Dermot Desmond was born in Cork in 1950. His family moved to Dublin in 1956. He was educated at Scoil Mhuire in Marino and at Good Counsel College in New Ross. Before setting up his own company in 1981, he worked for Citibank, the Investment Bank of Ireland and as a banking consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers in Europe. He founded NCB in 1981 and grew the business to become Ireland's largest independent stockbroker. In 1994 he sold NCB to the National Westminster Bank (now The Royal Bank of Scotland).
He is Chairman of International Investment & Underwriting (IIU), which he founded in 1995. IIU is a private company, operating from the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin, specialising in direct equity investment and underwriting, funds management and capital markets trading. Prior to founding IIU in 1995, he established a number of software companies serving the financial services sector. Through his private equity company IIU, he has investments in a variety of start-up and established businesses worldwide, in the areas of financial services, technology, education, information systems, leisure, aviation, health and sport.
He is Chairman of a charity called ‘Respect’, which was set-up by the Daughters of Charity to raise funds to develop their services to people with a mental and physical handicap. He is a Board member of several companies, charities and educational bodies. He is also a trustee of the Chester Beatty Library. He is a sports enthusiast, an eclectic art collector and a keen golfer with aspirations!