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"It's a lie on so many levels" - Ganley denies conflict of interest over fund

The Libertas founder has denied claims from a Fine Gael TD that there is a conflict of interest over his establishment of a Swiss asset management company and his advocating a No vote.

Declan Ganley (File photo)
Declan Ganley (File photo)
Image: Photocall Ireland

LIBERTAS FOUNDER DECLAN Ganley has denied that there is any conflict of interest in his involvement with a Swiss asset management fund he set up a year ago and his stance on the Fiscal Compact treaty.

He was responding to claims from the Fine Gael TD Paschal Donohue that St Columbanus AG, a Swiss asset management fund which Ganley set up a year ago, would benefit from economic instability in the eurozone in the event of a No vote which Ganley is advocating.

“The aim of this company is to profit from economic instability,” Donohue said today.

“A No vote, which Declan Ganley is promoting, will trigger this within Ireland and add to the uncertainty within the Eurozone. It is this very uncertainty that Declan Ganley’s company will profit from.”

However, Ganley has said this evening that such claims are not true, telling TheJournal.ie: “It’s a lie, it is a lie and it’s a lie on so many levels.”

The businessman set up St Columbanus AG with the economist Constantin Gurdgiev a year ago, promising to manage clients’ funds in a “conservative, transparent, manner”.

‘A distraction’

He said this evening that he did not know the identity of its clients as he was not himself an asset manager in the company.

“St Columbanus competes with other asset management companies, in a small way,” he said. “It has assumed primarily research before it gets into active asset management. I am not involved in the running of it. I am not an asset manager myself.”

Ganley said that the fund does not target Irish investors, does not advertise in Ireland and is regulated in Switzerland in the same way as any other asset management firm.

He said the matter of his involvement in it had been clarified and did not need further clarification, describing the Fine Gael attempts to talk about it as a “distraction” from the issues of the Fiscal Compact treaty.

Ganley continued: “Fine Gael will carry on talking about this because they would rather have you discuss this issue, which is of utter irrelevance to the treaty, than talk about the fact that they want to enshrine over €100 billion of private bank and bondholder losses onto the Irish taxpayer.

“The idea that this (the Fiscal Compact treaty) is somehow going to stabilise anything is a myth,” he said of a potential Yes vote on 31 May.

He reiterated a call for the government to identify the bondholders who have received “tens of billions of euro of taxpayers’ money” and said that his Swiss asset management fund had not taken “a cent of Irish taxpayers’ money”.

Ganley will take part in the RTÉ Frontline debate on the Fiscal Compact treaty along with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, businesswoman Norah Casey, and Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald at 9.35pm tonight.

TheJournal.ie will be liveblogging all the latest from the debate.

Last year: Ganley and Gurdgiev launch new Swiss asset management company

Read: ‘No position’ for Green Party on Fiscal Treaty referendum

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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