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New faces at Arnotts

ANGLO Irish Bank and Ulster Bank have appointed three new directors to the board of Dublin department store Arnotts, where they jointly took control this week in a debt- restructuring deal.

Barrister Richard Nesbitt, who has had a long association with the 167-year old retailer, has been replaced as chairman by Mark Schwartz, the chief executive of US asset management company Palladin Capital Group.

Mr Schwartz has been advising the banks about Arnotts in recent months. He founded Palladin in 1998 and has extensive experience in the retail sector. Mr Nesbitt will remain as a non- executive director.

Mr Schwartz, who is the chief executive of the Boston-based Palladin Capital Group, also said yesterday that he intends to engage in a "full review" of senior executive management at Arnotts and that changes are being considered that would "reflect the renewed focus on Arnotts' trading operations".

It's likely the first executive roles to come under the spotlight will be those of group chief executive Brian Kearney and chief financial officer Declan Delanty, who were significantly involved in plans for the €750m Northern Quarter.

Mr Schwartz also said that there was "no need" for concern about Arnotts' future. "I and my colleagues are here to grow this business, not shrink it," he added.