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Archive for May, 2007

50% Commission Rise To Be Expected From Cowboys In The Auctioneering Industry

The news that auctioneers Sherry Fitzgerald are to increase their commission rates by 50% is outrageous. Unfortunately, it is also to be entirely expected from a profession of such cowboys.

Their colleagues in the industry claim they won’t follow suit, but I wouldn’t hold my breath! Back in February, IPAV lobby’s chief executive Fintan McNamara revealed that commissions in the auctioneers’ cartel might have to go up – He had the brass neck then to claim that it was due to financial hardship! Sherry Fitz will be the first of many to raise commission rates.

Saddam Hussein Would Be Envious of Democracy CRH-Style

About four hundred well-heeled shareholders showed up for the CRH AGM bang in the centre of Ballsbridge recently. They were ducking no one. The board was on parade. The contrast with the attendance at the recent EBS annual meeting could not have been starker. EBS members look less prosperous, more downtrodden mainly because they are. At the EBS shootout there was sedition in the air. Down at CRH there was middle- class contentment. The shareholders were anaesthetised, high on healthy profits.

CRH was even making the news last week. John Magnier and JP McManus were rumoured to be in the market for shares. Nothing was more certain to provoke a bit of colour and comment at the AGM. The two musketeers had sent the share price north. The board was sure to be forced to clarify the rumours.

Bertie’s Finest Hour… Shame He Couldn’t Detach Himself From The Developers For It

It was Bertie’s day in the sun. Behold the Taoiseach, applauded by priests and poets, by businessmen and actors, by princesses and prime ministers. Up there in the Royal Gallery of the Palace of Westminster, it was Bertie’s finest hour.

His predecessors as guests of honour in the holiest of parliamentary holies included Boris Yeltsin, Bill Clinton and Francois Mitterand. On Wednesday, the list of political dignitaries in attendance embraced John Major, Gordon Brown, Neil Kinnock, Peter Brooke, General John de Chastelaine, Senator Maurice Hayes. All had been players in the peace effort. They came to honour Bertie.

Sportsmen Eddie Jordan and Keith Wood arrived to bow the knee to Bertie. Ireland’s business elite in the UK greeted Bertie. BA chief Willie Walsh was there; investment banker Hugo McNeill was invited; so was designer Paul Costelloe. The Great and the Good of the Irish in England rubbed shoulders.

Suddenly, along the Royal Gallery strode the slimmeddown figure of Sean Dunne (or Lord Ballsbridge’ as he is sometimes known). One of the invited guests told me that he gasped at the sight of Sean.

AIB AGM last Wednesday… Missed It? You probably DID!

What a happy day last Wednesday promised to be. Two big AGMs were in the diary. Possible fireworks at AIB’s annual whitewash, and maybe a bit of mischief at cement giant CRH’s bash. A tempting binge of board baiting beckoned. So I rang AIB to find out the time of its shareholder meeting.

And where was it being held? I expected the answer to be in headquarters in Dublin, in the RDS, or in one of the normal venues. I should have known better. AIB had pulled a stroke. This year it was in Galway.

No better way of guaranteeing a low attendance.