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InBusiness Q2 2013

SOCIAL MEDIA ETIQUETTE The benefits of having policy in the workplace

Dealing with


Smith & Williamson’s Seán McNamara on debt restructuring

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gets you an unbeatable business bundle that includes: In times like this, it’s essential to give our economy every chance to grow and prosper. Having a safe, secure electricity supply is a key part of that. EirGrid is the State-owned company that runs our national grid – bringing electricity to every part of the country. It’s easily taken for granted, because for most of us, electricity is ‘always there’. Getting it there, however, takes planning, investment and the co-operation and goodwill of communities across Ireland.

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Call 1800 303 504 Visit General terms, conditions and fair usage policy apply, see Bundle includes Talktime for Business Level 1, eFibre Business Professional and eMobile Small Business Unlimited. Where eFibre is not available a DSL service alternative will be provided and broadband speeds may be lower. Talktime and Broadband subject to 12 month contract. eMobile plans subject to 18 month contract. Prices quoted ex VAT and valid for duration of the contract. Applies to new connections only. Specific handset range applies. Handset range subject to change during life of promotion. eMobile terms and conditions at Closing date 30th September 2013.

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ConTenTs NEws


03 08

Business news movers & shakers


Job Creation


FEatUrEs 12


on a mission in europe Colm gorey reports on Enterprise Ireland's recent trade mission to the Czech Republic and Poland.


A new social Conscience


Business Books InBusiness profiles some of the latest business books on the market.


gadgets InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eyecatching gadgets available.


rEGULars 39

motoring Conor forrest found the 2012/13 Toyota GT86 a welcome return to form for Toyota, and an immediate contender.

onwards not upwards Kevin mcelligott examines the reality of renting commercial property in Ireland in today's fastpaced and volatile economy.

Travel sarah Kavanagh discovers Hanoi, with all the frenetic energy and dense history the Vietnamese capital has to offer.

Chamber update News and opinion from Chambers Ireland, Ireland’s largest business network.

fishing for opportunity Conor forrest investigates the importance of the Irish seafood industry, and discovers why it has the potential for significant growth and success.



The franchise model Dean van nguyen examines franchising in Ireland, its contribution to the economy and how it can help move the country forward.



As the popularity of social media websites continues to soar, sarah Kavanagh reports on the need for employers to implement social media policies at the workplace.

A smart solution sarah Kavanagh reports on the integrated solutions being offered to eircom's business customers and how their existing strategy is fully aligned with the Government’s digital agenda.


A Company lifeline As it becomes an increasingly popular tactic in saving struggling companies, InBusiness examines the mechanics of debt restructuring.



The last Word Dublin Web Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave tells Dean van nguyen about this year’s event and Irish involvement in the digital retail revolution.


Tapping into Craft A craft beer revolution in Ireland has been brewing for some time and the micro brewer and large drinks company are taking stock, writes Joseph o'Connor.


Editor (ashville Media Group): Joseph O’Connor Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial assistant (Chambers Ireland): Amy Woods Commercial Editor (ashville Media Group): Conor Forrest Editorial Contributors: Conor Forrest, Colm Gorey, Daniel Griffin, Sarah Kavanagh, Kevin McElligott, Dean Van Nguyen Design and Layout: Alan McArthur, Edel Quinn advert Design: Alan McArthur, Kevin O'Connor Photography:, Production Manager: Len Wilson Production Executive: Nicole Ennis sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Diarmaid Lennon Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200, Fax: +353 1 676 7100, Email:, Web: on behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount street, Dublin 2 tel: +353 1 400 4300, fax: +353 1 661 2811, email:, web: all articles © ashville Media Group 2012. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Opinion and comments expressed herein are not necessarily those of ashville Media or Chambers Ireland. IssN 20093934

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A Simpler way to a healthier, more productive life for your employees... InBus Q2 2013 1_49.indd 2

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23/07/2013 16:11:21

business news

Business News A round up of all the news from the world of Irish business.

New jobs site a done deal



oneDeal has announced the official launch of DoneDealJobs, a new affordable solution for companies of all sizes to advertise jobs. will give employers the opportunity to utilise DoneDeal’s 660,000 unique visitors per day to find the perfect candidate. The new site,, will sit within and has been entirely devised, designed and managed by DoneDeal. Job advertisements start from as little as w99 + VAT for two months with ultra-competitive packages available for multiple postings. Speaking at the launch, Fred Karlsson, Founder of DoneDeal, said: “Today is a big day for DoneDeal. We have set up DoneDealJobs to make advertising jobs as cost effective and easy as possible for potential employers and we are delighted to launch DoneDealJobs at a time when there are over 400,000 unemployed

in Ireland. In addition to making it easier for employers to find the perfect candidate, we are bringing all the benefits of for those who are looking for jobs. We have designed the site to be easy to use and search so that you can find your perfect job.” DoneDeal is Ireland’s largest and most successful online classified adverts website and today claims a market leadership position twice as big as its nearest competitor. The company provides an easy safe marketplace for people to buy or sell all sorts of things. Features include photos with all ads, low cost advertising with hassle free payment by phone and free tracking tools. Founded in 2005 by Fred and Geraldine Karlsson, the business has steadily grown and claims just over 600,000 Norah Casey, Publisher and presenter of RTE’s The Takeover visitors to its with Agnes Healy, Marketing Manager at DoneDeal. website each day.

Investment of €1.3 million at E-drive Group to create up to 40 new jobs

and London. A recruitment drive has started in order to fill the additional 40 new jobs which include full-time engineering positions for E-drive Group’s Ireland and UK operations, as well as full-time customer service, creative marketing, graphic design, and back-office support roles. Commenting on the launch of E-drive Group, Mervyn O’Callaghan, CEO, said: “Combining our driver safety and vehicle technology expertise at E-drive Solutions with the award-winning expertise of the branding specialists at Universal Graphics made perfect business sense. Our individual teams were delivering and servicing the same cohort of clients so combining our


leading driver safety and fleet solutions provider in Ireland and the UK, E-drive Solutions, has announced a merger with Universal Graphics, a specialist branding company, in a move that will create up to 40 new jobs over the next two years. The newly merged companies will now be known as E-drive Group and already the company employs 62 people in its offices in Waterford, Monaghan

Simon Murray, Sales and Marketing Director, Mervyn O’Callaghan, Managing Director, at the launch of new Irish fleet solutions company, E-drive Group.

services into a ‘one-stop shop’ solution offers unrivalled cost and resource efficiencies, which is exactly what our clients want.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 3

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business news Digiweb grants lease for Super High Speed Broadband in Scotland


igiweb, an Irish telecommunications provider, has announced that it has entered into a long-term lease agreement with Scot-Tel-Gould Ltd for the utilisation of its national 10 GHz licence. This agreement shall facilitate the delivery of superfast broadband services via radio bearers to schools and other council properties across the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland. Founded in 1997, Digiweb operates an extensive 10 GHz network in Ireland and United Kingdom using UK-based Ogier Electronics as its preferred microwave transmission solutions supplier. Ofcom awarded Digiweb a number of frequency blocks in the 10GHz range suitable for the development of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint high speed networks. The spectrum is ideal for the development of backhaul solutions as well as the roll-out of regional Superfast Broadband networks. “We welcome Ofcom’s innovative decision to permit spectrum trading in this frequency band, which does allow for a more efficient use of the spectrum. Digiweb is very happy to enter this agreement with Scot-Tel-Gould which will enable new services be launched in Aberdeenshire to service local needs” said Colm Piercy, CEO, Digiweb Group.

Sales and marketing professionals honoured at Direct Marketing Awards


eceiving a record 24 per cent increase in entries, An Post set the stage last May for one of the biggest marketing events of the year, the 2013 An Post Integrated Direct Marketing Awards. This year's programme was themed ‘Magnetism The Bord Gáis Energy team scoops the Loyalty Programme Measured’ in which of the Year. the best of homegrown talent was recognised for sales right across the country to attend. Corkand marketing campaigns that delivered based agency Forza Direct Marketing strong results and return on investment entered the awards for the first time for Irish enterprises. and walked away with two gold awards Many new companies and agencies for their highly creative and effective entered the Awards for the first time, campaign for Waterford thermoform reflecting the consistent shift away provider, Tekpak. from mass-advertising to more direct, The inaugural Loyalty Programme of personal and measurable marketing. the Year award was hotly contended, According to Amárach Research, as and won by Bord Gáis Energy for advertising spend continues to fall, their breakthrough Energy Rewards spend on direct marketing continues programme. The coveted ‘Agency of the to grow; from 29 per cent of marketing Year’ was awarded to Ignition – integrated spend in February 2011 to 38 per cent in ideas people, a small Dublin agency February 2013. headed by David O’Sullivan, for their Over 300 sales and marketing award-winning work with Musgravesprofessionals attended the Gala Awards Supervalu, The Parnell Heritage Pub Night in Dublin’s Mansion House, with & Grill and a highly personalised new agencies and brands travelling from business campaign for the agency.

CommScope Opens Technology Innovation Centre in Bray


o demonstrate the company’s leadership in wireless, broadband and enterprise solutions, CommScope recently opened a new Technology Innovation Centre at its Bray, Ireland facility. The 1,800-square foot Technology Innovation Centre incorporates a research and development laboratory and a solution demonstration area. The display area is complemented by a Customer Executive Briefing Centre which opened in 1999. “We have a long history of enabling wired and wireless communication

networks and invest an average of approximately a100 million each year in developing innovative and agile solutions, some of which are now included within the Bray facility,” said Fiona Nolan, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, CommScope. “The opening of this new innovation centre is testament to our commitment to our customers to keep them ahead of the technology curve.” Combining the new Technology Innovation Centre with the Executive Briefing Centre will provide customers from across the European, Middle

East and African regions with a greater opportunity to see and learn about the latest technologies underpinning the most advanced networks in the world. Bray is a prominent location in CommScope’s global manufacturing and distribution network. The facility, which employs approximately 180 people, occupies over 130,000 square feet and is one of the largest manufacturers of SYSTIMAX® enterprise solutions for CommScope. It is also home of the engineering, marketing, sales and finance support organisation for the Europe, Middle East and African regions.

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business news


Online legal service solves search dilemma

n an ever changing legal landscape, the search for the right solicitor at a competitive price has become much simpler with the launch of SolveMyLegal. com, a free online service designed to help consumers and businesses find the most suitable solicitor to meet any, and all of their legal needs. Choice, convenience, value and expertise are key when choosing a solicitor, and today consumers and businesses are searching more and more online for solutions. is a one stop shop to meet all consumers’ and businesses' legal needs when on the hunt for the right solicitor. The unique concept is entirely different to the usual solicitor directory listings, price comparison or referral sites, in that it is personalised and interactive. With consumers select the type of legal requirement they have, and then confidentially complete a fully customised questionnaire, where they have the option to upload relevant documents free of charge. This confidential questionnaire is then made available through the website to relevant solicitors in their area, who can engage with that consumer or business

and gather any additional information they might require to best respond to the enquiry. The solicitor then responds with their quote for their background experience, and crucially, their quote to carry out the work. Once the customer has chosen their solicitor, an appointment can be arranged and the matter continues off the site and in the normal way.

David Reilly, CEO of SolveMyLegal. com, says: “Shopping around for the best solicitor at the best price is something that is becoming more the norm, but it is difficult and time consuming. With our unique service we believe we can drastically improve consumers’ and businesses' experience with legal professionals.

Andrew Doyle, Marketing Director, with David Reilly, CEO of

Compass Group Ireland secures 5 year contract with NUI Maynooth


reland’s leading food and support services company, Compass Group Ireland, has been awarded a contract with the John Paul II Library Café, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Compass Group Ireland was awarded the five-year contract following a competitive tender process in December. The contract is estimated to be worth a1.5 million over five years. Under this new contract, Compass Group Ireland will provide café services to over 8,500 campus students, 40 library staff and will employ four

new staff onsite. The Group has also provided food services to on-campus restaurant The Phoenix at the college since 2011 where 15 staff are currently employed. Fiacra Nagle, Managing Director, Compass Group Ireland, said: “We are delighted to add to our existing relationship with NUI Maynooth and are incredibly proud of the service we have delivered to date. We look forward to continuing this relationship and delivering a best in class service every day under this new contract.”

Deirdre Watters, Director of Communications at NUI Maynooth, added: “Following a competitive tender, we are pleased to extend our partnership with Compass Group Ireland. Following an in-depth tendering process and due to an excellent current on-campus service to date, we knew Compass Group would be the correct choice for the new Library Café’s needs. We look forward to working with them in delivering a top quality and healthy eating experience for staff and students alike in NUI Maynooth.”

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business news

Irish tech firms raise €52m in Q1


rish technology companies raised a52 million in funding in the first quarter of 2013, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) Venture Pulse survey. The report finds that first round funding from January-March this year was 14 per cent of funds raised compared to 20 per cent in 2012. Stephen Keogh, a corporate partner in William Fry, which acted as legal advisers in over half of the funding rounds in the first quarter, said that the data could be an early warning sign. Commenting on the report findings, Dr Manus Rogan, Chairman of the IVCA, said: “This is similar to last year and a highly satisfactory performance especially as activity in international markets is experiencing significant volatility. For example, US quarter numbers are down

six per cent, as the global credit crunch continues to bite.” Regina Breheny, Director General of the IVCA, said: “The Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors.” She added that since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, 764 Irish SMEs raised venture capital of a1.5bn. These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who during this period supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs, attracted over a450 million of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the seed and venture capital programme by almost seven times.

Cisco launches virtual retail banking service


isco has launched a new technology in Ireland which will allow retail banking customers to have virtual face-to-face meetings with banking specialists and experts from any bank branch, in real time via high-definition video. Cisco® Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail is

designed to take advantage of the expertise and sales potential of specialty lending, wealth management and other types of banking advisers. Cisco has signed its first contract in Ireland for the new technology with AIB, which recently launched its first digital banking store, The Lab (Learn about

Adam Grennan, Country Manager Ireland, Cisco.

Regina Breheny, Director General, IVCA.

banking) in Dundrum Town Centre. The Lab incorporates Cisco Remote Expert video booths where visitors can video call financial advisers seven days a week for advice on home mortgages and other products. Les Hurrell, Major Account Manager with Cisco, believes the new technology will help rural communities with their banking. He says: “If you’re living in Galway and want to apply for a mortgage, you won’t have to drive all the way to the nearest branch with a mortgage adviser. Instead you can just book an appointment in the booth in your home town and do it from there.” Research by Cisco of over 5,000 consumers globally has found that consumers want banks to deliver financial advice and banking services through both virtual and physical channels, ushering in a new era of omni-channel banking that provides customers with services in a manner most convenient and personalised to their needs. “Cisco Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail enables banks to maximise the efficiency and productivity of expensive financial services advisers so they can capture business at that important first contact while providing the personalised service the customer desires,” added Adam Grennan, Country Manager Ireland, Cisco. InBusiness | Q1 2013 7

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Movers & shakers | News

Movers & Shakers New appointments in the business community nationwide. Insurance including CEO of Group Renewable Energy, UK Director of SME, and Director of Underwriting for Ireland. Norgrove is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Reserve and a unique Tullamore D.E.W. 10 Year Old Single Malt. William Grant & Sons is an independent family-owned distiller with some of the world’s leading brands of scotch whiskey, including Glenfiddich, Grant’s and Balvenie range as well as other spirits brands such as Sailor Jerry, Hendrick’s Gin and Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey.

Ken Norgrove

Ken Norgrove Insurance Institute of Ireland The CEO of Zurich General Insurance, Ken Norgrove, has been elected President of The Insurance Institute of Ireland (III) for a 12 month term up to April 2014. The Insurance Institute is the professional educational body for the insurance industry in Ireland and today it has over 15,000 members. During his tenure as President, Norgrove will work to ensure a renewed focus on the importance of professional development within the insurance industry, and attract the next generation of graduates to consider the insurance industry as an excellent career option. Norgrove takes over the Presidency of the III from Richard Endersen, CEO of Aon Insurance Ireland. Norgrove has over 26 years of experience in the financial services and insurance industry. Before joining Zurich in 2011, he was Vice President of Travelers Insurance, where he was responsible for International Strategic Development, prior to which he held several senior roles with RSA

Claire Totten

Claire Totten Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey William Grant & Sons has appointed Claire Totten as Global Brand Manager for Tullamore D.E.W., the second largest Irish whiskey brand in the world. Totten will play a senior role within the Tullamore D.E.W. global team, strengthening the brand internationally in its key growth regions. Totten has a wealth of experience in senior brand management positions. Her previous roles include Johnson & Johnson in Ireland, where she was Senior Brand Manager for Listerine and Nicorette. Prior to this, Totten was with SSL Healthcare Ireland where she was a brand manager for Durex, Scholl and a range of over the counter medicines. The award-winning Tullamore D.E.W. range includes Tullamore D.E.W. Original, Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year Old Special

Giampiero Bonifazi

Giampiero Bonifazi TeamworkPM Giampiero Bonifazi has joined TeamworkPM as a Senior Web Developer. TeamworkPM is an internationally renowned project management software application company located at the North Point Business Park in Cork City. In his new role Bonifazi will be involved in developing new features and functionalities both for the UI front-end and server side layer of the TeamworkPM web application. Bonifazi brings more than 14 years of experience in web development and information technology to this role. Having completed a degree in Business Administration from the University of Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy, Bonifazi

Looking to add to your management team? Look no further than The Panel. Accountancy • Financial Services • Insurance • Banking • Funds • Legal • IT 8 Q2 2013 | InBusiness

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Movers & shakers | News then completed a Masters in Business Administration in the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan. Bonifazi went on to work as Business Consultant in Alghero in Sardinia, Italy where he then founded a leading training centre and hosting provider company. Bonifazi worked mainly between Alghero and Milan but this role allowed him to travel frequently as he offered training and hosting services to companies throughout Italy. In 2008, Giampiero needed a new challenge and decided to join a number of interesting projects and start-ups in Spain in the travel and tourism sector. He worked there for four years before making the move to Ireland to join TeamworkPM.

particularly exciting time for BT Ireland as we are currently launching a range of new propositions that will enable our customers to maximise their communications investment and accelerate the benefits into other areas of their business.” Fagan joined BT eight years ago as Technology Director and has over 15 years’ experience within the industry. He has worked in a number of senior management roles ranging from strategy, architecture, operations and management consultancy.

and Yorkshire Bank in the UK. Peter has also spent time working with the Irish Banking Federation and St Andrews Insurance Group (t/a Halifax Insurance). Peter is a Licentiate of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (LCOI) having successfully completed the ACOI Professional Diploma in Compliance (a level seven degree course awarded by UCD).

John Rock

John Rock – Cliff Townhouse Peter Mitchell

Graham Fagan

Graham Fagan – BT Ireland Graham Fagan has been appointed head of Innovation & Development at BT Ireland, with responsibility for leading the development of propositions for BT’s solutions business across the island of Ireland. A first class honours graduate of Trinity College Dublin, with BSc and MSc degrees in Business and Technology disciplines, Fagan is also a chartered IT professional and holds a number of other leading industry accreditations. Commenting on his new position Fagan says: “I’m delighted to take up the role of head of Innovation & Development. It’s a

Peter Mitchell – Gift Voucher Shop Ireland The Gift Voucher Shop Ireland, the company behind the One4all brand and Ireland’s leading gift voucher provider, has appointed Peter Mitchell as Compliance Manager and Money Laundering Reporting Officer. In his new role, Mitchell is responsible for regulatory compliance including anti money laundering measures for the GVS, Ireland’s largest supplier of gift cards and vouchers to the corporate sector, in both the Irish and UK markets. Mitchell has extensive regulatory compliance experience spanning over 25 years in the financial services industry across Ireland and the UK having previously held compliance manager roles for Danske Bank (formerly National Irish Bank) in Ireland

The Cliff Townhouse has appointed John Rock as their Restaurant Manager. With a wealth of restaurant experience in other well-known Irish and international restaurants, Rock joins The Cliff Townhouse from L’Ecrivain where he was part of the management team for the last six years. Prior to this, Rock spent five years in Reykjavik, Iceland which included working as Maitre D’hotel and sommelier at the Nordic Dill Restaurant. Rock has also worked on the QE2 and has trained in London, working for Gordon Ramsey and Marco Pierre White. Rock is delighted to be part of the team at The Cliff Townhouse: “The Cliff Townhouse is one of the country’s most beautiful dining rooms with a superb reputation for great food, in particular seafood. They take pride in sourcing and serving the freshest fish, and Head Chef Sean Smith and the team here really understand what it takes to be a fantastic seafood restaurant. It’s a pleasure to be part of this team.”

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job creation | News

Job Creation InBusiness highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country. Ronan Daly Jermyn (RDJ) Ronan Daly Jermyn (RDJ), Ireland’s largest regional legal firm, is to create 20 new jobs over the next 18 months. The progressive firm, which has just been named Munster Law Firm of the Year and Connaught Law Firm of the Year at the Danske Bank Irish Law Awards 2013, has already appointed five new solicitors in Cork within the last six months. By the end of 2014, RDJ will employ 170 people between its Cork and Galway offices. The firm’s growth to date has necessitated a move from 12 South Mall to larger, more bespoke premises at City Gate Park, Mahon, Cork to accommodate the expanding practice. Despite a challenging economy, RDJ continues to develop a thriving national and international client-base across four principal area of expertise: Corporate & Commercial (including Tax, IT and IP); Commercial Litigation (including media, professional indemnity and product liability); Property & Banking and General Litigation.

Groupon Online deals provider Groupon has revealed it is to take on 20 new staff in Dublin. Jobs will be available for experienced engineers, programmers, data scientists and marketers as well as new college graduates at its newly established software development centre. Groupon employs about 10,000 people in 48 countries and already employs about a dozen people in Dublin. The new project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland. Rich Williams, Groupon Chief

Marketing Officer, said: "Ireland is a strategic market in Groupon’s global operations – and we want the best and brightest technology and marketing minds to help us to continue to scale.” He added: "Groupon’s business model is based on a creative, disruptive approach, partnering with our merchant community to give consumers more choice, flexibility and value.”

Mafic Mafic has announced 70 new manufacturing and engineering jobs for Kells in County Meath. Mafic is an EU-based company involved in the production of basalt fibre, with operations in Luxembourg and Canada. It hopes to have its new Irish plant operational in Kells by September, which will create 70 new jobs over three years. The roles will include general managers, shop floor managers, and operational and administrative staff. The jobs were secured for Kells through the Suceed in Ireland Initiative, which involves a 'finders fee' being paid to an individual who manages to secure new jobs for Ireland from a foreign company. Meath native and auctioneer, Hugh Morris, was instrumental in bringing Mafic to Kells by introducing the company to the IDA managed Connect Ireland programme. As a result of Mafic's move to Kells, Hugh Morris stands to receive up to a105,000 - a reward unit of a1,500 per job created.

Prometric US multinational testing and research company Prometric, which serves some of the largest technology companies in the

world, has announced the creation of 24 new positions at its Dundalk operations, bringing its headcount to 100. The company announced plans to create 100 jobs in Louth in 2011. The company now employs approximately 140 people across Ireland and currently has a further 30 open positions. Prometric CEO Michael Brannic said: “As a company, our primary purpose is to develop, deliver and produce test results for people to fairly demonstrate their knowledge. This is no small responsibility, and our employees in Ireland are part of our collective global business. Together, we provide a valid, secure and accurate measure of success or failure for millions of people per year.”

Glanbia Up to 1,600 jobs are to be created with the construction of a new dairy production facility by leading food firm Glanbia. The company is to build a new dairy plant in Belview, on the Kilkenny/ Waterford border, which is reported to be worth about y400 million to the economy. Some 450 construction workers will be employed during the build. Glanbia said the scale of Belview is extremely ambitious and it will bring maximum return for local farmers and businesses as the dairy industry purchases 90 per cent of its raw materials from the domestic economy. The company is to employ 76 staff directly at the plant with another 1,676 jobs created indirectly on farms, suppliers and maintenance. InBusiness | Q2 2013 11

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eircom Business | feature

A smart solution for SMEs David Walsh, Sales Director of eircom Business, tells Sarah Kavanagh about the value and integrated solutions they offer to business customers, their strong focus on helping businesses enhance their presence online and how their existing strategy is fully aligned with the Government’s digital agenda.


ith small and medium sized enterprises constituting over 99 per cent of businesses in Ireland, the prosperity of the Irish economy may well be determined by the success and growth of these companies. In recognition of this, eircom Business is providing value, solutions and support to these businesses. However, with customers that also include many of Ireland’s well known large corporates, the scope of eircom Business is anything but limited. While the spectrum of companies may be diverse, David Walsh, Sales Director of eircom Business, believes all customers are attracted by eircom's wide range of offerings. “It is about smart solutions, genuine value and integrated support,” Walsh says. “Our strength as an ICT provider lies in our experience and our biggest asset – our network which combines both fixed and mobile offerings. Coupled with our strong service heritage in the business market we are well positioned to offer businesses, regardless of their size, the solutions and service that they need.

Value and Flexibility Central to eircom’s appeal to businesses is the value and flexibility they offer in their one-stop-shop packages. For example, a fixed line, broadband, and mobile solution is available for a69.50 with free fixed line minutes, unlimited broadband on the new fibre service, and unlimited calls, texts and data on

eMobile. “We are delivering the best value in the marketplace right now across fixed and mobile,” Walsh says. “ Our bundles are extremely popular with our customers, for one key reason - bundles allow them to manage their costs. It’s fundamental for businesses today to maintain cost control and we recognise that.” As plans on offer can be tailored specifically to the customer’s business, eircom recognises and focuses on each individual company’s needs to allow them to reach their potential. “At whatever level David Walsh, Sales Director of eircom Business. of business our customers are operating, we understand workforce and their productivity. For the role that communications plays us, it is about identifying solutions at a in businesses today,” says Walsh. “We varying range of scales that will support assess factors like the company’s the business.” competitiveness, the efficiency of their With the growth in the adoption

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eircom Business | feature “Our bundles are extremely popular with our customers, for one key reason - bundles allow them to manage their costs. It’s fundamental for businesses today to maintain cost control and we recognise that.” of cloud based services, Walsh cites the company’s work with Smyth’s Toys Superstore as an example of the results that can be achieved with this knowledge and adaptability. Following the implementation of a new cloud-based IT platform, in partnership with Amazon Web Services, the Smyth's Toys website achieved more than a 100 per cent uplift during the busy Christmas period in 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. “Working with Smyth's Toys we developed a solution which gave them the ability to scale the IT infrastructure support they needed during one of their busiest times of the year,” says Walsh. “Increasingly, they are doing more and more business online and we are able to facilitate that.”

Accessibility While the importance of a strong digital presence is recognised by many businesses, the reality is that approximately 40 per cent of Irish companies still do not have a website and, of those that do, only a small percentage are actually transacting online. “We recognise the requirement for businesses to get online,” Walsh says. “There is a big opportunity to capture and grow your business online. Being online does not mean you have to create an international presence or anything like that, it can actually be about creating a local presence for yourself and allowing customers to come and find you.” eircom has just completed a very successful phase of its Digital Boost initiative which provides practical support and access to leading experts in the digital space to give small businesses the tools they need to build a successful online presence. The initiative, which is due to re-open again in the autumn, is open to companies with or without an online presence. “No matter what line of business or industry you’re in, a strong digital presence is essential. Digital Boost is about empowering Irish

business owners so they can boost their online activity. So many of our own customers in the SME space do not have a website and we hope that the practical advice available through Digital Boost will help them get started. For those who do have a website, many are not making the most of it in terms of driving sales and communicating with their own customers. From our perspective we are helping businesses in a very practical and tangible way with Digital Boost and we’ve had a hugely positive reaction to it so far," says Walsh. “Digital Boost is essentially about giving thought leadership and support to SMEs, it is not about selling an eircom product or service.” eircom’s current business strategy appears to be also fully aligned with the Government’s National Digital Strategy, the ultimate aim of which is the optimal economic and social use of the internet by businesses, government, and individuals. The first phase of the strategy, recently announced by Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, is to provide grants to small businesses to encourage them to build their presence online and eircom is supportive of this strategy. “SMEs are the backbone of the Irish economy and that’s a fact. Enabling these businesses from a digital perspective and encouraging entrepreneurship is vital to the overall success of our economy. We’re really pleased to see the Government put such a strong focus on supporting SMEs,” says Walsh. The roll-out of high speed broadband is also something high on eircom’s agenda. The company is currently in the midst of an extensive fibre roll-out programme which will see businesses across the country benefit from high speed broadband. eircom plans to have 600,000 homes and businesses passed by the end of this year and 1.2 million premises and 300 communities passed by the end of June 2015. “That will be 60 per cent of Irish homes and businesses across the

country, taking in places like Skibbereen, Bantry, Roscommon, Ballyjamesduff, Cavan and so on,” says Walsh. “Our rollout plan is a national one focussing on urban as well as key regional areas. Areas where fixed line access is not possible will be served by mobile solutions that will give high-speed broadband connectivity. “We are continuing to invest in 4G for areas where it is more challenging to cover through fixed line access,” says Walsh. “We are also supplementing and supporting that with the rollout of our WiFiHub service so we’ll have 4,000 WiFiHub hotspots also rolled out by June next year.” In the coming five years eircom will spend a350 million on the roll-out of improved 3G and the launch of 4G services. Trials are currently underway in Dublin, Athlone, Galway and Carlow across a range of devices and eircom is planning to launch commercial services this autumn. “4G will ultimately deliver increased speeds, greater network capacity and enhanced services to users in both a rural and urban environment. It is going to make a real difference to business customers especially in terms of driving improved performance across a whole range of business applications including file transfers, video conferencing and remote access to a wide range of business applications.” The eircom business strategy seems to have one key theme running throughout - supporting businesses. “Our approach is pretty straightforward,” says Walsh. “For us it’s all about giving businesses access to the best communications solutions for their needs. It’s also about equipping them with the know how to make the most of those solutions. We are uniquely positioned, when it comes to technology and expertise, to provide the level of connectivity expected by businesses in today’s competitive environment.”

“For us it’s all about giving businesses access to the best communications solutions for their needs.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 13

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EVERY DAY, WE’RE PUTTING OUR ENERGY INTO IRISH BUSINESS At ESB, we’ve been investing in Ireland’s energy system for generations. Developing and extending the network and using advanced and innovative ways to generate clean, efficient electricity. In the past decade alone, we have spent €6 billion upgrading and developing Ireland’s electricity grid to deliver reliable, sustainable and competitive energy supplies to customers. Helping to put Ireland’s economy back on its feet and delivering energy that your business can depend on – now and in the future.

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Franchise SEctor | Feature

The Franchise Model Dean Van Nguyen examines franchising in Ireland, its importance in the Irish economy and how the franchise model can help move the country forward.


ranchising is sometimes looked at with trepidation by consumers who fear that the personality of the Irish high street risks being washed away by a flood of international fast food outlets and chain store retailers. But there’s no denying that in an economy that continues to trundle on lethargically, franchises have been a bright spark. According to a 2010 survey by Ulster Bank, the franchise sector increased job creation in Ireland every year since 2006, with 4,086 franchise units operating across the island of Ireland contributing to 42,927 full-time equivalent jobs. Perhaps that the term ‘franchise’ can sometimes carry negative connotations is the misconception that it solely refers to huge international corporations as

opposed to local entrepreneurs and Irish ingenuity. While it’s true that some of the biggest companies in the world deploy the franchise model, franchised businesses come in all sizes, and the model is utilised by Irish entrepreneurs to help grow their own firms. In fact, the public interact with franchises more often than they likely realise, be it buying a cup of coffee, working out in the gym, or even selling property, hiring senior care or outsourcing business solutions.

grants the franchisee the right to run a business using the franchisor’s business format. In exchange for the use of the

“The public interact with franchises more often than they likely realise, be it buying a cup of coffee, working out in the gym, or Benefits of Franchises On a basic level, the franchise model even selling property, is simple enough to grasp: franchising hiring senior care or is a method of product or service distribution administered by legal outsourcing business contract. The owner of the original business model – the franchisor – solutions.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 15


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Franchise SEctor | Feature brand name and intellectual property rights, as well as receiving training and marketing support, the franchisee pays a fee and ongoing royalty payments for the duration of the contract. For both, the agreement can be win-win. Franchisors can expand their brand more rapidly than they could either on their own or through investors or lenders, while the fees and royalties can be injected back into the business to fund operations at corporate headquarters, train and support franchisees, advertise the brand or improve the quality of goods or services. For franchisees, the most obvious benefit is acquiring a business model that is proven and, therefore, has a higher chance of success than a sole proprietorship. But that’s not all. Other advantages include the initial training and ongoing support from the franchisor and network of fellow franchisees. As Chairman of the Irish Franchise Association (IFA) David Killeen tells me: “You’re in business for yourself but not by yourself.”

Irish Franchise Association The IFA is a voluntary body that develops and promotes best practice franchising in Ireland. Their services are used by franchisors and franchisees alike, as well as those looking for an opportunity to start a new enterprise, build on an existing project or create export markets. The development of many of Ireland’s most successful franchises have been furthered by their consultation. Killeen was heavily involved in putting together the strategy paper for the association towards the end of the last decade, shortly after the economy bottomed out. As a result, a board structure was put in place and a number of strategic initiatives the association

were looking to achieve were set out. “What we do as an association is we actually accredit franchise systems to become members of the association,” explains Killeen. “In order to do that they have to satisfy our membership criteria.” For Killeen, the franchise sector has a proven record in creating sustainable jobs because of the nature of the franchise model. “The beauty of franchising is that it should be a proven business methodology, or that the business method has proved itself to be financially viable and there’s a systemised approach that’s taken in relation to how that customer offer gets delivered,” he says. “It’s that consistency in the delivery and the training up of people in all aspects around the business that adds to the success rate of franchising. It has created significant sustainability in jobs because, albeit we’re in demanding economic times at the moment, we haven’t seen the same level of attrition at all down the franchise channel that we would have seen in the standalone, startup businesses.” In addition to promoting franchising from the franchisee’s point of view, Killeen believes the benefits for the franchisor are also huge. “There’s a lot of people who are actually looking at franchising as a way of growing their business domestically and then internationally, because once you systemise the business model and once you document the necessary process and procedures, and you develop the correct spending curriculum, then really there’s no boundaries to where the business can go, obviously once there’s appetite for the particular brand or business model.”

Home-grown success Indeed, franchising tends to be associated with foreign companies (particular American-based companies)

"Franchisors can expand their brand more rapidly than they could either on their own or through investors or lenders, while the fees and royalties can be injected back into the business to fund operations at corporate headquarters, train and support franchisees, advertise the brand or improve the quality of goods or services."

establishing outposts in Ireland. But the franchise model has also helped many Irish businesses grow organically. Eddie Rockets, Supermacs and Insomnia are among the household names who have spread throughout the country by deploying the franchise model. But it’s not just the food industry which has benefitted. In 1995 entrepreneur Paul Connelly cofounded the first Motivational Weight Management clinic, a business focused on helping people achieve and maintain their weight management goals. Today, Motivational Weight Management boasts over 30 clinics nationwide and employ over 130 people. Having set out with the goal of opening multiple outlets throughout the country, Connelly discovered as early as the establishment of his third outlet that the logistics of expanding the operation was going to be extremely difficult. “I was finding it quite difficult to get around to the three of them, so that’s really where the idea for franchising came about,” explains Connelly. “It was always my plan to open 20 plus clinics throughout the country. I just thought doing it on a company-owned basis was going to be too difficult, so that’s when I started looking at the franchise model. Our Cork franchisee was the first one and that worked pretty well. We kind of went from there.” Another Irish success story is personalised outsource solutions firm Kendelbell, albeit via a slightly different route than Motivational Weight Management. Company co-founder Tom Shanahan had previously held senior management positions within Motorola and Software Paths in Ireland before finding Kendelbell at the British Franchising Exhibition in 2005. Along with partner David Kelly, Shanahan bought the Irish rights to the business allowing the duo to grant franchisees in this country the right to open their own Kendlebell business. They currently have four offices in Ireland. “What Kendlebell gave us was a proven formula,” explains Shanahan, who as a master franchisor now passes on that formula. Having been in business for seven years now, Shanahan remains convinced franchising is a solid business model. “You’ve got to work hard at it and you’ve got to apply all the rigours

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Franchise SEctor | Feature you’d apply to a normal business to a franchise. But you do have advantages in that you have people to talk to – you have people who have made the mistakes you could make.”

While Motivational Weight Management and Kendlebell’s success stories have been relatively smooth, franchising is not without risk to the franchisor. The agreement means companies must allow an external party use of their brand that can lead to mismanagement out of their control. The IFA have laid down guidelines to all their members to try and ensure these instances don’t occur. “There’s what’s called the European Court of Ethics that we get all our members to subscribe to,” explains David Killeen. “It’s basically a set of provisions for fair behaviour and how business gets conducted between the franchisor and franchisee. As part of our accreditation process we look at the legal agreement that gets submitted and it has to be a fair and equitable agreement, albeit a lot of people might think the legal agreement is very biased towards the franchisor. But when I discuss this with potential franchisees and even client franchisors as well, the right positioning on viewing the franchise agreement, it's more about giving the franchisor the power to protect the integrity of brand, rather than necessarily being biased towards the franchisor.” In the case of Motivation Weight Management, the company have literature they insist is adhered to by their franchisees. “There’s certain clauses in the agreement that they have to stick by with the branding,” says Paul Connelly. “We’re very strict now especially on a marketing side. All the ads have the same look and feel to them. We actually monitor all the ads. Any motivation ad that’s shown anywhere around the country in any newspaper, we get a copy of it. We’d be monitoring all that to make sure it’s the right colours, the right structures and shapes to the ad; so that there’s uniformity there and they’re following the guidelines and not doing their own thing.” From the franchisee’s side, there are also cons in choosing to go down the franchise route versus establishing their own independent start-up. For one,


Potential risks

"As the economy grows, franchises will grow. There’s going to be a lot of able people getting redundancy packages etc who won’t want to retire and franchising is the ideal vehicle to start a new business." being forced to adhere to the franchisor’s rules and operating guidelines leaves little room for creative thinking, while decisions relating to a franchisee’s own business can be made outside of their control. A noteworthy case occurred in Australia when three franchisees operating food outlets Pie Face took legal action, claiming they were losing money because the franchisor was opening outlets too close to their stores.

Future growth So while success is far from guaranteed, the figures still suggest that even in a tough market for entrepreneurs, franchising can be a viable way of getting a business off the ground. “As the economy grows, franchises will grow,” asserts Tom Shanahan. “There’s going to be a lot of able people getting redundancy packages etc who won’t want to retire and franchising is the ideal vehicle to start a new business.” It’s the success rate of franchises, coupled with the support network offered to franchisees, that Killeen believes will continue to appeal to entrepreneurs eager to enter self-

employment as the Irish economy struggles on in the immediate future. “It’s a supported route back into self-employment because obviously if somebody is taking the position of being made redundant to starting up their own business in its entirety, that’s quite a quantum leap from where you were to where you are,” says Killeen. “But because of the support structures in place through any good franchise system, that makes that transition from corporate into running your own business, it makes it a lot more comfortable for people to take on.” Killeen asserts that if Ireland is going to experience significant economic growth, then franchising will play a key role in the future. “With the number of people who are being made redundant and the number of people who are currently out of work, when some level of confidence does come back into the domestic market, our sense of it is that franchising is going to play a significant role in redeveloping the domestic economy and in relation to developing international brands as well.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 17

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is franchisinG the future for your business? Tony Fitzpatrick, Managing Partner,, outlines how franchising can help your business grow.


ranchised businesses have become part of the fabric of our everyday lives, providing us with an increasing array of familiar products and services. It’s an industry that defies the recession, supporting 40,000 Irish jobs and growing at 12 per cent year on year. By franchising you can develop your business nationally and even internationally, quickly and without huge borrowings or having to give away equity in your company. People pay you for the privilege of representing your brand. Remember, you don’t need a brand to franchise your business: you need a demand for your goods or services. Franchising attracts ambitious, talented entrepreneurs into your business and that benefits everybody. It might seem hard to believe in the

present economy but there are hundreds of potential franchisees out there who are looking for an opportunity to be their own boss, work what hours they choose, and pay themselves what they’re worth. I am an experienced franchise consultant who has successfully franchised a number of businesses. I have clients who have doubled and even trebled their earnings in just twelve months of franchising. You may not know it, but your business may be ready to franchise too. You could be sitting on a goldmine without realising it! When you are working with me you’ll be building your business efficiently to a proven ‘best practice’ model and together we’ll develop a system that will send your sales and earnings rocketing. When you’d like to learn more I’ll give you a free appraisal, followed by a written

Tony Fitzpatrick, Managing Partner,

proposal which will outline what needs to be done, how I can help you, and what investment levels are involved. Call me on 087 2449186 or email

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Irish Seafood Industry | Feature

Fishing for Opportunity


As one of Ireland's most promising sectors, Conor Forrest investigates the importance of the Irish seafood industry, and discovers why it has the potential for significant further growth and success as we approach Harvest 2020.

Research Vessel Celtic Voyager (Marine InstituteŠ)


s an island surrounded by the sea, it's not hard to understand why Ireland has a thriving seafood industry. The four main activities covered by the industry are: fishing, fish farming, processing and marketing, based on the utilisation of a precious natural

resource, contributing significantly to the Irish economy. The sector generated sales in the region of a800 million in 2012 according to a recent report by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and also provided 11,000 jobs around the country. More importantly,

the report highlights the fact that many of these jobs are located outside of the more developed regions of the country, meaning that the seafood sector plays a vital role in the economic survival of the more rural coastal communities across Ireland. “The ambition is that InBusiness | Q2 2013 19

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Irish Seafood Industry | Feature further afield, the Far East represents a Jade Ireland "The ambition is particular opportunity. Seafood exports In November of last year, an that by 2020, Ireland to Asian markets have increased by 27 announcement came concerning four per cent, and the Chinese market alone successful Irish companies who had will have become a is now worth a8 million. Ernst and joined forces in order to tap into this highly promising market. McBride Young predicts that by 2030, China's global player in the Fishing, Carr Shellfish, Sofrimar middle class could comprise one seafood industry Limited and Shellfish de La Mer have billion people, around 70 per cent of its come together to establish Jade Ireland population; as such, as a country with a following expansion Seafood Ltd, with an office based in huge appetite for seafood matched with Shanghai. “We are delighted that this into new markets and the income to attain it, there could be venture has come to fruition. The Irish significant benefits for those companies engagement in a range who target this market. seafood sector is small in comparison to our competitors and we quickly realised of new value adding China that in order to compete effectively Sino-Irish relations were first established and to supply such a large and growing activities." by 2020, Ireland will have become a global player in the seafood industry following expansion into new markets and engagement in a range of new value adding activities. The Irish seafood sector is currently worth a822 million to the economy, employs approximately 11,000 people and is showing phenomenal growth on the export market with sales up 18 per cent on 2011 to a493 million in 2012,” said Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney, speaking at a recent Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) organised industry conference.

Potential While the important role the sector currently plays in the Irish economy is known, what is also becoming increasingly clear is that there is potential for significant growth and expansion. World population is expanding annually and this population trend isn't expected to level out until 2050, at which time there will be approximately nine billion people on the planet, an increase of around two billion on today's figures. Clearly there will be an increased demand for food, and the seafood industry will have its part to play. The Department of Agriculture's report notes that from the perspective of the EU market for seafood, the issue of supply is an acute one. Though current market demand sits at around 12 million tonnes every year, production has actually declined over the past twenty years, with around 65 per cent of demand sated by imports. However, the seafood industry here should not be solely concentrating on Europe. Looking

in 1979 and have been growing steadily since then. Recent years have seen closer high-level contacts between both nations, and broader co-operation in economic, educational and technological terms. According to figures from the Chinese Embassy here in Ireland, bilateral trade reached US$5.87 billion in 2011; the figure has increased a thousand fold since 1979. Both countries are also increasingly experiencing one another's cultures; Riverdance and, of course, St Patrick's Day are celebrated in some of China's major cities while the Chinese New Year celebrations have become a fixed event in Dublin's calender. With such a large and growing population, which consumes more seafood annually than it produces, capturing even a tiny portion of the Chinese market could provide a huge boost to the Irish seafood industry. “If every Chinese person was to eat 100 grams of Irish seafood just once a year that would equal 150,000 tons a year”, said food futurist Christophe Pelletier at the BIM conference. “And in the coming years, seafood consumption per capita per year in China is expected to rise from 26 kg today to 36 kg in 2020. Just a one per cent share of that market would be greater than 500,000 tons a year. I think that as aquaculture grows and matures it will become more and more similar to the farming of poultry and pork and this will motivate investments from the large meat companies. We can foresee that the investment potential arising from Chinese companies looking to secure supply for their domestic markets is another major opportunity. Seafood will be in demand long after meat demand is satisfied in China.”

market in China, we would need to use our collective resources to do so,” said Hugh McBride, Director of Jade Ireland at the time. “Our strategic vision is to establish Irish seafood and the Ocean Jade brand as the leading premium quality seafood on the Chinese Market.” The launch of the initiative was supported by several organisations Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency and Bord Bia. “This collaboration between McBride Fishing, Carr Shellfish, Shellfish de la Mer and Sofrimar is an excellent example of co-opetition as a business strategy. Bord Bia actively supports and promotes the principle of co-opetition, where food companies work together to create synergies resulting in cost savings, improved returns and increased market distribution,” said Tara McCarthy, Director of Food and Beverages at Bord Bia. BIM Business and Development Manager Donal Buckley outlined how such projects are of vital importance in building the scale of Ireland's seafood industry: “Irish seafood enjoys an excellent reputation internationally and with exports to China up 80 per cent so far this year compared to last year, we have a real opportunity to establish a presence in this growing and profitable market. However, in order to do so, we need to build scale and we are pleased to have assisted four international joint ventures this year including Jade Ireland to ensure we can access and serve key markets effectively.”

Moving toward success The Irish seafood industry's ability to capitalise on opportunities such as those offered by the Chinese market is

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Irish Seafood Industry | Feature dependent on increasing in scale says BIM CEO Jason Whooley. “Appropriate scale will enable a company or a group of companies working collaboratively to invest in marketing, research and skills, all of which provide access to new markets and improve company performance. In turn, this will result in the sector delivering much needed jobs and exports,” he explained. “BIM’s goal is to assist with the development of one or two entities with a turnover in excess of a50 million in each of the key seafood categories – shellfish, pelagic, salmon and whitefish. These entities will in turn be supported by a range of innovative, smaller seafood companies.” Combining this increase in scale with growth in Irish aquafarming and the processing of new species – resulting in greater amounts of raw materials – will, according to the BIM, lead to long term competitiveness for the seafood sector. In late May, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced a €5 million investment in the Irish fishing sector, accompanied by a1.6 million in grantaid, marking a return to reinvestment in the sector. Available throughout 2013, the funds will cover a range of quality, sustainability and conservation schemes, as well as employment and

coastal community support schemes. “BIM would like to acknowledge the very significant funding announced today by Minister Coveney. Though most welcome, Government investment on its own is not sufficient to guarantee success for today’s outlined funding,” said Whooley. “Every stakeholder in the fisheries sector must contribute to Ireland’s development of an integrated marine plan that will further enhance our global competitiveness for being a source of high quality, sustainably produced seafood. BIM will ably administer this funding knowing that there is a lot of interest in these schemes and I anticipate industry take-up for the schemes will be strong. BIM looks forward to working with the industry on these schemes.”

Politics Key developments are also taking place in the political sphere, including a reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in terms of ensuring sustainable fishing and an assessment of quotas for the industry in 2013 and beyond, which will ensure a resource efficient, low carbon sustainable future for Irish seafood. In May this year, an important deal was struck by members of the European Parliament and Council negotiators under the Irish presidency, a


“Every stakeholder in the fisheries sector must contribute to Ireland’s development of an integrated marine plan that will further enhance our global competitiveness for being a source of high quality, sustainably produced seafood.”

deal which will halt overfishing and put an end to discards as the industry looks beyond the short term and into the future. Given that stocks around Europe are quite low, measures will be put into place to ensure fish stocks begin to grow once more. In addition, the policy of discarding fish will be abandoned, with fishing vessels having to land 95 per cent of their catch. Currently, EU quota rules mean that fish caught outside of quota allowances or minimum landing size are thrown back, seen by many as a wasteful practice. The issue of quotas has also been tackled by the new reforms; environmental, social and economic criteria will now be taken into consideration, while vessels which fish sustainably and with regard for the environment may be given incentives. Long term quota planning is also to replace yearly 'haggling', and will be based on accurate scientific data. “We have achieved a complete overhaul of the Common Fisheries Policy, right on time for it to enter into force from 2014. We were successful in defending a meaningful discard ban and the introduction of sustainable fishing quotas. After decades with a policy that has been a terrible failure, we now have a reform that will repair the damage done and in the end lead to more fish in the water and more jobs in the industry,” said CFP rapporteur Ulrike Rodust. However, some concerns have been raised by TDs in the North West, who are worried about the future of the 'Hague Preferences' which allow Ireland additional shares of whitefish stock when levels are low, a mechanism which has been repeatedly attacked by other states, though is not unique to Ireland. With the right amount of effort and investment, by all involved parties, there is no reason why Ireland's seafood industry cannot grow, expand and prosper over the course of the next ten years and beyond. “We believe there is a global industry for Irish seafood,” said BIM chairman Mr Kieran Calnan. “We will continue to work with industry on an ambitious business development strategy which will enhance current investment and advice programmes with new initiatives to deliver projects that go beyond the scope of any single company. This will improve the environment for investment and assist the industry to emerge onto the global stage by capitalising on opportunities in new markets.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 21

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TRade Mission | Feature

On a Mission in Europe Last May a significant step was taken by 40 Irish companies when €17 million worth of investments were made as part of a trade mission to the Czech Republic and Poland. It is expected that the trade mission, organised by Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Government, will strengthen existing links between Ireland and Europe's fastest growing trade sector. Colm Gorey reports.


he accession of ten new member states to the European Union in 2004 brought with it one of the biggest changes to the European map since the fall of the 'Iron Curtain' in 1991. This impacted not only the people living in these new member states, largely based in Central and Eastern Europe, but the original member states as well. With travel and work permit restrictions now lifted, thousands of people from all across the region travelled to countries like Ireland in search of work and a new life. Almost ten years later, 6.1 per cent of non-nationals in Ireland are of EU extraction with 2.7 per cent comprised of Polish emigrants, according to the 2011 National Census. With such strong links with our Eastern European neighbours, it is no surprise that many Irish companies have created closer business links between ourselves and nations like Poland. Last May, Enterprise Ireland and its Poland Manager, Mike Hogan, established a very successful trade mission to Poland and the Czech Republic which will represent approximately a17 million in Irish investment. According to Hogan, Eastern Europe

may not be seen in the same scope as more glamorous destinations like China or India, but the benefits of investing in the region is obvious to see: "It's one of these quiet revolutions in Eastern Europe in that there's a lot of volume of trade that doesn't get much notice at home. For example, Poland is in the top ten export destinations of Irish limited companies and in what's a unique feature in the markets, we have a situation where we're beginning to see after many years of having larger nonnational populations that it's having a major trade effect. Having a large number of Polish people in Ireland has had an effect on Ireland where they are working in Irish companies which puts them as a conduit between markets. Specifically in the Polish market we note the high level of Irish companies that export here as compared to overall exports in the EU. It's the highest level after the UK which shows how significant that indigenous base is."

focussed on the engineering, electronics and software sectors, and was organised by Enterprise Ireland in close cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the

Joint effort The trade mission involved 40 companies, which were primarily

“It's one of these quiet revolutions in Eastern Europe in that there's a lot of volume of trade that doesn't get much notice at home.”

Kevin Sherry, Head of Enterprise Ireland International Sales and Partnering Business Unit, John Perry, TD, Minister of State for Small Business, HE Ireland's Ambassador to Poland Eugene Hutchinson, Mike Hogan, Director of Enterprise Ireland's Warsaw office.

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EI TRade Mission | Feature

Pat Maher, Enterprise GCEE Regional Director, John Perry, TD, Minister of State for Small Business, Adam Jaszczur, Senior Consultant, Enterprise Ireland Warsaw, Kevin Sherry, Head of Enterprise Ireland International Sales and Partnering Business Unit.

Embassies of Ireland in Prague and Warsaw. For the Department, Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD, led the mission and believes that events like these are vital for businesses of all sizes to succeed in Ireland today: "This was a highly successful mission both in terms of business secured and in terms of the introductions and connections made. It is tremendously encouraging to see Irish companies winning new business in Central and Eastern Europe. Enterprise Ireland’s offices in the Czech Republic and Poland act as a hub for supporting Irish companies in growing their trade relationships and export sales in Central and Eastern Europe. My Department, the Embassy Network and Enterprise Ireland are working closely together to ensure that Irish exports to these important markets continue to grow – sustaining and creating jobs in Ireland." From both legs of the trade mission, it was the Czech Republic which proved to be the most lucrative for Irish companies where a13 million was raised for Irish SMEs, some of which included Dublin-based BookAssist; an awardwinning provider of booking technology and online marketing strategy to the hotel industry. There was further success in Poland where TEG (Technical Engineering Group) based in Mullingar, confirmed contracts worth a350,000 with

pharmaceutical companies based in the country. The contracts will see TEG providing high quality tooling for blistering machines at plants owned by Poland’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Market reaction to TEG offering in Poland has been very positive, and TEG anticipates further Polish market growth in the short to medium term, which will secure and grow employment at TEG in Ireland.

Emerging sectors Similar to Ireland in the latter part of the 20th century, countries like Poland and the Czech Republic are in the middle of a swift transition to focusing on the technological and engineering sectors. Hogan believes that this is no surprise and sees their future as one with great prospects for themselves and for Ireland: "In many of the countries in Eastern Europe they're leapfrogging us in technology. For example, in Poland it's much easier to do your online banking than it is in Ireland so they've leapfrogged certain stages along the way. They're quite early adapters of new technology. At the moment, there's a lot of upgrading in IT systems both in traditional sectors like utilities, enterprise software and in a social media wireless telecoms sphere. In engineering, there's two factors at play. A large part of Europe's manufacturing capability has moved to Poland, Czech

Republic and Hungary in recent years." And, he continues, the increasing wealth of these nations creates greater emphasis for Ireland to invest: "The key factor is that across the region you have decent GDP levels already and they vary from about $14,000 per person in Poland to about $20,000 in the Czech Republic. Once people's earning capabilities move towards the EU average, the type of things we can export into them can be in multiples. In terms of Poland, we like to describe it as a back door emerging market because for many Irish companies it's an easy market to access, it's got easy flight connections, and it's not massively expensive to do a business recce here. So we have noticed a trend for small to medium sized companies who would have had limited exposure to places like the UK or France and are now heading into Central and Eastern Europe, mostly because they may have a Polish person working for them, but somehow they suddenly have the language capability in house and they can do something about it."

Highlighted companies of the trade mission A+D Wejchert and Partners Architects - one of Ireland’s leading architectural firms with over 40 years experience in the sector. Cylon - suppliers of BMS systems and active energy platforms enabling the reduction of energy consumption costs in buildings, and optimising their energy profiles in the long term, have signed a contract with BCM Poland. Playprint - Based in Dublin, the company has been exporting to Poland since 2004 and include companies such as Tesco, Obi, BP, Statoil, Lotos, McDonald and Unilever among its clients. RealTime Technologies – The Dublin-based company is a provider of high-tech services to multinational electronics industry. Height for Hire – see profile on page 90

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Craft Beer | Feature

Tapping into Craft A craft beer revolution in Ireland has been brewing for some time and the micro brewer and large drinks company are taking stock, writes Joseph O'Connor.


he beer connoisseur in Ireland has never had it so good. The past decade or so has seen the availability of a wide variety of craft and world beers on the market, satisfying the seemingly insatiable thirst of

O'Hara's Irish Red

the beer lover while broadening the palettes of drinkers who, in the past, were accustomed to bland stouts, lagers and red ales. The shift towards a more diverse market has not only broadened the options available to the consumer but has opened a niche market for businesses to exploit. Two types of businesses have acted; the beer-loving entrepreneur whose micro brewery aims to bring a fresh tasting, flavoursome craft beer to the market, and the big drinks company which noticed the need to be more innovative in the products it offers. The Irish craft beer market is now flourishing. According to a recent report by An Bord Bia, sales rose by 42.5 per cent in 2012 and are expected to rise by a further 35 per cent this year. The growth is mostly focused on the

domestic market despite the recession and the relatively depressed drinks trade. Domestic sales were up by 55 per cent while exports increased by 26 per cent. The Carlow Brewing Company is one Irish brewer that has remained strong throughout the recession having been established in 1996 by the O’Hara family. Founder Seamus O' Hara reflects on their entrance into the market. “When we started it was a bit of a leap of faith as your average consumer didn't know what craft beer was and hadn't really shown much interest in it so it was just a small number of people who were enthusiastic about beer who set up these breweries. Anyone looking back at it over the past three or four years, craft beer has become more recognised as a category, both internationally and in Ireland. Now if you say 'craft beer' you don't have to explain what it is, you would say 'which beer are you talking about?' So for anyone looking at it they could have assessed that there was certainly an opportunity there and have some level of confidence to get into the business.”

Market Share Craft beer currently represents 0.3 per cent of total beer production in Ireland. This can be expected to expand at least tenfold over the next decade if growth patterns in other countries which saw a resurgence in the production of craft beer are taken into consideration. Canada, the USA, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Finland all experienced the same tenfold rate of growth over a seven to eight year

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Craft Beer | Feature period and in many of these countries the market share has surpassed the initial five per cent mark and risen to as high as 11 or 12 per cent. In Ireland, a ten per cent share of the beer market would translate to approximately r240 million, so if the figures are anything to go by, it will be a few years yet before the sector hits its peak. But at a time when consumers are tightening their purse strings, what has truly led to an upsurge in the production of these artisan beers? It appears that both the economic downturn and a more conscious approach by the consumer have played their part. O'Hara shares his view: “To put my finger on what has led to an upsurge in craft beer now, I think it is a few things. One is the recession and the downturn in the pubs. In the early years the pubs were busy and they didn't really care what they sold. People were coming in and that was it, so they didn't really have to think about the consumer too much. Pubs have had to reinvent themselves to

survive. Guys who have looked at their beer range have been doing well and that has prompted other people to follow so that creates a much more receptive market than there was before that. The other thing is that locally-produced beers create jobs locally and we probably benefit from that sense of local support.”

The Big Players One significant move in the market has been Molson Coors' takeover of Franciscan Well Brewery, a Cork craft brewer. The deal, which was penned last January, is part of a dedicated push into craft beer by the third biggest player in

the Irish drinks market. Molson Coors' plan to increase production of the Cork brewer's beers from its current level of a few hundred thousand litres to ten million litres per year. This will see the opening of a new brewery in the Cork docks next year with the creation of at least ten new jobs. The move is certainly getting the word of craft beer out to the masses but has also caused some murmuring among other craft brewers. Niall Phelan, Director of Emerging Markets and Craft Beer at Molson Coors UK & Ireland, has gauged some reaction. “Initially there was a bit of scepticism but then we started to bring out some new

"We've tried to bring genuine craft brands to the market and I think over time, as is happening in the US, the bigger players will try to get into the market, either through innovation themselves or through acquisition.”

Keith Fagan, Alan Wolfe and Niall Phelan of Molson Coors with Shane Long of Franciscan Well. InBusiness | Q2 2013 27

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Craft Beer | Feature “If we're going to grow as a sector from here, I think the craft breweries here have to achieve more scale. I think that's inevitable. You have to look at how craft has developed in some markets abroad.” beers down there. We've started to share some of the work that we've done in the Sharp's (Brewery, UK) takeover a few years ago (2008). We left that business run virtually as an independent entity and continue to do it and we do the same with Franciscan Well. So people have looked at that and gone 'these guys actually let the brewers and the team in the craft businesses just get on with it' and that's our intent down there.” The Molson Coors move into the craft market in Ireland follows similar acquisitions they have made abroad. Now the company is launching an entire 'Craft Collection' which brings brewers from Franciscan Well, Sharp’s, William Worthington’s and The Blue Moon Brewing Company together under one banner to produce beers for the more discerning drinker. This, Phelan believes, is a sign of things to come. “I'd be surprised if over time all the beer players weren't trying to move in here. I mean we have seen Diageo try and make some moves into craft using Smithwick's Pale Ale but we've taken a very different approach. We've tried to bring genuine craft brands to the market and I think over time, as is happening in the US, the bigger players will try to get into the market, either through innovation themselves or through acquisition. That may take another five or six years or it may take two years but I'd be shocked if at some point we're not sitting here in the next few years with everybody having a good foothold in the market.”

Market Challenges As we see more and more craft beer brands appear on our off-licence shelves and on local pub taps, we are reminded

that there are unique challenges to an industry with low enough entry barriers. You don't need a fortune to set up your own micro brewery and if too many people were to take their home brewing kit a little more serious, the marketplace could become over-saturated. As a result, not only would new breweries stop opening, but a culling of existing ones would take place. The opportunity for craft brewers to upscale poses a different kind of challenge. If some of the smaller breweries in Ireland do not take the next step in growth, there is a danger of the market being flooded with imports. According to An Bord Bia, 80 per cent of craft beer producers here plan to significantly expand capacity over the next three years, with some projects coming on-line within months. It is difficult to estimate what the future capacity of most of these expansions will be, as plans are ever changing based on the current market outlook at any given time. O'Hara highlights the importance of expansion: “If we're going to grow as a sector from here, I think the craft breweries here have to achieve more scale. I think that's inevitable. You have to look at how craft has developed in some markets abroad. There are various definitions of what a craft brewery or a micro brewery is in different markets but for me it's really about being independent so you can do what you want to do in terms of the beers you want to produce, and about having diversity in the market and having choice, which is the opposite to what would have happened historically through consolidation, with fewer and fewer breweries producing fewer and fewer products and then less choice for the consumer like myself who is interested in drinking good beers. If we don't do it here it will be taken up by imports, which is our main competitor now to be honest. If you look at what we're competing against, the off-licences in particular; English ales, Belgian ales, German ales, German lagers, that's what you're up against.” At the other end of the scale, the major drinks company is seeking legitimacy in a sector that uses a different definition of 'craft beer' depending on the country you are in and who you are speaking to. Phelan says: “There are always people going to say 'you're a big brewer and

Seamus O'Hara, Founder, Carlow Brewing Company.

you're not a craft brewer' and I think that depends on your definition of 'craft beer' and there's no real definition. But I think if you look at the fact that most craft beers are driven by the brewer, his passion for beer and innovation, and his passion to try and create something new and exceptional and constantly to reinvent and re-challenge himself on those boundaries, then we're craft brewers in every sense of the word.” Despite the caveats which come with the boom period of any sector, it appears craft beer is here to stay; be it produced from a micro-brewer who employs three people or under the guise of a major global brand – our taste buds have woken from their slumber. “It's like the genie out of the bottle”, says O'Hara. “Once you taste something more flavoursome or interesting, whether it is food or beer, it opens your mind up to a whole new world. It is very hard to go back to the bland, mainstream offerings. Meanwhile, a lot of us craft breweries have very little marketing budgets, but as people taste it and get into it, they will talk to their friends. It's a sort of word-of-mouth, organic sort of growth I suppose.”

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debt restructuring | Feature

A Company Lifeline As it becomes an increasingly popular tactic in saving struggling companies, InBusiness examines the mechanics of debt restructuring and speaks with two of the major players in the debt management sector.

“The restructure generally benefits both parties – the debtor can negotiate terms that keep their business sustainable while it makes sense for the lender to adjust the terms rather than seeing the debtor enter liquidation.”



rying to survive five years of hazardous economic conditions has taken its toll on almost all Irish businesses, many of which have come under pressure to maintain payments on their debts as the markets fail to pick up any significant momentum. For these companies struggling to stay operational, debt restructuring is an attractive proposition that’s becoming increasingly common as more and more business owners look to take control of their debts, avoid bankruptcy and devise creditor payment programmes that fit within a manageable budget. At its core, debt restructuring is a process in which a debtor (commonly a bank) and lender agree to change the terms and conditions of a loan, believing there are solid financial reasons for making modifications to an existing contract. The restructure generally benefits both parties – the

debtor can negotiate terms that keep their business sustainable while it makes sense for the lender to adjust the terms rather than seeing the debtor enter liquidation. The rise in debt restructuring in Ireland applies to businesses of all scopes. For example, Independent News and Media (INM) was recently in the news after announcing a pre-tax loss of €254.9 million for last year compared to €63.6 million for 2011. This led the company to negotiate the terms of a new deal with its lenders to reduce the company’s debt to €118 million. INM now has until the end of 2013 to follow up the €167 million sale of its South African business to the Sekunjalo Independent Media consortium with a restructuring of its pension scheme,

which had a deficit of €162 million at the end of 2012. “This deal really gets us to an endgame where we’ve a core debt that’s very manageable and have the funding in place to reposition the group for the structural challenges that all media companies are facing,” said INM Chief Executive Vincent Crowley at the time. But regardless of scope, at the centre of all debt restructures is the goal of maintaining a desirable relationship between a lender and a debtor, protecting the financial interests of both parties and allowing the repayment of the loan to continue in a manner that is mutually beneficial. One firm which is focused on achieving this goal with its clients is Smith & Williamson.

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debt restructuring | Feature

Smith & Williamson S

eán McNamara is Director of Restructuring and Recovery at Smith & Williamson, a UK and Ireland based independent professional services firm. The company entered the Irish market in 2008 when it merged with Oliver Freaney & Co, an established Irish firm, and now ranks in the top ten accountancy firms in both the UK and Ireland. Having joined the firm in 2010, McNamara – along with Liam Dowdall, Director and Head of Restructuring and Recovery – set about establishing an insolvency team. “We're a team now of just shy of 20 and we do the full spectrum of insolvency work,” McNamara says. “There has been quite a lot of work around – that was obviously the motivation for them wanting to recruit us – but we have built up a strong team and we are enhancing our profile all the time.” The spectrum of services mentioned includes liquidations, examinerships and receiverships, as well as independent business reviews, business turnarounds and advisory services. As a director-led firm, clients of the Restructuring and Recovery team can expect input from two directors who have vast experience in their field. “We are a hands-on, director-led firm so Liam and myself put a lot of time into all of our jobs and we focus on work that requires more specialist insolvency skills,” McNamara says. “We have a broad experience base Liam has 30 plus years' experience and I have 15 years' experience in the insolvency sector. We have really seen every type of business, every type of insolvency process and every type of restructuring so that's what we bring to bear on things.” They believe there is no pre-determined solution for any case and that all cases benefit from senior analysis. “Each case is specific, each case requires a different approach and we come at things with an open mind,” McNamara says. “Some practitioners are taking on too much

Seán McNamara, Smith & Williamson

work and they can't service directly so they are pushing it down the line and they might not be getting enough senior time and senior experience into those jobs. We make sure that each and every job that we take on gets director time.”

Warning signs McNamara believes that many businesses get into difficulty as a result of the business owners being too close to the business and failing to recognise the warning signs. “Simple things like low morale, loss of key people or

not being able to quite get around to house-keeping issues like management accounts,” he says. “If you don't have management accounts you can't quite see how a business is doing and rather than seeing that you made a loss last month it might take you six months to see that you've actually incurred losses for the past six months.” While many business reviews are initiated by the banks, McNamara believes it is imperative for business owners to understand the importance of having “a fresh set of eyes looking at things” and says that owners should act as InBusiness | Q2 2013 31

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debt restructuring | Feature soon as possible. “The earlier you act to identify what issues are affecting the business, the better chance you have,” he says. An independent business review to identify ways that a business can be turned around is beneficial for all stakeholders and will provide the company with clear advice on different options. “We get involved in an advisory capacity on a case and we would look to engage with all the stakeholders, the various creditors, the banks and the shareholders as well,” McNamara says. “We look at all of the options, debt restructuring being one of them, but they might also include other options – introduction of further funding or new equity, raising further finance and maybe negotiating write-downs with the creditors and the banks.” Unfortunately, not all situations can be resolved to all stakeholders' satisfaction and more formal schemes need to be considered. However, liquidation of the company is the worst case scenario. “It is dependent on the banks as security holders to decide what they want to do to realise their security or to safeguard their position,” McNamara says. “The best return for everyone is if you can maintain the business there and its inherent value. So a winding down situation is generally seen as the last resort.”

Receiverships For those situations where a solution is more difficult to find, the nature of the business has changed in recent years. From compulsory and voluntary liquidations six years ago to property receiverships being more commonplace now, McNamara predicts that the sector will continue to evolve: “As the economy turns and we start seeing less property based receiverships, we will see more trading based receiverships, be it pre-pack receiverships or just straight-forward trading receiverships,” he says. “That is because you can have a business in an insolvent company that's just being hindered and impaired by the level of debt that is there and the solution is to unhitch the business from that insolvent entity and give it a chance to grow and thrive again.”

Liam Dowdall and Seán McNamara, Smith & Williamson.

As the economy recovers, McNamara believes his department will continue to be relevant to clients. “We believe that our group is a sustainable business model going into the future,” he says. “Maybe we won't recruit quite as many people in the coming years but we certainly will see a return to more advisory work as the market demands it.”

Personal Insolvency The Personal Insolvency Act allows for borrowers in Ireland to have an alternative to the judicial process of bankruptcy for the first time and McNamara believes it is a positive development. “It gives them a chance to rehabilitate themselves in a

reasonable amount of time whereas before, debtors were punished and it's almost like a life sentence,” he says. He also cites the previous system as a contributory factor to the untempered bank lending of past years. “The banks, in lending money over the past 10 or 15 years, placed huge reliance on personal guarantees because the threat of bankruptcy was so great that those people didn't have any sort of getout,” he says. “A personal guarantee won't be worth as much to the banks now so the banks will have to get back to lending on the basis of traditional banking and it will hopefully assist in preventing a return to that crazy lending that happened over the past 10 or 15 years.”

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debt restructuring | Feature

RSM Farrell Grant Sparks RSM Farrell Grant Sparks Another firm specialising in the area of debt restructuring is RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. Niall Ledwidge and David Farrell are senior managers in the insolvency department at the Irish audit, tax and advisory firm, with operations in Dublin, Longford and Belfast. As an independent party, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks offer services to companies that can assist their debt restructurings. “A lot of the work we do is the bad news stuff – as a liquidator you may have to let people go or close a trading business – but restructuring is a positive story which allows businesses to survive and keeps people in jobs,” says Ledwidge. Ledwidge echoes McNamara's belief that the key to a successful debt restructuring is that the company has some level of sustainable debt repayment so that it remains profitable and has a reasonable prospect of survival in the future. “In those circumstances, it’s better for the banks to get something rather than nothing, so even if they have to take a haircut on the debt, they’re often better staying in than putting the company into receivership, which should be a last resort. You’re just saying goodbye to the goodwill that might be there otherwise.” But simply keeping their heads above water is not the only reason businesses seek to have their debts restructured. “Some can be dependent on the business diversifying into a new market,” says David Farrell, who is based in the regional office which primarily services the western seaboard and midlands. “They may need to structure their business to minimise tax. What they’ll be trying to do is get into a position of actually making sure that they maximise income at its lowest tax rate. So careful tax planning can be a huge driver of restructuring the business.” Another instance is succession planning. For example, an owner of a successful business may have two or three children in the family and wish to restructure it in such a way that they can split a company into two or more parts at a point in time, without losing value. “To structure it in such a way that they can have down the

assets [to each successor so] that they can operate on their own is very important,” says Farrell.

Potential pitfalls Of course, debt restructurings are not infallible, and there are potential obstacles that can compromise their ability to succeed, the most common being that the restructure goals can be over ambitious and fail to accurately predict the debt repayment capacity of the business. “You can overestimate where the company is going to find itself in the future,” says Ledwidge. “So it’s really important to schedule the repayments in a manner that is realistic and congruent with the actual cash flows of the business.” Another issue RSM Farrell Grant Sparks sometimes faces is fear from directors of companies that the bank has a hidden agenda when the business review is instigated. It’s something Farrell dismisses, highlighting the importance of an assessment by a third party before moving forward with a debt restructure, whether instigated by a bank or the company themselves. “The benefit of the review is that it’s independent, that it’s an opportunity to receive an objective, unbiased assessment of the state of the business,” he says. “So the purpose of the review is not to have a stick to beat the company director with, it’s actually to show, ‘Look, you're very strong in a certain area. You’re a little bit weaker in another area. These are practical proposals we think you might be able to follow which should improve your bottom line.' Essentially, a business needs to demonstrate that they are operating efficiently to show a debt restructure at a certain level is appropriate.”

Acting fast Debt restructuring is likely to become even more common in the future due to new government measures. Late last year, Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton introduced a new scheme to make it cheaper and easier for small private companies to restructure their debts through the courts, allowing viable businesses to apply directly to the Circuit

Niall Ledwidge, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

Court to have an examiner appointed. For Ledwidge it was a positive move, but he remains sceptical on its actual impact. “The question remains, how much cheaper is it actually going to be? You still have the same amount of time in terms of your solicitors, you’ve still got counsel, you’ve still got an accountant that has to design the scheme. So we certainly welcome it, we think it’s a good opportunity. But we’d be unsure how cheap it will actually be compared to a traditional examinership.” Regardless of the potential snags and new government systems, Farrell believes the key factor in a successful debt restructuring is to act sooner rather than later. Recognising the early warning signs in a business and taking steps to address these signs could be the difference. “I think dealing with the situation will relieve the stress from both a psychological point of view and from the financial point of view,” says Farrell. “That’s key, just trying to rehabilitate the relationship between the debtors and the creditors so that objectives are aligned going forward. I think that will be a key development in the market and all the recent legislation has been a driver for that so people take back control of their own situation, deal with their personal debt in addition to focusing on what is important, working to develop their business.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 33

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social media etiquette | Feature

A new social conscience

As the popularity of social media websites continues to soar for both personal and business use, Sarah Kavanagh reports on the need for employers to implement social media policy for their employees.


ince the popularity of social media websites exploded in the mid 2000s, it has permeated its way into almost all facets of our lives. With almost half of the Irish population having a Facebook account alone, logging on to a social media website has become part of daily life for many people. It has also become an essential part of most companies' brand and marketing efforts and, as a consequence, has increasingly become part of an employee's working day. While employers can utilise these forums to increase brand awareness and improve communication with clients, the prevalence of social media use in the workplace has seen a rise in related legal cases in the US and the UK. Effective management of social media

in the workplace is becoming ever more necessary for employers to pre-empt and avoid potential employment issues. Despite this, a recent report by law firm William Fry found that only 51 per cent of employers in Ireland have introduced a social media policy. Additionally, 47 per cent of employees in these companies do not fully understand their organisation's policy. Melanie Crowley, Partner at law firm Mason, Hayes & Curran, says the implementation of a policy is important for a variety of reasons. “A policy can be used to manage the use of social media and it can be used to manage the misuse of social media – for example, through the disciplinary procedure,” she says. “It is also potentially capable of being used in the defence of litigation.”

She suggests that a social media policy should deal with what is an acceptable usage of social media and the ownership of the content. Additionally, it should remind employees of their obligations towards other employees as well as their obligations of confidentiality in relation to their employer's business.

Workplace ban In an attempt to avoid the possible legal problems and decreased productivity, some employers have introduced a blanket ban on the use of any social media in the workplace. This is not a feasible solution for the many businesses that rely on their employees' use of social media to build contacts or advertise the company. According to Crowley, it is important to ensure the policy is relevant

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social media etiquette | Feature to the business. “My advice would be to make sure the policy is adapted and is appropriate,” she says. “What is appropriate for a professional services firm, like a law firm or an architecture practice, is completely different to what is appropriate for a factory that has 300 employees.” The William Fry report also found that the majority of employees use their personal devices to access social media in the workplace. This suggests there is a limited value in imposing complete restrictions without a social media policy. Additionally, content uploaded to social media by an employee from a personal device can still cause problems for the employer if it is found to be offensive or damaging to the company's reputation. “I think the device isn't fully irrelevant but it's almost irrelevant,” Crowley says. “The content is much more important than the device used to upload the content.” The report suggests that setting realistic targets for an employee's social media usage is more beneficial than an outright ban. In the event of decreased productivity due to suspected social media usage at work, this can then be dealt with in the same way as any other performance-related issue.

Ownership Aside from the potential effects on productivity, there is also the problem of establishing the ownership of work contacts when an employee leaves the company. With the report finding that 61 per cent of employees have work-related contacts stored on their personal social media accounts, it is clear that this could lead to difficulties in the future. Crowley believes this is an important issue that should be considered, particularly in professional services firms where a certain amount of social media use is expected. “I think it is important that they deal with who owns the content,” she says. “There have been cases around

that, particularly in the US, in relation to Twitter and lists of contacts and who owns them. I think it's very important that the ownership - and what will happen if an employee leaves - is dealt with in a policy.” The matter is still very much a grey area in legal terms with related cases in the US returning inconsistent verdicts; some in favour of the employer and some in favour of the employee. The report advises companies to approach this issue as early as possible in the employment relationship and include a requirement in any social media policy that employees must delete work related contacts from personal accounts on termination of their employment.

Workplace bullying A social media policy should not just cover an employee's behaviour while physically in the workplace. Acts of bullying, harassment or discrimination between employees on social media sites, even if they are carried out without the knowledge or consent of management, could constitute workplace bullying. “It has already been held that the workplace extends beyond the four walls of a building in which the employee works or the nine to five of the working day,” Crowley says. “There is no reason why an employee's activities online couldn't constitute part of the workplace, particularly if the employee's activities amount to the bullying of another employee.” While the study found that 51 per cent of employers and 40 per cent of employees say that activity on social media should be treated differently if it takes place outside of working hours, the same considerations apply regardless of when the activity takes place. While an employer could not claim ignorance of such acts as a defence, it would be helpful to their case if they could show they had taken practical steps to prevent such situations arising

“A policy can be used to manage the use of social media and it can be used to manage the misuse of social media – for example, through the disciplinary procedure. It is also potentially capable of being used in the defence of litigation.”

Melanie Crowley, Partner at Mason, Hayes & Curran.

with the introduction of a clear and comprehensive guide for employees.

Brand reputation With communication being almost instant these days, a brand's reputation can be damaged quickly by negative comments on social media. The report found that while 56 per cent of employers said they encouraged workers to report negative comments about the company made on social media, 38 per cent of employees said they would do nothing if they saw remarks that could be detrimental to business. The study suggests that a policy should include a clear procedure for employees to follow if they see comments on social media or if the employee has uploaded content that may damage the brand's reputation. Although we have yet to see a rise in such cases in Ireland, it is better for companies to take the necessary precautionary steps to protect themselves. “There hasn't been a huge amount of cases here but that's not to say that the number of cases won't increase,” says Crowley. “I expect that they probably will.” The popularity of social media will surely continue to grow as businesses continue to search for new ways to strengthen their brand and client base. A clear social media policy is a simple way of setting out guidelines for employees in what is very much uncharted territory, and will help to protect the reputation of the business and defend against potential litigation. InBusiness | Q2 2013 35

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Commercial Rents | Feature

Onwards not Upwards The reality of renting commercial property in Ireland isn’t straightforward but measures are underway to make commercial leases more flexible and fair in today's fast-paced and volatile economy. Kevin McElligott reports.


igning a lease today is not the commitment it once was. Business owners looking to rent commercial property in the past were forced to agree to long-term leases and increasing rents every few years to match inflation. Because of this clause, rents could gradually climb but could never be reduced to reflect economic hardship, in what is known as the controversial upward only rents review (UORR). Today, business owners are still feeling the impact of these agreements. Just recently it was announced that Manchester United would be finished paying its 15-year lease in 2015, 13 years after their store on Westmoreland Street in Dublin closed due to poor performance. Signing a contract in 2000 to take over most of the 19th century Lafayette building, the business was shut down just two years later. It would finally go on to rack up a rental bill of more than a8.2 million as the site lay vacant or sublet in subsequent years. Confronted with unstable economic conditions, many Irish business owners and companies have been devastated by what they claim to be excessive rental bills given the current climate. Some landlords are unwilling to compromise with tenants, reserving their right to raise rents according to the open market, while never obliged to make legal considerations for making rent reductions. Long leases were introduced into Irish society in the sixties, with the first 35year lease with upward only rent reviews being introduced in 1966 when the

'institutional lease' model was picking up traction. The reason for incorporating such long leases was to free up the courts of legislation involved between tenants and landlords. Upward only rent reviews were established so that rents could be adjusted periodically for inflation. Today this protocol for commercial leasing has become redundant as we find ourselves living in an economy that is prone to uncertainty John Corcoran, Owner, Korky's Shoe Shop. and where rising rental values are not always aligned seeking leases on commercial properties with inflation. Furthermore, businesses now seek a degree of flexibility, opting

“The rent went up four times within ten years. So suddenly we were paying over €450,000. We were the fifth highest rent of feet in the world, ahead of England or anywhere else so the whole thing was a kind of nonsense really.”

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Commercial Rents | Feature to revolve around a five-year plan rather then invest, and potentially become trapped, in a 15, 25 or 35-year commitment. “A couple of things about the Irish leases is, no other country in the world has them. Very long leases. You don’t get that anywhere else. The average length of a lease in Europe is five years and we were 35 and 25 years, well out of kilter. The average length of lease in America is three or four years and they’re never longer than ten, so Ireland was on Mars with this stuff,” explains businessman, John Corcoran. Involved in almost a decade long legal battle, Corcoran has emerged as a national figure thanks to a high-profile campaign against upward only rent reviews which he says crippled his well known shoe outlet, Korky's, on Grafton Street. Due to a contracted agreement, Corcoran was gradually forced to pay rents two or three times what the market rental value was. “We went into Grafton Street in 1995, and we agreed to pay €127,000 per year rent, and that’s an awful lot of money, but we were pretty good at what we were doing and we were on a bit of a hot patch, and decided to go for it. The rent went up four times within ten years. So suddenly we were paying over €450,000. We were the fifth highest rent of feet in the world, ahead of England or anywhere else so the whole thing was a kind of nonsense really.” After construction, the retail sector was the worst hit sector in the country when the economy collapsed in 2008. Realising that their landlords were not going to compromise, Corcoran and other Grafton Street retailers set up the Grafton Street Tenants' Association in 2009. They successfully lobbied both the Labour Party and Fine Gael to include the ban for upward only rent reviews in their party manifesto and to introduce policies to the Dáil to deal with the crisis. Fianna Fáil responded. Section 132 of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 banned all future upward only rent reviews for leases signed after February 2010. Future rent would still be determined by a number of factors including the consideration of inflation, growth in turnover or an independent value, but future leases would now reflect and make provisions for times of

“Within two months of us setting up the Grafton Street Tenants, the government actually banned upwards only rent reviews in all future commercial leases, which didn’t deal with the current issue which is people trapped in the existing leases.” economic collapse. While this was good news for the future of Irish commercial tenants it did not help those, such as Corcoran, who were stuck in their legacy leases. “Within two months of us setting up the Grafton Street Tenants, the Government actually banned upwards only rent reviews in all future commercial leases, which didn’t deal with the current issue - people trapped in existing leases,” says Corcoran. The fight that such tenants now had on their hands was a retrospective ban on all upward only rent reviews which would go a great way towards alleviating the financial burden of their business. While Labour and Fine Gael pledged their support in 2009 to helping those stuck in the old leases, as recently as 2012, both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin tabled legislation to tackle the UORR clause. All parties eventually had to abandon the proposals or saw them dismissed due to the ramifications involved in such action. Property industry professionals, the Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS), expressed their concerns about this proposal to ban UORR on old commercial leases, stating in a policy paper in 2011 that retrospective laws created legal uncertainty and created a risk for foreign investors in doing business in Ireland. Citing that many landlords are multi-national institutions working on the instruction of pension funds, the paper insists that undermining Irish pension funds would be disastrous for the economy. Income flows to financial institutions would be reduced and would lead to more capital being required from the taxpayer. They go on to cite the negative impact on private investors, lending institutions and the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) while warning that capital values would be

eroded and existing investors' claim for compensation would create a huge cost to the Exchequer. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan echoed some of The SCS's concerns when he announced in December 2011 that plans to construct and approve retrospective legislation for UORR had to be abandoned since it would leave Government vulnerable to legal action and might require compensation to be paid to landlords. Recently, Bewley’s on Grafton Street, who were involved in a legal dispute with their landlord, have created, what some would call hope for those stuck in old leases with the judge demanding that rent be allowed to fall to current market levels for Bewley's, which are 50 per cent less than peak. The judgment was made with reference to the specific wording of the contract. Corcoran, however, is not satisfied that the case will help the effort to achieve retrospective bans: “That was the worst decision for all tenants. There was a remote possibility that if Bewley's had lost that case, that Government might have done something, but they won and it’s unique to them, no other tenant will have a Bewley's lease. The result will be appealed and it’s likely that it will be overturned. It has no impact on anybody else but Bewleys.” Despite the unfortunate situation that some retailers and other business owners have to suffer through, the future for commercial leasing in Ireland is brighter than it was. There is more of a balance between tenants and landlords with law reforms creating greater equality in the relationship. Some recent transactions such as the CHQ building also evidence substantial international interest at current prices. Leases are getting shorter allowing for greater flexibility and upward only rent reviews are, or at least eventually will be, a thing of the past. InBusiness | Q2 2013 37

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3 May 2013 Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin

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Award Winning Legal Advice To find out how we can help your business, contact: Emer Gilvarry Managing Partner t +353 1 614 5075 e Tony Burke Chairman t +353 1 614 5073 e

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Commercial Team of the Year Irish Law Awards 2013

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Commending excellence in Irish law Ireland's second annual Law Awards took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin on May 3rd.


egal professionals from across Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Ulster were honoured at the second annual Danske Bank Irish Law Awards. The awards ceremony, which was hosted by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin, recognised excellence among individuals and legal practices in Ireland across 25 different categories. Among the high-profile recipients was children’s rights advocate Geoffrey Shannon, who was recognised with a Special Merit Award for his groundbreaking work with the Children’s Rights Alliance. The recipients in each of the 25 categories were selected from nominations from more than 100 legal practices across the country. The adjudication panel was chaired by Dr Eamonn G. Hall. Addressing the ceremony, former Minister for Justice Nora Owen paid tribute to the individuals, teams and firms who made an outstanding contribution to Irish law in 2012. Owen said: “These awards reflect all that is good and essential about the legal profession. At a time when a number of professional bodies come in for criticism, it is crucial that the public retain confidence in our legal profession, the excellence of which is personified both by the recipients of all these awards and by all of you in attendance today." 2013 marked the second year of the auspicious Danske Bank Irish Law Awards. Commenting on the announcement of the winners of the 2013 Danske Bank Irish Law Awards, Terry Browne, Country Manager at Danske Bank said: “Congratulations to all of today’s award winners. We’re delighted to once again partner with the Irish Law Awards in recognising excellence within the legal sector. Danske Bank shares the Law

Awards focus on advisory services excellence and all of the shortlisted finalists, as well as the winners, should be very proud of their achievements.” Among the recipients was 73-yearold Rory O’Donnell whose impressive legal career spans more than half a decade. The highly respected lawyer, who in 1967 founded Eversheds, Ireland’s only full-service international law firm, was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. O’Donnell has played an integral role in the Irish legal community through his presidency of the Dublin Solicitors’ Bar Association and as a council member of the Law Society of Ireland, during which time he helped countless young solicitors and those training for the profession. Dublin firm Mason Hayes & Curran was named Law Firm of the Year, sponsored by Danske Bank. The firm, which has 64 partners in offices in Dublin, London and New York, demonstrated exceptional achievements in 2012, offering high quality legal services with an impressive depth of expertise within the firm. The award for International Transaction of the Year went to Simon Carty for his work with comedian and writer Brendan O’Carroll and award-winning comedy show, Mrs Brown’s Boys. Carty is the founder of Simon Carty Solicitors, where he has developed an expertise in entertainment and media law arising from his work with Brendan O’Carroll. For over 12 years the comedian has retained Simon Carty as his personal solicitor in order to protect his work and rights. Carty’s remit is so extensive that he has a producer’s credit on the hugely successful and multi-award winning BBC TV series Mrs Brown’s Boys. Meanwhile, Hughes and Associates

Miriam O'Callaghan speaking at the awards.

in Dublin was named Sole Practitioner Law Firm of the Year despite very tough competition. This award acknowledges a firm of solicitors headed by a sole practitioner. Some of the qualities required for this award are impressive services and communication with clients, as well as the local community. The Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) won the Pro Bono and Public Interest category. This independent human rights organisation, based in Dublin, was honoured for its dedication to the concept of equal access to justice for all. For the full list of this year’s winners visit InBusiness | Q2 2013 iii


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2013 Irish Law Awards Brian O'Neill of Documatics presenting Noeline Blackwell of FLAC with the Pro Bono & Public Interest Team of the Year Award.

David Barniville, Bar Council. Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Recipient of the Special Merit Award and Ken Murphy, Director General of the Law Society of Ireland.

David Johnston of Paddy Power, winners of In-house Legal Team of the Year Award, presented by Pamela Vymazal of the Sunday Business Post.

Daniel Hughes, Hughes & Associates Solicitors, winner of the Sole Practitioner of the Year Award presented by Sabina Horgan, EXPD8.

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Donal Spring and Paula Murphy of Daniel Spring & Co., winners of the Employment Law Team of the Year Award presented by Former Justice Minister Nora Owen.

Eileen Carroll, CEDR Ireland, presenting the Mediation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year Award to Bill Holohan.

Michael Boylan and Rachel Liston of Augustus Cullen Law, winners of the Leinster Provincial Law Firm of the Year presented by Jimmy Scullion of Iris Legal.

Charles Blandford of the Financial Times presenting Simon Carty with the International Transaction of the Year Award.

David Blackburn, Miller Insurance, presenting the Commercial Law Team of the Year Award to Tony Burke of Mason Hayes & Curran.

Godfrey Hogan and Peter Woods of Hogan Solicitors, winner of the Law Firm Innovation Award, presented by Brian Sweeney of Keyhouse. InBusiness | Q2 2013 v

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Ken Murphy, Director General, The Law Society.

Fr. Peter McVerry, Peter McVerry Trust.

Miriam O Callaghan with the Daniel Spring & Co team. 4C-St. Vincent de Paul.qxd:4C-St. Vincent de Paul.qxd


UNLESS WE GET HELP WE CAN’T GIVE IT. Could you give just two hours of your time a week to help? Hughes & Associates is a progressive and developing Commercial Law firm which has recently relocated to larger offices in Meeting House Square, 13 Eustace Street, Dublin 2. Daniel Hughes is the Principal of the firm and specialises in General and Commercial Litigation. The firm is heavily involved in advising clients on the implications of the Personal Insolvency Act, 2012. Daniel is a member of the Irish Society of Insolvency Practitioners and is a certified Mediator.

Commercial Litigation Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Debt Recovery & Litigation Bankruptcy Law Commercial Law Family Law Employment Law Personal Injury Law

Hughes and Associates was named Sole Practitioner Law Firm of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2013

Phone: 01 891 0020 • Fax: 01 891 0021 Email:

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SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL 8 New Cabra Road, Dublin 7 Tel: (01) 838 4164 Fax: (01) 838 7355 Email: Website:


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Top Prize for Mason Hayes & Curran T

he second annual Irish Law Awards saw Mason Hayes & Curran walk away with the top prize as they were named Law Firm of the Year. The company, with offices in Dublin, New York and London, can trace its roots back to 1920 and the full business law firm now employs 67 partners and 320 staff, all of whom had their contribution acknowledged by Managing Partner Emer Gilvarry. “Law Firm of the Year is a great honour and I would like to share this recognition with our team of over 300 located in Dublin's digital district.” The prestigious prize sets out to honour an outstanding firm that has demonstrated exceptional achievements for the year. Mason Hayes & Curran beat off stiff competition from their rivals, being rewarded for the high quality of their legal services. “We are proud that our unrelenting focus on quality legal service is acknowledged by our peers and the wider business community.” said Gilvarry. The past number of years have seen Mason Hayes & Curran become the go-to advisors for the technology and telecommunications sector and the firm is the market leader for data privacy matters. With clients that include the world's largest social media and search organisations, this exceptional reputation is justified. Past projects include advising Facebook during their audits with the Irish Data Commissioners and consulting with Irish software company PolarLake on its sale to Bloomberg. In addition, they provided advice to ComReg on its 4G auction which resulted in revenues of over 850 million for the state and were involved in the financing of the Marine Data Telecommunications

Emer Gilvarry, Mason Hayes & Curran, Dr Eamonn G Hall, Chair of the adjudication panel, and Former Justice Minister Nora Owen.

Cable between Ireland and Wales. “All of these projects should give people an understanding of the high level of work that we do at Mason Hayes & Curran,” Emer Gilvarry told The Sunday Business Post. “They are all high-end legal services which we provide to high-end legal clients.” However, the judges' decision on Law Firm of the Year is not based solely on a firm's quality and expertise. The criteria that the judging panel consider also includes pro bono initiatives and services to the local community, another area where Mason Hayes & Curran shine. The firm actively supports the local community and the arts, as evidenced by its sponsorship of the 30th anniversary of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and pro bono work for Mercy Law. The firm supports pro bono work and has a partner who specifically co-ordinates activities in this area. In addition, the firm is involved with the Computer Clubhouse located in the

Liberties area of Dublin, which aims to help close the digital divide in a community that may not have the same level of access to technology available elsewhere. Maintaining the firm's high quality services, while also involving itself in pro bono and community work, is a particularly impressive feat considering that Mason Hayes & Curran has experienced ten years of consecutive revenue growth, mostly during a recession, and is currently the fastest-growing law firm in Dublin. “During this difficult time, we chose to invest in the business. We invested in recruitment, in IT and in the quality of service that we provide to our clients,” said Gilvarry. “We are operating in what is a very competitive environment and that is why it is particularly pleasing to get the recognition of our peers, especially for what was a particularly good year last year. The award truly is a culmination of everything that we've tried to achieve over the last ten years.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 vii

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A Life in Law Rory O'Donnell of Eversheds is presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the second annual Irish Law Awards.


mong the law firms being celebrated at the second annual Irish Law Awards, an individual was chosen to be honoured for his accomplishments and contribution to the legal profession in Ireland. That individual was Rory O'Donnell who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding career which spans over half a century. O'Donnell, who originally hails from Killenard, County Laois, made his name as one of the most prolific property lawyers in the country. He has acted in some of the most complex property transactions in the State and has bought and sold many landmark buildings on behalf of his clients. He is widely acknowledged as one of the leading authorities on Irish property and construction law. O'Donnell set up his own practice, Rory O'Donnell & Co., in 1967. These were humble beginnings for the company with only two other members of staff and a secretary. The firm grew steadily throughout the 1970s and '80s. In 1995 Joe Sweeney moved from Limerick and joined forces with O'Donnell to form O'Donnell Sweeney. O'Donnell steered his practice successfully through these changes and, by early 2000, O'Donnell Sweeney was ranked as one of the leading commercial law practices in Ireland. In 2005, the firm joined international law firm Eversheds in order to deal more effectively with international business. O'Donnell's firm was eventually rebranded as Eversheds in 2011. With this formal association, the company became Ireland's only international full service law firm with a truly unique profile in the market.

Sinead O'Connor, Lexis Nexis, Rory O'Donnell, Eversheds and Ken Murphy, Law Society.

O'Donnell's career has spanned the boom times and recessions of the Irish economy from the 1960s to the present day, and he has been a trusted advisor to his firm's many business clients during this time. He was instrumental in his firm adopting the concept of acting as an expert business partner with its commercial clients, an attribute that still sets them apart today. O'Donnell has become adept at steering his clients through the good and bad times. Throughout his career, O'Donnell has played an integral role in the Irish legal community, serving as President of the Dublin Solicitors' Bar Association from 1981 to 1982. He is also a former vice-president of the Law Society.

He has been a member of the Law Society's Conveyancing Committee for 38 years. O'Donnell's contribution to the legal profession in Ireland can also be seen through the evolution of the small law firm he founded in 1967, which is today one of the leading law firms for the business community in Ireland, and recognised as one of the most progressive. While 74 yearold O'Donnell is now retired from what he calls the “rough and tumble life� as partner of the firm he helped build, he is still an active consultant and he is continuing to spread his influence by providing his colleagues with his unique insights from his 52 inspirational years in the business.

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A LEAD ROLE IN LAW Simon Carty’s successful work in the entertainment and media sector has helped him build an impressive portfolio of celebrity clients.


ince 2004 Dublin Law firm Simon Carty Solicitors (SCS) has established itself at the forefront of the entertainment industry. Specialising in contract law, Simon Carty is responsible for drawing up all the contracts signed by Irish comedian Brendan O’Carroll. He has been retained as Brendan’s personal solicitor for 12 years, in order to protect all his work, copyrights and personal interests. In May SCS won the Irish Law Awards 2013 - International Transaction of the Year for their work on the hugely successful multi-award-winning Mrs

Brown’s Boys. The firm does all legal work on the TV sitcom; the international tour; the new game show; the feature film, that’s currently in production; books; and all the merchandising, including any infringements of copyright. Carty’s remit is now so extensive that he attends all screenings and gives on set clearances. He even has a producer’s credit on the show. The firm’s successful work for Brendan O’Carroll has led to an expansion in the entertainment and media sector with SCS now representing a broad spectrum of clients and celebrities. The company also covers its clients’ requirements for

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their assets and family law. Privacy is a major factor for many of these clients and discretion is the first priority for the firm. SCS also acts for large organisations in relation to contractual differences and has provided legal services to clients in relation to the purchase of properties, from large development sites to primary dwellings. The firm also provides dispute resolution; public, administrative and corporate law; and protection of intellectual property. For more information, phone +353 1 642 5606 or visit

M.Phil. in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation – Belfast Email: This course is a unique opportunity to study in a society in transition from conflict. Students can specialise in Master courses in conflict resolution or reconciliation, or pursue a joint Master course across both areas. Conflict Resolution offers specialisation in practical skills, meeting the needs of both experienced practitioners and those wishing to enter this field. Reconciliation Studies offers an inter-disciplinary approach to politics, theology and ethics and is excellent preparation for Ph.D. study. The Master in Conflict Resolution will be delivered through shortblock intensive courses. M.Phil. students can study full-time for 12 months or part-time for 24 months. For further information regarding these courses, our M.Litt. and Ph.D. courses, our M.Phil. in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies, all relevant closing dates or to apply on-line please refer to the following websites:;; study/apply/. Applications will be considered after the closing dates only if places remain available. Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2. Tel. +353.1.8964770; Fax: +353.1. 6725024 683 Antrim Road, Belfast BT15 4EG, Tel. +44.28.90770087; Fax: +44.28.90373986

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Tailored advice from a dedicated team The main sponsor of the Law Awards, Danske Bank, is leading the way in private banking.


he recent Danske Bank Irish Law Awards gave firms, teams and individuals across the legal profession the opportunity to showcase their expertise and highlight areas of excellence and innovation deserving of recognition. As the main sponsor for the second year running, the Awards also provided Danske Bank with an opportunity to demonstrate why so many see them as their preferred banking partner. Given their emphasis on proactive financial care, Danske Bank works closely with professionals across a range of industries and – just like the legal industry – the bank is committed to excellence. Danske Bank also offers specialised advisory-based services to customers at both corporate and business level, as well as to personal customers. Danske Bank is the advisor to the advisors, so to speak!

LOOKING FOR PRIVATE BANKING SERVICES? Danske Bank’s Private Banking team provides clients with tailored investment and pension advice in addition to the day-to-day financial management you’d expect from your bank. Clients’ wealth can be significant and often complex. Such clients require dedicated, tailored financial advice from expert financial advisors. This approach allows advisors to accurately assess the client’s financial needs, provide suitable solutions and ultimately exceed customers’ expectations. “Now, more than ever, wealth management and protection are two key attributes that customers look for in their bank,” says Ciaran Mahon, Head of Private Banking at Danske Bank. “For any professional, it’s therefore imperative that their bank listens to

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THEN YOU NEED A DEDICATED TEAM WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCTS Danske Bank’s team of highly qualified financial advisors and certified financial planners have the experience and expertise necessary to guide clients and help you protect and increase your wealth. “Our advisors focus on developing robust, forward-looking financial strategies,” says Mahon. “We meet our clients at the outset to discuss their needs and ambitions in detail. We then develop tailored solutions, which usually incorporate securities from all asset classes across the globe.” Mahon continued, “It’s essential to be close to the markets we invest in, so we only work with the best investment managers in their respective markets to monitor and manage our customers’ investments. We call this the ‘power of local presence’. Our clients then manage their investment and pension portfolios through their own Danske Bank custody account available on their secure online eBanking system.”

TECHNOLOGY THAT GIVES YOU CONTROL Danske Bank’s market-leading technology gives clients more autonomy over their financial affairs. Through our suite of award-winning banking apps, for example, clients can bank online - whether at the office, at home, or on the move. In the coming months, Danske Bank will also launch an online meeting facility. This will give clients the opportunity to speak with an advisor when a face-to-face meeting isn’t convenient for them. All they need is access to eBanking and a telephone. As the meetings will be accessed via the

Ciaran Mahon, Head of Private Banking at Danske Bank.

client’s secure eBanking mailbox, security is assured. During the meeting, the client can speak with the advisor while also viewing documents, calculations or illustrations on-screen. “As Ireland’s leading bank for innovation, our technology offers quick, convenient and secure options for our clients. We continually respond to our clients’ needs and provide them with the tools necessary to be financially confident and achieve their financial goals,” said Mahon.

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CONFLICT & DISPUTE RESOLUTION AT TCD The Evening Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution studies at Trinity College provides an opportunity for mediators to develop practical skills in alternative dispute resolution.


here is an ever increasing role for mediation and alternative dispute resolution in the Irish legal context. The EU Mediation Directive of 2010 and planned legislation in Ireland - which will oblige solicitors and barristers to advise any person considering court proceedings to consider mediation - mean that now is the time for lawyers to acquire new knowledge and skills in the area of ADR. The evening Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies (CDRS) at Trinity College Dublin enables students to do this at both theoretical and practical levels. The modules in the course are designed to enable students to understand the nature and causes of conflict in diverse contexts, gain an overview of the many processes of Alternative Dispute Resolution and develop practical skills in the area. Students have many opportunities throughout the year to practice skills in mediation, restorative justice and negotiation. Students on the course in recent years have included solicitors and barristers, as well as people working in human resource management, local government, policing and nongovernmental organisations.

ACCREDITATION The CDRS course is accredited by the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII) and undertaking a successful mediation roleplay competency assessment option at the end of the course allows students to apply for Certified Mediator status with the MII (see The course also has an alliance with Mediation Forum Ireland (MFI), and those who complete CDRS have an

opportunity to have their names included in MFI’s relevant specialist panel of Accredited Mediators.

RESOURCES As registered students of Trinity College Dublin, CDRS students can access the rich resources of Ireland’s leading university, while studying in its convenient city centre location. The PG Diploma in CDRS is housed within the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE), a graduate institute in TCD committed to the study and promotion of dialogue, conflict resolution, peace and reconciliation in Ireland and worldwide (see ISE’s courses are internationally renowned for their innovative curriculum, embracing theoretical and contextually based research. Students engage with crucial issues facing governments, international bodies such as the UN, faith leaders, NGOs and peace organisations in an ill-divided yet increasingly cosmopolitan world. The CDRS course extends over one academic year (September to April: 24 weeks) with two practical, skilled-based mediation training courses on Saturdays. From the diverse range of legal, business and professional people who have taken this Diploma so far, we believe that this course, now entering its thirteenth year, offers significant opportunities and value

for professional development and reflection.

OPPORTUNITIES Courses at ISE attract students from every continent and during their time at ISE they have the opportunity to interact with established international scholars, leaders and diplomats in these fields. They are employed in a wide range of fields, including: domestic and international law, the diplomatic service, international organisations such as the UN, NGOs, as workers in health, education, the media, and in church and community based organisations. Others continue to PhD and higher research. Furthermore, their studies at ISE often prove a catalyst for change, both personally and professionally. If you wish to discuss any aspect of the course please contact Prof. Gillian Wylie, Lecturer and Course Co-ordinator at +353.1.8964788 or the Course Secretary, Ms. Christine Houlahan, at +353.1.8964771, or email InBusiness | Q2 2013 xi

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An expert in your field? So are we. At Danske Bank, we recognise that legal professionals have very specific banking needs. We provide our clients with a private banking service, delivered by dedicated relationship managers and specialist advisors, who together ensure the entirety of your financial needs are met. Our award winning technology is unequalled in our field. Both our ebanking platform and our smartphone and tablet app allow clients manage their finances remotely, everything from checking balances on multiple accounts to online share trading. We are the bank of new standards, leveraging our international network and experience to deliver a level of private banking service second to none. Tip the scales in your favour, talk to our private banking team.

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Chamber news A round up of all the news and events from Chamber networks nationwide.


Chamber Appointments News of the latest appointments in the Chamber Network.


sepA: are you ready? A look at how companies can prepare for the single euro payments area and how it will enable them to expand into foreign markets.


getting paid in Cross Border Trade Credit management professionals provide expert advice on the precautionary measures to take when engaging in cross border trade.


outsourcing matters arvato Ireland examines how business outsourcing can assist companies in transforming their business to better deal with changes in their industry.





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chamber news

Chamber Catch-Up A round up of all the news and events from Chamber networks nationwide.

LCBA and Limerick Chamber join forces


imerick City Business Association (LCBA) has come under the umbrella of the Limerick Chamber in an agreement that will enhance the cooperation between the two organisations to their mutual benefit and the benefit of the city. The LCBA has established a base in the Limerick Chambers offices on O’Connell Street and will be known as LCBA @ the Chamber. The LCBA will continue to be a separate legal entity, and traders within the city who are members of the LCBA will automatically become members of Limerick Chamber. Nigel Dugdale (previously Limerick Local Heroes) will become a joined resource for both organisations and the main contact for LCBA @ the Chamber. Maria Kelly, Limerick Chamber CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working more closely with the LCBA. Making Limerick City a truly living city is high on both of our agendas. This arrangement allows both organisations to coordinate our efforts and give the city centre a stronger voice.” Helen O’Donnell, Chairperson, Limerick City Business Association, said: “By coming together, we will reduce duplication of effort, increase efficiencies and enhance our membership services. I am delighted that our boards have taken this important step and I am excited by what our two organisations can do together to support the development of our city.”

Nigel Dugdale, LCBA @ the Chamber, Helen O’Donnell, Chairperson, LCBA, Maria Kelly, CEO, Limerick Chamber and Dr Fergal Barry, President, Limerick Chamber.

Chamber welcomes appointment of new airport chief


hannon Chamber President Kevin Thompstone has welcomed the appointment of Neil Pakey as the new CEO of Shannon Airport Authority. “The impressive and relevant experience in noncapital city airports that Neil Pakey brings to the table is just what Shannon needs,” he said. “With a track record that spans both aviation and property management, Mr Pakey will have a clear understanding of the dynamic of a multi-purpose airport location, where required commercial return and increased airport traffic sit alongside the need for sustainable economic development." “With many successful airport turnarounds on his CV, Shannon’s resurgence and regeneration is now in very accomplished hands. While route development activity has increased in the five months since Shannon gained its independence from the Dublin Airport Authority, Mr Pakey possesses the ability and the aviation knowledge to stimulate the required entrepreneurial endeavour and innovation to produce a new operating model and new opportunities for Shannon,” added Thompstone.

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chamber news

Galway Chamber launches Park and Ride at airport

Chambers Ireland welcomes Credit Review Office report


Mayor Thomas Welby, President Jim Fennell and Mayor Terry O'Flaherty leading a delegation of Councillors on the new Galway Park and Ride at Galway Airport.



he pilot Galway Park and Ride project, which will initially run for six months, has been initiated by Galway Airport and Galway Chamber with the support of Galway City and County Councils and the National Transport Authority. The initiative follows the success of the Galway Christmas Park and Ride Services over the last four years and will offer commuters a cost effective alternative to access the city centre. The Galway Park and Ride is located on the east side of Galway City at the Galway Airport site where there is parking for over 600 vehicles. The Airport site is easily accessible and signposted from the Tuam Road, the

hambers Ireland has welcomed the 11th report of the Credit Review Office showing that since 2010, upheld appeals have resulted in r16.8 million credit being made available to SMEs and farms, protecting 1,297 jobs. Responding to the report findings, Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive said: “244 cases have now been completed by the Credit Review Office with 135 of those decisions in favour of the borrower. While this is still a very small number of applications, it highlights the role that the Office can play in processing credit decision appeals. More businesses need to use this avenue to appeal a decision that they do not agree with.”

Monivea Road, the M6 Motorway and the Dublin Road from Oranmore. The Park & Ride facility can be used by city commuters who can park their car there at no charge and then continue their journey into Galway City, taking advantage of the bus lanes to shorten the travelling time. It enables people working in Galway City Centre to avoid traffic congestion and enjoy a stress-free, eco-friendly journey at rush hour in the mornings and again in the evenings, as well as throughout the day. It also enables visitors and shoppers to travel straight into the retail heart of Galway City, without the worry and cost of parking in the city centre. InBusiness | Q2 2013 41

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Chamber news

Chamber seminar gives tips on foreign trade

Business Breakfast highlights pension benefits


Helen Downes, Chief Executive, Shannon Chamber with Willie Wixted, ABC Nutrition Ltd., J.J Walsh, Head of Foreign Exchange Desk, Bank of Ireland and Tom Fuller, Bank of Ireland Global Markets at the seminar in Westpark Shannon.


seminar focused on foreign exchange, trade finance and funding, jointly organised by Shannon Chamber and Bank of Ireland, highlighted the important role foreign exchange policy plays in doing business with non-Euro countries. Speaking at the seminar in Westpark, Shannon, J. J. Walsh, Head of Bank of Ireland’s Foreign Exchange Desk, said: “Foreign Exchange is a huge element of doing business in non-Euro countries. That’s why companies need to protect their margins by setting the exchange rate.” Bank of Ireland’s Head of Global Markets Tom Fuller advised attendees to consider initiating a foreign exchange policy for their business. He briefed attendees on foreign exchange hedging choices available to companies, such as dealing spot on the day of invoicing or receipt of funds, whereby a foreign exchange

conversion rate is agreed on the day for settlement within a few working days; hedging the rate via a forward contract, thus locking the rate of the day for settlement at some time within twelve months or; hedging the rate using a foreign exchange option which is advantageous to hedge uncertain cash flows and useful in tender processes. Local company, ABC Nutrition Limited, which manufactures sports and health nutrition products and exports 87 per cent of its products to seventeen European countries, joined the panel of speakers to highlight issues that require particular attention when operating in export markets. “Growth management must centre on growing export markets,” advised ABC Nutrition’s Managing Director Willie Wixted, who also cited gross margin, daily operating overhead, daily output and cost per unit as important benchmarks in business.

imerick Chamber, in association with Munster Pensioneer Trustees Ltd. and Acuvest, hosted a Business Breakfast on how to make pensions a real benefit for both employers and employees in the Castletroy Park Hotel Limerick last May. Speaking at the business breakfast, Mr. John Tuohy, Chief Executive of pensions consultancy Acuvest, said: “There seems little doubt that Defined Contribution (DC) schemes will become the main vehicle for Irish retirement savings in the future, and as their role becomes more prominent, participants are increasingly likely to ask 'who is looking out for my interests?' There is certainly evidence that many DC schemes today are poorly managed, and have a high charging structure. Employers will need to review the design and management of their DC schemes to ensure they can demonstrate how members’ investments are being protected.” Acuvest is a specialist advisory firm, established in 2003, which works with some of the largest companies in Ireland to more effectively manage pensions and investments. Acuvest specialises in working with companies at the highest level as they seek to address significant pension issues in both Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution arrangements. Their particular expertise is their ability to draw on years of business experience to enable them better understand the practical challenges facing companies in dealing with pensions.

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DUBLIN INSPIRES: G REAT INNo vATIo N Not many 16 year olds could arrive alone in a strange city,

The CCD has already established a reputation for

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excellence, and like Welles, we’ve also received

its most renowned theatres and be hired on the spot. But

critical praise in the form of 22 industry awards,

living in Dublin brought out the best in Orson Welles, who

including most recently winning Gold for ‘Best

was soon being hailed as one of the world’s most original

Overseas Conference Centre’ for the second year

actors and film directors.

running at the M&IT Awards 2013.

Dublin continues to embrace innovation and forward-

So, if you want to inspire great innovation, visit

thinking in the shape of The Convention Centre Dublin. Since and see how somewhere different will

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make a very positive difference for your next event.

welcoming an impressive range of prestigious international clients and business leaders to Dublin and Ireland.

Contact our Sales Team on: T: +353 1 856 0000 E: W:

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CHAMBER appointments

Chamber Movers & Shakers New appointments in the Chamber Network. Paul Keyes Sligo Chamber Paul Keyes has been appointed CEO of Sligo Chamber of Commerce. Keyes joins Sligo Chamber from the Western Development Commission (WDC) where he held the position of Head of Corporate Services since 2007. Prior to that, he spent 23 years with the Defence Forces, serving in a range of posts both at home and overseas. While working with the WDC, Keyes played a very active role in setting up and managing the 'Team Sligo Tourism' initiative which continues to enjoy great success in significantly increasing visitor numbers to County Sligo through the collaborative efforts of multiple partners. Keyes also initiated the RE:Connect initiative, which links

Paul Keyes

western business interests with its Diaspora in partnership with the Sligo Business Network in London. Educated at Summerhill College, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth, Keyes lives in Rosses Point with his wife Judith and four children, Paddy, Ruth, David and Ted.

Peter Fry Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber In February Peter Fry joined the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber as CEO. Peter worked as Branch Manager in the EBS Building Society in Killiney, Dalkey and Blackrock up to 2000 and then left to become involved with Internet technology and SMS marketing. Peter brings a wealth of business knowledge

and experience to the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber

Nick Donnelly Waterford Chamber Nick Donnelly has been appointed CEO of Waterford Chamber. Donnelly was born and educated in Waterford. He has six children and currently lives on the city outskirts with his wife Bernie. Nick worked in the banking sector for the majority of his career; he spent 17 years in the UK. He was Regional Director for AIB Bank in the South East from 1997 to 2011 and Regional Director for AIB in Dublin from 2011 to 2012. Nick is also no stranger to the operations at Waterford Chamber having previously served as President and a Director of the Board.

Nick Donnelly

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SEPA: are you ready? The single euro payments area is making it easier for businesses to expand into foreign markets, but companies must act now in order to be SEPA-ready. Background The Single Euro Payments Area (or SEPA) is an EU initiative that will change the way euro-denominated electronic payments are processed across Europe. SEPA comes into full effect on 1 February 2014, and will mean that users of payment services can make and receive payments across all participating countries using common technical standards and common payment instruments – the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) schemes, which will replace their existing national equivalents. This will create a more efficient, borderless payments area between the 32 participating countries – the 27 member states of the European Union, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland. SEPA is a logical step towards the completion of the Single Market.

© Horvath

SEPA for the business world

use an international standard (known as ISO 20022 XML) rather than the ‘national only’ equivalent (known as Standard 18) currently used in Ireland.

Conclusion SEPA migration brings with it many challenges, particularly for payment services providers (PSPs – mainly banks), and the approximately 50,000 Irish companies that use bulk electronic file capability to manage their payments business. Companies that currently only make credit transfers can get help from their software providers and banks in terms of converting both their payments data and file formats. Direct debit originators face a bigger challenge, as in many cases their business processes will need to undergo significant change to cope with the SDD scheme rules, particularly as they relate to enhanced consumer rights. With less than eight months to go, the results of a recent industry survey on

SEPA awareness will be of concern to all parties involved with the SEPA initiative. It is imperative that impacted businesses prepare immediately to ensure that a smooth transition to the new payment schemes is achieved. To be ready for SEPA, businesses that have not already done so must contact their bank and software provider immediately. Software providers will be able to advise on when their products are upgraded to be SEPA-ready. Banks will be able to advise on any actions needed to ensure that businesses are SEPA-ready in good time for the 1 February 2014 deadline. Failure to be SEPA-ready on time carries a significant risk, as the domestic electronic payment system will close on 31 January 2014. The time to act is now. For further information please visit:

Having to deal with many national payment systems has always been an obstacle to companies looking for opportunities to expand into markets outside their home country. Making and receiving cross-border payments will become much more straightforward using SCT and SDD. To use SCT and SDD, businesses will in future need to use BIC and IBAN to identify their bank and account and those of their customers, rather than the NSC and account number information that they currently use. The implications of this change will be more significant for companies that avail of ‘bulk file’ payment services, given that many will have built internal systems (e.g. payroll and accounting) around the existing ‘national only’ standards. SCT and SDD InBusiness | Q2 2013 45

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CHAMBERS IRELAND | Cross border trade

Getting Paid in Cross Border Trade Credit management professionals provide expert advice to businesses on the precautionary measures to take when engaging in cross border trade.


hambers Ireland recently supported the European Commission in hosting a seminar on cross border credit and claims management. SMEs are often reluctant to engage in cross border trade because of the increased risks of the difficulties in collecting payment and a potential increased risk of payment default. Here, some of the experts who presented at the seminar give their key tips for ensuring your company gets paid.

Paula Carney, Dun & Bradstreet Making decisions to extend your hard earned cash in the form of credit to a customer is not something that should be taken lightly and the following recipe for minimising risk should be applied in liberal amounts. • Credit application forms should be completed in totality - half completed forms should not be accepted. • Obtain detailed Business Information reports providing verification that the business does exist, the financial strength of the business and how much credit you should or could extend. Investigate current or previous directorships that the directors of the target business may have, as this can provide insight into how they perform as officers of a company. • Beneficial Ownership - who really owns the business and what is the corporate structure? This is important not just from a commercial risk approach but also from brand and reputational risk. Dun & Bradstreet helps protect your brand and support the generation of

L-R: Hugh Ward, Paula Carney, Austin Rutledge and Shay Waldron.

revenue by providing insight on over 220 million businesses worldwide. For more information on Dun & Bradstreet’s services you can contact Paula Carney, Commercial Development Leader on +353(0)867927068 or for your free Credit Risk Process Review.

Shay Waldron, President, Irish Institute of Credit Management I believe that two of the secrets to successful collections are fairness and reporting. Fairness: Sales teams are not let loose on customers without training so why let your biggest asset be managed by staff that you have not invested in? Too much focus can often be placed on sales targets without placing attention on collection targets and results. The answer is clear; train the staff that are collecting the company’s most valuable

asset. Empower the staff to produce complex reports themselves without having to wait for information. Be fair to your credit team, invest time and energy in them and they will surprise you. Reporting: these skills are a must in collections these days. Reporting processes should be set up for the following: •C  ash by credit controller by day / week /month • Calls by credit controller • Missing payment trends • Monies delayed due to credits • Ledger analysis and agreed cash targets Key performance indicators such as the IICM BRIC model which is a basic review by colour which shows the progression of ageing buckets from the month of invoice to the period being reviewed. Once focus is placed on the conversion of each ageing bucket on

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CHAMBERS IRELAND | Cross border trade

Event attendees Chris Lascor and Juliane Gottert.

a credit controller’s ledger, not only at month end but each day, then the money keeps rolling off the Ledger and the DSO drops away. For further information on IICM Credit Control methods, contact: Shay Waldron, President of IICM, Irish Institute of Credit Management Ltd, 17 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Email :

Hugh Ward, Hugh J. Ward Solicitors After more than 25 years in the Credit Management profession it comes down to doing the basics right. Know your customer and maintain regular contact, keeping your customer information up to date. Most importantly, watch out for early warning signs of a problem. Once a problem is detected act early and act fast. Cross Border transactions involve a series of legal risks. The potential for disputes in foreign jurisdictions brings with it its own problems such as costs, contractual interpretation, jurisdictional rules and approach of local courts. When it comes to the legal enforcement of contractual terms the EU has agreed certain procedures that simplify and speed up cross border cases. The rules also make it easier to enforce a claim against a defendant in another member state. The “Brussels 1” Regulation (44/2001) sets out the rules for which courts should hear cross border cases and the general rule is the case should be heard by the courts of the member state where the defendant resides or where the company is based.

Carl Hackman, Director, CCI Legal Services.

The following are the main avenues available for litigation in cross border disputes in Europe: • The European Enforcement order for uncontested claims (Certified claim). •T  he European Order for Payment (Automatically enforceable in other EU member states). • In a National Court (Application required to enforce in other EU States - Brussels 1). • The European Small Claims Procedure (Automatically enforceable in other EU member states). Hugh Ward is the CEO of Hugh J. Ward & Co. Solicitors and Credit Management Outsource Solutions for full end to end credit management services. Cross border claims enforcement is one of our specialities. Contact: Hugh Ward or Kevin McLaughlin (01) 886 0105.

Austin Rutledge, Export Edge What can Irish exporters do to minimise bad debt risks while continuing to grow their business into new markets? One way of reducing risk and improving the collection process is to specify more secure methods of payment. With current credit difficulties, companies should avail of well established trade finance payment methods to secure prompt payment for their goods. Getting paid in advance is ideal, but this is rarely possible in emerging markets. Next to advance payment, the best payment

process is a Letter of Credit (L/C). A L/C contract is often a requirement under the importing country’s exchange control and import licence regulations. Essentially, in a L/C contract, the buyer’s credit risk is replaced by the commitment of payment by the buyer’s bank (issuing bank). The buyer’s bank provides a bank undertaking to pay, provided all terms and conditions of the L/C have been met, under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). If the L/C is confirmed, the conditional guarantee is further underwritten by a bank nominated by the exporter, at an additional cost to the exporter. Exporters often dislike L/C's because of the difficulty in complying with the terms of the credit, but with proper training or support, companies rarely experience difficulties. Export Edge have been helping exporting companies avail of secure methods of payment using the International Chamber of Commerce rules governing commercial and banking practices over the last couple of decades. To hear more and avail of a free initial consultation, phone Austin Rutledge at Export Edge on (01) 6766 894 or visit our website The European Commission has developed a guide for SMEs to assist them in managing cross border credit and collections. The presentations from the seminar are also available, and if you would like to receive copies of either, please contact Chambers Ireland. InBusiness | Q2 2013 47

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outsourcing | Feature

Outsourcing Matters Business outsourcing can assist companies in transforming their business to better deal with changes in their industry and help them stay ahead of the curve, according to arvato Ireland.


s an industry, outsourcing is largely misunderstood and its value often understated. This article aims to understand and demystify some of the issues that contribute to this, and also highlight the benefits and gains possible to public and private sector businesses in Ireland looking to get more involved in outsourcing. We wish to share our experience, that of some of our clients and provide a real-world perspective on outsourcing and what it can mean for your business. The days of outsourcing just being a quick way to drive down costs in a short timescale are long gone. Money will clearly remain a driver, but our clients are telling us it’s now more about helping them transform their business so they can better deal with, and benefit from, changes in their industry. We have found that the right partner and a strong relationship can help companies get ahead of the curve and stay there.

Effective Engagement Relationships are at the heart of business outsourcing – those between partners of an outsourcing agreement and those between the partner and its customers and employees. People play a fundamental role in determining the success of an outsourcing programme. Effective engagement is about creating an agile approach to outsourcing that allows the right type of partnership to develop; one that focuses on delivering the best results for both partners and one that can evolve with changing needs – critical

in today’s turbulent economic climate. But how does this approach differ across sectors, services, objectives and company types? In our experience, there are commonalities across all of the above that we can all learn from. Regardless of sector or service, contracts and partnerships should

be structured to facilitate effective engagement and we believe that this effective engagement makes a difference to the impact of a business outsourcing programme. So, how do all parties involved ensure effective engagement is in place to try to ensure success? Here are our top tips.

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outsourcing | Feature arvato’s top ten tips 1. Right from the start Think about how effective engagement can be tested during the tender process – through client references or scenarios to evaluate teamwork. 2. Create an enabling contract and objectives Contracts and KPIs are still the back-bone of an outsourcing partnership but should build in flexibility to deal with inevitable change. Consider both parties’ overall organisational objectives and create a win-win framework. 3. Cultivate ‘one team’ Maintaining a ‘them and us’ approach to outsourcing will always limit the ultimate success of a programme. Our experience has shown that clients are increasingly moving away from the traditional ‘them and us’ model towards a partnership approach to create one team. 4. Instil an open door policy Many of our clients cite the importance of open, honest communications. Frequent communication is imperative. 5. Develop real understanding It’s not about whether you like the people, or even if you can work with them, but rather you need to know that the outsourcing provider would make the same decisions you would. Clients and experts agree that effective engagement moves the nature of a business outsourcing relationship from a functional contractor to trusted partnership that can add real business value. 6. Embrace change and continuous improvement There are few constants in today’s ever-changing economy. As long as flexibility is considered at contract stage, adapting to change is down to the people involved and the

organisations' mind-set. 7. Build trust over time When outsourcing clients talk about trust, it doesn’t just mean trust in a provider’s ability to deliver KPIs but a commitment to seek and do what’s right for the partnership. 8. Going the extra mile Providers should demonstrate a willingness to deliver and step beyond contractual agreements to try fresh approaches or amend priorities to deliver real value. 9. Controlled flexibility The ability to define, deliver and then re-define success in a continually evolving business makes the difference. But this needs to be managed effectively. 10. Leave the contract in the drawer Rather than sticking religiously to what’s in the contract, a trusted partner will deliver results and focus on what’s right for the partnership in the long-term.

The Missing Link One key thing to remember is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to developing effective engagement. Each organisation, relationship and agreement is different, and should be treated as such. Andrea Kaminiski, President, International Finance and arvato Ireland notes: “While each relationship is unique there are a number of common factors that appear as recurring references in our experience and from client feedback. Clients cite trust, flexibility, collaboration, commitment and mutual understanding as contributors to the overall approach, supported by a structure that enables rather than restricts – especially as a relationship evolves.” One example of where trust, flexibility and a collaborative partnership approach have proven to be key ingredients is the success of our work with Microsoft. This is a complex $200m global BPO partnership which sees arvato process

“Effective engagement is the missing link in business outsourcing success.” 90 per cent of Microsoft’s global revenues. In 2012, 1,500 people in six international locations worked together to process a record amount of revenue from hundreds of thousands of orders and agreements, in a single month. Commenting on the key drivers for Microsoft, Kyle Christensen, Senior Director, Customer, Program and BPO Operations, said: “We wanted to streamline the number of vendors we worked with, and risk was a key factor for us; could we really trust one vendor with 90 per cent of our global revenue? We needed to choose a reliable partner, one with a reputation of flexibility and commitment and it was important for us to be able to separate out the sales pitch from real insight and practical advice.” He added: “Flexibility to transform is also part of any good engagement, change is the only constant in this business and the contract must be a living, breathing document – not set in stone.” Delivering results clearly matters and programmes wouldn’t last long if the basic targets weren’t met with speed, flexibility and efficiency. But we believe that the way in which results are delivered and the potential to add value beyond simple percentage increases are critical to business outsourcing reaching its full potential. InBusiness | Q2 2013 49

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Aviva Stadium offers a world class purpose-built conference centre in the heart of Dublin, with the most amazing backdrop in Ireland.

Named Best Conference Venue in Ireland at the MICE Report Awards 2012, Aviva Stadium has the capacity to host events from 10-1200 people. Aviva Stadium is the perfect choice for your next event. Whether it is a boardroom meeting, corporate event, gala dinner, product launch or international conference, showcase your business in the most impressive setting in the city.

Contact us today for your next event.

Phone: 01-238 2388 | Email:

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Conferencing | Feature

Hosting the world

Ireland’s reputation as a business event destination is solid and strengthening all the time. InBusiness examines some of the country’s top locations, their facilities, the types of events they have held, and gains an insight into what makes the perfect event.


he most recent statistics from the International Congress and Convention Association have found that Ireland is becoming increasingly popular as a conference destination. The latest figures show that Ireland as a whole has climbed four places to number 33, while Dublin has also moved a total of nine places, currently sitting as number 23. “The work is on-going and currently we are financially supporting work towards winning a further 157 conferences which, if realised, will provide a potential a111 million boost to the Irish economy,” said Keith McCormack, head of business tourism at Fáilte Ireland. It’s easy to understand why. With a hugely beneficial complement of high class facilities, technology, accommodation and extra curricular events, Ireland and our conferencing capabilities should be high on any organiser’s list. Over the

course of the past few years an emphasis on technological development and innovation has led to a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, and many international companies now use Ireland as their European base, including the internet giants Google and Facebook, adding to the country’s reputation as an overseas conferencing destination. The fact that such companies are choosing Ireland as their European headquarters highlights Ireland’s suitability as a home for international business, and proves that it has the right environment for corporate events, combining accessibility – four national airports, six ferry ports, two national and a host of international airlines – with no shortage of accommodation.

Aviva Stadium Aviva Stadium is fast becoming one of the most popular locations in Dublin for

conferences, meetings and gala banquets. Having already managed over 250 high profile events in the first half of 2013, Aviva Stadium’s Meetings and Events team are now preparing for the second half of a very busy year. The team from Compass Group Ireland at Aviva Stadium Meetings and Events has worked tirelessly since the stadium reopened in 2010 to make the venue an ideal location for conference and event requirements. The team’s success was recently recognised at the 2013 Event Industry Awards when Compass Group Ireland won ‘Best Event Caterer’ in recognition of the outstanding catering provided at the Emerald Isle Classic, held between Navy and Notre Dame at the Aviva Stadium. This was the second year running that Compass Group Ireland took home this prestigious award having won in 2012 for its exceptional catering at the 2011 Europa League Final, in Aviva Stadium. InBusiness | Q2 2013 51


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Conferencing | Feature locations including Dublin and Belfast.

Facilities Whilst dreamy castles and fairytale fables may be perfect for weddings or a weekend away, a contemporary purpose built conference venue is likely to offer more practical conference space. Natural light, spacious rooms with high ceilings and good lighting, modern AV, ground floor access – these are all essential considerations.


Aviva Stadium.

Multi-functional The ability to cater for a number of different events is an extremely useful asset. Aviva Stadium is a versatile, purpose-designed event venue that welcomes sports fans, concert goers, conference delegates and dinner guests. The venue caters for car launches, major exhibitions, and award ceremonies. Guests have dined amongst the newest vehicles in the Atrium and collected prizes on floating stage sets in the 1872 suite. The President’s Area has been transformed into supermarket aisles and sports changing rooms and Dublin met Bollywood over the Christmas period of 2012. The versatility and scale of the venue means it can accommodate an extensive range of events within 50 event spaces.

Wide range In three short years Aviva Stadium has become the newest large event venue in Dublin, hosting high profile events including the UEFA Europa League Final in May 2011, RBS 6 Nations Series, Heineken Cup quarter and semi finals in 2012 and final in May 2013, and most notably the Emerald Isle Classic between Navy and Notre Dame. As a concert venue the stadium has welcomed Michael Bublé, The Script, Madonna and Lady Gaga amongst a host of other stars. Recently we saw Robbie Williams take to the Aviva Stadium pitch to entertain us and Rihanna ended a busy month of singing with her Diamonds world tour on Friday 21st June.

So far this year the Aviva Stadium Meetings and Events team have hosted and managed a wide range of events including the inaugural British Irish Chamber of Commerce Conference, Diageo’s In Touch training event, the British Irish Food Business Innovation Summit, the GOAL Gala Dinner, European Week Against Cancer, Plantronics International Conference, Europe Talks Tickets international conference, the Irish Sales Champion Awards and the Irish Fundraising Awards 2013. The second half of the year will see the team welcome back the Triathlon Ireland Annual Awards and the National Conference on Cancer Survivorship. In addition, Aviva Stadium will host the 13th AMD & Retina Congress Gala Dinner and the Schwarzkopf Irish Hairdressing Business Awards. It seems that 2013 will finish up as busy as it started for Aviva Stadium’s Meetings and Events team.

CityNorth Hotel Choosing the right venue for your event is a hugely important task, and shouldn’t be treated lightly. A variety of factors must be taken into consideration. Here Andrea Cawley, Sales and Marketing Manager at the CityNorth Hotel, lists the important factors to consider.

Location A key factor is the accessibility of the venue. Ease of nationwide road access, proximity and transfer to the airport for international delegates and secure and ample parking at the venue itself are vital. Access should be available to key city

However well you have your conference organised, you are relying on your venue provider to deliver on the day. Build a good relationship with the team from the venue, be specific and detailed in your requests, check you have a senior point of contact on the day – and ask for testimonials.

WiFi & mobile coverage Whilst today these may seem like a given, it is crucial to check the IT capabilities of the venue. Even if the conference is not ITfocused, with mobile phones and laptops internet speed and capability needs to be able to meet the requirements of your attendee numbers.

Banqueting The time of lukewarm tea & coffee and plain biscuits has truly passed. Your event should reflect your style and theme – so whether it is fruit shots and smoothies or delicious home-baked cookies, tasty delegate treats will always be appreciated.

Price City centre rates have experienced considerable growth over the past months so alternative venues offering excellent facilities, accessibility and service are often a very feasible alternative. Transport links to the city centre have improved so much that delegates can still avail of city centre visits. As with many of Ireland’s most popular conferencing destinations, CityNorth offers a full range of facilities for conference organisers, and visitors will find that the hotel heeds its own advice. With 540 metres squared of self-contained conferencing facilities – including two large scale conference

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Conferencing | Feature suites – CityNorth ensures that conferences of any size can be easily catered for which is particularly useful for larger organisations with events which may include sizeable delegations from around the globe. Access, of course, is a key consideration, as with all event locations, and CityNorth provides coach transfer between the hotel and nearby Dublin airport.

Salthill Hotel Located along the picturesque Salthill promenade in Galway, Salthill Hotel is well known as a destination for the luxury, comfort, convenience and technology so often required by the typical corporate guest. Salthill pride themselves on offering a great location for business events, with a combination of accommodation, dining, meeting facilities and accessibility. Conference organisers will often choose destinations which offer both conferencing capabilities and ideal accommodation. Salthill Hotel boasts 160 bedrooms and suites with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean and the hills of Clare. Transportation-wise, the hotel which is ideally located just ten minutes from Galway City, will arrange bus, train and airport transfers on request. Salthill Hotel also have a dedicated conference co-ordinator on hand to assist with all details of the event, including planning social activities. With conference facilities for up to 600 delegates and new state of the art WiFi facilities throughout

the hotel, it’s unsurprising that Salthill is a popular destination for corporate visitors. The hotel boasts a range of meeting room options, from smaller, more intimate room settings to a choice of larger conference suite options which can hold from 100 to 600 delegates. With its idyllic location by the sea, Salthill Hotel’s roof top Sky Suite is the ideal setting for a small cocktail or drinks reception to really impress your business or conference guests. The hotel’s PROM Restaurant allows guests to indulge themselves. The executive chef will cater to your business and client’s needs with a tailored and personalised menu, while live music is complemented by an extensive drinks menu in the Salthill’s Blackrock café bar. Salthill also offers a broader experience for event guests at Ocean Fitness (www., Galway’s premier fitness and leisure club which incorporates sunlit 18m and 25m indoor pools and a sauna, steam room and whirlpool.

Belfast Waterfront Conference Centre While organising an event can be a strenuous experience, it doesn’t have to be. No matter what the size or type of event, Belfast Waterfront Conference Centre, one of the world’s best, offers everything organisers require and more to create a memorable event, but without the stress. Quality service, location and superb facilities are just some of the reasons

why clients return to Northern Ireland’s only purpose-built conference centre, time after time. From planning to execution, event organisers can enjoy the undivided attention of a dedicated team of specialists and the full benefit of their extensive skills, which will ensure their event runs like clockwork.

Getting There Travelling to this award-winning venue couldn’t be easier. With great transport links and a train station literally on its doorstep, Belfast Waterfront provides a quick and direct route for delegates travelling from across Ireland and further afield. Major tourist attractions as well as hotels and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets are within walking distance of the venue, so delegates can enjoy a jam-packed social calendar and unwind at some of the city’s luxurious hotels.

What’s to come? Its stunning architecture also boasts flexible spaces which can be shaped to suit any event of up to 2,000 delegates. And the venue is set to get even bigger. A £30million planned expansion will bring 4,000m2 of extra exhibition space, banqueting and breakout areas in 2016. Whatever size your event may be, treating your delegates to a truly memorable experience is something which will ensure their time at the event sticks in their memory. “Many delegates considered the 2009 conference to be one of the best and this was due in no small way to the excellent facilities available and the help and co-operation we received from the staff at the Waterfront,” said the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

Mount Wolseley

CityNorth Hotel.

Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Country Club is perfectly located to offer a central venue for national corporate and association conferences. Situated in Tullow, Co Carlow, this four star deluxe resort property is just one hour from Dublin and is truly the jewel in the crown of conference venues in the South East. Host to an array of prestigious conferences and events, Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Country Club offers 13 professionally appointed conference, meeting and dining rooms. The flexible InBusiness | Q2 2013 53

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CityNorth Hotel & Conference Centre a superb Conference Venue

• Convenient location off Junction 7 of the M1 • 10 minutes 24/7 shuttle transfer from the airport, 20 minutes from the Convention Centre and close by the M50 • Superb conference venue –650 delegate capacity in main conference suite, 12 additional meeting rooms

• Spacious break out areas, ground floor access and natural light in all meeting rooms • Excellent, professional service with a commitment to delivering success for your event • Four star delegate accommodation, with gym, treatment room and games room

T: (01) 690 6666 • • Gormanston, Co. Meath

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Conferencing | Feature Citywest Hotel, Conference & Event Centre

Mount Wolseley.

portfolio of rooms can cater for a wide range of configurations, with a maximum capacity of 800 theatre style, while there are 500 seats available for dining. The self-contained Conference & Banqueting Suite offers a private entrance and reception area, ideal for pre-registration and tea/coffee breaks. There is ample space for exhibition purposes and the layout ensures delegates pass through the exhibition area to guarantee maximum exposure for exhibitors.

Extensive Facilities at Mount Wolseley The extensive meeting facilities are complemented by 143 Deluxe Bedrooms with the added advantage of 48 Self Catering Lodges on the estate offering a mix of three and four bedrooms each. This broad range of accommodation allows Mount Wolseley to bid for the larger residential conferences requiring accommodation for up to 600 delegates. With access to the freshest local ingredients, the team of internationally trained chefs can provide a discerning selection of menus to suit all tastes, requirements and budgets. The luxurious leisure and spa facilities, along with the renowned Mount Wolseley Golf Course, enables the hotel to offer the complete experience for corporate and leisure guests alike. Additionally there are up to 500 complimentary parking spaces on site, which helps cater for national conference clients. Boasting an impressive list of awards, Mount Wolseley was nominated the ‘Event Property of the Year’ for 2012 at the Event Industry Awards,

while the luxurious Wolseley Spa was awarded the ‘Tatler Spa of the Year Award’ for 2012. Holder of the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, the property consistently delivers quality service, with the accolades to show. This property is managed by the Morrissey Family who are on hand daily to ensure guests receive a professional and friendly service throughout all areas of the hotel. It is this consistent attention to detail that gives Mount Wolseley the edge over its competitors in this difficult climate. Competitive 24 hour and day delegate rates are available and the Conference & Banqueting team are proficient in working with conference organisers to ensure budget and operational requirements are met at all times. With such extensive facilities on offer, Mount Wolseley certainly ticks a lot of boxes when looking for the ideal conference venue.

An all-encompassing venue just 25 minutes from the heart of Dublin City and International Airport, Citywest Hotel, Conference & Event Centre offers one of Ireland’s top conference, exhibition and event destinations. “Citywest Hotel has always held it’s position as Ireland’s largest residential conference venue, and we were delighted to bring to Dublin such a wide variety of international conferences such as the Burger King World Franchisee Conference, Watchtower World Convention 2012 & 2013, a 1,500 delegate Norwegian Residential Conference, along with a number of large European Pharmaceutical Conferences,” says Glenn Valentine, General Manager with Citywest Hotel, Conference & Event Centre.

Small Meeting & Conferences “Citywest Hotel’s diversity continues to attract a unique combination of events from the World Handball Championships to large scale Irish dancing events. The versatile facilities here at Citywest Hotel combined with the ‘Irish Experience’ allow us to compete on a worldwide stage to attract events only a handful of international venues can accommodate.” The superb range of conference suites available at Citywest Hotel are the perfect choice for meetings and conferences from two to 4,100 delegates. With complimentary Wi-Fi for up to 2,000 simultaneous users and a variety of

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A Jewel in the Crown of Conference & Event Venues

• Best Conference & Hotel Venue 2012 • 15 Professionally Appointed Conference & Banqueting Suites • Capacities up to 800 Theatre Style & 500 for Banquets • Self Contained Exhibition Area • 143 Deluxe Bedrooms & Suites

• 48 Self Catering Lodges on the Resort • Tatler Spa of the Year 2012 & Extensive Leisure Club • Award Winning Christy O’Connor designed 18 Hole Golf Course • Green Site Areas for Outdoor Activities •500 Complimentary Parking Spaces

A Tranquil Resort, The Perfect Backdrop For Your Business Contact: Sheena McCanny, Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Country Club, Tullow, Co. Carlow T: 059 9180100 | E: | W:

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Conferencing | Feature different meeting room configurations available, Citywest Hotel can tailor itself to suit your specific event requirements.

Exhibitions & Events For exhibitions and events, the Convention Centre at Citywest Hotel is an ideal choice. The expansive arena offers 75,000 sq. ft. of ground floor exhibition space with a further 39,000 sq. ft. over its two upper levels. For events and shows, the 4,100 seater arena is ideal, hosting internationally recognised events including Disney on Ice and Top Gear Live.

Access and Transport Getting to Citywest Hotel could not be easier. The hotel offers 2,500 free car parking spaces and is serviced by the N7 Dual Carriageway, just minutes from the M50 orbital. To add to this, the hotel is now accessible via the LUAS (light rail network) stopping just a short stroll from the hotel entrance.

Titanic Belfast Titanic Belfast, the World’s Largest Titanic Visitor Experience, opened its doors to the world on 31st March 2012, marking the 100th anniversary of the world’s most famous liner’s tragic maiden voyage. By the time the tourist attraction’s momentous first year came to an end on March 31 this year, more than 800,000 visitors from 128 countries had experienced Titanic Belfast.The now iconic building has firmly put Belfast on the map not only as a tourist destination but as a world class destination with its conference in banqueting offering. An amazing 55,116 guests were served in Titanic Belfast’s opulent private suites, Titanic, Britannic, Olympic and The Bridge, at a remarkable 351 events in just 12 months. Among the guests who dined at Titanic Belfast in year one were Her Majesty, the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh, Titanic movie director James Cameron, Irish President Michael D Higgins and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Titanic Belfast offers a range of flexible spaces which can accommodate a variety of events of different sizes. For large scale events, Titanic Belfast has capacity for up to 750 delegates in theatre style with additional breakouts for a conference, up to 700 delegates for a seated gala dinner with the fabulous replica Titanic staircase as a

backdrop, or up to 2000 delegates having exclusive use of the whole building. Domestic and out-of-state conferences and events have made Titanic Belfast a major investor in the local business and economic infrastructure. Tim Husbands, Titanic Belfast CEO, said “Titanic Belfast as a unique conference and events venue has been a big success. We’re adding to the overall spectrum of new events in Belfast, and because we’re not a hotel, we’re helping to sell more rooms around the city.” By way of example, last October’s Soroptimist International Conference brought 1,300 delegates to Belfast, and generated an estimated economic benefit to the city of £2.9m. On the agenda for 2013/14 are conferences for bodies as diverse as the British Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, and the International Food Safety Organisation. Titanic Belfast will also be a focus for events around the World Police & Fire Games in August 2013. Laura Cowan, who manages Corporate Sales across Ireland, said: “Belfast is a vibrant and dynamic destination which offers state-of-the-art venues and hotels. Coupled with good access routes, cost effectiveness and the city’s compactness, Belfast is a very attractive destination for conferences, banquets and events. The opening of Titanic Belfast has strengthened this appeal and offers a truly unique experience for national and international visitors to Belfast. Organisers want to create new and memorable experiences, and want their chosen destination to be appealing and engaging. Titanic Belfast does this for Belfast and Northern Ireland.” Looking ahead to the challenges of

year two, Mrs Cowan added: “We have a high number of confirmed events for year two including repeat business from large corporate and government departments, as well as new clients from domestic and out of state markets. Some of our notable wins are the Council for International Neonatal Nurses gala dinner, World Police and Fire Games conference, Bombardier staff conference and the Marie Curie Time Ball, a Fujitsu incentive event and British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society gala dinner.” Some key clients who experienced Titanic Belfast’s conference and banqueting offering in 2012-13 include: • Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce 230th Anniversary ball -720 delegates; • European Community Foundation gala - 600 delegates from all over the world; • British Congenital Cardiac Association Annual Meeting – a twoday association conference; • Irish Times Innovation Gala Dinner in March 2013, 250 delegates from throughout the island of Ireland; • Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland – 1,300 delegates. Continuing through 2013 and beyond, its clear that the Irish conferencing market can only grow and develop in a positive light. Situated in a country which welcomes innovation and development, Ireland’s top facilities remain an attractive prospect for the conference and event market, not just in Ireland, but across the world.

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eduCation | Feature

learning for life Education is one of the most priceless tools we can equip ourselves with, whether we’re currently in the workforce or seeking to join it. InBusiness talks to NUI Galway, UL’s Kemmy Business School, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University to discover why people are going back into education, and the benefits that can be reaped from doing so.


pskilling or reskilling is one of the fundamental ways by which we can achieve personal or professional growth, whether you are a school leaver seeking to gain an education you never received, or a university graduate looking to augment your qualifications for advancement within the workplace. Many workers are looking towards professional development or continuous professional development (CPD) courses to ensure they are both up to date with the skills and trends within their chosen profession, and to continue to remain employable.

CPD has been described as a tool for self-managing your professional development. For some it may be a requirement, on behalf of a professional organisation or workplace code, though for others it may well be a new experience. CPD is continual simply because learning never ceases, despite one’s age or development. CPD requirements generally involve a minimum of 60 hours of learning every three years. The importance of developing or continuing to develop your professional skills should not be underestimated, and for many, CPD

is a life-long obligation, mandated by professional organisations or required by employers, with postgraduate or modular courses augmenting or replacing this development. Today’s world is a fast changing one, a world in which trends move and change at lightning speed, and previous learning can become quickly out of date. Recent economic events have reminded us all of the need to upgrade our knowledge to perform better in our varied arenas; quite a number of initiatives have been established across the country. The Government’s Pathways InBusiness | Q2 2013 59

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Education | Feature to Work scheme integrates training, education and job placement, while the Higher Education Authority-managed Springboard offers a large selection of free part time courses from certificate to post graduate level, particularly aimed at imparting skills for growing sectors such as IT. Regardless of your motivations and your strengths or preferences, there is no shortage in the range of courses across the business and technological arena - particularly in the form of the popular MBA - offered across the foremost Irish education institutions in particular.

NUI GALWAY For the past four decades, NUI Galway has been involved in the provision of extramural and adult education courses, often set up at outreach centres and on the NUI Galway campus itself. Where once self interest or personal development were more of a driving factor than earning course credits, over the preceding 30 years students have been increasingly seeking creditbased programmes of study. “One of the key things that I would say is that a feature of our programmes is the notion of delivering them via blended learning and online learning, because of demand from students who want flexibility in their study patterns,” says Nuala McGuinn, Director of Lifelong Learning. “That’s a feature of a lot of the programmes we run now.” NUIG’s Adult & Continuing Education Office oversees the offering of quite a substantial number of programmes, particularly in relation to business, science and technology, community education, training and education with students afforded the opportunity of study in areas such as commerce, business analytics, science & technology studies and innovation management. “We run courses in business studies but also in niche areas such as technology management, innovation management, software engineering and technology commercialisation. They are programmes which look to assist companies and organisations with their processes and their products, trying to get them to consider ways in which they can become internally better managed, and in moving into the marketplace: how best they can position

their products and services,” says McGuinn. “There is a range of subject areas and a range of delivery modes. We encourage students to contact or to visit the programme co-ordinators, to get the best information on whether the course is suitable for them.” A lot of courses are about key skills for companies and for individuals, covering theoretical foundations which are then applied to real world work problems. “Students will be doing assignments based on workNuala McGuinn, Director of Lifelong Learning, NUI Galway. based problems. The theory is time to study a full course or who can’t applied through studies, assignments afford it, and just want to dip their toe and project work, which would be a in the water, and see what learning is feature of a lot of our courses.” like, or have studied in the past and Professional need the opportunity to upskill, through Development a module. There may be modules In today’s fiercely competitive and fast that are covered which wouldn’t have moving world, continuous professional been included perhaps 20 years ago, development (CPD) is the tool by which particularly in the area of medical many ensure they aren’t simply left device science, which would have grown behind. For those prospective students dramatically, while IT has also changed who would like to learn something over the intervening years.” new but perhaps don’t have the need or inclination to attend full time, NUIG Atlantic Alliance also offers continuous professional For Nuala McGuinn and NUI Galway, development individual modules which one of the most important features of students can take, earn their credits, and education, and higher education in then simply walk away with a new or particular, is collaboration. As such, the updated skill level. “They may serve an university has been working with the upskilling or reskilling purpose, or a self University of Limerick and University interest purpose. If a student wants to College Cork for over ten years now come back in the future to do an award under the banner of the Atlantic – whether it’s a diploma or a degree or a University Alliance. “The idea is that we masters – they can carry forward those would bring together the best of each of credits and be exempted from taking the universities into one programme – them again,” McGuinn explains. “That’s or a suite of programmes in the area of popular for people who just don’t have technology management as it has now

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Education | Feature become – and provide an opportunity for students to experience the niche expertise of each college in a combined programme,” explains McGuinn. “The beauty of these programmes – delivered via blended learning – is that when we do have contact time with the students, once a month or every five weeks, those contact days rotate across the three campuses, so students can get a feel for each university. It also encourages people who couldn’t come to Galway on a regular basis, but who could come once a term. It means that our courses are more accessible to them.”

Support For those students who do find themselves sitting in NUIG’s classrooms – virtual or otherwise – they need not fear feeling out of place or out of their depth, as a safety net exists in the guise of learning support. Confidence, or lack thereof, can be a major issue, particularly for those for whom the Leaving Certificate was their last experience of the world of education, or who have been absent from the academic world for some time. Adult and continuing education students can access a wealth of information and supports both before and after they decide to pursue their studies in Galway; academic guidance, career guidance, feedback on essay writing, the correct method for referencing and the proper structure of an essay. “There are also services centrally in the university,” says McGuinn. “Within our library there are a lot of tutorials our students can do online or in guided sessions – helping them to search the library catalogue, advising them on how to reference and search for the correct information.”

Moving Onwards With education being such an important aspect of life, it impacts greatly on the students at Galway. In her role as Director of Lifelong Learning, McGuinn is perfectly positioned to observe these positive ramifications. “There are different levels of impact. For some students it would just be a confidence issue, something that gets them back on track looking for a better job or just looking for a better role,” she says. “That’s so important, it emanates through somebody’s life. Learning

breeds confidence in people. For other students, who perhaps are already graduates, for them it’s aspiring towards a promotion and gaining recognition in the workplace for that qualification. We hear feedback from the students saying ‘because I did that course I was able to apply for this job, and I was able to highlight the skills I attained on that programme’. That’s the beauty of education. It’s life transforming.”

Kemmy Business School At the University of Limerick, the Kemmy Business School (KBS) has been open for business in one form or another for over 30 years. Apart from a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, KBS offers prospective students a variety of choices from a menu of professional development programmes. “The [courses] that are proving the most attractive are those in the finance and risk space. Our postgraduate programmes in those areas are almost oversubscribed at this stage, and that’s quite early,” says Dr Philip O’Regan, Dean of KBS. “We have a new masters in Risk Management and Insurance which is very attractive, and we anticipate that it will exceed expected numbers. One of the other areas which is really generating demand is Project Management, where we have a masters programme.”

is something KBS places great emphasis on. “The principal feature of UL courses is their practical focus,” O’Regan explains. “Our undergraduate programmes all require our students to take on an eight month work placement which means we’re directly in contact with around 1,700 businesses on a regular basis. Our postgraduate programmes are very focused on real life company situations and case studies, and include visits from businesspeople who deliver lectures to students. We’ve just started a new business breakfast series which has brought several hundred business people on campus for early morning meetings with very prominent business people.”

Feedback Feedback for the KBS is another strong priority, and one which is reflected in UL’s ethos as a whole. Each year the university, including the KBS, conducts what is known as an exit survey, allowing course providers to

Key Links As a business school, developing and maintaining key links with businesses and business organisations, both local and further afield,

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Education | Feature get feedback from students, employers and those others who have input into the classes. “Generally the feedback is very positive. They will highlight areas for improvement and we will respond, and that’s a fairly normal cycle,” says O’Regan. “That has operated very well for the last few years and is something that is now co-ordinated at the university level.”

Niche Needs Perhaps the one thing which may set the KBS apart from other business schools is its ability to be flexible in the programmes which it offers. “Increasingly we are approached by businesses to develop programmes specifically – what we would call ‘boutique programmes for businesses. We are in a very strong position because traditionally we’re a quick responder and we’re alert to business needs,” O’Regan explains. “We are increasingly doing a lot of that, under what you might call the ‘executive education’ heading, with accredited programmes being offered in this space.” Businesses interested in pursuing this option contact the KBS directly, says O’Regan, who notes that interest may be drawn from past students, whose positive experiences at the school may prompt their new employers to seek specific offerings. “They might look for something in Supply Chain Management, Aviation Finance or Marketing or Economic Analysis,” he says. “Those will lead to very specific programmes being developed with the companies, and that’s increasingly a big part of our activity to such an extent that the University has just set up a new continuous professional development unit, which co-ordinates a lot of that activity. We would be the main contributors to that unit.”

Business At Trinity Despite the tough economic environment of recent years, the MBA has continued to evolve and the quality offerings from Ireland’s most respected institutions remain the distinguished options for business people searching for something that might give them a definitive ‘edge’. The Trinity School of Business is known for its innovative degree programmes, research-based teaching and tutorial orientated

approach to education. TCD’s MBA curriculum is geared towards providing the best general management skills as a basis for competitive success in an international environment. It is also the highest-ranked MBA programme in Ireland and ranked 39 in the world under the employer-driven QS index. According to Michael Flynn, Director of the Trinity MBA programme: “There is a growing realisation that continuing professional development and the acquisition of skillsets for change management and innovative strategy are central to success in the current environment. In a nutshell, agile, flexible and creative leadership skills are required,” he explains. Trinity offers the MBA on either a full or part time basis. The full time programme takes place over one year, while the part time option is rolled out over two years. The part time programme has been designed for delivery to busy managers, executives and business owners who need to balance their study with work commitments. Tweaks to the MBA programme have been undertaken recently with the aim of making it the premier MBA programme for ‘soft’ skills relating to professional and leadership development. Flynn says: “With a team of over ten professionals engaged in this side of the programme, our hands-on approach to the personal development of candidates has meant that many people in the middle of their career are joining our part time programme to give themselves and their career a competitive advantage, whilst re-investing their new management knowledge into their full time jobs.”

UCC The UCC Executive MBA programme adopts an integrative approach to the diverse challenges of business and organisational life by encouraging participants to ‘see across’ the various functional and divisional structures that dominate many traditional organisations, rather than only ‘seeing within’ their functional specialisations or roles. Participants accelerate their thinking, decision-making and judgement capabilities by progressing through a connected sequence of analytical, action-based and reflective challenges – from the historical case study through the live case study to the

personal case study – a learning journey deliberately designed to promote a different way of ‘seeing’ oneself, one’s role and values, possibilities for change and leadership potential. The live case studies take the form of two study visits. The visits consider issues of innovation and leading change within organisations. During the visits the class is provided with a relevant analytical framework, divided into consulting teams, presented with a problem, and undertake discovery sessions with partnering companies and organisations. Presentations based on the team’s assessment of the performance of the host organisation in terms of their ‘presenting problem’ and accompanying framework are made to the partner company management team. This makes for a focused, intensive, real-time and engaging study visit structure with lots to be learned by both consulting teams and the host organisations. Each student on the course also receives executive coaching on a one-toone basis throughout the programme cycle. This is the personal case study element of UCC’s programme. The Executive Coach works with students through a series of individual coaching sessions, workshops and other events to assist the developmental leadership aspect of the programme. Students bring a variety of situations to these coaching sessions to improve their personal and leadership capability and effectiveness.

Seek and find There is perhaps no better time than now to seek out further professional education, as employers and organisations seek employees who possess the most up to date skills in their particular professional arena. Whether it comes in the form of a postgraduate course, an MBA or modules in continuous professional development, a wide range of educational institutions across Ireland exist to cater for such needs. The opportunities are out there – it’s up to you to grab hold of them.

Dublin City University Dublin City University has once again been ranked among the world’s top 50 universities in a new league table of the world’s young universities (less than 50 years old). The only university InBusiness | Q2 2013 63

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Full and Part time options available. The Trinity MBA is an intensive and intimate programme designed to develop your management and leadership skills. Enabling candidates to accelerate their career development. Talk to our team today about your career prospects and the unique merits of The Trinity MBA. You have the opportunity to change your life. Email: or phone (01) 896 2338 for more information.

The Trinity MBA

Take your career to the next level with The Trinity MBA.


Executive MBA Programme Celebrating 30 Years Our Executive MBA graduated its first cohort in 1983. In the thirty years since, the UCC Executive MBA has provided an outstanding management education experience to the region’s finest business leaders. As we look forward to another 30 years, the UCC Executive MBA will continue to fulfil its mission of providing Leadership Education for a Knowledge Economy.

Trinity MBA Programme


Tel: +353 (0) 21 490 2394 Email: Web:

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Education | Feature

Dublin City University.

on the island of Ireland to be featured, DCU has risen from 46th to 40th place in the influential QS World University Rankings which list the next generation of leading universities, all established since 1963. Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU has welcomed the publication of the new league table, saying: “DCU’s inclusion, for the second year running, in the QS Top 50 Under 50 confirms its place in the vanguard of young, dynamic universities re-imagining the future of third-level education. This year-onyear improvement in DCU’s rankings has resulted from an institution-wide commitment to delivering excellence in teaching, research and innovation. This is a very welcome endorsement of our growing reputation on the world stage, despite a very challenging national economic environment.” DCU has been graduating MBAs since 1990, an experience which has seen the MBA programme at the university develop a reputation as the masters of choice for those with senior ambitions in their specialist fields. The Executive MBA at DCU is a two year part time programme, beginning in mid-September and finishing two years later, at the end of August. Each year is divided into three semesters; most modules are delivered within a single semester. Modules include Personal Leadership and Management Skills – covering topics such as trust, ethics and conflict management - and Innovation

and Entrepreneurship – examining models of new venture creation and process and business planning in this context.

Transformation The MBA offering from DCU is consistently held up as a prime example of what an MBA should do for those who undertake the programme. Students study a variety of subjects which are not simply aimed at acquiring useful skills for the management toolbox, but which also contribute to personal growth and transformation. Accredited by the Association of MBAs – ensuring that the quality of the programme is of the highest level – the DCU MBA focuses on the mantra of ‘Leading, Transforming, Enterprising and Influencing.’ Widely recognised as the degree of choice for rising executives with managerial ambitions, DCU Business School strives to offer a programme which is exciting and innovative in nature, and which reflects the ever-changing demands of the 21st century workplace. Transformation is a key element of the MBA – designed to be professionally and personally transformative, aimed at developing business leaders with ambition, enterprise and leading-edge thinking who can create tangible and sustainable outcomes from the application of their learning.

Forging Links Reaching out and offering connections with the global business world is a major

facet of the MBA at DCU. Reflecting DCU’s position as the ‘University of Enterprise’, the MBA places a strong emphasis on engaging with the enterprise sector, both in Ireland and further afield, though its new Enterprise Engagement (Domestic) model features site visits, seminars and a residential workshop. Also new to the syllabus is the Consultancy Skills Project which brings together all of the learning points throughout the course in a ‘live’ situation undertaken on behalf of an existing Irish enterprise. DCU Business School also draws on its strong links with renowned academic institutions in the US – the Enterprise Engagement (International) module is undertaken in Boston and includes presentations from leading experts at Harvard Kennedy School and Boston University, as well as site visits to US-based companies, all of which are linked to MBA modules.

Preparing for the challenges ahead Succeeding in the business world is often a tough proposition and the DCU MBA programme specifically prepares its students for the challenges of business leadership. Developing competencies in independent leadership, the application of business and management theories and the analysis of problems will not only transform you personally and professionally, but equip you with the specific tools to lead by example. InBusiness | Q2 2013 65

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“We’re moulding the future of business and management today. We always have done.” Tony Foley Senior Lecturer, Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship Group, DCU Business School


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stanley seCurity | IB SurVeY

safe as Houses Willie Tighe, Managing Director of Stanley Security tells InBusiness how the firm has kept the Irish security industry under lock and key for over 25 years.


nder the watchful eye of MD Willie Tighe, Stanley Security Limited has grown from an SME into one of the most successful security businesses in Ireland. Formerly part of the Swedish owned Niscayah group, it was acquired by Stanley Black & Decker in 2011 and subsequently rebranded to Stanley Security. Stanley Security is now part of a global network, with operations across 14 European countries and the US. Stanley Security specialises in electronic security and prides itself on integrated solutions that work strictly to service level agreements. Customer retention and satisfaction is of the utmost importance and many of Stanley’s clients have been with the company for more than a decade. As Tighe puts it, “For our customers, Stanley has become much more than simply a service provider; we are a key partner and stakeholder in their organisation.” Underpinning this cooperative approach that Stanley Security takes to customer interaction is their Partnership Programme, whereby customers can choose to finance their security business assets rather than buying them outright. This unique opportunity is one of the main features that distinguishes Stanley from their competitors and has proved particularly appealing during the present harsh economic climate. This cooperative approach also extends to the fully integrated security solutions that Stanley provides. It works closely with its customers to tailor both existing

and ground-breaking technology to meet clients’ individual needs. Tighe notes: “We draw on a wide range of proven technologies, partnering with the world’s best-known suppliers in electronic security products, and we actively seek out promising new developments and assess their suitability for integration within a customer’s overall system.” For the client this technological solution could mean anything from conventional CCTV and perimeter control right up to highly sophisticated biometric identification and network-based control systems. “We take care of the entire security cycle for our customers, beginning with risk-analysis and design to implementation, operational services and support. Whether they need access control, intruder alarms, fire alarms or video surveillance, we have them covered,” explains Tighe. “In addition, as part of the Stanley group, we can tap into the expertise and portfolios of our overseas sister companies, bringing the best of international thinking and technologies to our customers here in Ireland.” Hi-tech security isn’t the only area in which Stanley Security is breaking new ground; their Human Resource Manager, Sheenagh McCullagh, was recently appointed as the first female president of the Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA). This is something that Stanley Security is very proud of. “The appointment of Sheenagh as President of the Association this year is a reflection of

“We take care of the entire security cycle for our customers, beginning with risk-analysis and design to implementation, operational services and support.”

Willie Tighe, Managing Director, Stanley Security.

the commitment we as a company have in playing a leading role in the industry through its key representative body, the ISIA,” says Tighe. One of the biggest developments in the security industry in recent years is the establishment of the regulatory body, the Private Security Authority (PSA). While licensing through the PSA is undoubtedly beneficial to everyone in the industry, it can also lead to challenges. According to Stanley Security, one of these challenges will be in promoting awareness among, not only the insurance industry and the PSA, but also customers of the key role they must play in ensuring that licensing and legislation is upheld. Stanley Security has no plans to slow down any time soon and is planning to expand significantly over the coming years, both organically and through acquisition. It looks like Stanley’s future is very secure indeed. InBusiness | Q2 2013 67

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23/07/2013 16:46:25


Every Business Should

Prepare For SEPA Businesses should prepare for SEPA sooner rather than later, writes Peter Vance, Head of Payments, AIB.


he deadline for the Single Euro Payments Area, or SEPA for short, is 1st February 2014. From that date, banks will standardise euro electronic payments across the European Union. From 1st February 2014, all eligible electronic payments will have to be SEPAcompliant. This includes staff payroll, payments to creditors and collecting payments from customers by Direct Debit.

What is changing? The most significant changes relate to the use of Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) as the primary account identifiers, rather than National Sort Code (NSC) and Account Number, and the introduction of a new file format (XML).

What is a Bank Identifier Code? Also known as the SWIFT Address, BIC is a unique identification code for a specific financial institution.

BIC codes consist of either eight or 11 alphanumeric characters and can be verified at

What is an International Bank Account Number? IBAN is the standardised European bank account number.

Where can I get my IBAN and BIC? Details of your IBAN and BIC are printed on your account statement. They can also be found on most online banking services.

Where will I get my customers’ BIC and IBAN? Either go directly to your customers or use the BIC and IBAN conversion service provided by the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) for both individual consumers and businesses. See

What does my company need to do to be ready for SEPA? As a first step, AIB recommends you contact your payment software provider (if applicable) and then our SEPA Helpline. You should then perform a detailed

impact analysis and identify the activities that need to be undertaken – technical, operational, internal business payment processing, financial and administrative. Even for a company that only needs to obtain IBANs and BICs, the work still needs to be done. In fact, we estimate a typical migration for a business will have an 8 to 12 week timeframe at a minimum.

What support has AIB to help business customers be ready for SEPA? • We have produced a series of information videos for our customers, focusing on Credit Transfer and Direct Debit payments. These are the two key areas where the changes will have the most significant impact. • AIB has set up a dedicated SEPA migration team, as well as a SEPA telephone and email helplines • AIB has been working with payment/ software providers, but your first migration step should be to contact your provider to discuss their SEPA readiness. • AIB has upgraded its Internet Business Banking Portal to offer comprehensive SEPA functionality. Among the enhancements available via the new file management system is the ability to get real time updates on the status of all payments within a payment file. For further information, see AIB’s SEPA videos on or contact the dedicated SEPA migration team email or call 0818 72 0000. Terms and conditions apply. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. InBusiness | Q2 2013 69

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Want to be better connected with Ireland’s Top1000 companies? The Top1000 database, which is compiled and edited by The Irish Times business team, provides detailed performance, operating and contact information on Ireland’s Top1000 companies and is an essential research, sales and marketing resource. Contact the Top1000 Business Intelligence Services team, for further information: Tel: +353 (0)1 893 0000 Email:

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foras na gaeilge | IB SurVeY

Cúpla focal keeping companies in the gnó Foras na Gaeilge is making a case for the use of the Irish language in business


he initiative ‘Gnó Means Business’, undertaken by Foras na Gaeilge, focuses on the function and use of the Irish language in a business capacity. The aim is to provide a central source of information and practical assistance to other related parties who wish to use the Irish language as a practical and productive business tool.

hoW WIll IT helP my BuSIneSS? Foras na Gaeilge is constantly developing a wide programme of services and support through our special branding campaign Gnó Means Business, which aims to facilitate and increase the practical use of Irish within the business sector. We strongly believe that the Irish language can be a great advantage to every type of business in various ways, even if you don’t have fluent Irish! Recent times have seen the practice of bilingualism become increasingly popular in both the public and private business sectors and, accompanying English, the unique characteristics of the Irish language are being effectively harnessed by the business community as a marketing tool on signage, stationery, packaging and advertisements.

IS There emPhASIS on The needS of The BuSIneSS communITy In PArTIculAr? It is understood that the business sector has specific requirements and the Business Advisory Group was set up with suitable representation from business sector groups, both North and South, to advise on the development and implementation of the Gnó Means Business support and awareness programme. Foras na Gaeilge is

currently undertaking a comprehensive research programme in collaboration with other related business sector parties in evaluating and developing the Business Case for the Irish Language. As part of the business case, a growing number of pioneering companies are highlighted for best practice in relation to innovative and practical ways to use the Irish language on a business basis. In addition to this, an extensive visual database of other practical usage of Irish in a business context is presented in the Business Archive which is customdesigned to your own specific business interest, whether it is retail, hospitality, professional services, construction or information technology.

WhAT KInd of SuPPorT IS AvAIlABle To me? Foras na Gaeilge is committed to supporting the business community in exploring and developing the practical business application of the Irish language and to this end financial assistance of a2,500 / £2,000 is provided through our ‘Bilingual Signage Scheme’ and our ‘Bilingual Materials Scheme’. Development grants with a value of up to a12,000 / £8,000 are also available through our support fund ‘Innovation in the Business Sector’ to facilitate and normalise the use of Irish within the relevant field. Foras na Gaeilge has developed a wide range of custom-designed business support aids, all of which are available free of charge through the self-ordering system at ‘Resources to Order’, and there is an extensive collection of relevant bilingual templates which can be downloaded free from ‘Downloadable Resources’. ‘Gnó Means Business’ also provides information on other relevant

Tayto incorporates Irish into its crisp bag.

business-support sources as at ‘Sources of Funding’ and ‘Business Support Resources’, in which there is a valuable information database of opportunities for the use of Irish within a business context.

Are There oTher oPPorTunITIeS for my BuSIneSS? Over the last few years, Foras na Gaeilge has developed a strong relationship with strategic partnerships from the business sector and we are delighted to have been the main sponsor of annual Top-50 business awards, The Irish Language Television Advertisement Awards in association with TG4, AllIreland Marketing Awards in association with the Marketing Institute of Ireland, C-Store Awards in association with ShelfLife and also within the Tidy Towns Competition where there is specific emphasis on the use of Irish in the business sector. If you require any further information please visit our website at: or call 01 639 8400 InBusiness | Q2 2013 71


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THE DELIVERY NETWORK FOR IRELAND DX Courier Tracked is our unique b2b service that offers fast, secure and cost-effective nationwide next day parcel delivery for Ireland and the UK. DX’s Courier service is both reliable and highly competitive, providing you with: • RELIABILITY – a minimum of 99% proven track record of deliveries made on time • PERSONAL SERVICE – dedicated Account Management & Customer Service teams based locally •ONLINE TRACKING – Customer signature POD available online • NEXT DAY DELIVERY – be sure that your freight arrives the next working day • EXPRESS OPTIONS – customer choice on the deadline for delivery • EASIER PROCESSING – no need to size or frank items • CONVENIENCE – our couriers can collect all your items from your business premises every afternoon • SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS – with our highly competitive pricing

To find out more, visit or call us on 01 879 1700. DXC/MKT/0236/27NOV12

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Delivering for Business W

Working across Ireland and the UK, DX is a courier and logistics service provider, specialising in the delivery of time-sensitive, mission critical and high-value items to its customers.

ith 2,500 customers, including A&L Goodbody, Bank of Ireland and Dunnes Stores, DX delivers eight million items every year in Ireland. Managing Director Kevin Galligan holds a primary degree in Marketing and a Masters in Business Studies from the Smurfit School of International Marketing at UCD. He joined the courier business from Windmill Lane – the studio at which U2 recorded their first three albums – and has been involved in growing the business to where it stands today, with an annual turnover of a9 million. “We’re very much customer-centred,” explains Galligan. “The customer is at the centre of what we do to drive the business forward. We live by the philosophy: ‘see it, own it, act on it - Now!’ and we would consider ourselves to be very responsive to our customer requirements and customer needs.” One of the courier company’s most sought after services is known as the DX Exchange, a member to member mailing service which has 4,500 members, sending mail to one another on a nightly basis. “We would move around 25,000 items each night,” says Galligan. “A member has a DX number so they go to their local document exchange – there are 250 document exchanges scattered around the country – and they drop mail off in a DX onwards box. A driver has access to that location, picks up the mail and all of that mail comes to Dublin for sorting, and is then delivered back down to our members’ DX box. It’s a post-five pm and a pre-nine am delivery, and it’s more competitively priced than any

other postal operator. It would mainly be solicitors, barristers, financial insitutions, insurance companies, and government organisations as well.” The firm also offers several other postal-related solutions for organisations, including DX Mail - an outsourced mailroom management service, DX Courier - a reliable and competitive courier offering and ParcelXchange - a virtual depot network consisting of 500 intelligent lockers. Packages can be delivered to the locker closest to you, and the locker will send a text message to let you know your package is waiting, with 24/7 accessibility through a security card and pin. Overall, consumer response has been very positive, regarding both the standard of the firm’s services and that of their team. “Often we receive letters and emails of commendation and they always talk in particular about the team in DX and the quality of the people we have in terms of going the extra mile and delivering on a service that we have promised,” says Galligan. “The ethos of DX is ‘Delivered Exactly’. Our aim is to be delivering exactly 100 per cent of the time because a lot of what we’re carrying are critical items. Words like ‘secure’,

Kevin Galligan, Managing Director, DX.

‘trusted’, and ‘reliable’ would describe DX’s brand, and we would be very trusted within the sectors we operate in. Particularly in the legal sector, DX is a verb – don’t post it, DX it.”

“The customer is at the centre of what we do to drive the business forward. We live by the philosophy: ‘see it, own it, act it on it - Now!’ and we would consider ourselves to be very responsive to our customer requirements and customer needs.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 73

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“i play with the best, now i study with the best� tommy bowe Professional rugby player Hibernia College Student

Current Courses inClude online and blended programmes in: Higher Diploma in Arts in Primary Education Academically accredited by HETAC and professionaly accredited by the Teaching Council

Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) Academically accredited by HETAC and professionaly accredited by the Teaching Council

Undergraduate Degrees in Business, Management, Creative Computing and Computing & Information Systems Awarded by University of London

M.A. in Teaching and Learning Accredited by HETAC

M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Medicine Accredited by HETAC & IFAPP

Continuing Professional Development Courses for Teachers Approved by Department of Education & Skills

Diploma in Management (for graduates) Awarded by University of London

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HiBernia College | IB SurVeY

HiBernia College on tHe gloBal stage Hibernia College’s free online course ‘Exploring Irish Identity’ is gaining global momentum, writes Hibernia’s Lorna Pia Keating.


ibernia College has been ranked in a top ten listing alongside Ivy League colleges in the US including Harvard and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for its recent MOOC or Massive Open Online Course contribution to global education. Hibernia College’s MOOC on Exploring Irish Identity was ranked 9th on a recently published list of the 99 Best Resources on Open Courseware and MOOCs. Others topping the list include Alison, EdX, Coursera and Udacity. The list was compiled and published by, which is a popular student information site for online courses and colleges. You can view further information and the entire list here:

IdenTITy The Exploring Irish Identity MOOC is a free online course that anyone can join; all you need is access to the Internet and a desire to find out more about Ireland’s culture and heritage. Since launching in April 2013, the online course has gained global interest and momentum with people from as many as 50 countries spread over six continents visiting the site. To date over 3,000 people have signed up to take the course. The United States of America ranks number 1 in terms of countries, making up nearly half of all those registered on the course. With people logging on daily throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe, this course has ignited a level of mass interest and appeal which is rarely seen today. With so many claiming Irish roots and ancestry, this course delivers an engaging and thought provoking view of what it means to be connected to the

Emerald Isle which is Ireland. The MOOC explores Irish history, literature and poetry, theatre and film, language, art, sport and landscape in a series of eight two hour presentations. This free online course started on 27th May but can be accessed any time between now and October by simply logging on to The Exploring Irish identity MOOC is designed and created by Hibernia College, Ireland’s leading online educator, with contributions from prominent Irish academics and cultural icons, this course seeks to discover the threads of identity that weave through Irish history, culture and society.

teaching graduates are highly regarded in the teaching community and are among the most sought after teachers at home and abroad.


Hibernia College, established in 2000, follows an ambitious and forwardthinking strategy in order to play a leading role in education for the future. Hibernia College, Ireland’s only HETACaccredited online college is a specialist in providing undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Hibernia College provides a flexible alternative for people that are considering undertaking a university degree or a career in teaching, but do not have the time or the means to commit themselves to a full time on-campus programme. Hibernia’s online learning approach is particularly attractive to individuals with busy and demanding lifestyles. The College provides flexible, 21stcentury learning solutions across every sector for which it delivers programmes. Its online courses utilise video, multimedia presentations, graphics, animation and text to create a truly engaging educational experience, designed in accordance with sound pedagogical principles, and delivered by an outstanding, internationally accredited faculty.



Among the college’s two most popular courses are their undergraduate degrees and teacher training programmes. Hibernia College launched its undergraduate degrees in July 2012, allowing students to study for University of London degrees in business, management and computing through Hibernia College’s blend of online learning and regional on-site delivery. Hibernia College’s flagship postgraduate programmes in primary school teaching and secondary school teaching now make Hibernia College the largest provider of teachers in the country. Hibernia College

The college is based in Ireland and the UK with offices in Westport, Dublin, and London. In the academic year 2011/2012, 2,200 students were enrolled on full award bearing programmes with an additional 2,000 on short courses. Students are located in Ireland, Great Britain, China, India and 32 other countries. On average, over 95 per cent of all students enrolled complete their programme of study.

hIBernIA college

furTher InformATIon: Lorna Pia Keating, Hibernia College: 00 353 1 6610168 InBusiness | Q2 2013 75

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GloHealth | IB SURVEY

A Glowing Report GloHealth has just celebrated its first year in a tough health insurance market and is a shining beacon of success having attracted over 52,000 new customers in just twelve months. InBusiness speaks to GloHealth’s Chief Executive Jim Dowdall about their first-year success, what makes GloHealth uniquely appealing, and the future for the industry.


usinesses which grow and succeed in difficult economic times always deserve a closer look. In a market which is contracting, the success GloHealth has achieved is even more impressive. “We are very pleased with our extremely strong performance in our first year in the market,” says Chief Executive of GloHealth, Jim Dowdall. “On average 1,000 people joined us every week since launch, an unprecedented growth rate for this sector and over three times more than that achieved by any previous entrant to the market. This also significantly outperforms all other health insurers over the last year, with 1 in every 2 people who got a quote from GloHealth then making the decision to switch their cover.” Dowdall puts the remarkable performance of the company down to

value for money, innovative products and great customer service. GloHealth’s simple to understand range of plans and the ability for GloHealth customers to tailor their cover to meet their own particular needs, while also availing of a range of new benefits, is attracting customers. All of this distinguishes GloHealth from its competitors. “Quite simply, customers were crying out for a real alternative and individual and corporate customers alike have recognised GloHealth’s unique approach to respond to their needs to ensure they get the best value from their health insurance spend,” he says. The company is breaking new ground in its approach to the products being offered as they provide customers with the ability to personalise their cover. “For the first time in almost 50 years in the health insurance market in Ireland there

has been an injection of innovation and value,” Dowdall says. “Our customers can tailor their health insurance to meet their own particular needs. No longer is it ‘one size fits all’ health insurance.” GloHealth customers can choose the level of hospital cover they want and can then select, at no additional cost, a number of GloHealth’s Personalised Packages which contain a wide variety of additional benefits. Included in the Personalised Packages are benefits such as free annual travel insurance (in the International Health & Travel Package), metabolic testing (in the Sports Cover Package), cash back on kids sports club membership (in the Family & Kids Health Package), and cash back on a wide range of complementary therapies (in the Complementary Therapy Package). In a tangible demonstration of value, and a response to the economic

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GloHealth | IB SURVEY challenges faced by so many younger families, GloHealth does not charge, on a number of its core plans, for kids until they reach the age of three. Additionally, GloHealth is committed to continuous innovation and has recently introduced a new Family Protection Package which customers can also select as one of their free Personalised Packages. This package includes cover for sudden adult death screening, flu vaccination, family first aid training along with free family life cover. Dowdall explains: “It is clear that with GloHealth our customers get real value, not just in terms of cost but also in relation to the quality and relevance of the benefits available to them.” Arguably, the most important element of any business that relies on customers is customer care and it is a priority for the company. “Our customer service is second to none,” says Dowdall. “This is a very important aspect of what we do. A simple but important example relates to the processing of our customer’s claims for day to day medical expenses (GloHealth directly settles with hospitals for members’ in-patient treatment). No longer do you have to wait until the end of your policy year to claim. With GloHealth you can claim as you go. Our commitment is that we process our member’s claims within three days of receipt, with the vast majority being processed on the day they are received. That is the level of service that customers are entitled to but hasn’t been available in the market to date.” GloHealth’s popularity is not confined to individuals and families alone. They have also proven very successful in the corporate world, attracting successful international companies such as Dell, Facebook, Quantcast and more recently established companies such as Squarespace. “These companies recognise what GloHealth has brought to the market,” Dowdall says. “On a daily basis they are focused on innovation and customer value and they recognise that GloHealth is similar and is a very strong cultural fit for them.” Dowdall believes that the appeal of GloHealth in the corporate space is also due to the strength of the company, both outwardly and behind the scenes. “Our investment partner is Irish Life and our underwriter is Munich Re -

Jim Dowdall, Chief Executive, GloHealth.

“For the first time in almost 50 years in the health insurance market in Ireland there has been an injection of innovation and value. Our customers can tailor their health insurance to meet their own particular needs. No longer is it ‘one size fits all’ health insurance.” two of the strongest financial services companies around,” he says. “The management team in GloHealth has indepth experience in the health insurance market and all of these factors give corporate clients the satisfaction and comfort that with GloHealth they have a health insurance partner who can best meet their needs today and who will be around for the very long-term.” That reassurance is particularly relevant at a time when the health industry is facing a crisis due to the large price increases over recent years. Dowdall believes that people in general still recognise the importance of private health insurance. “The alternative of relying on an already overburdened public health system is not considered to be a viable option for most people,” he says. However, while health insurers must be relentless in their determination to deliver the best value to their customers, and GloHealth has set a new standard for

this, the Government has a significant role to play also. Dowdall hopes that Government policy in relation to the private health insurance market will change in the near future, recognising that the exodus of customers from the market has mainly resulted from flawed policy decisions over recent years. Based on the company’s success in its first year GloHealth is optimistic of continuing its meteoric rise. “Over 1,000 people joined us every week since we launched,” says Dowdall. “We expect that that momentum will continue and it is our intent that GloHealth will be recognised as the benchmark for the best quality and best value health insurance in Ireland.” Clearly the injection of competition into a challenged market and the availability of another alternative for over two million health insurance customers can only be regarded as a really positive development. InBusiness | Q2 2013 77

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Protect against data leakage

The Irish are becoming serious about protecting laptops, less so about other devices, but have no idea what data leakage is, according to ESET Ireland.


he latest research carried out by ESET Ireland discovered the extent to which Irish computers and devices are covered by antivirus and data leakage protection. The research was carried out on one thousand people. First we determined what sort of devices the Irish use to connect to the internet. (Figure 1) Then we discovered that 90 per cent of Windows-based PC/Laptop users have antivirus installed, as do 63 per cent of

(Figure 1)

(Figure 2)

Mac users. Linux users, however, still feel confident they’re entirely invulnerable, as only 10 per cent use antivirus protection. The picture is a bit grimmer among mobile users, as only 41 per cent of Android users have their mobiles protected by antivirus, followed by 27 per cent of iPhone users and 26 per cent of Windows phone users. (Figure 2) But the picture completely changes when it comes to data leakage protection. The Irish, so it seems, are barely aware of data leaks being a problem at all, as 74 per cent answered that they ‘don’t know’, while about one-third of Linux users use some protective measures, as does one in four Windows/Mac users. (Figure 3) So, while malware awareness

seems to have reached a certain satisfactory level among computer users, it is still lacking for mobile devices, even though mobile devices are as much targets of malware as are computers since they are increasingly used for accessing social media, various apps and offer various purchasing functionality, which could be compromised by malware, causing the victim direct financial damage. More surprising is the complete lack of awareness about data leakage, particularly given the amount of media coverage on various data leaks in the past. With BYOD (bring your own device) becoming increasingly popular, this could cause many companies’ sensitive data to be at risk of getting lost or stolen. So, mobile users should give some thought to installing an antivirus on their device and all computer and mobile device users would be wise to start paying attention to information on data leakage. More info at

(Figure 3)

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safetiCa ireland | IB SurVeY

dlP software keePing Client

information Confidential The leaking of confidential client information can seriously damage a company’s reputation, writes urban Schrott of Safetica Ireland.


ecently a cache of 10,000 confidential messages sent by Bloomberg News Agency clients containing details of financial trades and email addresses was uncovered on the internet. This is the second recent data leak for Bloomberg, coming on the heels of reports that its journalists were given special access to data from the 300,000 users of the Bloomberg terminals. It is worth noting that Bloomberg has a 30 per cent share of the global market for financial data and investment services. The lost data was found by the Financial Times using a regular Google search. “This leak was instigated by a Bloomberg employee analysing client data in order to improve the overall business processes. The source files were apparently placed on the Internet for easier transfer and access in the belief that nobody else would notice them,” said Jakub Mahdal, CEO of Safetica Technologies. “This is an example of an ‘employee error - employer enabled’ leak because the company information policies gave employees access and the ability to mishandle the data.”

rePuTATIon AT rISK Both incidents confirm what managers know but don’t like to talk about. You can always pretend everything is fine, but it just takes one such incident to destroy the work and reputation of your company. Not to mention that the business impact and damage could be in the range of millions. It’s also

important to realise that this data leak was by accident and happened without malicious intent – if intentional, it could have been much worse. No company wants to talk about data loss caused by its own employees’ failure and the general public usually learns about this only by chance. However, this is about change in the EU as reporting data leaks will become mandatory. Even so, the number of reported data leaks has increased in the past two years by 40 per cent. And it is just the tip of the iceberg. According to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, the amount of data leaks increased by a full 1,600 per cent during the last five years.

vulnerABle devIce uSerS Recent research by Safetica Ireland, a provider of employee monitoring and data leakage protection software, revealed that 74 per cent of Irish computer and mobile device users don’t know if they have any data leakage protection installed – while 90 per cent of Windows-based computer users said they had antivirus protection – which shows an almost complete ignorance of the data leakage issue. Rather surprising, particularly with the amount of coverage the media have already given various data leaks in the past. With BYOD (bring your own device) becoming increasingly popular, this could cause many companies’ sensitive data to be at risk of getting lost or stolen.

Safetica’s Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software solves the issue of data leaks caused by human error. The software makes sure that only legitimate users can access sensitive data and only in a permitted way can such users handle the data which has been entrusted to them. DLP software suites watch over either corporate networks or endpoint stations, making sure corporate data stays where it belongs – inside the company. More info at InBusiness | Q2 2013 79

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airPort CluB | IB SurVeY

Putting tHe Pleasure in Parking Airport Club is delighted to announce the launch of the Parking Plus card.


n line with the ongoing development of our services to our Airport Club members, we are actively working to enhance and expand the range of services in a relevant and meaningful way. Our current members regularly communicate with us to advise and recommend services that they feel would be of benefit to them. One such recommendation was for a parking product that would eliminate the need to pre-book car parking, prepay an annual amount and reconcile one parking expense per annum. And so, Parking Plus was born.

Airport Club, in conjunction with our car parking team, have responded to our members’ request with the launch of the Parking Plus card. Parking Plus offers members all the benefits of the current Airport Club membership plus a great car park offer. The benefit of purchasing a Parking Plus membership is that you never have to pre-book your parking again, annual unlimited parking, payment upfront and only one parking expense per annum. Entrance to the car parks is automated by registration recognition for speedy entry. In consideration of the varying needs

“Airport Club, in conjunction with our car parking team, have responded to our members’ request with the launch of the Parking Plus card.”

Change a Child’s life now

of business travellers and frequent car park users we have developed three Parking Plus offers: Green Parking Plus offers you annual parking in the Express Red long term car park plus speed through the fast track security channel and more. Silver parking plus offers you annual parking in the short term car parks in both terminals plus all the benefits of the standard card. Gold Parking Plus offers you annual VIP parking in the Collins Town executive car parks in both terminals plus all the benefits of the standard Gold membership. For further information, contact us: Ph: +353 1 8144898; E: W:

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Please complete this form and enclose along with your donation to: Barnardos, Christchurch Square, FREEPOST F126, Dublin 8.

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23/07/2013 16:46:48


The long term view Newly appointed deputy chief executive of ESB, Bríd Horan, explains some of the company’s recent successes and outlines their strategy for the future.


ver the past 15 years, the energy sector, and the electricity industry in particular, has changed enormously in terms of the opening up of energy markets and the move towards decarbonisation. “ESB has also changed hugely over this period to accommodate the changes in our environment and the evolving needs of our customers,” explains Bríd Horan, Deputy Chief Executive. “By adapting quickly, effectively and by being open to change, we’ve succeeded in remaining profitable, while continuing to support our customers and the economy with reliable and secure energy.”

Performance Despite the challenges of recent years, 2012 was a period of growth for the electricity provider. One of the key areas of focus was the development of a new company strategy, looking ahead at how the business will address the energy challenges facing Ireland over the coming decades. “The strategy sets a very clear ambition for ESB to remain Ireland’s foremost energy company, competing successfully in the expanding market,” Horan says. “By 2016, our home market will be not just Ireland, but also Great Britain - they will be integrated markets. Our strategy is to continue to expand our generation business to achieve economies of scale in this a much larger market, and in turn, continue to deliver competitive energy supplies to our customers.” ESB’s plans involve continuing the core business of energy, though also

branching into related activities to maximise the potential of existing assets. For example, by using its low voltage network to bring fibre broadband into areas where it isn’t currently available, working towards bridging the current urban-rural digital divide.

Sustainable Future Sustainability has become something of a buzzword in recent years, with moves towards alternative fuels and electric cars, for example, gaining traction as the planet looks increasingly towards the future. “The commitment to a low carbon future remains central to what we do. We began as a renewables company in Ardnacrusha with hydro power, and with the current pressures due to climate change and the need for decarbonisation, we see electricity as being central to that,” says Horan. “Electricity has always been a key enabler of society, but its role is becoming more important as a catalyst for decarbonising the economy. As other industries move towards electricity as a low carbon energy source, it is projected that electricity as a proportion of Ireland’s total energy use will rise from 20 per cent to between 30 and 47 per cent. ESB is committed to playing its part.” Heavy investment to the tune of s6 billion has been made over the last ten years to develop a smarter, more robust network, capable of accommodating higher levels of renewable generation and intelligently integrating the activities of all kinds of users. In addition, since the opening

of the energy markets in Ireland, ESB’s Electric Ireland brand has become well established, and has also tackled the sustainability factor. “It is now a very well recognised and respected brand in Ireland, and has been winning back customers,” explains Horan. “It has been innovative and has brought new technologies into people’s home to help them be smarter in their use of energy.”

Women in Business One subject close to the heart of Horan, and ESB, is that of women in business. “There has been a significant increase in the number of women progressing to more senior levels in Irish business over the last few years which is something I would particularly welcome, not just because it allows women to advance, but also because it increases the talent pool. We in ESB are committed to supporting initiatives to encourage girls in particular to study maths, for example. We continue to work with schools and third level institutions to promote engineering as a career choice.” The future for ESB, in the eyes of Horan and the direction of their strategy is challenging but quite optimistic. “Energy is a very long term business and one of ESB’s key strengths and requirements is to think strategically, and to plan and invest for the long term,” says Horan. “The investment decisions that are made in the energy industry will be with us for decades. You really need to look ahead at the drivers that are shaping the industry, in the long term.” InBusiness | Q2 2013 81

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suBway | IB SurVeY

entrePreneurial adviCe Contributing to the success of the SUBWAY® brand are ambitious franchisees such as Nichaphat Maguire. Why dId you decIde To InveST In A SuBWAy frAnchISe? When we decided to look at a new business opportunity we saw a gap in the market in our local area and realised that Subway was a perfect fit. As a new business owner Subway offered us a lot of training and support which really helped us with the ins and outs of running a successful business.

between the two locations.

WhAT chAllengeS hAve you fAced? We have found the recession to be our biggest challenge; the population has less money to spend than ever before. Our challenge now is to ensure that we maintain our sales and strive to improve them, something we have been fortunate to do over the years.

hoW mAny SToreS do you hAve/hoW mAny PeoPle do you emPloy?

WhAT Are your PlAnS for The fuTure And groWTh?

My husband and I own two stores, both in major shopping centres in the Dublin area. In total we have 14 employees

I feel that we run a successful business and our main focus for the future is to ensure that we continue to run our business well

and provide an excellent service. Important steps for us will include a focus on in-store promotions to build up our sales.

WhAT AdvIce Would you gIve To Someone ThInKIng of BuyIng TheIr fIrST frAnchISe? You need to know exactly what the business entails and how you intend to run it, you have to keep your eye on the ball. Subway is a great franchise opportunity but you need to work hard and understand how it works

Would you do IT AgAIn? If the right opportunity came along then yes!

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*SUBWAY® is the number one QSR brand by total store count (as at January 2012). ©2013 Doctor’s Associate Inc. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor’s Associate Inc.

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Munster Pensioneer Trustees | IB SURVEY

Munster Pensioneer Trustees Fergus Murphy of Munster Pensioneer Trustees discusses why you may be unnecessarily losing hard earned money in your pension.


lmost always when people come to us enquiring about starting a Self Administered Pension Scheme (SAPS) the conversation usually starts the same way; “I am currently paying into a company pension scheme”, “I have no idea or control over what my money is actually being invested in” or “I can’t figure out the insurance company charges”. For the most part people have a handle over their everyday finances. So why do they not take control of their pension in the same way, broaden their investment options and personally oversee its growth? For the most part people are simply not aware of any alternatives and so persist needlessly with their traditional insurance company scheme.

Self-Administration A SAPS is an employer occupational pension scheme. The scheme is ‘self administered’ which simply means that you decide yourself what the pension fund will be invested in. The main difference between this type of pension and any other is that instead of giving your money to an insurance company for them to invest in a fund, you keep the money and invest it in the actual assets yourself. It is commonly used when family members work and own a business together, or for groups of company directors. The scheme is set by a company by creating an irrevocable Trust, which is a separate legal entity from the company. This Trust may then only be accessed by the beneficiary. Under Revenue rules, all self administered pension schemes must have a Revenue approved trustee called a ‘Pensioneer Trustee’. This person/ company is independent of the business

and is a professional pension trustee, and will have experience in dealing with and setting up pensions. They will act as Co-Trustee and control all transactions in the pension with joint signing authority. Munster Pensioneer Trustees are Pensioneer Trustees and, over a course of meetings, draw up the trust document, act as administrator, show you how to get started and advise you of what rules and regulations you need to follow. Charges are fixed based on the activity in your fund regardless of its size, rather than an insurance company’s annual management charge and policy fees based on your fund size. Over recent years many companies and directors have ceased pension contributions in a time when it’s more important than ever to prepare for your retirement, and have chosen to invest elsewhere thus losing the valuable tax benefits associated with pension savings (up to 41 per cent relief on personal contributions). Self administered pensions allow you to save your money in the same places you might feel more comfortable about saving personally, such as in bank deposits, shares or property, whilst still receiving these tax benefits.

Case Study A A client came to us after he lost 40 per cent of his pension in an insurance company-managed property fund he had no control over. We helped him set up a SAPS and he transferred his insured scheme fund to his new scheme’s bank deposit account, and subsequently purchased a local rental investment property with part of his fund. The rental income gets paid into the scheme’s bank account where it accumulates tax

free and the member is finally satisfied that he has invested in tangible bricks and mortar. He also has a fixed interest term bank deposit account which is protected by the Government’s Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Case Study B A family of a company directors contacted us to help them build up their retirement fund with their company contributions after their funds were attracting an annual management charge of 1.5 per cent. Based on their fund size this cost had become uneconomical. In an attempt to avoid future downturns they adopted a low risk strategy with deposits and bonds to protect their pension value while both (the company and members) received the attractive tax benefits. In addition as registered trustee trainers we provided the directors with trustee training to enable them to be fully compliant. Munster Pensioneer Trustees are based in the Mid-West and are happy to discuss your options if a SAPS may be suitable for you.

“For the most part people have a handle over their everyday finances. So why do they not take control of their pension in the same way, broaden their investment options and personally oversee its growth?” InBusiness | Q2 2013 83

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Welcome to Titanic Belfast® spectacular conference and banqueting facilities in an array of architecturally unique spaces.

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Getting Ready for iXBRL Filing of Accounts iXBRL statutory accounts filing is due to become mandatory for a wide range of companies in Ireland in the near future and has some significant implications for business, writes Jon D’Arcy of KPMG.


combination of improved reporting and analysis capability for tax authorities as well as reduced related costs are the likely main drivers for compulsory iXBRL filing – already introduced by HMRC in Britain. Revenue here will have the capability to perform instant analysis of high-value data using their existing computer systems.

iXBRL So what exactly does this all mean? XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a freely available, open and global standard for exchanging business information. A primary use of XBRL is to define and exchange financial information, such as financial statements, in a computer readable format. iXBRL (Inline XBRL) is a development in which the XBRL data is embedded in an XML document such as a published report and accounts. Typically, iXBRL is implemented within HTML documents displayed or printed by web browsers without revealing the XBRL data inside the document. Revenue’s computers will be able to immediately scan and record corporate tax values using this system. This data can then be compared with other taxpayers’ data enabling the authorities to compare and contrast similar sized and structured entities while effectively transferring the reporting and data preparation work to taxpayers at the same time!

Tools Various iXBRL tools are available on the market. They import a Word or Excel document and allow a user to attach ‘tags’ from a taxonomy (an electronic chart of accounts) to matching items

on the accounts. For example, there is a section in the taxonomy called ‘Balance Sheet’ where there are tags for all the items located in a Balance Sheet, such as debtors, fixed assets and share capital. The user transfers the appropriate tag to the appropriate item. The tag attached to the text is usually highlighted to indicate that the text has been tagged. When the Word or Excel statutory accounts are then converted into a HTML document suitable for submission the accounts are still readable and in the same format as the original statutory accounts but hidden in the code is information telling the Revenue Online Service (ROS) that a debtor’s value is, for example, a1 million.

Jon D’Arcy, Head of iXBRL Team at KPMG

inaccurate tagging makes it more likely that a return will be selected for risk analysis leading to a compliance check.


Plan Ahead

Typically we found that clients initially underestimated the difficulties associated with iXBRL. Basic errors will often result in an immediate failure when you submit your accounts. Even if the accounts pass this technical test, the error will be picked up by a tax official. Obvious tagging errors include tagging monetary tags as text or getting the scale wrong on a monetary tag. iXBRL tagging is quicker and less difficult than pure XBRL, meaning it can be used more widely by taxpayers too. The downside is that while certain tags are obvious, others are less so. To be ‘best effort compliant’ a tagger needs to know when to tag an item, what tag is most appropriate and when to have confidence that there is no appropriate tag available at all. Thus we recommend that a qualified accountant should perform the tagging. Interestingly, HMRC in Britain noted that partial or

Our clients in the UK who reacted quickly and set up processes and filed early found the overall process far less onerous than those who ignored the challenge until the last minute. Regardless of whether you do this in-house or outsource the work, you need to allow sufficient time to do so. Someone other than the tagger reviews the tag choices made prior to final submission. iXBRL tagging can be a technically challenging discipline and reviewing tagged accounts is a task for an accountant, not an IT person. Finally, whichever solution or iXBRL vendor you opt for – make sure that their tool and processes include internal-tag validation; functionality as standard. Having a tool that performs all the same tests internally that ROS will perform at the final submission stage means you can rest assured that there will be no mishaps which could cause you to incur penalties. InBusiness | Q2 2013 85

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Law Society of Ireland | IB SURVEY

IPR Management course tailored for all professions The Law Society is providing a new course on how to protect your assets.


marketing or business strategists, science and technology graduates, and lawyers. This intensive course, which takes place over one week, will address the fundamentals of IPRs; the commercialisation, enforcement and valuation of intellectual property; marketing; and e-commerce, data protection and consumer law. The Law Society Diploma Programme has been providing high quality diploma and certificate courses for over a decade. The majority of its courses are aimed at solicitors, although certain courses are open to other suitably qualified professionals with relevant expertise in the area. Mr Murphy reflects that there

are several courses commencing in the autumn which will also be of interest to non-legal professionals. “The Diploma Programme will soon launch their autumn programme with a number of courses that will be particularly relevant to professionals including a Certificate in Data Protection and a Diploma in e-Commerce and Digital Marketing. Technology has rapidly become an integral part of our lives and the Diploma Programme has been at the forefront of introducing related courses and in incorporating technological advances into their delivery of continuing professional development.”

“The Law Society Diploma Programme has been providing high quality diploma and certificate courses for over a decade.”

For further information, you should visit the Diploma Programme website at For reference purposes, please quote ‘InBusiness’ with applications or inquiries.

ntellectual Property Rights (IPR) is an area of law that many believe is purely the domain of the large global companies. This could not be further from the truth, according to Simon Murphy, Chairman of the Education Committee at the Law Society of Ireland: “This area of law has been growing in importance over recent years and the legal implications of ignoring a company’s intellectual property rights can be highly damaging to an organisation.” This July, the Law Society Diploma Programme is running an intensive certificate course in Intellectual Property Rights Management, which will be of significant interest to management,

Diploma Programme Get the competitive edge with a Law Society course

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Chambers in Business Diploma ad April 2013.indd 1

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Irish Law Awards Law School of the Year award winner 2012 and finalist 2013

29/04/2013 16:14

23/07/2013 16:46:53

Claran Consultants | IB SURVEY

Stemming the

Shortage Recruitment and HR Management Agency Claran Consultants have noticed a disturbing trend in the takeup of maths and technology based subjects at the secondary education level and beyond, and urge fellow businesses to join in their solution.


technical recruitment agency which has recently branched out into the ICT sector, Claran Consultants concerns itself with finding the best and the brightest to work across the life science and IT sectors. The company was behind the recent Cork Does the Maths initiative spearheaded by the firm’s Gráinne Bagnall. National and secondary school workshops were held across the county in conjunction with concerned businesses and industry leaders, aimed at highlighting the attractiveness of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects in girls’ schools last April. “We decided that we would go around to the schools and try and encourage an engagement in maths, and try doing it in a fun, proactive way,” explains CEO Mike Halpin. “The idea is to try and take away the stigma of maths. In the national schools, we had great craic. We got them to make little animals out of plasticine and then we animated them, and they’re up on YouTube now. The idea was if you do maths then you could get a cool job in something like animation.” Halpin’s concern about the lack of girls in science and technologicallybased subjects was first raised earlier this year. As an engineer himself, maths has always been close to his own heart, and though his four sisters were also

quite competent in the area, they were all encouraged to go down the non STEM routes. “But that was back in the late 1970s/early 1980s and I thought that had all changed,” he says. I was talking to my sister, a teacher in Kildare, and every single girl in her class wanted to either be a teacher or a nurse. I was flabbergasted. I thought we’d moved on from that in 2013. So when I started looking at the various statistics, I found that only 25 per cent of computer programmers in the United States are female. That’s ridiculous as well, it makes no sense from a demographic level – that’s a large sample. I was saying to myself – our company is doing very well in STEM based industries, so we need to start giving something back. So we thought ‘what could we do to give something back’?” Claran are hoping to target the kids who perhaps think that maths simply just isn’t for them. “We’re not saying that everybody needs to do it – some people maybe just don’t like maths, or perhaps will go on to do languages. We need all sorts. But what we want to do is give kids a choice.” Working off the back of the initiative’s success, Halpin hopes to make this an ongoing effort, and the idea now is to work on a package which can be rolled out to

“We decided that we would go around to the schools and try and encourage an engagement in maths, and try doing it in a fun, proactive way.”

Mike Halpin, CEO, Claran Consultants

other SMEs & multinationals, in the hope that similar events can be held by other firms right across the country. “The next time we’re going to be targeting both boys and girls and if we can get ten or fifteen other companies and we produce a programme for them to roll out, they will receive the benefit of corporate social responsibility in their local communities. If 15 or 20 companies are going out there, doing four schools, now we’re looking at hitting 80 or 100 schools, which would be a huge amount. So in that instance, we are actually making an effective change and that really is what is behind the whole initiative,” adds Halpin. For more information on our Maths Initiative call Mike Halpin on 021 4701100, email or visit InBusiness | Q2 2013 87

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23/07/2013 16:46:54 18/07/2013 15:43:14

Fit for Life | IB SURVEY

Keeping fit for life

You can’t go wrong with employees who wake up every morning with clear minds and plenty of energy to spare.


here are real benefits to fostering a climate of health and fitness in the workplace. Healthy workers tend to be happier, more satisfied and less stressed. In addition, fewer days are lost to sickness and so productivity rises. Fit for Life offers a range of tailor-made programmes, designed to meet the need of companies big and small. The firm not only plan, build and manage on-site gyms for their clients, Fit for Life’s highly trained fitness coaches also offer tailored exercise classes and fitness sessions. Fit for Life also specialises in the hosting of seminars and fairs covering all aspects of nutrition and fitness.

Peak Condition Challenge This eight week challenge is designed to both motivate and educate individuals about the benefits of proper fitness, nutrition and team work. The programme consists of: • A group nutrition talk at the beginning to run through all of the details; • Bi-weekly one to one coaching and assessment sessions for each participants to monitor progress; • Two weekly group exercise sessions; • Home/gym programme to be completed on the days participants aren’t training in the group; • Daily email support, access to a Fit for Life coach for questions and support throughout; • A group talk at the end of the programme to include how to maintain the programmes principles and lessons in the long term.

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Case Study – Vodafone The First Peak Condition Challenge was run in Vodafone at the end of 2011. With eleven participants, total weight loss over the eight weeks was 13.7 stone. At the beginning of the challenge, Fit for Life wanted to assess the health and energy levels of the recruits, beginning with a questionnaire on how healthy and energetic they were feeling. This asked a series of questions concerning their health, energy and blood sugar control, rating each question on a scale of 1 to 5. The lower their score, the better their health and energy levels. For the health part of the questionnaire an ideal score is 14 or less, for the energy and blood sugar control 16 or less. Total health score for the group at the beginning of the program came to 263, which is an average of 32.9. The total energy and blood sugar score added up to 288, and an average of 36.The company

had the recruits retake the test on the last day and the health scores plummeted to 150, an average of 18.75. The energy and blood sugar scores dropped even more to 143 averaging 17.9. That’s a fantastic improvement in health and energy levels in just eight weeks! Improved concentration and ability to work without becoming fatigued were only some of the additional benefits participants reported. The results were so significant most of the participants had no problem doing a video testimonial for Fit for Life. The Challenge is now a regular event for Vodafone while some of Fit for Life’s other customers have also risen to the challenge. To avail of Fit for Life’s services and ensure a happier and healthier workplace for your employees, phone +353 87 278 1671 or visit

Peak Condition Challenge Crew - Eastpoint Business Park. InBusiness | Q2 2013 89

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Height for Hire | IB SURVEY

No order too tall

With over 30 years’ experience in the access industry, Height for Hire is bringing its service closer to the customer.


eight for Hire, the leading access platform rental company in Ireland is launching an appealing new concept. With rising fuel costs, transporting of machines can prove quite expensive to their customers. Harry McArdle, Founder and Owner of Height for Hire explains: “In our fleet we have self drive van mounts with working heights ranging from 10m up to 33m. Customers can collect these van mounts from our depots themselves and drop them back when they are finished.” In some cases these self drives can be used instead of a regular boom lift. “Instead of hiring an articulated boom, our self drives could be used, eliminating the cost of customers having to pay for transport. Essentially

the idea behind this is to bring our service closer to the customer,” says McArdle.

Convenient access Height for Hire has depots in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Belfast. At present, a customer has to drive to one of these depots if they want to collect a self drive. The customer has to wait for the depot to open at 8am, fill out the relevant paperwork and travel to their job. This can be awkward as many prefer to begin work earlier in the morning. Also, the self drive has to be returned before the office closes at 5pm. This results in a person’s working day being greatly reduced. Height for Hire is conscious of making the service convenient to its customer

and plans are now in place to locate these self drives at various locations around the country, making it easier and quicker for its customer to access them. McArdle says: “We are doing exactly what we want to do - bringing our service closer to the customer.” The company’s aim is to be within one hour of everyone.

New system Height for Hire has recently partnered with plant and tool hire company, KWS, which has depots located in Kilkenny, Clonmel and Portlaoise. McArdle outlines the benefits of this partnership. “We can now run machines from these three depots. We also have self drives

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Height for Hire | IB SURVEY available from the Kinnegad/Mullingar region.” For customers in these areas, the self drive machines are now available closer to them. “We are removing the hassle of them having to drive a long distance to one of our depots,” adds McArdle. The company is currently in the process of establishing further locations throughout the country. The new system will allow customers to collect their self drive outside of office hours. The customer can ring in, book their self drive and choose their pickup location. They can arrive at the location at their convenience. By using their own customer fob or smart phone they can gain access to the vehicle. Once inside, they enter their personal PIN code on the keypad located in the glove box and the keys are released; off they go to their job. The machine can then be dropped back to the pickup location during or outside of office hours. The benefits to the customer are obvious: • No waiting until a depot opens to collect your self drive • No delaying your work while you wait for a machine to be delivered • Collect your self drive from our pick up point at a time that suits you and leave it back at a time that suits you • Each customer will have their own fob allowing them to gain access to the vehicle • Customers will also be able to access the vehicle via their smart phone • No driving long distances to pick up your self drive as they will be situated in locations closer to you • If needed, we can come to you. Our Smart Tow system allows us to tow a car behind the self drive, drop the self drive with you and drive away in the car (cheaper than a lorry/truck delivering a machine) It gets even easier. Soon it will be possible to book online and there will be no need to ring the office. These self drive van mounts can be driven on a standard driving licence. They are ideal for all sorts of work including short term jobs, changing locations, film/tv work, bill posting, window cleaning, maintenance of street or sports lighting, painting, roofing and gutter repairs, sign erection, and general maintenance works.

They are a safe alternative to ladders and scaffolding. For home owners who need to repair the gutters or paint the house, the self drive van mounts are ideal. If a number of people in a housing estate want to collectively hire the machine and carry out jobs for a couple of hours at the weekend, the self drive is perfect. It can be driven from location to location and is not time consuming to set up in the way that scaffolding is. The self drive van mount is a cost effective and safe solution for working at height. McArdle says: “This new concept is not just aimed at businesses but we feel the regular person can use this product also.” The self drives are proving popular for county and town councils, university and hospital maintenance companies, facility management companies, roofing companies, telecommunications companies and sign writing companies. Height for Hire supply a wide range of aerial platforms across Ireland and the UK; from battery and diesel scissor lifts to articulated and stick booms, from truck mounted and trailer mounted platforms to telescopic forklifts, not to mention an extensive variety of spider lifts and mobile mini cranes. Operating as Easi UpLifts in the UK and Europe, the company has over 30 years’ experience in the access industry. With over 2,000 access machines in their fleet and operating from 13 depots in four countries, the company has a strong business model which helps them stay at the top. “Our success is a result of our comprehensive business model,” says McArdle. “We buy top quality new equipment so that our rental customers can hire the best the access industry has to offer. However, we also sell directly from our fleet and replenish our stock with newer models, which means our machines never age beyond a 48-month cycle. A rigorous restocking policy ensures that all our mobile elevating work platforms offer the latest advances in powered access platforms.” Founded in 1978 by the Louth native, McArdle and the company have since gone from strength to strength, managing to survive the economic downturn when many of its competitors fell away. During the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years, Height for Hire, like so many others, boomed due to the growth in the

construction sector. The vast majority of the company’s business came from this sector. As the downturn hit the economy, the company was fortunate as it had been proactively exploring other sectors in a bid to broaden their customer base and managed to do this quite well. As a result, the company has seen business come from all types of industries including wind energy, telecommunications, film/tv, security companies, facility management companies, county and town councils, mechanical and electrical installation companies, as well as construction and roofing companies. Coupled with this diversification into other industries has been investment in new machinery over the past decade such as specialised spider machines, Bronto truck mounts, including three 90m trucks and more recently substantial investment in self drive van mounts. It is with these self drive units that the company has seen huge potential and Height for Hire strongly believes the self drives will be popular amongst businesses and homeowners alike. To hire your self drive van mount now or to simply find out more information, call our Head Office on 01 835 2835. InBusiness | Q2 2013 91

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The Panel | IB SURVEY

How to work with your Executive Recruiter There’s a right way and a wrong way of filling senior vacancies. Paul McArdle, Managing Partner of The Panel, offers his advice on how to get the right candidate.


ou have a senior vacancy and you are wondering how to fill it. The overriding objective is that you get the right person to fill the role, not just someone who can simply do it. Here are some handy tips to help you achieve that goal.

• If you give an assignment exclusively, you should be able to negotiate a better rate. • Have all additional possible costs agreed in writing i.e. costs of advertising, hiring of interview rooms etc.

Work with your executive recruiter

Write it down • Write a job specification. It should have a): a brief company history b): job responsibilities c): a profile of the kind of candidate you want to attract (this is key!) d): why it is such a great opportunity. • Distribute the job specification with all the stakeholders, agree and amend accordingly.

Recruit your Recruiter • Choose an executive recruiter that specialises in the area of expertise you are looking to fill. • Invite two or three recruiters to come and meet with the Hiring Manager and HR Manager. • Take references on the recruiter, ideally with a client where they have filled a similar position. • Ask the recruiter to demonstrate how they will go about filling this role. • Get the recruiter to explain how they source and screen their candidates. • Ensure they understand the brief and can deliver on it.

• Give relevant and consistent feedback on candidates presented. • Ask the recruiter to give you candidate feedback. Paul McArdle, Executive Recruiter.

Give clear instructions • Communicate clearly the company culture, ‘fit’ requirements, sectoral experience required, professional qualifications necessary, history of the position, salary range, benefits etc. • If there are certain instructions you want respected, be explicit – i.e. people you don’t want approached or perhaps some information that you would like to remain confidential. • Give the recruiter a number of key selling points to work with; this will help them to attract more relevant candidates.

The commercials • Agree a fee structure, timeframe of delivery and interview process. Appoint one person to be the point of contact in the company for the recruiter to deal with.

• Prepare a competitive offer for your chosen candidate. • Check references thoroughly – your recruiter can help on this. • Meet the candidate in person if possible when making the offer. This will help iron out any issues face to face. • Exchange signed contracts.

And most importantly • Get the recruiter to buy you lunch, you deserve it! The Panel has recruited at executive level for 25 years. Our partners specialise in different areas across finance, banking, legal, financial services, business transformation and all aspects of IT recruitment. We are among the best networked people in these disciplines. For a confidential chat, please call Paul McArdle, Managing Partner on 01 6377041 or email him at

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the inBusiness Boss-word! Please send all completed entries to InBusiness Magazine, Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 to arrive no later than September 30th 2013. The first correct entry drawn will win a fabulous hamper courtesy of Hampers & Co.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Terms and conditions apply.

ACROss 5. 6. 8. 10. 11. 14.

Pledged as security for repayment of loan (10) Evaluate by comparison with the front-runners (12) ________ study; evaluation of a proposal (11) Practice of attracting public attention to a product (11) Finding new workers for a company (11) Estimate of what an interest rate will be at a specified date. (7,4)

DOWn 1. 2.

Money available to invest (7) Venture characterized by innovation and risk (10)

3. 4. 7. 9. 12. 13. 15. 16.

Process of tailoring goods to local markets around the world (13) Memorable phrase used in advertising (6) Person that undertakes to repay loan if borrower defaults (9) Expenses not affected by volume of business (5,5) Tax on local goods, such as alcohol or tobacco. (6,4) Formal plan or suggestion (8) Amounts unpaid and overdue (7) Study of workplace design and impact on workers (10)

tel: 061 202116 | |




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Entries are now open for the 2013 Bar of the Year Awards. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Local Bar of the Year Country Bar of the Year City Bar of the Year Style Bar of the Year Tourist Bar of the Year Hotel Bar of the Year Nightclub of the Year

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Music Venue of the Year Cocktail Bar of the Year Craft Beer Bar of the Year Traditional Bar Food of the Year Customer Service Award Bar Manager of the Year

15 16 17 18 19

Sports Bar of the Year (new) Outside Space of the Year (new) Family Friendly Pub of the Year (new) Bar Entertainment of the Year (new) Best Modern Irish Cooking in a Bar (new)

Promotion/Event of the Year (new)

Email to receive an entry form and be in with a chance to mingle with the winners at the awards ceremony on the 8th of October in the Guinness Storehouse. Closing date for entries is the 23rd of August.

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galway races | events

At the Races Having been described as 'Ireland's Mardi Gras', the Galway Races are an institution. Ireland's biggest event on the equestrian calendar takes the form of a week-long celebration in the bohemian city of Galway.


he City of Tribes will again play host to one of the sporting and social highlights of the Irish summer this year as the 2013 Galway Races Summer Festival takes place from Monday 29th July to Sunday 4th August. The iconic event, which can trace its origins back to 1869, has evolved from a two day meet into one of the biggest racing festivals in the world and now has 52 races taking place over an entire week. Both hurdle and flat races are seen over the course of the event at Ballybrit, a course which is particularly loved by horse-racing fans as the design allows spectators an up-close view of the action. The highlight of the week is arguably the Galway Hurdle which, with a prize of €260,000, is the richest National

Hunt race to be staged in Ireland. The Galway Plate is another big draw with organisers receiving enquiries from trainers all over Ireland and the UK. Following an upgrade on the racecourse facilities this year, racegoers can relax, while still enjoying the action, in the newly refurbished bar and panoramic restaurant. Away from the action on the course, fashion dominates the proceedings with the traditional awards for 'Best Dressed Lady' and 'Best Hat' being joined by a host of new accolades this year, including the ‘Wear Irish’ award. Mad Hatters Day on Sunday is a day for all the family with patrons young and old being invited to don weird and wonderful headgear to be in with a chance to win prizes that include trips to Milan and Barcelona.

After the racing, Galway city develops a carnival atmosphere as the centre is flooded by racegoers celebrating their win or drowning their sorrows and, with no shortage of bars and restaurants on the cobbled streets, the party carries on until the small hours. The busiest days at Ballybrit are traditionally Wednesday, when the Galway Plate is held, and Thursday which is Ladies' Day and the day of the Galway Hurdle. However, with over 150,000 racing fans set to attend, every day of Ireland's biggest equestrian event is sure to have an exhilarating and lively atmosphere. For further information on the Galway Races Summer Festival 2013 visit www. InBusiness | Q2 2013 95

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Web design with WordPress evening course Learn how to build a website for your business or blog and publish it online. Complete 4 evenings and leave this course with your own fully functional site. Learn how to :

Who is it for ?

QInstall, set up and publish a website with all the modern features,

This course is ideal for business owners, bloggers or anyone who wants to create and maintain their own website without getting too much into technical side of things. All you need to join is decent working computer and internet knowledge. No previous experience with WordPress or web design is required.

QConnect domain name, QManage hosting, QApply and customize professional design, QCreate content pages with images and videos, QAdd google maps, slideshows and contact forms, QOptimize your website for search engines

Please visit for more information Alternatively call 01 818 20 39 or email InBus Q2 2013 50_108.indd 96

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Motoring | Lifestyle

Sporting Heritage Rekindled Conor Forrest found the 2012/13 Toyota GT86 a welcome return to form for Toyota, and an immediate contender.


urpose-built sports cars, at least the more affordable ones, are something of an unfortunate rarity in recent years. The Toyota GT86, however, is a most welcome return. The styling from the outside may appear dubious if your first impression comes from a picture seen online or in a catalogue. Something seems a little off, not quite right. It looks sporty, indeed, and different. But you can’t appreciate

everything just yet. And then you catch your first glimpse of the beast in the flesh. And you smile. And walk around to get the bigger picture. And again. And again. Toyota have designed the GT86 as something of a blank canvas on which motoring enthusiasts can paint – the company has explained the car is more so aimed at the track day enthusiast who enjoys modifying their car, and making it their own.

“Toyota have designed the GT86 as something of a blank canvas on which motoring enthusiasts can paint.”

Toyota also says that the GT86 was inspired by the old 2000GT first displayed at the 1965 Tokyo Motorshow, a 2.0 litre straight-six powered coupe which helped establish Toyota’s global reputation as a sports car maker. The similarities are clear – the low to ground profile and the long, sleek hood being chief among them. Unsurprising really, as apparently a 2000GT was placed next to the clay model as designers worked on their idea for a new sports car. And it really is striking – the angry headlights, the bold front and rear fenders, the two massive exhausts squatting down low at the back beneath a thin spoiler perched on the boot, the two-tone alloy wheels InBusiness | Q2 2013 97

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motoring | LIFeStYLe “Besides the magnificent orange-red which suits the slightly mad air to the GT86, there are six other colours to suit your palatte.” setting everything off nicely.

InTerIor Inside, the cabin is somewhat small – getting down and inside is somewhat of a task for those of us with lanky frames and long legs – yet when sitting in the astonishingly comfortable racing seats, there suddenly appears to be acres of room (as long as you’re not sitting in the two back seats), while the boot is a decent size considering the car. The dashboard is a pleasing array of soft lighting and minimal information, black and red stitching adding to the overall effect. Everything is focused on the driver – the shape and layout of each driving element, the small steering wheel, and the seats which grip on tightly. The handbrake is nice and close, and the seats are designed so your elbows don’t keep hitting against the gear stick (always handy) while the centre console is minimalist, making sure you’ll be keeping your eyes on the road. So far so good.

SPIrIT The overall spirit of the car derives from the AE86 – front engine, modest power, rear wheel drive and loads of fun. The engine is a little quieter than expected when you push the start button (keyless entry is also one of the options Toyota offers with the GT86) and doesn’t seem overly out of the ordinary as you pull out into traffic and coast along the road. And then when the traffic clears and you find yourself on a straight stretch of road with the speed limit on your side and you press your foot down, everything

around you begins to blur as you realise these cars were not made for inching along the tarmac, but roaring down the open road. It’s one of those things you can’t just read about – you need to feel it in the flesh. With a 2.0 litre non–turbo charged engine and rear wheel drive, it’s a real driver’s car. 0-60 comes in just 7.6 seconds, in the same region as the older Toyota Celica and MR2. While that may not be astoundingly fast - when combined with a light body and fantastic grip (tyres come from a Prius, not that you would guess), the GT86 positively barrels down the road, eating up the miles, grabbing on to each corner and holding tight until you shoot out the other size, even with the traction control turned off, a testament to the superb engineering best displayed on the track. It’s understandable why the GT86 managed something not many other cars have done - earned the approval of Jeremy Clarkson. Named Top Gear magazine’s car of the year, it is, as Clarkson opines, a car designed with only one thing in mind: fun. And lots of it. And, as Clarkson points out, this isn't simply a car for a younger generation with odd hair and a terrible choice in music, who are only interested in bumpers that must scrape along the ground, and 40” alloys which don't suit the car in any shape or form.

flAWS? This is often the point in motoring columns where the reviewer finishes waxing lyrical about the magnificent features of the car and brings proceedings

resolutely down to earth with a big ‘but.’ But...that just isn’t the case here. Some people have mentioned the bright colours; when driving around I was informed by a local that the special blend Toyota orangered colour wasn’t quite to her liking. This was, of course, completely ignored. After all, this is a sports car, and you simply don't use ordinary colours on such vehicles. Besides the magnificent orangered which suits the slightly mad air to the GT86, there are six other colours to suit your palatte. And sure, though the annual road tax for my particular test model weighed in at a hefty €750 per annum, let’s be realistic – carbon emissions and considerable road tax aren’t going to be high on your agenda if you’re considering the GT86 in the first place. The only drawback I found during my (far too short) week with the GT86 was the ride quality, which wasn’t always the best, but may have had more to do with the quality (or lack thereof) of the roads around Dublin and Kildare. And, of course, the repeated trips to the petrol station. These days, many people seem to be intent on sucking the fun out of driving. Now it’s all about how much carbon it produces, or how high the mpg is – environmental concerns that ensure the car is a utility vehicle whose sole concern is transporting one from A to B and back again. Worthy aspirations they may be indeed, but it’s nice to see a purpose built sports car in the vein of the Skyline, 350Z and the Toyota sports cars of old. Sure its loaded with one or two gizmos and gadgets but underneath it all, it's one that you can simply sit into and drive, with no particular destination in mind - a real driver’s car. And one that puts a real smile on your face.

The fAcTS: cost: €41,085 (april 2013) engine Size: 2.0L BhP: 200 0-60: 7.7 seconds Top Speed: 140mph mPg (Average): 35 Score: 9/10. a little damaging to the wallet, the Gt86 is nonetheless a truly fun and exciting car. Who really needs three meals every day?

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motoring | LIFeStYLe

in a Class of its own The Mercedes flagship badge still holds its own.


ften dubbed a 'luxury barge' due to its sheer size and bulk, the Mercedes S Class has long been Mercedes' flagship model. The new S Class has been recently unveiled in Hamburg and will feature a long list of innovations such as all LCD lighting and

perfumed air conditioning though, unfortunately, no autopilot as of yet. Available in diesel, petrol and hybrid, the base model starts off as a 3.0L V6 diesel, with 258hp, 457 torques and 0-62 in 6.8 seconds, top speed of 250 km/h. Surprising mpg figures of

family fury Audi's new estate isn't for the faint of heart.


f you've ever found yourself driving home from IKEA, transporting a flatpack wardrobe in the rear of your estate and wondering why you couldn't do so while hurtling along at over 200 km/h (not entirely recommended) then Audi has just the car for you. The mad scientists at the home of German engineering have unleashed the Jekyl and Hyde of cars in the form of the RS6 Avant – a nice and safe family estate on the outside, its exterior barely containing the caged sporting beast within. While you'll fit four adults and plenty of luggage in its spacious interior, which includes a whopping 565L boot, the RS6's 4.0L

twin turbo V8 engine produces a quite staggering 568hp which will haul you from 0-62 in just 3.9 seconds, only limited at 250 km/h (not recommended while taking your kids to the zoo, or anywhere, really). Beautiful and beastly at once, there's only one word for the RS6 Avant, and it's €140,300 price tag – bonkers!

mind the road US research reminds drivers to keep their mind as well as their eyes on the road.


s the auto industry veers towards substantially more and more amounts of voice-activated technology, it may want to rethink its position. Recent research from the University of Utah indicates that these applications are actually quite risky for drivers, distracting their minds from the risky business at hand. The tests

64.2 have been tossed around. Sixty cars a year will be sold in Ireland, the first batch reportedly landing in dealerships in September.

ford's sharp focus

Ford's new ST is making a splash.


uiet. Unassuming. Understated. If this is your wish list for your perfect car, the latest Ford Focus ST1 is not for you. With its loud paint, massive alloys, huge mesh grille, full bodykit and expansive rear spoiler perched high above twin centre hexagonal exhausts, this is something of a hooligan's hot hatch. The figures are as impressive as its sharp and sporty outline; its turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost engine produces an eye-watering 247hp and 0-62 takes just 6.5 seconds. If you're trying to do some man-maths at this stage, the ST's carbon emissions place it in the 570 annual tax range and 39 mpg is theoretically possible, provided you wear your lightest footwear. The car itself will set you back 36,800. Worth it? Absolutely.

highlighted that humans have limited 'bandwith' to allocate to driving, and operating voice-based applications can lead to a form of tunnel vision; while you might be staring straight ahead, you're less likely to see what's coming right at you. Food for thought, especially the next time you consider telling your radio to stop playing that same old song. InBusiness | Q2 2013 99

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Book review | LIFeStYLe

Books on Biz InBusiness looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge. STArT IT uP By Graeme McQueen

Starting a new business can be a daunting prospect. If you have ever considered starting your own venture but been put off by simply not knowing how to get started, then Dublin-based business journalist Graeme McQueen's new eBook, Start It Up, is well worth a read. Start It Up tells the story of how 20 Irish entrepreneurs got their businesses off the ground. Through in-depth interviews with the company founders, McQueen takes the reader on a whistlestop tour of life as an entrepreneur, with details about how each startup has been funded, mentors used, what technology the founders employ, how many hours they worked each week in the early stages, and the organisations and agencies that they approached for guidance.

The book is fairly short and to the point, but McQueen features a wide range of companies operating in various sectors. Startups include Dublin-based Huggity, a marketing company founded by Poznanborn Mike Sikorski which has developed a special camera that takes 360-degree, high resolution images at large sporting events and concerts, Irish Bobbles (who make sports figurines) and Motion Fox (who make reflective vests for cyclists). Handily for the reader, the book is punctuated throughout by hyperlinks, which link directly to the websites of the various institutions, agencies, enterprise boards etc mentioned and recommended by the founders. Another useful tool is the 'key takeaway' featured at the end of each chapter which provides an overview of what each company has done particularly well. Start It Up is well worth a read for any budding entrepreneur or anyone that simply enjoys reading about successful businesses. Available as eBook on Amazon priced 2.60.

enTerPrISe In AcTIon: A guIde To enTrePreneurShIP By Peter Lawrence With interest in entrepreneurship

and the popularity of courses on this subject continuing to grow, Enterprise In Action: A Guide To Entrepreneurship will appeal to both business people and students alike. Written by respected business author, Peter Lawrence, Enterprise In Action contains comprehensive coverage of the key issues in entrepreneurship, such as: What gives rise to entrepreneurial opportunity?; How to exploit trends; What is the role of innovation / originality?; What is execution and does it differ from implementation?; What do established SMEs do to survive in the middle term? These topics will be of particular

“The book is punctuated throughout by hyperlinks, which link directly to the websites of the various institutions,agencies, enterprise boards etc mentioned and recommended by the founders.”

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Book review | LIFeStYLe interest to the MBA and professional market, showing how practical success is influenced by factors such as industry dynamics, entry barriers and core competence. In addition, the clear accounts of concepts and processes, and supporting study exercises at the end of each chapter, make the content accessible to all readers. Raising understanding of these themes by exploring a variety of examples from a range of countries, this new title demonstrates the dynamics of enterprise creation and its development over time, flagging up areas which favour success and breathing fresh life into the subject. Available in hardback on Amazon priced 22.49.

mAnAgIng lITIgATIon for your BuSIneSS By Rachel Fehily Conflict that causes litigation can have a seriously damaging effect on your organisation. Win or lose, if litigation becomes long and drawn-out, it can rob you of your time, energy and resources. It is vitally important that owners, partners, directors and managers who want to run their business well recognise the danger posed by conflict that leads to litigation and work to avoid it. According to the author, Rachel Fehily, “Every time a manager faces a difficult situation it has the potential to turn into a small costly war. Managing Litigation for your Business will give managers the tools they need to cope effectively, so that these situations don't escalate out of control.”

“Every time a manager faces a difficult situation it has the potential to turn into a small costly war.”

If litigation is unavoidable, then managers also must learn to deal with it effectively, because if it is allowed to become out of control and acrimonious, it can badly affect your organisation’s relationships and reputation – and even may cause its destruction. Managing Litigation for your Business outlines concisely how any business owner can limit the potential damage that conflict, threatened litigation or litigation in action might cause their organisation. Some of the advice provided includes recognising and dealing with situations that may cause conflict to arise in your organisation; defusing situations where litigation is threatened; how to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR); hiring the right lawyer; instructing your lawyer to resolve potential litigation by negotiation in a timely and cost effective manner; running your case effectively; controlling your costs; and dealing with post-litigation issues. Available on Kindle for 4.99.

BAcK In The drIvIng SeAT: creATIng your oWn BuSIneSS recovery By George Mordaunt Business man George Mordaunt does not hold back in his new book Back in the Driving Seat, sequel to the much acclaimed Shepherd’s Pie, which received international media attention for its excruciating honesty on how the recession devastated Mordaunt’s business and personal life and his first steps to recovery. Back in the Driving Seat is a natural follow on, written in response to the reaction that Mordaunt received from other business people who

were privately suffering, people who were inspired by his story and were seeking help and advice on how they too could be an active participant in their own recovery, a mantra that Mordaunt lives by. Launching at a time when bank debt is a hot topic, Back in the Driving Seat gives a step-by-step guide to recovery, the first to chart the process of a debt resolution programme with confidential details of the steps Mordaunt took himself and the unpopular decisions he had to make to ensure the survival of his own business, and is the first to confirm the existence of debt write off and a policy document on debt write-off in Irish banks. Overall, Back in the Driving Seat is a good read and presents a valuable insight into how Irish business people can overcome the grip of austerity and become active participants in their own recovery. Back in the Driving Seat is priced at �14.99 in all good book shops. It is also available in eBook format from all the usual outlets. InBusiness | Q2 2013 101

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gadgets | LIFeStYLe

gadget nation InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eye catching gadgets on the market. PAnASonIc lumIx dmc-TZ40 The popular Panasonic Lumix range has a new offering in the form of an advanced 18 megapixel photo and video hybrid in a compact and simple design. While it may not have the bulk and overwhelming number of controls that has become fashionable, it is no way inferior for its smaller stature. In fact, this pocket camera offers flexibility and convenience with a 20x Optical Zoom and image colours that are second-to-none. In addition, it has the ability to collect the right amount of light indoors without the need for the flash and its intuitive controls make it easy and quick to use. With the integrated WiFi and NFC (near field communication) capabilities it allows you to share your photos easily by either uploading them to the web or transferring them to other NFC devices by simply touching them together. And if all that is not enough, high quality video recording, a wide range of creative modes and a reasonable price make this one of the best pocket ultrazoom cameras around. Available in a range of colours from Panasonic stockists nationwide for â‚Ź319.

Sony xPerIA TABleT Z When Sony released the Xperia Z Smartphone in February it was claimed to have the most advanced water and dust resistant technology available on the market. They have now brought that technology to the tablet market with the Xperia Tablet Z. Not only can you rest easy if you are caught in a sudden summer shower, it is also the slimmest 10� tablet available (6.9mm) and lightweight at only 495g. It is the first tablet to run on Snapdragon S4 Pro asynchronous quad core processor and with the display powered by Mobile Bravia Engine 2 for enhanced colour reproduction it delivers an experience akin to TV. Connectivity options are also improved with the ability to transfer content from tablet to TV or speaker and from phone to tablet simply by touching devices together.

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gadgets | LIFeStYLe STK AcceSSorIeS glAZe TemPered ShIeld for The SAmSung gAlAxy S4

moTorolA WhITe rAZr I

That polished and stylish Samsung Galaxy S4 is incandescent with unspoiled, shiny newness when it is taken out of the box, but past experience with smartphones tells us that within a week scratch marks will begin appearing on the screen and you may start to contemplate the purchase of a clunky cover. However, help is at hand with STK Accessories Glaze Tempered Shield which is custom made for the S4. At only 0.4mm thick it won't add extra dimensions to your new phone and we found the shatter proof, scratch resistant glass shield easy to apply by simply sticking it to the screen. As it has been made especially for the S4, it is available in black or white and once it is on the screen it is virtually unnoticable as it does not bubble. There is also a special coating that prevents oily residue from remaining on the screen without affecting the touch sensitivity. The beveled edge keeps the device safe from cracked and chipped edges so you can protect your new phone without ruining its stylish aesthetics. Available from www. for £29.95 plus £19.95 shipping (approx. €58.50).

hIPKey On average, one smartphone is lost per person, per year. Besides the financial consideration, that adds up to a lot of stress and missing personal information. The hipKey, from Danish company Hippih, will notify you when you are walking out of that café while your iPhone languishes on the counter. The Bluetooth 4.0-enabled alarm connects to iPhones and iPads via a free app. The in-built motion sensors will then trigger an alarm if the iOS device is outside the safe distance set by the user. Not only can the hipKey keep track of your much-loved devices, it can also be used to alert you if your bag has moved beyond your proximity or your children wander too far from you. Once the hipKey is connected to your device, they can also be used to find each other. The 'Safe Zone' feature means there's no need to worry that the alarm will be triggered constantly while you are in your home as it allows you to designate certain areas where the proximity alarm will be disabled. At only 50mm in diameter, the hipKey can be attached to a bag or keyring. It is available from for €84.95.

With the acquisition of Motorola's cellular division by Google in 2011, the Razr range is now being given a more high-profile outing by its parent company. The stand-out feature of the sleek, white Razr i is the Super AMOLED edge to edge display which offers vibrancy and 40 per cent more screen space than the iPhone 4s. In addition to its good looks, this powerful device houses an Intel processor and can give up to 20 hours battery life on a single charge. While the new Razr is compact, weighing in at only 126g, it is also a hardy handset with splash and scratch resistant properties. For a personalised experience, the SmartActions app allows the user to pre-programme the phone to perform various actions when the device recognises various triggers or at certain times. This handset has surely been released to rival competitors such as the HTC One and Sony Xperia S and, with its full screen and speed, it may just have the edge. Available on eMobile and Meteor from free on bill pay plans. Also available in black from O2, eMobile and Meteor from free on bill pay plans. InBusiness | Q2 2013 103

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travel XXX | LIFeStYLe

The captivating capital of Vietnam offers all the frenetic energy you would expect of a south-east Asian metropolis but gives so much more with its dense history, French colonial streets and spectacular day trips, as Sarah Kavanagh discovered. Pagoda of Tran Quoc temple in Hanoi, Vietnam


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TRAVEL | Lifestyle


ith six million inhabitants and three million motorbikes, Vietnam's capital city is buzzing. Lying on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi has been the country's principal city since 1010 AD. From 1902 to 1953 it served as the capital of French Indochina and the city's tree-lined boulevards, colonial buildings and prevalence of baguettes and coffee speak of the Gallic influence on the city. Following years of turmoil including the Japanese occupation of World War II, the communist revolution, the French Indo-China War, and the conflict with America, Hanoi was eventually proclaimed as the capital of a reunified Vietnam in 1976. Despite heavy bombing by the US during the Vietnam war, Hanoi quickly repaired itself and is today a beguiling mix of Chinese, Vietnamese and French aesthetics. This medley of influences has resulted in a city that is jam-packed with history, culture and gastronomic delights.

The Old Quarter


The heart and soul of the city remains in the cobbled streets of the Old Quarter where hawkers sell everything from bananas to war memorabilia and cyclo drivers compete for business in the labyrinthine streets. Artisan guilds were traditionally clustered by speciality along the 36 shopping streets of the Old Quarter and, while this tradition is not strictly followed now, all things silver can still be found on

Vietnamese vendor in Hanoi

Silver Street and Shoe Street is the place to go for footwear. Trinket stalls and tiny shops line the bustling streets while food stalls and bia hoi (local draught beer) stands spill onto the path with seating for customers in the form of tiny plastic chairs. The overwhelming scents of the exotic are only outdone by the sheer spectacle that is Hanoi's traffic. Bumper to bumper and countless lanes wide, mopeds swarm through the streets, some with whole families riding pillion. While it may be daunting, or even downright terrifying, crossing the street is a skill quickly learned. The best advice is to do as the locals do; cross when you see a slight break in traffic, move confidently, and do not stop! While the noise and mayhem are all part of what makes Hanoi unique and appealing, there are tranquil oases where the city's population retreat to practice t'ai chi, play chess, and simply relax while watching the world go by. Adjacent to the Old Quarter is one of the city's best examples of this - Hoan Kiem lake, or Lake of the Returned Sword. According to legend, giant turtles live in the water and a stuffed version – said to have weighed 250kg – is on display in Ngoc Son Temple, which sits on a little island in the northern part of the lake.

History With so many turbulent years in Vietnam's past, war museums and other places of historic interest are inescapable. As a result of numerous

Travel Info Getting there Etihad Airways fly once daily (except for Tuesdays) from Dublin to Hanoi via Abu Dhabi. Prices start at f680 one way. For more information log on to

Accommodation Maison D'Hanoi Boutique Hotel is ideally located in the Old Quarter and close to Hoan Kiem lake. A mix of French Colonial and Asian design, the hotel reflects the convergence of cultures that is emblematic of Hanoi itself. With prices starting at €43 per room, this contemporary hotel is great value for money. Bookings can be made directly on www.

Eating out While Hanoi's street food is diverse and exciting, eating kerbside may not appeal to everyone. To sample some authentic Vietnamese cuisine in comfortable surroundings, Highway Four is highly recommended and conveniently located beside Hoan Kiem lake. For more details log on to

Getting around Cyclos (three wheeled bicycles with driver) ply the streets of the Old Quarter and are fantastic if you just want to get off your feet and sit back for a while. However they are quite slow and cannot go far, so for long distances hail a taxi. Just make sure you agree a price with the driver before leaving or ensure he has turned on the meter.

American films and books, the Vietnam war – or American war as it is known here – is arguably the most wellknown of these conflicts. Invariably, the Vietnamese are stereotyped as either the cruel villain or cowardly traitor. The Vietnam Military History Museum offers a well stocked and absorbing exhibit and, while it is heavily biased against the Americans, it is interesting to see the 19-year conflict from a different perspective. Hỏa Lò InBusiness | Q2 2013 105

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TRAVEL | LIFESTYLE Prison – known as the Hanoi Hilton by American soldiers during the war – was demolished in the 1990s but a museum now stands in its place and includes items such as the uniform of former Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, who spent some of his time as a POW here. Hanoi's history is much more than just a war however. While it is now a modern city, there are a plethora of cultural activities which originated hundreds of years ago. The most famous is the art of water puppetry which dates back as far as the 11th century when villagers used the puppets to entertain each other when the rice fields would flood. Daily shows take place in the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre near Hoan Kiem Lake and are purportedly the best in Vietnam.

© IvNikolny


Vietnamese Pho

From noodle soup to French baguettes, the diverse food in Hanoi bombards your senses at every turn. Options for places to dine range from kerbside stalls to rooftop restaurants and everywhere in between. Food is as much a part of the Vietnamese capital as mopeds and museums. The ubiquitous Vietnamese pho (noodle soup with ginger, lime and chillies) never tastes the same twice and is so loved that it is available in almost every restaurant, including high-class establishments. Bun Cha (barbecued pork) and Cha Ca La Vong (marinated fish) are local specialities not to be missed.

HALONG BAY While the energy and fervour of Hanoi is exhilarating, it may not be long

Halong Bay

“Jutting towers of limestone exploding from a placid blue sea justify Halong Bay's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site instantly.” before some tranquillity and fresh air is sorely needed. Luckily, it is only a two hour trip to one of the world's greatest landscapes. Jutting towers of limestone exploding from a placid blue sea justify Halong Bay's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site instantly. Thousands of these limestone karsts are dotted around the bay forming caves and channels. An overnight stay on a junk ship is easily arranged and well worth it to sit on the upper deck and

watch the sun set around these marvels of nature. Hanoi is a city of contradictions; manic traffic circles tranquil parks, dingy alleyways lead to bright boulevards, and heartbreaking reminders of war stand next to restaurants filled with happy families. These contradictions are what make it unique, vibrant and dynamic and this ever changing and still growing city really makes you feel alive.

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the last word

Tech Wizard Dublin Web Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave tells Dean Van Nguyen about this year’s event, growing up on a milk farm and how Irish entrepreneurs can be at the centre of the digital retail revolution.

Paddy Cosgrave, Founder of Dublin Web Summit, speaking on the main stage at the Dublin Web Summit.


nitially plotted in the sitting rooms of co-founders Daire Hickey, David Kelly and Paddy Cosgrave in 2010, the Dublin Web Summit’s rise to becoming the largest tech festival in Europe has been nothing short of dazzling, and the final coronation of the event on a global scale is set to be completed this October when the NASDAQ opening bell will be rung live on the RDS main stage, marking the first time a major stock exchange has ever been opened in Ireland. NASDAQ’s decision is a major accomplishment for the three young Irishmen, particularly when you consider that, according to Cosgrave, the stock exchange’s decision to break from regular protocol has been made purely for their own self interest. “The reason NASDAQ has chosen to

open the marker remotely from Dublin is that they feel very strongly that so many of the tech companies that will be in Dublin for the web summit from all over the world are very likely to go public in the coming years,” explains the 30-year-old. “And if they’re going to go public, more often than not, it’s a battle between choosing NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange. Traditionally NASDAQ has been the choice among technology companies like Apple and Facebook and I think they’re keen to maintain that and being in Dublin gives them an opportunity to meet with a lot of the CEOs of these companies, some of whom I hope are Irish, and persuade them that NASDAQ should be the exchange of choice if they go public in the coming years.”

A Farming Background Recognised internationally for what he and his colleagues have achieved in a short space of time, Cosgrave’s background is actually less than typical of your average tech wiz. Growing up on a farm in Wicklow, his dad milked cows for a living, but the senior Cosgrave had a hobby that would provide his son with a solid education for his future endeavours. “From the day I was born my house was filled with all sorts of computers, from Apple to the first kind of gaming consoles to the very earliest PDAs [personal digital assistants or palmtop computers],” remembers Cosgrave. “I got the internet in maybe ’92. It was a pretty odd existence. In the early nineties on a farm in Wicklow, you were surrounded InBusiness | Q2 2013 107

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tHe last word by computers and you had the internet but that was the world I grew up in.” Cosgrave studied political science and economics in Trinity College before organising the first Web Summit in 2010. Having doubled in size every year since its inception, there is expected to be somewhere in the region of 7,000 to 8,000 attendees at this year’s event (about 1,500 to 2,000 of which will be from Ireland) making it the country’s largest business conference by quite some way. Cosgrave believes interest in the summit is due to every sector of business being affected by changes in technology and their eagerness not to fall behind. “You might have a family bicycle shop for 50 years,” he uses as an example. “All your family did was sell bicycles out of your shop on, it could be Camden Street, for example. But then suddenly, your competitor used to be down the street but now your biggest competitor happens to be an online bicycle store in Northern Ireland you never thought would be a threat and these guys are eating your business. So what do you do about? There are small to medium sized businesses all over Ireland especially in retail that are being hammered, but there is no reason that these companies can’t go online.”

BenefITS of The WeB SummIT As the scale of the Web Summit has escalated so has the diversity of speakers at the events. In addition, one of their biggest growth areas in terms of Irish attendees has been the increase in small to medium sized businesses. Cosgrave attributes this to start ups' eagerness not only to learn about new technologies, but to hear the wide array of talks and lectures that now take place. “The web summit is this kind of once in the year opportunity to inspire your team,” he explains. “You’re going to hear from some of the most inspiring and exceptional entrepreneurs from around the world behind everything from Skype to YouTube to Evernote and that’s kind of rare in the year that that happens in Ireland.” Primarily though, Cosgrave believes that the Web Summit’s chief role in the development of Irish business is giving those natural entrepreneurs the best chance possible of succeeding in

Barry O'Leary, CEO, IDA with Michael Acton Smith, Founder, Moshi Monsters, Paddy Cosgrave, Founder of Dublin Web Summit and Ryan Holmes, Founder of Hootsuite at the 2012 F.ounders event.

an increasingly digital world by arming them with the knowledge they require. “People only a few years ago were in a similar position to them. They either ran a small business or didn’t have a business at all and in the period of three to five years were able to build, in many cases with limited experience, incredible businesses. At the end of the day, in many cases successful tech entrepreneurs are either very technical people or they're business people without a huge amount of technical knowledge. In Ireland there are a huge number of business people who are natural entrepreneurs. There’s something about Irish culture that just kind of breathes entrepreneurship. If you look at the rates of entrepreneurship, small to medium sized entrepreneurship in Ireland, it's huge compared to lots of our neighbouring European countries. They’ve got great business sense, great natural ability and find they don’t have the technical knowledge but that can be learned quite quickly. The evidence for that [is that there] are lots of the founders of some incredible tech companies weren’t engineers. Instead they were business people who applied their business sense and their entrepreneurship to the online world. “Ultimately, the customer doesn’t change,” he adds. “The customer is still you or me; the human being at the other end of the screen. It’s just about figuring out the elements of the technology in between and that’s becoming less and less complicated. It’s never been cheaper to build a website; it’s never been cheaper to grow a business online and the cheaper it becomes the lower the risk it becomes.”

InfInITe groWTh In addition to his work on the Web Summit, Cosgrave was also instrumental in establishing F.ounders, an annual closed gathering of some of the world’s leading tech company founders which has been described as “one of the hottest events in tech” by CNN. The exclusivity of F.ounders offers a flipside of the diversity of the Web Summit, with the event’s growth and development showing no signs of slowing down. “If somebody had told me when we had 500 people in the first year – which I thought was crazy – if I thought three years later it would be ten times and more the size of that?” Cosgrave considers. “No, I’d have thought that was silly.”

ABouT The duBlIn WeB SummIT The Dublin Web Summit takes place at the RDS from Tuesday October 29th to Thursday 31st. The largest tech festival in Europe, more than 7,000 attendees from around the world will be present at the event, with tech giants like Microsoft, Adobe and Facebook among those to be represented. The summit will also host more than 350 speakers, including Matt Mullenweg of Wordpress, David Marcus of PayPal and Tony Hawk from the Tony Hawk Foundation. For more information visit www.

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Call 1800 303 504 Visit General terms, conditions and fair usage policy apply, see Bundle includes Talktime for Business Level 1, eFibre Business Professional and eMobile Small Business Unlimited. Where eFibre is not available a DSL service alternative will be provided and broadband speeds may be lower. Talktime and Broadband subject to 12 month contract. eMobile plans subject to 18 month contract. Prices quoted ex VAT and valid for duration of the contract. Applies to new connections only. Specific handset range applies. Handset range subject to change during life of promotion. eMobile terms and conditions at Closing date 30th September 2013.

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SOCIAL MEDIA ETIQUETTE The benefits of having policy in the workplace

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Smith & Williamson’s Seán McNamara on debt restructuring

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