Headhunters looking for central bank governor

An executive search firm was contracted to pick a new Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. The move follows a decision by current governor Patrick Honohan to step down later this year — more than a year before he was due to retire.

Given this office holder position is of unique importance to the Irish financial system and the Irish economy, the Minister has decided to undertake a comprehensive search process to fill the position. To ensure as broad a search as possible, the Minister has issued a call for expressions of interest, which will be accompanied by an extensive national and international executive search process to identify suitably qualified candidates in Ireland and abroad.

It is a departure from established practice to select a top central banker via an open, public tender. In Ireland, as in most countries, these jobs usually go to current or former government officials or academics based on deals made behind closed doors.

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, importantly, has a say in shaping monetary policy for the entire eurozone as a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank.