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Awards for excellence - Ireland

Best bank

Bank of Ireland

Best debt house

Barclays Capital

Best equity house

Davy Stockbrokers

Best M&A house

Lazard Brothers

Maurice Keane

The Irish banking market is dominated by two institutions, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks. Traditionally, Bank of Ireland has been characterized as the more conservative of the two. While AIB sought growth in an aggressive acquisition strategy in the emerging markets of Poland and Singapore - the newly promoted chief executive Michael Buckley has earned his spurs by knocking these far-flung acquisitions into shape - Bank of Ireland has acquired closer to home. It picked up a modest share of the UK mortgage market when it bought Bristol&West in 1997 and also acquired New Ireland Assurance in the same year. It also operates Lifetime Assurance.

That leaves Bank of Ireland with some strong positions in attractive markets, particularly in long-term savings, wealth management and asset management through Bank of Ireland Asset Management (BIAM).

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