Ian Guider: McDonagh leaves a bigger bank, but who is she leaving it to?

After five years at the helm, the departing chief executive is exiting a bank bolstered by its KBC and Davy deals, but it is not immediately obvious who will succeed her

Departing Bank of Ireland chief executive Francesca McDonagh: leaves a bank in the midst of swallowing two major financial institutions and with no clear successor in place. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Almost four years ago, Francesca McDonagh, the then relatively new chief executive of Bank of Ireland, hosted dozens of financial analysts and investors in London over a four-hour session to detail her vision for the bank under her tenure. After eight years of the robust Richie Boucher, McDonagh was the kind of character that Irish banking hadn’t seen before.

For a start, she was the first female head of one of the remaining five retail ...