This article appeared in Finance Magazine

Ireland’s innovative capital markets
This month’s special review of Ireland’s capital markets provides a timely reminder of the depth and complexity of deals being transacted in the Irish market.

From private placements, to Tier 1 capital issues based on preference shares, to private equity funding, Ireland’s corporate and bank issuers have embraced international developments in raising capital.
Moreover, with interest rates set to continue to increase over the coming year, issuers will continue to seek out new ways of raising capital cheaply and efficiently.

In next month’s issue, we will publish those deals, both from a corporate finance and capital markets perspective, which have been selected as being the ‘best in class’ in the Irish market over the past 12 months.

The changing CFO function
On this page we publish an article examining the changing role of the chief financial officer’s (CFO) function. The role of a CFO has changed considerably over the past decade or so, from that of a number cruncher, to a vital player in formulating company strategy.

However, after the collapse of Enron and the resulting furore over ethics and corporate governance, CFOs found themselves reverting back to their original role, of providing hardcore accounting, financial reporting and risk-management skills.

For CFOs, this meant dealing with a deluge of standards and regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US, local governance requirements such as the impending Directors’ Compliance Statements, and the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards.

This renewed focus on the core functions of CFOs, has inhibited their ability to play a strategic role within their organisations.

However, according to Deloitte’s latest CFO survey, the operating environment looks set to change as CFOs start to move away from reactionary mode, to revert to a more visionary role.

This is a positive development, as it will enable the finance function to add enhanced value once more to the organisation.

A life in financial services
David Dillon, founding partner of law firm Dillon Eustace, has been a key player in Ireland’s financial services industry since the foundation of the firm in 1992.

On page 14 of this issue, he gives an insight into what his average day entails, and expresses disappointment that those who criticise the financial services industry in Ireland are not better informed.

He writes, ‘Some criticism is very much on an intellectual level, and very often from those who are in the business of corporate compliance and in this respect there is a built in bias which, quite frankly is unhelpful. It is unfortunate also because the Financial Regulator, who does an exceptional job in maintaining standards, is often criticised where it has no case to answer’.
This article appeared in the April 2006 edition of Finance Magazine.