The Rise and Fall of Sean Quinn

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  • Topic: Bank, Risk, Quinn Group
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  • Published : February 19, 2012
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The rise and fall of Sean Quinn
Recently former Irish billionaire filled for bankruptcy in Dublin court. Mr Quinn who was in 2008 listed as an Ireland richest man €4.7 billion owned to Angolo Irish Bank €2.8 billion by 2011. What was the reason for such a successful businessman to fall down so hard?

Rise and downfall
Sean Quinn, a son of former farmer, started his first business at age of 26 when he borrowed £100 to extract gravel and selling it to local builders. Since then he expanded his Quinn Group portfolio to insurance, glass, hotel, plastic and radiator industries. Having built empire, he was borrowing billions to gamble on the shares of Anglo Irish Bank, oping to turn quick profit. As recession started in 2008, Anglo Irish bank’s shares dropped value and the government nationalized the bank to prevent complete collapse. Sean Quinn lost his fortune and his business empire.

Greediness and ethics

In one of Sean Quinn’s interviews, he admitted that he only can be solely blamed for the downfall of his empire. He knew the risk he was taking versus the possible quick profit. So, what were the motives of his gambling business decision? Previous to his bankruptcy, Mr Quinn told in one of the interviews in 2007 that he has always been greedy person.

Could it be that he lost all his fortune purely because of greediness? Sean Quinn had inner drive that nothing was enough to him, he wanted more and more and that is probably one of the reasons that his empire keep growing and he became richest until the downfall. But through out his career did he ignore ethics?

I borrow a text from Tudor Richard’s book – Dilemmas of leadership: “For some leaders, matters of ethics arise as unwelcome intrusion in the pursuit of economic success. Nevertheless, such leaders have to find ways of assessing the risks facing companies that fall foul of regulatory guidelines”(3) Sean Quinn’s gambling in Anglo bank share did not break any laws; however it brought up a...
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