Asset Based Finance Association in Ireland appoints Michael Walsh as Chairperson and Mark O’ Rourke as Vice-Chairperson


The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), the organisation which represents the asset based finance industry in the UK and Ireland, has appointed Michael Walsh as Chairperson of the organisation in Ireland and Mark O’ Rourke as Vice Chairperson.

Michael, who has over 25 years’ experience in the Irish banking sector, is currently Director of Ulster Bank Invoice Finance. Michael has held a number of senior roles within the company since he joined in 1991 and has been a board member since 2001. Michael is a member of the Institute of Banking, from which he holds professional qualifications in Banking, SME Credit and Financial Advice.

The Asset Based Finance Association sets and enforces standards within the asset-based finance industry and in his new role, Michael Walsh will work with the Irish members of the organisation to promote the products and services provided by the industry, while also ensuring that all members maintain the highest standards of professional conduct in their dealings with clients, guarantors and / or indemnifiers.

Use of asset based finance has grown substantially in Ireland in recent times, with ABFA members now providing an average of €1.3bn of working capital to 2,000 Irish businesses at any one time. These figures demonstrate just how much Invoice Finance is supporting Irish firms with vital working capital to fund their business through the economic recovery.

Commenting on his new position, Michael Walsh says: “In my new role as Chairperson of the ABFA, I will work with the organisation to continue to promote and support the Invoice Finance industry, while also ensuring that ABFA members adhere to the very highest standards of professional ethics. This is a particularly pivotal time for our industry as asset based finance has come of age and is now utilised by a significant number of growing businesses as part of a balanced approach to their funding.

This source of working capital finance has gained traction as more businesses develop a better understanding of how they can utilise the value in their debtor book to free up cash to invest in growth, M&A and other business opportunities. It really is a key enabler for helping businesses to achieve their potential.”

Mark O’ Rourke, the newly appointed Vice Chairperson of the ABFA, has over 19 years of experience in the Irish banking sector and is currently Head of Risk at Bibby Financial Services.

Before joining Bibby ten years ago, Mark spent nine years with Bank of Ireland Commercial Finance (now BIF). He was awarded with the Bibby International Deal of the Year Award in 2015 and the Bibby Outstanding Achievement Award in 2013 and 2015. Mark holds a Business Studies Diploma from DIT.

The Irish Members of the ABFA are:

  • AIB Commercial Finance Ltd.
  • Bank of Ireland Commercial Finance
  • Barclays Bank
  • Bibby Financial Services (Ireland) Ltd.
  • Close Brothers Commercial Finance
  • Danske Bank A/S
  • Ulster Bank Invoice Finance