The Rise and Fall of Sean Quinn
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 discussion about ethnics. A good leader has to deal with the interests of his employees and shareholders and not only act on his own. There is no doubt that leaders should not ignore ethnics at work as it can have a negative impact on reputation and the brand of the company and possible have negative financial impact. Unanswered questions and the future of Sean Quinn
There are still some unanswered questions of Mr Quinn’s fall, such as why did he invest in banking sector that he didn’t had any experience in past? Was he assuming that banking sector would be similar to other sectors he has done business? I personally experience this dilemma last year as I was moved from IT to financial sector to sell software licences. However financial sector was far more challenging that IT sector. The competition was more aggressive and the market was much matured and the profit margin was less compared to IT sector and I was less successful than I was expecting.