Belfast Telegraph

Invest NI chief Alastair Hamilton quits investment organisation

Alastair Hamilton
Alastair Hamilton
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

The head of Invest NI has announced his decision to quit the organisation.

Alastair Hamilton - a former DUP special adviser - took up his position in April 2009. He said he always intended to step down after 10 years.

The body is responsible for encouraging foreign investment in Northern Ireland through helping businesses establish a base in the country and in supporting existing organisations to grow and develop.

Invest NI said Mr Hamilton had notified the board he intends to leave later in the year.

Mr Hamilton said he had "thoroughly enjoyed his time with the organisation".

"And count it a great privilege to have been able to serve the organisation, and my home country, in such a significant role," he said.

"There is never a good time to leave such a position, but it has been my intention to step down after 10 years in the post, which would be during 2019. I intend to explore new opportunities and further expand my other areas of interest.”

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Mr Hamilton is to remain in post to allow for for the recruitment of a new chief executive. Invest NI said the process would begin in the "near future".

Since his appointment the business landscape in Northern Ireland has been transformed with organisations such as major global law firms and even the New York Stock Exchange setting up a base in Belfast.

On his appointment, the former BT executive was described as having "a wealth of business experience coupled with strong leadership skills that will help drive Invest NI forward," by Invest NI chairman Stephen Kingon.

In 2012, Invest NI was forced to defend his new pay deal after criticism which consolidated his bonus into a salary package of between £185,000 and £190,000 a year.

The then chairman of Invest NI Mark Ennis said the pay deal was justified given Mr Hamilton's record of attracting jobs.

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