Angela McGowan is to quit her role as chief economist with Danske Bank for the top job at the CBI following the retirement of Nigel Smyth the business organisation has confirmed.
Ms McGowan will take over the role in October aftewr eight years in the high profile post with the bank.
Mr Smyth is retiring after 26 years as CBI director in Northern Ireland.
Ms McGowan will head up the CBI’s Belfast office and represent the UK’s largest business organisation’s Northern Ireland members with government, policy makers and other key stakeholders including the social partners and other business bodies - such as Ibec with which it has just published a major report on infrastructure.
A regular contributor to the News Letter, the mother of two who is based in Holywood, has enjoyed a high profile position with Danske throughout the period of the property crash and recession oince 2008 and will conintinue in a similar fashion in the new job.
“I’m delighted to welcome Angela to the role of Northern Ireland Director,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General.
“Her business experience, and wealth of economic knowledge, will help the CBI create the best possible conditions for its members in Northern Ireland.
“Following the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, Angela joins us at an important moment for Northern Ireland’s economy, when businesses will be looking for political stability and certainty. I look forward to working closely with her to achieve this.”
Northern Ireland Chairman, David Gavaghan, said the appointment came at a critical time in the province.
“Angela’s strong grasp of public policy issues and a deep understanding of the regional economy will be very important,” he said.
“The CBI is recognised as the voice of business and, as we all face a new set of challenges, Angela is ideally placed to lead the local team and engage widely in representing the interests of the business community in Northern Ireland.”
Ms McGowan previously worked as the senior economist at the Economic Research Institute NI and the Northern Ireland Economic Council, before joining Danske Bank in 2008.
Danske CFO Stephen Matchett praised her contrinution to the bank.
“Danske Bank has built a strong position in the Northern Ireland marketplace and Angela has played an important part in bolstering our reputation through her public-facing role as chief economist.
“She has also made a significant contribution in helping to inform and encourage wider economic debate in our society.
“As long-time CBI members we wish her well in her forthcoming new role, as we continue to work alongside CBI and other stakeholders to help ensure continued growth in the local economy.”
Welcoming the appointmnent, Wilfred Mitchell, FSB’s Northern Ireland policy chairman said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Angela McGowan on being appointed to the role of CBI Director for Northern Ireland.
“The FSB looks forward to working with Ms McGowan when she takes up her role in October, on issues that engage all businesses in Northern Ireland, particularly given her extensive knowledge on regional public policy and the economy.”