considerable growth potential, but even more broadly for the funds industry as a whole and for Ireland to become a global centre for the industry.

“Brexit represents a unique opportunity to develop Ireland further as a credible leading investment management centre, with its attendant employment benefits. In that regard Ireland will need to continue to develop its skills base, and the promotion of education and training will be key in equipping students with the required skillsets, as will be the need to create a greater awareness among graduates and school leavers of the industry’s diverse employment opportunities. In my role as CEO, a vital goal will be in helping to make Ireland the premier destination for the advancement of sustainable and Green finance, and to form strong links and grow our relationships abroad.

“Given my work over the past 13 years as a public representative, and through working with companies across the industry on initiatives like the ‘Ireland for Finance’ Strategy I launched in 2019 as Minister for Financial Services, I understand the important role these organisations play in areas like employment, talent and regional development.

“There are clearly great opportunities and challenges facing us at present, and I look forward to working with the talented IAIM team and members, to help position the organisation and the wider industry as a driver for real investment and growth in Ireland’s future.”

"IAIM is home to the world’s most successful and credible investment managers, with half of the top ten global investment managers having operations here, and IAIM members and associate companies in Ireland managing over €1 trillion in assets".