Casey yielding Allied Irish reins Bramble moving up as new CEO of 1st Maryland's parent

October 29, 1998|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Jeremiah E. Casey, who spearheaded Allied Irish Banks PLC's expansion into the U.S. market with the acquisition of First Maryland Bancorp, said yesterday that he will give up his job as chief executive of Allied Irish's USA division on Saturday.

Casey will remain chairman of First Maryland and a member of AIB's executive committee until he retires, sometime in 1999.

"After 40 years plus, I will look after Jerry Casey a bit more rather than a corporate organization," he said. "It is something that you earn after 41 years" of service.

On Saturday, in addition to stepping down as chief executive, Casey will give up his seat on AIB's board of directors. Frank P. Bramble, president and chief executive of First Maryland, will replace Casey as CEO of Allied Irish's USA division and will take Casey's seat on the board.

Casey will turn 60, AIB's mandatory retirement age, on Feb. 25, 2000.

As chairman, Casey has been involved in First Maryland's strategic planning, and he has been the liaison between the Baltimore-based banking company and AIB, which has $61 billion in assets and is based in Dublin.

Casey began his career in 1958 at Munster & Leinster Bank in Cork, Ireland. Eleven years later, he transferred to AIB to work in the chief executive's office.

He came to New York in 1977 to start AIB's U.S. operations by opening a branch that today has about 120 employees and more than $1 billion in assets. He planned to return to Ireland after five years, but AIB wanted to expand in the United States and buy a bank close to the booming Baltimore/Washington market.

Casey zeroed in on First Maryland, a $3.7 billion-asset banking company. AIB agreed to buy 43 percent of the company in 1983, and increased its stake to 100 percent in 1989.

Casey was named chairman of First Maryland in June 1987.

Carl W. Stearn, Provident Bankshares Corp.'s former chairman and chief executive, said Casey managed First Maryland well by letting the bank retain its identity.

"It is very easy for an out-of-state, in this case, out-of-country owner to force its own way of doing things on a bank like First," Stearn said. "Jerry enabled the bank to retain its own character."

Since Allied's investment, First Maryland has grown to $17.3 billion in assets, and represents about 30 percent of Allied's assets and profits. About 25 percent of AIB's stockholders are in the United States, Casey said.

"That tells a good story," Casey said. "Ever since I came down here 14 years ago, people have been saying Allied Irish Banks would sell. Allied Irish Banks is absolutely committed to the U.S. market. It has been a very successful experience. There is every evidence that it will continue to be successful."

Casey, who was born in Ireland and has a home in Dublin, became a U.S. citizen in 1992.

Pub Date: 10/29/98

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