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Philip Lane
the governor

Meet the new man in charge of Ireland's banks

Trinity professor Philip Lane will replace Patrick Honohan as governor of the Central Bank.

Updated 2.10pm 

ECONOMIST PHILIP LANE will be the new governor of the Irish Central Bank, succeeding the outgoing Patrick Honohan.

Lane is the current professor of political economy at Trinity College Dublin, and will replace Honohan next month when he retires following six years in the role.

The government decision was confirmed at this morning’s cabinet meeting with Finance Minister Micheal Noonan to formally advise President Micheal D Higgins to appoint Lane to the role of governor.

“Professor Lane’s outstanding economic, financial and policy making record ideally position him to lead the Central Bank in the coming years,” Noonan said in a statement today.

The appointment will come as a surprise to some in political circles who had anticipated that Robert Watt, the current secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, would get the job.

Lane will also sit on the governing council of the European Central Bank, which sets interest rates, having previously served as chair of Advisory Scientific Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board.

Harvard grad

The 46-year-old graduated with a doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1995 and was the assistant professor of economics and international affairs at Columbia University prior to joining Trinity in 1997.

He has previously acted as a visiting scholar at the IMF and the Federal Reserve in New York as well as a consultant to the European Commission.

His selection follows what Noonan said was an “extensive national and international executive search process”. The Department of Finance employed the recruitment consultants Merc which directly approached potential candidates. An ad was also placed in the Financial Times.

Of the 100 candidates identified, seventeen were interviewed before a shortlist of four candidates was presented for a final interview process.

Noonan paid tribute to the outgoing Honohan, who will step down before the end of the year, saying:

He has played a key role in stabilising our economy and in our move back towards prosperity and has also overseen significant reform in the Central Bank during this period.

The Central Bank said today that Honohan will step down around the end of November with a date still to be finalised. In a statement, the outgoing governor said he was delighted with Lane’s appointment:

I have known and worked with Philip for almost twenty years and I am confident that he has the capacity and commitment to lead the Central Bank of Ireland as it delivers on its mandate in the coming years.

Read: This banker has quietly sacrificed €500,000 to the taxpayer

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