Mark Bourke is new Novo Banco CEO
Mark Bourke, currently CFO at Novobanco, has been chosen at the next CEO to replace António Ramalho when he stands down in August.
In a communiqué sent to the stock market commission CMVM, Novobanco adds that the General Board of Supervision (GGS) has selected Leigh Bartlett who has been executive director of Masthaven Bank since 2020.
The bank says that it believes Mark Bourke to be the ideal candidate to replace António Ramalho because he has, among other attributes, “Over 20 years of experience as an executive director (as both a CEO and CFO) at regulated financial institutions.
Before joining Novo Banco, Mark Bourke was the financial administrator at Allied Irish Banks and a member of the AIB Leadership Team from 2014-2019. He began his career at PwC in 1989 and, in 2000, joined the IFS Group as financial director before being promoted to CEO of the group in 2006.
The bank’s supervisory board also says that the appointment of an internal candidate “assures continuity and stability, as well as being in line with the bank’s medium term strategic plan which has only recently been approved.
Novobanco rose from the ashes of collapsed bank Banco Espírito Santo after it collapsed in 2014. It was created as a “good bank” to house the positive assets, while toxic assets were retained in the ‘bad bank’ BES. However, most analysts agree the bank was hamstrung with a lack of capitalisation from the start, and many of the so-called recoverable NPL assets turned out to be a serious problem for the bank, which has had to draw heavily on a Resolution Fund, taking out an estimated €10Bn from Portugal’s banking system, the Portuguese Republic, and the tax payer to keep afloat.
Nevertheless, it has made considerable strides over the past four years selling NPL portfolios to funds, reducing its NPL ratio to around 5.7%
Since 2017 the bank has been owned by the US private equity giant Lone Star. The remaining 25% is controlled by the Resolution Fund.
Novo Banco, which has almost €45 billion of assets, posted its first annual profit in 2021, with the net result coming to €185 million, following years of asset sales and delivering under an EU state-aid restructuring programme.
IN 2021 Novobanco offloaded €700 million of non-performing loans (NPLs), bringing its NPL ratio down to 5.7 per cent. That figure stood at 22 per cent at the time Mark Bourke was hired from AIB.
Novobanco sold its Spanish banking interests, including 10 branches and 172 staff, to Galicia-based lender Abanca in December for a symbolic price of €1.
Novobanco this week reported a €142 million profit for the first quarter of this year, twice the amount like-for-like on 2021.
Novobanco’s CEO and CFO earned fixed salaries of €410,000 and €385,000, respectively, including deferred payments. The six-person executive team also secured up to €1.6 million of conditional bonus awards, payable subject to EU competition officials signing off on the bank meeting its restructuring commitments in recent years.
The ups and downs and twists and turns of the bank’s fortunes over the past eight years, including being involved in parliamentary hearings, the emergence of several financial scandals in which it was indirectly linked from the fallout of BES have been worthy of a Netflix drama series or HBO film, while its outgoing CEO António Ramalho was probably the most newsworthy and familiar banking face in the country after the ex-BES banker Ricardo Salgado, and Portuguese international banking personality, António Horta Osório.