Leading a financial institution right now can’t be much fun, what with all the financial re-structuring. And the Allied Irish Banks EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting), held on Wednesday in Dublin, proved no exception, with this AIB re-structuring speech.
In the chair was Dan O’Connor; and it was his speech that got the proceedings underway. The speech was not unusual for the sector right now. Most Chairmen echo the same “mea culpa” words of Mr O’Connor.
This re-structuring speech made clear just how wrong AIB had got its calculations leading up to the financial crisis of 2008.
Relatively short, his speech made a series of points about the bank’s re-structuring and the re-structuring of its debts.
In contrast to the re-structuring exercises, the AIB speech itself lacked structure. Point followed point. Fact followed fact. And plans followed in quick succession. That was a pity, because there was plenty of substance here. However, it was a substance that needed some coherent structure. And, of course, you can make a lot more of a Chairman’s speech. Just consider the motivational speech of the ABN Amro Chairman, Gerrit Zalm.
The sentences were too long…probably prepared for the written word and not considered as speech material. Dan O’Connor could have edited the AIB speech and worked wonders:
“We are also taking action to ensure we have both the pricing and lending structures in place that will enable us to successfully meet two of our key objectives – returning to profitability and supporting our customers through these difficult times.”
Of course, some public speaking practice would give the Chairman time to edit things. But, maybe not, on this occasion.
However, this was certainly a sound technical AIB Chairman’s speech. But it was still an opportunity wasted for setting out a vision for the future of AIB.
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