A growing horde of large bank CEOs have gazed upon the new Post-Brexit reality of Europe, looked at Frankfurt's boring yet affordably prepared infreastructure and thought "A reasonable place to relocate."
But one SIFI CEO has cast his sad eyes to the northeast of Germany, towards an Emerald Isle in the Atlantic characterized by perpetually grey skies, grey-er food, grey-est moods and a corporate tax rate that can only be seen via microscope. Brian Moynihan is looking at Dublin, a city synonymous with rain and melancholy, and thinking "Begorra! I'm home."
Bank of America said on Friday that it had chosen Dublin as its future European Union hub, the latest major financial services firm to outline its plans to deal with Britain’s departure from the 28-nation bloc.
Brian Moynihan is a Notre Dame alum with an enormous head who lives in Boston despite running a bank based in Charlotte and is named "Brian Thomas Moynihan." A bank run by Brian Moynihan choosing Dublin is like a restaurant run by a mouse choosing to serve cheese. It's...unsurprising.
Corbat and Gorman and Lloyd can have wurst while basking in German efficiency, and Jamie can keep mulling his opportunity to spend more time in Paris basking in all that Gallic Joie de vivre. Brian will be standing on the banks of The Liffey staring through the relentless rain and contemplating the eternal sadness of life. In fact, listening to Moynihan it sounds like he's already home:
Brian T. Moynihan, the Bank of America chairman and chief executive, said in a news release that Dublin was the home of more of the lender’s employees than any other European city outside of Britain.
“We already have a fully licensed and operational Irish-domiciled bank, which, combined with Ireland’s strong commitment to business and economic growth, makes Dublin the natural location to consolidate our legal entities as we transition,” the statement said.
And just think about the opportunities! BriMo is certainly a man who looks good in tweed, Dublin is a much shorter flight than Frankfurt for a guy that already travels a ton every week, in Ireland he might not be the saddest guy in the room at any time, and he might even be over to help his cousin find those sheep.
Not only are we not surprised that Brian Moynihan's bank is the first to select Dublin over Frankfurt for a post-Brexit HQ, we had honestly just assumed that it was never in doubt.