15/04/2011

Quinn Barred From Own Insurance Firm

A leading Irish entrepreneur is to loose control of the insurance business he personally founded after it ran into financial problems.

Sean Quinn and his family will no longer have any role in the management of the Quinn Group following a restructure.

Anglo Irish Bank said that the previously beleaguered insurance firm is to be run by Kieran Wallace of KPMG - who will take control of the Quinn family's shares.

Mr Quinn, once Ireland's richest man, build up a multi-million pound empire of companies - based on his initial success in Quinn's quarrying business.

Located in Derrylin, on the border in Co Fermanagh, the group has since ventured into cement and concrete products and general insurance, among other expansions.

The Chairman, Sean Quinn in 1973, who saw it develop from a quarrying operation into a large organisation, employing several thousands of people, formed it.

In a separate announcement, Liberty Mutual and Anglo Irish Bank were confirmed as the preferred bidder for the company.

The problems began in March 2010, following an application by the Central Bank of Ireland, when the Irish High Court appointed joint provisional administrators to Quinn Insurance Limited.

Now, all 1,570 jobs in the Irish Republic and in Northern Ireland will transfer to the joint venture and Cavan - just across the border - will be the head office of the business.
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Also, as part of the plan, the Navan office is to close and the 100 staff will relocate to either Blanchardstown or Cavan while 30 staff employed in Manchester are to be offered redundancy.

The former Stormont Economy Minister, Arlene Foster, who comes from Co Fermanagh, has welcomed the announcement that all the jobs in both Quinn Insurance and the wider Quinn group are safe.

"The Quinn group is a very larger employer in Fermanagh and the future of the company is vitally important to the economy of the entire region," the outgoing DUP Minister said.

"I welcome the announcement by the joint administrators that all the jobs in Quinn Insurance in Enniskillen will be secured as a result of the Liberty Mutual led proposal in conjunction with Anglo Irish Bank.

"Liberty Mutual already employ approximately 300 people in Northern Ireland," she continued.

"I have confidence that Liberty Mutual will not only maintain the existing jobs currently employed in Quinn Insurance but can grow the number of employees it has.

"There is no doubt that the Quinn group has been built up to the scale that it is today by the Quinn family.

"I only hope that the administrator of the Quinn Group can protect all of the jobs in the wider Quinn group over the longer term.

"I will work with the administrator to protect the Quinn Group jobs in Fermanagh and throughout Northern Ireland," she pledged, in advance of the coming elections to the Assembly.

(BMcC/GK)

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