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CAMPION ON MENTORS SERIES JOHN THE ART OF ASKING

InBUSINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

Q2 2016

LET’S GET

OUT OF THE

THE RISE OF ARVR TECHNOLOGY

ROUGH

Our Man in

HOW CORPORATE GOLF IS MAKING A COMEBACK

InBUSINESS Q2 2016

PANAMA THE IRISHMAN WHO LED THE PANAMA PAPERS INVESTIGATION

Bridging

GAP

the

ENTERPRISE IRELAND CHIEF

FEMALE FOUNDERS

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772009 393018

2.70

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JULIE SINNAMON ON BACKING

18/07/2016 17:17


i want to invest...

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Talk to your Financial Broker or Advisor today.

Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up. Warning: These funds may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates. Warning: If you invest in these funds you may lose some or all of the money that you invest. You may invest in iFunds through a life assurance policy with New Ireland Assurance Company plc. Terms and conditions apply. New Ireland Assurance Company plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of Bank of Ireland Group. The Company may hold units in the funds mentioned on its own account.

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Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant: Susan McDermott (Chambers Ireland) Commercial Editor: Conor Forrest Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Contributors: Orla Connolly Conor Forrest Valerie Jordan Olive Keogh John Kinsella Rachel Murray Christopher O’Riordan Front Cover Photography: Jason Clarke Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon

Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: info@ashville.com Web: www.ashville.com On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: info@chambers.ie Web: www.chambers.ie All articles © Ashville Media Group 2016. 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

16

Entrepreneur

Founder of marketing agency Thinkhouse, Jane McDaid, on connecting with youth audiences and saying “no” to compromise

24

Business of Sport

Though predominantly known as a supplier to the GAA, O’Neills has its eye on a much broader market base Words: Conor Forrest

26

20

Words: John Kinsella

31

Our Man in Panama

We spoke with Irishman Gerard Ryle who headed up the investigation into the now notorious Panama Papers Words: Joseph O’Connor

Bridging the Gap

We spoke to Enterprise Ireland’s Julie Sinnamon to discover how the agency went about boosting the percentage of female-led Irish start-ups MENTORS

Industry

Corporate golf is back on the agenda. We look at how clubs are getting golfers back on the fairways

COVER STORY:

MENTORS

The

Opportunist CONOR FORREST sat down with successful Irish businessman John Campion to discuss how a former roadie from Cork wound up at the helm of a multi-million dollar energy firm.

W

hat do Thin Lizzie, David Bowie and Billy Coleman have in common? They all proved inspirational, in some form or another, for a young man from Cork who would grow up to make his mark on the world’s energy industry. That man is John Campion, who is sitting across from me in The Merrion Hotel, chatting animatedly about lessons learned from business, Michael Jackson, and cars. There’s something quite immediately interesting about him. It’s not simply the fact that he jets around the world on his own private plane, nor the fact that one of his daily drivers is a classic Porsche. What’s really interesting is the manner in which he has acquired them, not to mention his outlook on life. FROM CORK TO CAROLINA Campion was born in 1963, when Eamon de Valera was still Ireland’s President, Shelbourne had won the FAI Cup for just the third time, and

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President John F. Kennedy arrived in Dublin to a raucous reception. An average student, Campion was held back twice in secondary school and was told that he was unlikely to amount to anything significant in life. Instead of proving his doubters right, Campion has wholeheartedly gone and done the contrary. His story is very much that of David and Goliath. Like many of his compatriots, Campion crossed the Atlantic in search of better prospects, travelling as a lighting technician for a small Irish rock band known as the Mama’s Boys. Out in America, he jumped ship and went to work for a rock and roll lighting company. Bigger and better things beckoned, and his path to success was hastened by his own initiative. Working on the David Bowie Glass Spider tour in Manchester in 1987, he noticed a malfunctioning junction box before one of the evening shows. Taking the initiative, Campion managed to fix it. Standing, watching over his shoulder, was the man himself, InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

Illustration courtesy of Jen Murphy (@JenJen_Murf). Jen is a graphic design and caricature artist based in the west of Ireland. For further details contact: jenmurphy.designs@gmail.com

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

Jen Murphy

Editor: Joseph O’Connor

41

MENTORS:

John Campion

The successful businessman who went from concert roadie to the helm of a multi-million dollar energy firm Words: Conor Forrest

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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18/07/2016 16:45


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19/05/2016 18/07/2016 11:00 15:05


JOHN CAMPION ON MENTORS SERIES THE ART OF ASKING

InBUSINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

Q2 2016

LET’S GET

OUT OF THE

THE RISE OF ARVR TECHNOLOGY

ROUGH

Our Man in

HOW CORPORATE GOLF IS MAKING A COMEBACK

InBUSINESS Q2 2016

PANAMA THE IRISHMAN WHO LED THE PANAMA PAPERS INVESTIGATION

Bridging

GAP

the

ENTERPRISE IRELAND CHIEF

FEMALE FOUNDERS

02

9

772009 393018

a2.70

@InBUSINESSIre

JULIE SINNAMON ON BACKING

Go to chambers.ie for the online edition

[RED ON BLUE] Back in June, photographer Jason Clarke went on location to the Dean Dublin for the InBUSINESS cover shoot with Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon. The sophisticated surroundings of the boutique hotel’s Blue Room provided the perfect setting to put our subject at ease and for Jason to work his lens. For more information on holding an event at the Dean Dublin visit deandublin.ie.

35

24

Snapchat

44

Lois Kapila, co-founder and managing editor, Dublin Inquirer

44

Let’s Get Virtual

A look at the rise of virtual and augmented reality and the sectors it will likely impact

128

Words: Valerie Jordan

48

Book Extract

An extract from Yanis Varoufakis’ new book And the Weak Suffer What They Must? [LIFESTYLE] 124

MOTORING:

New offerings from Renault and Jaguar 128

INNOVATION:

Virtual Reality (VR) technology 130

TRAVEL:

Finding faith in Ethiopia 133

BOOKS:

Quintessential Feargal 134

FASHION:

Top picks from this season’s coolest trends InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

50

In Conversation

Regina Breheny on the venture capital industry in Ireland and the importance of VC for both entrepreneurs and the greater economy Words: Valerie Jordan [REGULARS]

36

Opsh is taking the hassle out of shopping by bringing the best of the High Street into one easy to shop site Our Local Government InBUSINESS Supplement continues to WESTERN FRONT look at the important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page

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5 Business News 10 Movers & Shakers 13 Opportunity Ireland 14 Start-Up Central

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136 The IB Index

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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT •

Local groups honoured in Wicklow, Beijing comes to the capital and a budget for action in Louth.

Developing culture in Limerick, Kerry unveils tourist attraction and award win for saucy start-up.

IoT project launched in Mayo, Sligo’s Swiss Valley opens to the public and gastronomy win for Galway.

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Key stakeholders in the West of Ireland are working to ensure the regional economy continues to propser in the years ahead.

INNOVATION VILLAGE Plans for the Local Enterprise Village at this year’s Ploughing Championships have been unveiled.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

LOCAL LEADERS IN 26ENERGY EFFICIENCY Having become the first local authority in the country to achieve ISO 50001 accreditation, Cork County Council’s energy policies are having positive knock-on-effects for the local economy.

In Association with CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100 HEX: A8CB17

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18/07/2016 15:06


BUSINESS

BUSINESS NEWS

BROWN BAG OPENS FLAGSHIP STUDIO

A

ward-winning film production company Brown Bag Films has launched its new 30,000 square foot animation studio in Smithfield, Dublin. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor joined managing director Cathal Gaffney for the opening on May 27th. With the new studio, Brown Bag Films intends to grow its current staff numbers from 184 to a team of 255 by 2018, as it continues to expand its global reach with awardwinning content.

Judith Williams, Global Head of Diversity, Dropbox, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer, Accenture and Ann O’Dea, Founder, Inspirefest

SCIENCE, TECH AND ARTS EVENT CONTINUES

TO INSPIRE

Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Mary Buckley, IDA Ireland (pictured in centre) joined Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, Brown Bag Films, Neil Court, Executive Chairman, 9 Story Media Group and staff for the opening of their new Smithfield studio

BAGGING AWARDS

OSCAR NOMINATIONS Give Up Yer Aul Sins (2002) Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty (2010)

EMMY AWARDS Peter Rabbit (2014)

BAFTA, EMMY AND ANNIE NOMINATIONS FOR THEIR HIT SHOWS Octonauts Doc McStuffins Henry Hugglemonster

An audience of over 2,000 gathered at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre to hear more than 50 leading international thinkers address a range of key science, tech and arts issues facing the world today. Inspirefest 2016, Europe’s premier boutique sci-tech event, discussed issues as diverse as the potential of philosophy to improve health services; the opportunities presented by the convergence of arts and technology; the changing nature of the media landscape, the rapidly evolving world of work, and how the collaborative economy is changing our lives quite dramatically.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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BUSINESS NEWS

BREXIT Irish business leaders have been digesting what Britain’s decision to leave the EU means for Ireland. “This is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen. The Anglo-Irish Agreement and Europe have been so good for Ireland and trade. This is the opposite.” Michael Smurfit, Former Chief Executive, Jefferson Smurfit “Ireland should be at the EU negotiating table engaging in the discussions to ensure the potential outcomes of any negotiations are in the best interests of Ireland, our people and our economy.” Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC “While not what we had hoped for – the situation may present opportunity for Ireland in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. Ireland will remain a member of the European Union with full market access and that will be attractive to investors.” Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive, IDA Ireland “The Government must give a clear signal that the issues of major importance to this sector, our trading relationship with the UK and Northern Ireland and the EU budget, will be central to the EU-UK negotiations.” Joe Healy, President, IFA “Ireland is a flexible, competitive and highly skilled economy and an attractive place to do business – something that can play to our advantage as internationally mobile business considers its options in the post-Brexit world.” Brendan Jennings, Managing Partner, Deloitte For advice from Chambers Ireland on what Brexit means for your business turn to page 56

PICTURE THIS

Niall Roche, one of pioneers of kite surfing in Ireland and owner of the country’s first dedicated kite surf school, opened a new watersports centre in Rosslare, Co Wexford in June.

Business

BITES

VIRGIN ACQUIRES UTV IRELAND Virgin Media has announced that it has entered into an agreement with ITV plc to acquire UTV Ireland, the nation’s newest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, for a purchase price of 10 million.

IBRC INVESTIGATION GIVEN

M

inister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has published a bill to help resolve the difficulties facing the Commission of Investigation looking into IBRC, which was set up last year. Under the bill, the Commission has been given extra powers to address issues raised about the confidentiality of some documents relating to IBRC. The Commission will also be given the same powers, rights and privilege of the High Court or a High Court judge in relation to its probe into IBRC. The Commission of Investigation was set up to investigate transactions and activities of IBRC between January 2009 and February 2013. It is looking at transactions which resulted in capital losses to IBRC of at least 10 million or which have been identified by the Commission as giving rise or likely to give rise to potential public concern. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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BUSINESS NEWS

Raffaella Bonomonte, Director of PayPal in Ireland, is pictured with Louise Phelan, Vice President of Global Operations for EMEA at the signing of the Diversity Charter Ireland

PAYPAL’S PRIDE IN SIGNING DIVERSITY CHARTER As part of its Diversity Inclusion Week, which ran from June 13th to 17th, PayPal signed the Diversity Charter Ireland, a seven-point plan supported by the European Commission. The Charter, which was signed by Raffaella Bonomonte, Director of PayPal in Ireland, strengthens PayPal’s commitment to prevent discrimination and promote equality in the organisation. Louise Phelan, PayPal’s Vice President of Global Operations for EMEA, said: “It’s a powerful statement of our commitment to ensuring that we support a culture that is characterised by respect and appreciation for each individual’s diversity.” As part of Diversity Inclusion week, the pride flag flew outside PayPal’s centres of excellence in Dublin and Dundalk throughout the month of June, while the company formally launched its LGBT network, PayPal Pride.

CENTRAL BANK OVERSEES REGULATION OF MARKETS

NEW CAR SALES TOP 100,000

The Central Bank has taken on a greater role in the regulation of market abuse in EU-wide changes that include new legal controls over companies trading on Dublin’s Enterprise Securities Market and Global Emerging Markets.

New car sales for the first six months surpassed 100,000 and are up 23 per cent on the same period last year. Figures released by SIMI on the first day of the new 162 registration plate showed a total of 101,328 new cars were registered up to June 30th.

P20

“WOMEN ARE MORE INFLUENCED BY ROLE MODELS THAN MEN.” Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive, Enterprise Ireland

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Oil exploration firm Tullow Oil has cut its 2016 west Africa oil production forecast by around 12,000 barrels per day due to the temporary shutdown of its Jubilee field offshore Ghana following a technical issue.

NEW CHOPPED OUTLET FOR RATHMINES

COVER STORY

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

TULLOW CUTS AFRICAN OUTLOOK

In our last issue, we spoke with Brian Lee about his ambitious expansion plans for his healthy food company Chopped. Now we can report that Lee has opened another branch in Rathmines, Dublin. Chopped’s newest franchise, which has seating for over 20 people, has created 20 jobs and follows newly opened Chopped outlets in Maxol, Brian Lee, Mulhuddart and Grafton Street. Co-founder, Chopped The Rathmines branch will be followed by other confirmed Chopped outlets in Tallaght and Sandyford with more outlets to be announced soon. This expansion plan will bring the number of Chopped employees to 320 by the end of 2016.

7

18/07/2016 16:49


THE BURNING QUESTION

?

What’s your favourite piece of technology, and why? ALEX GIBSON ARVR Innovate Conference I haven’t been able to hold onto it but I did get a chance to use it, so it’s the Samsung 360 camera which launched in Ireland in June. It’s a price point that will allow a lot of people to get into 360 content.

FULBRIGHT AWARDEES ANNOUNCED US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources Seán Kyne have officially announced 39 new Irish Fulbright awardees at an event in the Ambassador’s Residence, Phoenix Park. Pictured is Rita and Ruth Melia (from Athenry, Galway), the first mother and daughter pair to win Fulbright Irish Awards in the same year. Rita is a doctoral researcher at UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre, NUI Galway. She will go to Project Zero in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Boston as a Fulbright-NUI Student Awardee. Ruth is a clinical psychologist adjunct lecturer at NUI Galway and co-founder of CAATCH, a suicide prevention initiative. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, she will research the use of mHealth technologies in suicide prevention at the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory, Stanford University.

SARAH MCGINN Opsh My Samsung phone. It is never out of my hand. In a digital business, you always need to be on, so my smartphone is my lifeline to my business when I’m out of the office. Basically it’s my right hand.

JANE McDAID Thinkhouse Right now we’re creating a lot of Virtual Reality content for our clients’ brands and I love how it’s allowing us stretch our imagination in ways that weren’t possible a few years ago.

REGINA BREHENY Irish Venture Capital Association

KEELINGS AWARDED TESCO

CONTRACT FOR NEXT 12 MONTHS

K

eelings Logistics Solutions has announced it has retained a 12-month contract for the management of Tesco’s Chilled and Frozen Distribution Centre in Ballymun, following a recent tender process. The company has worked alongside Tesco since its first chilled distribution opened in 1998 and has retained the management of the distribution centre after Tesco opened its new Greenfield site in August 2003. Commenting on the latest announcement, Caroline Keeling, Keelings Group CEO commented: “We worked very hard to retain our partnership and we are delighted with the final outcome. It is great news for our people in Ballymun and I’d like to personally thank them all for their continued dedication to the Keelings and Tesco businesses.” Caroline Keeling, Keelings Group CEO and Sheila Gallagher, Commercial Director, Tesco

My parking app is the best thing. I can’t do anything without my phone at this stage; it’s like my office. But I just use a few apps and the parking one is the best I have come across.

8 InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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18/07/2016 15:26


MOVERS & SHAKERS

MOVERS SHAKERS GAVIN NOBLE

HILARY O’SHEA

KEVIN MOORE

CATHERINE MCGRATH

NEW TITLE: Head of Content and Social Hub EMPLOYER: Wilson Hartnell PREVIOUS ROLE: Global Sports Marketing Manager, Specialized Bicycles

NEW TITLE: General Manager EMPLOYER: Ronan Daly Jermyn PREVIOUS ROLE: Associate, McGrath Management and Consulting

NEW TITLE: Deputy Managing Director EMPLOYER: Legacy Consultants PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Sports Marketing, FleishmanHillard

NEW TITLE: Head of Commercial Management EMPLOYER: AvantCard PREVIOUS ROLE: CRM Consultant, Pinergy

Following 10 years at international communications firm, FleishmanHillard, Kevin Moore has been appointed Deputy Managing Director of Legacy Consultants, joining James and Bernard Brogan on the board. In his previous role, Moore managed the Mondelez portfolio of brands including Cadbury and worked on the re-brand of eir.

Consumer finance specialists AvantCard have announced the appointment of Catherine McGrath as head of Commercial Management. Her role will focus on improving customer propositions and developing new business opportunities. McGrath has over 18 years’ experience in senior commercial marketing roles with leading brands in Ireland and abroad.

Public relations firm Wilson Hartnell (WH) has announced that Gavin Noble has joined its team to head up its Content and Social Hub. Gavin joins WH from US-based Specialized Bicycles, where he was Global Sports Marketing Manager. Noble is a former Olympian having competed in the triathlon event at the London Olympics in 2012.

CAREER ADVICE TIPS

10

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Hilary O’Shea has joined Ronan Daly Jermyn as Business Development Consultant. O’Shea is a commercial law solicitor who previously worked in a top tier law firm in Dublin and Paris and was also an associate with McGrath Management and Consulting Limited. O’Shea will be responsible for identifying new business opportunities and developing existing relationships with clients.

Fiona O’Brien is Country Manager for Lenovo in Ireland and has held the role for the past ten years. In 2015, she was appointed Business Transformation Director for the Chinese electronics giant in EMEA. Previously, O’Brien was employed by IBM for 10 years until its personal computer division was acquired by Lenovo in 2005. A Fortune 500 company, Lenovo employs 58,000 people in more than 160 countries. Here O’Brien shares her top three career tips.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 15:41


MOVERS & SHAKERS

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NATIONWIDE

DAVID KELLY

GILL MADDEN

MATTHEW THOMAS

CLAIRE DAVIS

NEW TITLE: General Manager EMPLOYER: Chanelle Group PREVIOUS ROLE: Chief Financial Officer, ArraVasc

NEW TITLE: Head of Brand Marketing EMPLOYER: FleishmanHillard OTHER ROLE: Director, FleishmanHillard

NEW TITLE: Chief Executive EMPLOYER: Shannon Group plc PREVIOUS ROLE: CCO, Vantage Airport Group

NEW TITLE: Programme Manager EMPLOYER: Cork Smart Gateway PREVIOUS ROLE: Policy and Research Executive, Cork Chamber

Chanelle Group, the manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals, has announced the appointment of David Kelly as General Manager. Kelly joins the company from medical device company ArraVasc, where he served as Chief Financial Officer. He will work closely with Chanelle Group founder Michael Burke to oversee the company’s investment programme.

Gill Madden has been appointed Head of Brand Marketing at FleishmanHillard. Madden joined FleishmanHillard in 1998 and was appointed a Director in 2009. She has led many awardwinning campaigns for a range of global and Irish brands in sectors across retail, fashion, beauty, FMCG, telecommunications and public service.

The Board of the Shannon Group plc has announced the appointment of Matthew Thomas as the company’s new chief executive. With 20 years’ experience in the industry, Thomas joins the Shannon Group from the Vantage Airport Group where, as Chief Commercial Officer, he was involved in the majority of the company’s 30 airport projects across four continents.

The Cork Smart Gateway has announced the appointment of Claire Davis as Programme Manager. Davis will pursue and facilitate the delivery of Cork’s smart agenda helping to position Cork as a world-class ‘smart region’. She previously held the position of Policy and Research Executive in Cork Chamber of Commerce.

1.

Always have your eye on the next role and do at least one thing every week to get closer to it. Be passionate about your role.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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2.

Always have a plan. Don’t get caught up in the day to day tasks, prioritising what’s important will help make a plan a reality.

3.

Don’t micromanage your team. This can stifle innovation. You are only as good as the team you work with.

11

19/07/2016 09:24


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18/07/2016 15:36 26/01/2016 09:04


JOB CREATION

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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START-UPS

START-UP CENTRAL NEWS, VIEWS AND PROFILES ON THE LATEST START-UPS IN IRELAND

BOI AIMS TO GET START-UPS ONLINE Bank of Ireland has announced details of a new business start-up package that includes a helping hand to get online. Digital marketing agency FCR Media will provide new start-up customers a year’s free online presence that includes a web page, a dotcom domain, free hosting with unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 security protection, a listing on www. goldenpages.ie and access to FCR Media’s Business Centre to manage their listing. To avail of the package, start-ups must open a new business start-up current account with Bank of Ireland. Further details can be found at fcrmedia.ie/launchonline.

FACEBOOK MAKING FRIENDS IN IRELAND

INCREASE IN COMPANY FORMATIONS Figures for the first half of 2016 show a 21 per cent increase in the number of companies formed compared with the same period last year. The report, published by business and credit risk analyst Vision-net.ie, shows that 10,500 companies were formed in Ireland in the first half of the year. It claims that there is no evidence of the UK’s Brexit referendum having any impact on the levels of company formation. It also says an increasing number of companies are being formed in rural areas, indicating “there is growing evidence of the recovery spreading beyond urban centres.”

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CIARÁN MAHER CEO and Co-founder, Square1

How did you fund your business initially? Square1 was entirely self-funded by myself and my co-founder Diego Solorzano. Within one month of starting, our business was fully self sufficient. We started Square1 on June 1st 2013, our first invoices were sent out 12 days later. By the end of July our payroll was up and running. What’s the best advice you were given? Growing up I was always told to aim high, give it a go and if it doesn’t work out then just aim again. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? When people tell you that the cheque is in the post, more than likely they don’t even own a cheque book! Your biggest make or break moment? In the early days of Square1 we took the decision to concentrate our time on developing a platform for publishers. Our thinking was that there was no off the shelf platform for publishers in Ireland. We spent a lot of our free time building Publisher Plus, a system that focused on the core digital needs of all publishers. Thankfully all that effort paid off for us. Three years later, we work with some of Ireland’s most successful publishers such as Joe.ie, Her.ie, Daft.ie, Silicon Republic, Balls.ie, House and Home and CollegeTimes.com.

Joe Morley, Director of Partnerships EMEA for Facebook and Instagram

In a bid to make its international headquarters in Dublin more open and accessible to Irish and European start-ups, last May, Facebook held a Founder Series, which brought together over 120 leaders from Ireland’s start-up community to share and learn from their experiences. Among those speaking at the event were John Joyce, Yvolution, Claire McHugh, Axonista, John Dennehy, Zartis, Joe Morely, Facebook, Sean Blanchfield, PageFair, Deirdre Smith, Zandar and David Coallier, Barricade.

14

HOW IT ALL STARTED

Would you change anything in hindsight? I tend not to dwell on mistakes and what could have been. Look to the future and what can be, not to the past and what could have been! Company: Square1 Location: The Digital Hub, Dublin and Alicante, Spain Staff: 26 Website: www.square1.ie

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 09:18


START-UPS

Vivienne Lee and Seamus Kyne, co-founders, Sportlomo, with Gerard Barry and John Mullen, HBAN WxNW syndicate

ANGEL INVESTORS BACK SPORTS TECH START-UP

For more on the VC landscape go to our In Conversation feature on page 50

The percentage of participants in Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential StartUp programme last year who were women. For more on what EI is doing to encourage more women in startups go to our cover story on page 20.

FALL IN VC INVESTMENT IN EUROPE Venture capital investment in European start-ups dropped by more than a third in the second quarter, contributing to anxiety about the continent’s technology sector. In Europe, funding from venture capitalists fell from $4.3 billion in the second quarter of 2015 to $2.8bn in the three months that ended at the beginning of July, according to data provided by research firm Pitchbook. The fall in VC funding comes as technology executives in London worry whether the Brexit vote will jeopardise the UK capital’s future as a start-up hub for the continent. This, of course, could be good news for Ireland, as we look to entice wouldbe UK companies to these shores.

NE TO WATCH: BEN & ANVIL

HBAN, the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, has announced the first-ever investment from its newest angel syndicate, WxNW (West by Northwest). The syndicate has backed innovative Mayo-based sports technology start-up, Sportlomo. The 270,000 investment is co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and will see the creation of 25 jobs in the company. Sportlomo develops software for the efficient administration of amateur sports, which is used by clubs and associations in Ireland, the UK, North America and the UAE. The announcement marks a targeted push by HBAN, a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, to invest in early-stage businesses located in the west and north-west of Ireland.

Daniel and Ailbhe Cantwell, Ben & Anvil

Husband and wife team Daniel and Ailbhe Cantwell’s passion for great design has resulted in plenty of success since the launch of their business less than one year ago. Ben & Anvil specialises in creative post production, offering animation, motion graphics and special effects services to clients. Still only in its infancy, the company took home the Best New Services Business trophy at the Blacknight SME Awards in mid-April, and recently won an A’Design Award for one of its animated company idents, Swift Logistics. It also won Silver for Best Design/Art Direction at the Accenture Digital Media Awards in Dublin in February, beating off stiff competition from big players in the industry. It will be a busy year for the company as it hopes to produce its second short film and is in talks about developing a pre-school animated TV series. Plenty more to come from Ben & Anvil it seems. www.benandanvil.com

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ENTREPRENEUR

SHARP

SH Jane McDaid was just back from the Festival of Creativity in Cannes when InBUSINESS caught up with the founder of marketing agency Thinkhouse. She reflected on connecting with youth audiences and saying “no” to compromise.

Q: Could you give us some background on Thinkhouse and how it all came about? A: Thinkhouse was formed over 15 years ago. We launched as a PR agency with an emphasis on creative communications and have since grown to offer a full marketing service to brands that want to understand and connect with youth audiences (18-35 year olds).

Q: A chance to name drop – who are some of your biggest clients? A: In Ireland we work with Heineken Ireland, Unilever, Coca-Cola and ESB amongst others. We also help William Grant & Sons with their global marketing activity in over 60 markets. In the UK we work with SKY and Expedia among other blue chip brands.

Q: Have you always had a business head on your shoulders from an early age? A: As a junior infant, I used to charge my friends for ‘maths lessons’ before they started primary school. As a young kid I transformed my Mum’s living room into a café every Saturday and charged for tea and toast. As a tweenie, I painted stones, stuck them on a string of leather and sold them as necklaces in the school yard. Then, during my college years, I organised raves and theatre events to make extra cash. So yeah, I’ve always loved using my passion and creativity and turning it into a business idea.

Q: Tell us about some of the recent campaigns that Thinkhouse has been involved with? A: Working with Heineken Ireland we’ve helped grow and develop the Orchard Thieves brand – a brand that has disrupted the entire cider category. In additon to managing the brand’s ongoing social media content creation and advocacy programmes, we organised and promoted The Bold Hour, a major undertaking that saw three major events and collaborations take place across Ireland. We’ve worked with Electric Ireland to develop its Olympic campaign, The Power Within, a campaign idea for the brand’s sponsorship as the main Team Ireland sponsor. The campaign is being implemented across the summer period in multiple media and consumer outlets. We also worked with Unilever to broker a deal with the GAA as its first ever official statistics partner and have developed all of the creative assets around that partnership that will live in stadia, on TV, online and in media. Also for Unilever, we negotiated and promoted Magnum’s Make My Magnum experience – a brand partnership with

Q: Thinkhouse was recently named among the 15 best marketing agencies in the world by Campaign Magazine for the second year running. What’s the significance of this? A: It’s a major achievement for us, and indeed our clients - the brave brand owners that entrust their precious brands with us. This accolade has helped position Thinkhouse amongst the best in the world, which is an incredible motivator, helping us ensure we continue to innovate, sharpen our skillsets and grow our clients’ businesses and mission in the years ahead. 16

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“Have a vision and never lose sight of that vision. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ – it will shape what your business will become and will help you become laser sharp.”

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GETTING EMOJIONAL

at the centre of that. Also, very importantly, we are very purist in what we do. We don’t compromise and we only work with the kind of brands that share our vision, ambition and hunger for innovation, bravery and disruption.

Thinkhouse PR prides itself on connectecting with youth audiences and what better way to understand 18-35 year olds than to delve into the world of emojis, the most communicated language in the world today. For the uninitiated, Thinkouse’s The Youth Lab sheds some light on what the most-used emojis actually mean.

What you think it means: A celebration of your new manicure. What it actually means: The nail emoji adds a subtle hint of sarcasm to a message. It’s a nice way of being a ‘little bit bitchy’ without really offending somebody.

What you think it means: A cute little girl pointing left. What it actually means: This emoji adds a layer of sassiness to your message. You incorporate this little buzzer into your Tweet/ Instagram photo when you know you are looking well and want to be a little bit cocky but not arrogant.

What you think it means: A doctor, maybe a dentist. What it actually means: This emoji highlights when you are absolutely ALLERGIC to someone or something. It is the ultimate emoji diss.

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Jane McDaid, Founder and MD, Thinkhouse

Arnotts. We are working with Heineken to develop Your Heineken custom bottles for a special partnership with pubs across Ireland as well as helping develop Heineken’s festival and sport activations that include: European Rugby Champions Cup, Longitude and Electric Picnic among others. We’re also working with Unilever to promote its entire personal care portfolio and The Youth Lab – our insights and trends divisions has also led a major piece of insight and research work that helps tell Unilever’s story as the best, most innovative, personal care company in the world. We’re also helping SKY understand and connect with youth audiences across the UK as well as managing the promotion of its SKY GO platform. Q: Connecting with the young is an area where so many businesses fall down on. What’s your secret? A: To be obsessed. From every hire we make, every insight we unlock, to the creatives we collaborate with, we ensure that authenticity and credibility is at the heart of what we do. We are our clients’ eyes and ears on the ground, helping them understand all facets of youth culture and how to position a brand

Q: What are your thoughts on the current marketing industry in Ireland and what do you see as the biggest challenge for a company like yours? A: The marketing industry is at a major point of change. Our role, as an agency, is to pre-empt our clients’ needs so that we’re well built to serve them – today and tomorrow. The way we do that is by deeply understanding our audience; their passions, habits, desires and beliefs. By understanding their upcoming needs, we can pre-empt how our brand behaviour will need to shift and this has always helped us be first to market with new ways of connecting with youth audiences. The biggest challenge for Thinkhouse is how to scale – to ensure that we maintain the excellence and standards we’re famous for as we continue to grow in Ireland, the UK and beyond. Q: Any news or expansion plans down the track that you can share with us? A: Expansion and growth has always been a by-product of our work and our reputation. We always focus on ‘being our best selves’ and innovating how we help brands be relevant, connect and grow in today’s hyper connected world. We plan to continue innovating and developing our agency’s offering in insights, planning and creativity, and activation in Ireland, the UK and certainly beyond that. Q: What are you most proud of to date? A: I’m very proud of our team. Across our UK and Irish agencies, we’ve got a stellar bunch of incredibly skilled and talented people who are passionate and love what they do. Every day they insipire me and blow my mind with some of the most compelling brand work out there in the marketplace today. Q: Any advice for budding entrepreneurs hoping to get a business off the ground? A: Have a vision and never lose sight of that vision. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ – it will shape what your business will become and will help you become laser sharp. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Lead. With confidence. Our M&A Advisory team supports our clients in executing successful M&A strategies. This includes helping clients make acquisitions, the disposal of businesses in whole or in part and to raise external funding from a range of sources. Our team is partner led and works closely with our clients through transactions, focusing on success and helping them to drive their businesses forward.

Audit. Consulting. Corporate Finance. Tax.

deloitte.com/ie Š 2016 Deloitte. All rights reserved.

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02/06/2016 15:27 10:11 18/07/2016


COVER STORY

Bridging

GAP

the

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J

ulie Sinnamon has plenty to contemplate. As chief executive of Enterprise Ireland (EI), the State agency responsible for supporting the development of internationally trading companies, she is in unchartered waters. With the recent fallout from Brexit, it remains to be seen the true impact that Britain’s decision to leave the EU will have on exports by Irish companies, and EI has had to act fast to reassure UK-focused firms about their future. To this end, the agency has made it clear that it will continue to actively help exporters to deepen and strengthen their presence in the UK by helping them become as lean and as innovative as possible. EI will also work with companies to help them diversify globally, and it has summoned its global staff for a week-long think-in at the start of October where it will inform businesses about new export market opportunities. The Brexit turmoil aside, Enterprise Ireland has been performing well on all fronts. Exports by EI companies topped a20 billion for the first time last year, a rise of 10 per cent on 2014 and nearly double the figure recorded 10 years ago, as all sectors from software to construction to manufacturing reported increases. On the domestic front, EI-backed firms spent a23.7bn in the economy in 2015. Now the agency is aiming

Jason Clarke

With the percentage of Enterprise Ireland supported femaleled start-ups having tripled since 2011, InBUSINESS spoke with CEO Julie Sinnamon to discover how the agency went about igniting change.

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IT REALLY DOES SHOW YOU THAT IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM AND YOU ACTUALLY STAND BACK AND IDENTIFY THE FACTORS CAUSING THE PROBLEM AND TRY TO ADDRESS THEM, IT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT.

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Jason Clarke

to achieve a22bn in exports this year, albeit a target set before the Brexit vote. It’s against this backdrop that I meet Sinnamon at EI headquarters to discuss a topic far from the Brexit hysteria, and one which she is clearly passionate about. Female entrepreneurship – and ensuring that business women realise their full potential – has been a major priority for Sinnamon and Enterprise Ireland for a number of years now. “If we go back to 2011, it’s something that was a specific focus of Richard Bruton as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, because it was seen as an untapped resource,” explains Sinnamon. “At that stage, seven of our high potential start-up companies had a woman in their team, so it was a really low level.” As Sinnamon points out, the problem has in no way been exclusive to Ireland. At a global level, only 8 per cent of tech entrepreneurs are female, but Sinnamon was keen to identify the barriers facing female founders in this country. One obvious shortcoming was the lack of visible role models. “Women are more influenced by role models than men,” she says. Access to funding, low self confidence, a lack of technical expertise, lower levels of risk taking and limited access to appropriate networking opportunities were also identified as major barriers. “So we got to work,” says Sinnamon. “We sponsored a number of events, trying to specifically put a spotlight on the successes that were out there. We started running female only funds in order to attract females who felt they wouldn’t succeed if applying for a general fund. They came forward, we didn’t know what the demand would be, but we were inundated!” As part of this strategy to address the under representation of femaleled businesses, EI established its Female Entrepreneurship Unit,

aimed at supporting ambitious women to grow scalable businesses. One aspect of this has been to co-fund a number of development programmes that help such women optimise their business success. These include Going for Growth, NDRC Female Founders, the DCU Ryan Academy and CIT’s Rubicon Centre. EI has also sponsored women in business awards in order to identify and promote role models. This tailored approach by EI to supporting female entrepreneurs has resulted in an exponential rise in the percentage of EI supported Irish startups with women in leadership positions, with figures more than tripling from 2011 to 2015. “We got the numbers up from seven in 2011 to 61 in 2015, and of those, 23 were high potential start-ups,” says Sinnamon. “So to increase the percentage to 23 was a great success in terms of the numbers. The people who received support under the Competitive Start Fund will be high potential start-ups of the future. So it gives you a flow of more female entrepreneurs coming in. It really does show you that if you have a problem and you actually stand back and identify the factors causing the problem and try to address them, it will have an impact.”

Julie Sinnamon in the Blue Room at The Dean Dublin

CV: Julie Sinnamon ROLE: Chief Executive, Enterprise Ireland LIVES: Glenageary, Co Dublin FAMILY: Husband Clive and two grown-up children, Rebecca and Conor CURRENTLY READING: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi FAVOURITE FILM: La Vita è Bella HOBBIES: Walking (avid user of wearable devices), cooking, theatre, music

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J

ulie’s

Most recently, Enterprise Ireland joined forces with Network Ireland – a group supporting the professional and personal development of women – to organise the Fuelling Ambition nationwide roadshows aimed at promoting female entrepreneurship. On July 6th, a roadshow took place in Cork with Olive O’Driscoll, CEO and co-founder of medical devices company AventaMed, and Rosie Mansfield, CEO of travel and skillssharing web platform GoCambio. com, among the speakers present. The roadshows encourage female entrepreneurs, or those considering starting their own business, to be braver and more ambitious in their plans for growth and success. EI representatives are also on hand at the event to discuss the wide range of supports available to women who are considering taking those first steps. But it’s not only about helping female entrepreneurs bring their business ideas to fruition, EI is keen on helping them scale existing businesses, ones that have potential to grow fast. “We have worked on a number of programmes like Going for Growth where you have women mentoring and working together in teams supporting earlier stage female start-ups,” explains Sinnamon. “We supported a project with CIT and with the Ryan Academy called Female High Fliers. It was about really trying to develop the capability of these businesses. The good news is that we have grown the numbers and now the focus is on growing the scale of those companies and trying to have more success at that end.” So having worked extensively on promoting the success stories of women in business in recent years, who does Sinnamon see as an ideal role model for would-be female entrepreneurs in Ireland? “Leanora O’Brien (founder and CEO of Pharmapod) is one,” she says. “One of the companies that we supported last year is Nuritas, led by Dr Nora Khaldi, and in fact, that was one InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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of the largest fund rounds in our start-up community. So again, you’re seeing female entrepreneurs not just being at the higher end of those projects, but at the top too. One of the fastest growing startups in the history of the agency is Eishtec in Waterford and Heather Reynolds was one of the founders there. Again, it is a great success story in terms of a company that was born out of TalkTalk’s decision to pull out of Waterford.” Sinnamon is convinced that such success stories will help shape the next generation of female entrepreneurs here. “Once you have those people coming forward and telling their story as to how they did it and how much they’ve enjoyed doing it, it encourages other people to say ‘if she can do it, I can do it’. And it’s about really having role models that people can relate to. In fact, some of these women have been successful in global competitions, which shows that they are able to stand up to any international competition and win.” Given the urgent work that Enterprise Ireland faces in reducing clients’ exposure to the UK following Brexit, as well as a renewed focus on supporting more start-ups in the area of research and attracting more overseas entrepreneurs into Ireland, Sinnamon has plenty on her plate to focus on in the second half of 2016. Nonetheless, support for Ireland’s female high fliers will remain high on her agenda. “Female entrepreneurship is a subject which I’m passionate about,” she says. “It is not something there for the purpose of being nice to women, it’s simply because there is an untapped resource that we really have to be able to tap into. There was a problem; we didn’t have enough females coming forward. We’ve addressed it, we can see the results and we’re now well ahead of the posse. It’s not only something that I’m proud of, but you can see the effect too.”

FEMALE FOUNDERS TO WATCH

SINÉAD KENNY, DIANIA TECHNOLOGIES Sinéad Kenny is co-founder and CEO of DiaNia Technologies. Founded in 2013, the company is focused on developing and commercialising materials that improve the functionality of medical devices to increase patient safety and product performance. It is estimated that the global market potential for this material science technology is in excess of 250m.

CIARA CLANCY, BEATS MEDICAL Founded in 2012 by Ciara Clancy, Beats Medical has developed the first app to offer individually tailored treatments for people with Parkinson’s, addressing mobility, speech and fine hand movement symptoms. Clancy has her eyes set on global markets with her start-up having made it to the finals of the Florida Hospital InnovationX competition, which takes place in late July.

DR NORA KHALDI, NURITAS As founder and CEO of biotechnology start-up, Nuritas, Dr Nora Khaldi is combining IT and life sciences expertise to mine DNA and protein data from plant materials with the aim of discovering new food components to help prevent, manage and possibly even cure disease. In 2015, Khaldi was awarded the prestigious SVG Thrive Accelerator Award in California.

CLAIRE MCHUGH, AXONIST Claire McHugh is CEO of Axonista, which she co-founded with Daragh Ward in 2010. Axonista has built a software product that solves the complex technical problems in bringing interactivity to TV, and its clients include TV3, MTV and ESPN. McHugh is a mentor for Startup Next Ireland, a pre-acceleration programme, and is on the advisory board of the Irish Digital Youth Council.

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BUSINESS OF SPORT

THE

Fabric

OF SPORT Though predominantly known as a supplier to the GAA, O’Neills has its eye on a much broader market base. CONOR FORREST spoke with the company’s export manager, Cristina McCusker, to discover more about O’Neills’ plans to conquer the world.

O

’Neills, like Barry’s Tea and Tayto, is a brand which is ubiquitous in Ireland, adorning everything from replica shirts and footballs to sporting accessories worn and used by people throughout the country. Its reach doesn’t simply stop at Ireland’s border, however. Take the Congolese Leopards – the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national football team – for example, a relatively successful team within the African continent. At the African Cup of Nations in January 2015 they debuted a new kit, which happened to be provided by O’Neills. You might be wondering why O’Neills would produce a kit for an African international soccer team, or you may be surprised to learn that

Middle East Football jersey for the World GAA Games in Abu Dhabi 2015

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Tarbes Pyrenees rugby jersey

the company supplies sportswear for teams other than club and intercounty GAA outfits in Ireland. However, the role of the company’s relatively new export department is to generate partnerships with teams and sports outside of its usual sphere. Gaelic remains the core business of what O’Neills does, but now it is attempting to diversify and expand the business outside of the GAA heartlands. “My department – the export department – only deals with businesses outside of Ireland and the UK. We have been developing business with the Gaelic clubs abroad from the US, Australia, Middle East and Europe,” says Cristina McCusker, Export Manager with O’Neills. “In the last couple years we we have started getting into new sports like rugby and soccer. DR Congo is one of our major soccer overseas clients, and we have now started developing business in France, Australia and the US with the larger rugby clubs.”

Spain European International Rugby 2015 jersey

Congolese Leopards, Democratic Republic of Congo Champions jersey

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BUSINESS OF SPORT

Players from French rugby union team Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby in their O’Neill’s club kit

BUILDING THE BRAND As an Irish brand, O’Neills is a household name, and McCusker explains that they have been most successful thus far expanding in countries with an Irish expat population and a network of GAA clubs – countries like Australia or those in the Middle East (the UAE has at least four such clubs). Many of those players have emigrated from Ireland, and are already familiar with the brand. But it’s a different story in other markets and different sports. “In regards to other sports like rugby and soccer, it’s a work in progress. Our brand is not as well known. You are going into markets that are already established. We are trying to expand into the south of France, and there are a lot of existing suppliers over there, and a very strong history of rugby,” she says. “We need to make sure that the clubs know who we are, what we can do – our services as well as our product.” O’Neills’ aim is to reach a stage where its brand is as well known as the likes of Nike or Adidas, with as much market penetration as it has enjoyed in Ireland over the past few decades. “That takes time, and that takes people on the ground to [visit] the clubs and explain to them about O’Neills, about our history, [to show] them the product and prove that what we say we can do, we actually do,” she adds. And there’s no doubt that it can be done. What O’Neills offers the market is a highly personalised solution, alongside the opportunity for clubs and teams to sell replica kits and other merchandise through O’Neills’ website, a useful feature for smaller clubs with less than stellar resources. “We design and produce gear specifically for that club in their colours, with their logos, and make sure that InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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PARTNERS IN AFRICA

Glendale Raptors, whose kit is made by O’Neills, take on Denver Barbarians in the Pacific Rugby Premiership in the US

anything we are producing for them is theirs,” says McCusker. We can also offer the option of selling that gear on our website. There are a lot of advantages and a lot of support that we’re bringing to these clubs. McCusker’s and O’Neills’ focus is very much on the future. The export division is currently handling increased expansion into France, alongside the Australian and the US markets. Offices have been opened, reps have been put in place, and the team has pinpointed potential club partners in each region. It seems as though it’s not a matter of if they are successful, but when. “The way we are looking at it, the export part of O’Neills is the baby of the company – it only really came on board five or six years ago. Now we have grown to a team of 22,” says McCusker. “What I would like to see is exports becoming a major part of the business – at the moment the company sees that this is the future. We have big aspirations, we are trying to maximise our potential and our opportunities, and hopefully – sooner rather than later – we will be able to do so.”

O’Neill’s’ relationship with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national football team came about in a rather unusual way. The company was approached by a representative of the Fédération Congolaise de Football-Association who was living in Ireland, and who had been tasked with securing a new kit manufacturer for the team. Familiar with their GAA jerseys, one of his children suggested O’Neills, and they quickly got to work. That relationship has grown from supplier to partner, as McCusker explains. “We haven’t had a customer of that size in Africa, and we wanted to make sure that we could [provide] whatever they needed. It was a bit of a trial at the start, but from both sides it has worked,” she says. “That’s why we have tried to build on that, to improve designs and develop more of a merchandise range for them. They have talked about providing kits for underage teams as well – it is developing.”

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OU With disposable incomes wiped out during the recession, golf membership numbers plummetted, corporate golf days dried up and clubs around the country fell on hard times. InBUSINESS looks at what clubs are doing to get golfers back on the fairways. 26

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

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f there’s one industry that has typified the boom-bust-recovery nature of the Irish economy over the past two decades, golf is probably it. Ten years of exponential growth either side of the Millenium – where a whole host of new expensively built golf courses came on stream, where membership numbers and participation rates went through the roof and where every corporate in the land fell over themselves to host golf days – was followed by an almost overnight collapse. From 2008 onwards, the bloated golf

industry was repeatedly punched in the gut as people rushed to cancel memberships and businesses – in fear of being seen to spend money on any kind of ancillaries – turned their back on the game that had proved so useful during the Celtic Tiger years as a vehicle via which they could impress prospective clients. For a period following 2008, golf almost became a dirty word in business circles. The annual corporate golf day was abandoned as newspaper headlines screamed hysterically about how much the likes of Anglo Irish Bank and co had spent on golf-related InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

activities during the good times. It’s understandable why when you consider that Anglo reportedly spent upwards of a1.3 million on golf items and events during the 2005-2007 period. A whopping a208,000 of that was spent on golf balls, with the same amount splurged on golf umbrellas - no doubt emblazoned with the bank’s logo and gifted out to anyone within a sniff of their client list. While there are few signs of those heady days returning, golf is slowly creeping back into corporate thinking, with golf clubs around the country reporting a strong increase in the number of golf days being held by companies in 2016. On the general golf membership front, KPMG’s annual Golf Benchmark Report offers a unique window into the changing popularity of golf. The most recent installment, published earlier this year, shows a 3 per cent drop in participation here in 2015. The report also shows a decrease of five in the number of courses in Ireland during the 12 months to the end of 2015. One of the people best-placed to comment on recent trends in the Irish golf market is Kevin Markham, author of the excellent book Hooked (published by Collins Press) which profiles and rates all of Ireland’s 18 hole golf courses. To put the book together, Markham spent the best part of a year travelling around the country in the campervan and playing (and critiquing) every course on the island. Since first publishing Hooked in 2009, the Greystones native has spent the years since travelling back to many of those clubs and updating the book (there are now three editions). Markham says: “Between 2008 and 2015, 16 clubs closed in Ireland. Considering that at golf ’s peak in 2010 there were 351 18hole courses, that’s less than 5 per cent. The number of people who are members of a golf club has fallen by many multiples of that, which points to a considerable imbalance.” With green fees at many golf clubs – particularly in Leinster – ticking up once more, have we seen the last of clubs having to close their doors? Perhaps not, according to Markham. “There’s no doubt that several clubs are clinging on. Consider that Waterford Castle, Castlemartyr, Rathcore and Rathsallagh have all been sold since the start of 2015, I’d be surprised if everyone currently trading continues to do so. My opinion remains that the limited demand InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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for golf will lead to a reduction in golf course supply. There are few courses I would want to see close, but closures would help the overall health of the Irish golf course landscape,” he says. One of the main reasons that many people have turned their backs on golf in recent years is cost. At the peak in the mid-2000s, becoming a member of a golf club was a difficult – and expensive – business. To become a member of a club, a person was generally required to pay a five-figure entry fee, as well as a four-figure annual fee. While spending that type of cash to join a top level club such as the K Club or Druids Glen might be expected, at that time even bland and mediocre clubs such as Roganstown in north county Dublin were commanding an entry fee of a10,000+ and an annual sub of a1,500 before you could stick a tee peg in the ground. As the recession bit and disposable incomes were squeezed, one of the first things to go for many people were extras such as golf club memberships. So much so that by 2009, all but only a select few clubs had been forced to do away with joining fees, while annual subs were chopped significantly to try and entice those golfers who had previously been priced-out. CLUBS FIGHTING BACK Over the past 12 months the tide has slowly begun to turn for many Irish clubs. Following years of rock-bottom green fees and a race-tothe-bottom in terms of membership prices, a sense of normality has returned to the sector. A resurgant economy means that people are again considering golf memberships, while companies are no longer afraid to be seen spending money on golf days. One of the clubs leading the Irish golf resurgance is St Margaret’s Golf and Country Club, situated just a drive and a well-struck seven iron from Dublin Airport. During the 1990s and early part of this century, St Margaret’s was reknowned as one of the top parkland courses in the country. The course played host to a string of big championships, including numerous Irish Seniors and Irish Womens Opens. When the recession hit, St Margaret’s was hit hard, with dwindling membership numbers leading to a lack of upkeep. John Kelly, a mainstay at St Margaret’s over the past two decades and the club’s current Director of Golf, explains: “We were very close to closing the doors. When the

Hooked profiles and rates all of Ireland’s 18 hole golf courses

THREE ‘HIDDEN’ IRISH GOLFING GEMS MACREDDIN Located around 70 minutes south of Dublin, Macreddin is named after the postage stamp village it’s located in. Bar a couple of bland holes at the start of the back nine, just about every hole at Macreddin is memorable. The signature hole is the dogleg 12th, but even better is the 200-yard par three 5th, which features a 40m drop from tee to green. InBUSINESS TIP: Hire a buggy - it’s hilly! CONCRA WOOD Tucked away in the hills around 10 miles north west of Dundalk is Concra Wood Golf Club. Built around the stunning, but little-known, Lough Muckno, it’s just about impossible not to fall in love with this place. Standout holes include the dogleg par four third and par five 13th which demands a long tee shot over water to a sloping fairway. InBUSINESS TIP: Take a camera - it’s scenic! ST MARGARET’S If the accompanying article hasn’t done enough to make you want to play St Margaret’s, let me tell you about the stunning par three 5th hole. The hole doesn’t play its full 160-or-so yards as the green sits around 30 metres below the tee. Veer right and you’ll likely be snagged by two tall trees. Anything left will be swallowed up by a snaking river. The 18th at St Margaret’s is arguably the best finshing hole in Ireland too. InBUSINESS TIP: Stay for lunch after - great food.

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

Macreddin 12th hole St Margaret’s 6th green

St Margaret’s Golf Club

downturn hit, people couldn’t afford to play golf any more and courses like St Margaret’s were hit hard.” In his role as Director of Golf, Kelly has spearheaded a remarkable turnaround in fortunes at St Margaret’s over the past two years. The change in fortunes was prompted by the appointment of a new management company, Synergy Golf, in November 2014. Synergy has invested over a1.1m to return the course and facilities to their former glory. Kelly says: “When Synergy came on board there was a realisation that we had to improve every aspect of the place. We started by trying to get the golf course right. Two years later and the greens are the best they’ve ever been, every bunker has been re-done with new sand and the overall condition is on a par with any course in the country. We followed that work last winter with a complete revamp of our threestorey clubhouse, including our bar, restaurant, pro-shop and changing facilities. We’ve also re-done our suite of meeting rooms upstairs.” All that effort is paying off. When 28

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Synergy and Kelly teamed up in November 2015, St Margaret’s had 161 members. At the time of writing that figure had almost doubled to just shy of 400. “The quality of the course, which was designed back in the early 1990s by Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock, was never in doubt. Unfortunately, the condition had just slipped due to a lack of money. Thankfully we’ve managed to correct that.” St Margaret’s recent success is due in no small part to clever pricing (full membership starts from a1,000, with 5-day starting from a700) and good marketing. “We offer people a free game. We are confident enough in the quality of our product that they will want to become a member – or at the very least come back and play again – once they’ve finished. We’ve also introduced a special one-day membership for women whereby they get access to the course every Thursday for just a100 per year. In the first week we had nearly 30 ladies playing.” St Margaret’s have also recently added a new corporate membership for companies. “The

popularity of corporate golf is definitely on the increase. We’re seeing it at St Margaret’s and I know from speaking with other clubs around the country that they are seeing the same. We’ve also seen a big increase in overseas visitors, particularly from the UK, although the Brexit uncertainty may impact that slightly going forward,” according to Kelly. Kelly serves as the Chairman of the Professional Golfers Association of Ireland, which offers him a good insight into the overall performance of the Irish golf market. And while St Margaret’s goes from strength-to-strength, Kelly admits that the picture isn’t quite so rosy across the board. “Clubs in and around Dublin are generally doing well. I have a lot of contact with pros around the country and clubs in many parts are still in recession. There are definitely two markets in Ireland currently - clubs in Dublin and those elsewhere.” Markham admits that the recession has left deep wounds on the industry, that will take a long time to heal. “Most of the clubs I’ve spoken to are pointing to increased membership. Or at least more members joining than leaving,” he says.”Another telling factor is green fees, which are edging upwards after several years of being at the bottom. Most people are aware that we’re not out of the woods yet the number of golfers who left the game has left quite a scar and clubs have some way to go to heal fully. Indeed, it may not get back to the heady heights of 2006/07 for a very long time,” he says. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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08/03/2016 15:38 16:30 18/07/2016


P

N A I M N R U

A

O

FEATURE

ANAM

How did over 100 reporters across 76 countries pull off the biggest leak in whistleblower history? JOSEPH O’CONNOR spoke with the Irishman who headed up the investigation into the now notorious Panama Papers to find out more.

I

t’s not every day you disturb someone in the middle of writing their TedTalk but that’s what happened back in May when I called Gerard Ryle at his parents’ home in Co Kerry. As director of the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Ryle spent the past year and more coordinating the investigation into data contained in the 11.5 million documents that make up the Panama Papers. And given that it turned out to be history’s biggest data leak, resulting in a story that dominated the news agenda across the globe for a number of weeks, he’s in demand to provide an insight into how he went about it. There’s even talk of it being turned into a Hollywood film. But before it goes to the silver screen, and for the uninitiated among us, the Panama Papers are a collection of leaked documents InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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exposing a widespread system of global tax evasion, which implicated a wide range of global figures from footballer Lionel Messi to former British Prime Minister David Cameron. The leak included more than 4.8 million emails, 3 million database files, and 2.1 million PDFs from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that, according to analysis of the leaked documents, specialises in creating shell companies that its clients have used to hide their assets. The data covers nearly 40 years, from 1977 to 2015, and lists almost 15,600 paper companies. The leak was brought to Ryle’s attention by Bastian Obermayer, a journalist at German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, who had been contacted by the whistleblower through an encrypted message. Once he discovered the potential of the leaked data on offer, Obermayer got in touch with Ryle to discuss options for investigating and releasing the information. Ryle and the ICIJ already had 31

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FEATURE

Süddeutsche Zeitung coverage of the Panama Papers investigation

a strong track record in breaking similar stories such as Luxleaks and HSBC bank’s murky dealings with dictators. It had also been separately investigating Mossack Fonseca’s affairs, so the partnership made perfect sense. Ryle flew to Munich to meet Obermayer and after three days of pouring over the data, he was in. Once he received clearance from ICIJ lawyers back in DC, it was a case of partnering with media organisations and assembling a team of global journalists who could generate and publish the stories. Starting with the BBC and The Guardian in London, the ICIJ signed deals with 107 media outlets across 76 countries, including The Irish Times to report on Irish-related affairs. All had to sign an agreement that the ICIJ and Süddeutsche would be credited in their published work and that the ICIJ would decide when the Panama papers would be released. Of course, there were certain precautions that had to be made before deciding which organisations to partner with. “This project was bigger than anything we’d done before,” says Ryle in an accent that blends his native Kerry with an international twang. “There were practical things we needed to be aware of. For example, we knew there was

Gerard Ryle, ICIJ Director, moderator Miriam O’Callaghan and Bastian Obermayer, journalist with German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, ahead of a special talk titled ‘Panama Papers’ at the Sea Front Marqee, Dillon’s Park as part of the 2016 Dalkey Book Festival

PANAMA PAPERS:

FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

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Documents show a £250,000 deposit in the name of a British Virgin Islands company being used to support the purchase of a London house by former Fine Gael strategist and Rehab chief executive Frank Flannery.

Simon Cowell, Jackie Chan, Stanley Kubrick and Nick Faldo were among celebrity names linked to the Panama Papers.

a lot of material on Iceland, so we had to find an Icelandic reporter. Iceland is such a small country, everyone knows each other. So if you get the wrong person, before you know it, the people that you have information on find out.” In this instance, Ryle sought recommendations from ICIJ’s Swedish partners who pointed him in the direction of Jóhannes Kristjánsson, a freelance reporter in Iceland, who subsequently came on board. “He literally just locked himself away in his house for nine months and gave up work,” says Ryle. “That was his life and he had to deal with the fact that he had information on the prime minister of his country for nine months.” As a consequence, Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson became the first major casualty of the leaks, resigning in April after protestors took to the streets of Reykjavik over allegations that his family attempted to hide millions in offshore accounts. Gunnlaugsson was by no means the biggest name to be tied to the leaks but his resignation was an early indication of how this information was impacting the highest echelons of society. Was it something Ryle had expected from the outset? “I’m always very cautious,” he says. “I mean, yes, I thought it might be big but for me, when you get leaks like this it’s not simply a matter of looking at a document and writing a story, you’ve got to go outside the documents, you have to establish public interest in the document. It couldn’t be just about private individuals that no one had ever heard of, doing things that no one really cared about. So there was a lot of work involved.” According to Ryle, they took a position early on that they would go after the politicians, mainly to ensure that it established public interest in the information. “I was very conscious that this was an anonymous leak,” says Ryle. “We didn’t know who this source was but once we established that the documents were real there was an extra layer that we had to establish – that this was actually of public interest. For me, finding 12 current world leaders and 140 politicians in the data was great.

In the UK, six members of the House of Lords, three former Conservative MPs and dozens of donors to British political parties have had offshore assets.

Among national leaders with offshore wealth are Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and Alaa Mubarak, son of Egypt’s former president.

A $2bn trail leads all the way to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 15:23


FEATURE

But then to add to that by revealing that some of these people were elected on anti-corruption platforms or who criticised the offshore world in the past, that for me was a better story.” The work to uncover these names and their connections to offshore companies was months in the making, and it was made all the more achieveable through the creation of what Ryle calls a “virtual newsroon”. Several online tools were built to assist the journalists in trawling through documents and enabling them to coordinate seamlessly from all parts of the world, sharing stories and setting up groups for those with an interest in a specific topic. “Everyone was helping each other as they were going through it,” explains Ryle. “Say you were interested in blood diamonds or in soccer, for instance, it’s a bit like Facebook, they would set up corresponding groups. Any time someone put something new up about blood diamonds or about soccer, you’d automatically get an email and then you’d go in and see what the person was talking about. It’s literally like being in a room with everyone.” Timing the release of the stories was another issue to contend with. The initial plan was to publish the leaks in March but the deadline ended up being extended for a number of weeks due to the German local elections. Ryle explains: “Our German partners came to us pretty early on in the year, and embarrassingly said, ‘We completely forgot about our local elections, could we delay it again?’ I was happy because that way we were able to delay it past Easter and I was worried that we were publishing just before Easter. You really need the right day, the right time, and then you need nothing else to happen when you’ve published, it’s like any story.” After the story broke in early April, it dominated the news agenda across the globe for several weeks, as the public got to grips with the information being fed to them through various media. The fallout from the revelations is ongoing. At time of writing, Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, were appealing a Spanish court decision finding the pair guilty of tax fraud, details of which were contained in the Panama Papers. And it’s likely there will more stories emerging in the months ahead as the ICIJ continues to work through the data. “We’re a non-profit organisation so I basically decide when we start and when we finish,” says Ryle. “I’ll probably keep my people on it for the rest of the year one way or the other. We’ve added another 80 reporters to the project in different InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Gerard Ryle at this year’s Dalkey Book Festival

countries. We also brought in The New York Times and The Washington Post. “The important thing about ICIJ is we don’t tell the media partners what to do, we just give them access to everything and expect them to share all their findings with us. We run the global story but they do what’s relevant to their country. So The Irish Times in Ireland, they turned up to the meetings, they had access to everything, they were part of the virtual newsroom. But we don’t tell The Irish Times what’s important to Ireland. The Irish Times decides that.” Given that Ryle spent over one year completely immersed in data relating to the offshore industry, what are his thoughts on how companies are used by the global elite to conceal the ownership and control of assets and property worth billions? Does he believe that in light of the release of the Panama Papers there will be a concerted effort to clean up an industry ripe with fraud? “I think there could be if there was a willingness,” he says. “But there’s an awful lot of self interest there. There’s a lot of Western nations that make a lot of money from the offshore world. The whole British and American economies are based on dirty money flowing through them; Russian and Chinese money, money flowing out of Africa and into property in London, New York and Miami. That’s the reality. Unless there’s an incentive to really end it then it’s not going to stop.” Sounds like plenty of material for a TedTalk.

ABOUT GEARD RYLE Hailing from Tralee, Co Kerry, Ryle studied journalism at the College of Commerce in Rathmines. From there he did an internship in the Sligo Champion before landing a paid job at the same newspaper. He gained more experience at the Longford Leader before eventually moving to Australia in the 1980s. He spent over 20 years there as a reporter, investigative journalist and editor before joining the ICIJ as director five years ago. When asked whether a move back to Ireland was on the cards, he said: “When you’ve worked abroad, it’s hard to come back. It’s a very difficult environment in Ireland to work as a journalist because the rules are quite difficult and the defamation laws are very onerous. You have to have a lot of money to defend yourself when you tell the truth.”

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18/07/2016 15:39 08/06/2016 14:08


FEATURE

SNAP

CHAT We want to keep developing our journalism and write better and better articles. We could survive with about 800 subscribers, but in five years’ time

Lois Kapila, co-founder and managing editor, Dublin Inquirer

I’d love to have triple that, so I could start paying myself a bit, and I could pay our staff and freelancers better.

Print is dead, so they say. But back in April, Dublin Inquirer, a website covering local government, planning, arts and culture across the capital, launched the first edition of its monthly newspaper. At a time when most publications are shifting their focus and budgets to digital, co-founder Lois Kapila is confident that the local paper can buck the trend.

The reception’s been really great. We have about 70,000 hits a month on our website, large followings on social media, about 450 monthly subscribers, and we’re selling through our stockists, too. Since we launched, we’ve built up various revenue streams, starting with online advertising and a voluntary membership scheme, then adding a paid print edition sold through subscriptions and through shops all across the city, and also print advertising.

The business [of journalism] is facing challenges, of course. It’s still recovering from the disastrous The start-up funding came from savings and decision to start giving away news for free borrowed money from family. This might have online when the internet came along, which been really, really foolish – we’ll see! means a generation of readers grew up In the last year, we’ve worked to build up We aim to do great expecting news to be free. several different revenue streams, and will ethical, original, thoughtful continue to do that. journalism about We plan to stay relatively small, I really admire reader-supported publications like De Correspondent that are building a community, trying to provide news you can’t get elsewhere, and asking whether they are producing something of value, that readers want. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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city government, city affairs, arts, culture and food in Dublin.

because we believe our market is relatively limited, and we don’t want to grow our organisation beyond what that market can support. To subscribe to Dublin Inquirer go to dublininquirer.com/subscribe or you can pick up a copy at various locations around the city (see dublininquirer.com/pick-up-print)

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19/07/2016 09:46


SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE

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InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 10:01


SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE

Three Irish sisters are taking the hassle out of shopping by bringing the best of the High Street into one easy to shop site. InBUSINESS caught up with Opsh co-founder Sarah McGinn to find out how she and her siblings plan on going global. psh (a play on the word shop) is an online retailer set up by sisters Grace, Jennie and Sarah McGinn. Not only providing a way for customers to shop for clothing across their favourite fashion brands, it also gathers valuable information about shoppers’ likes and engagement with different labels. It’s been a few years in the making, with the sisters originally starting out as fashion and lifestyle bloggers back in 2008. It was through running the blog ‘What Will I Wear Today’ that the sisters rapidly developed skills in graphic design, web, video, merchandising, analysing and customer acquisition, which would prove valuable later in their careers. It was ultimately down to a frustration with the lack of fusion between content and ecommerce that the trio spotted potential for a new business model. That’s when they came up with Prowlster, an ecommerce solution that allowed you to shop across any article without having to leave the platform. But the McGinn sisters were always a step ahead and having realised that online shopping was still extremely fragmented and frustrating for the shopper, they believed Prowlster wasn’t the right platform for their next vision, and decided to sell the company. It was then that they began building their next venture - Opsh. These days, Opsh has lots of brag about. Big names like River Island, Warehouse, Oasis and LifeStyle Sports sell through the platform, and as business thrives in both the UK and Irish market, the McGinns continue to get new retailers on board and now have their sights firmly set on going Stateside... not to mention global domination, as InBUSINESS discovered.

IB: How much research and preparation was conducted before the initial launch? SMcG: A huge amount. Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail! It’s not good enough to just have a great idea, you need to know if there is a market there, a niche, customers. What are the goals? What are the plans? What is the timeline? So much needs to be researched, analysed and modelled before you get into even thinking about the launch. It’s a minefield! IB: How have you funded your business to date? SMcG: To get us to where we are we have worked as a lean, mean business machine - literally on a shoestring. Self funded by the Founders, support from LEO and Enterprise Ireland in our early stages, but always being incredibly savvy with how any budget is spent - a start-up’s life! Through the graft and the grind, we raised our initial seed fund in 2015 from Brett Palos, board member of the Arcadia Group, and Sir Philip Green’s stepson. This was matched by Enterprise Ireland as part of having High Potential Start Up (HPSU) status.

IB: How important is content for any business looking to make their brand more visible online? SMcG: For us, content is everything. Our content is our marketing, our sales and our merchandising, and therefore a vital part of our company. As founders, we have a very strong background in content. As a result, we have built up an incredible and creative team that helps drive our business forward. It’s important to find your own niche in content your own design, branding and voice. This is what helps people relate to your business, and support it. IB: How do you differ from other online fashion retailers? SMcG: We have hundreds of your favourite brands, all in one site, for simple, accessible and enjoyable shopping. We offer choice to our customer. Traditional third-party e-commerce platforms use a wholesale model; buying, selecting and controlling stock - we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to offer the full retailer catalogue to our end-user and allow them to control what they see. We have also introduced social shopping onto the Opsh platform,

Opsh founders Sarah, Grace and Jennie McGinn

WE CONTINUALLY STRIVE TO PROVIDE MEANINGFUL AND ENGAGING CONTENT AND FEATURES FOR OUR SHOPPER. OPSH IS THE FUTURE OF SHOPPING FOR NEW MILLENIALS.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE

so now you can Wishlist, WhatsApp and engage with influencers in our SquadStyle Community. We continually strive to provide meaningful and engaging content and features for our shopper. Opsh is the future of shopping for new millenials.

Sarah McGinn

IB: Who is your average customer? SMcG: Our target audience is between 18 to 35, but really honing in on the 20 to 28 range of shopper. And they love to shop! Repeat visitors and shoppers is outstanding. People come to browse, use our social features, interact with other users,

IB: Tell us about your recently launched Opsh Magazine. SMcG: We’re incredibly excited about the launch of the Opsh Magazine, and the response we have had to it so far has been amazing. We wanted to extend our ecommerce offering to include trend, fashion and style content for the benefit of the Opsh users.

The magazine offers advice, style and celebrity news and brings in a whole new layer into the Opsh community.

peruse the Opsh Magazine, and check out their products. The Opsh site is a community, our customers like to stay, browse and shop. IB: What would you say are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a start-up in Ireland? What more can be done at a Government level? SMcG: From my own perspective, I think that there is a real problem in the middle stages of companies. Starting off there is much support around seed funding, mentoring, advice, but once you pass this and are on your way to a Series A investment, the support drops off. This is where most start-ups fail. IB: Family businesses can sometimes be a challenge. How do you find working with your siblings? SMcG: It’s not an issue for us - in fact it’s a strength. We have 100 per cent trust in each other. I think if there were challenges that were insurmountable we would never have made it to eight years together in business!

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IB: Any funny story about your business that you can share with us? SMcG: We began our tech careers by being competitively selected to take part in the NDRC Launchpad accelerator programme in Dublin. This was way, way before us becoming the tech whizzes that we are now. In the interview, we wanted to explain our idea by building a prototype of what the site would look like. We built that prototype out of cardboard, which proceeded to fall apart during the interview, bit by cardboard bit. Luckily our passion and dedication to business shone through and we were chosen to take part. Funny to look back on it now, but very embarrassing at the time! IB: Where would you like to see Opsh in five years’ time? SMcG: We want to be one of the top five online shopping destinations for women globally. It’s a big goal, but why shouldn’t we aim high with our ambition? InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 10:01


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MENTORS

The

Opportunist CONOR FORREST sat down with successful Irish businessman John Campion to discuss how a former roadie from Cork wound up at the helm of a multi-million dollar energy firm.

W

hat do Thin Lizzie, David Bowie and Billy Coleman have in common? They all proved inspirational, in some form or another, for a young man from Cork who would grow up to make his mark on the world’s energy industry. That man is John Campion, who is sitting across from me in The Merrion Hotel, chatting animatedly about lessons learned from business, Michael Jackson, and cars. There’s something quite immediately interesting about him. It’s not simply the fact that he jets around the world on his own private plane, nor the fact that one of his daily drivers is a classic Porsche. What’s really interesting is the manner in which he has acquired them, not to mention his outlook on life. FROM CORK TO CAROLINA Campion was born in 1963, when Eamon de Valera was still Ireland’s President, Shelbourne had won the FAI Cup for just the third time, and

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President John F. Kennedy arrived in Dublin to a raucous reception. An average student, Campion was held back twice in secondary school and was told that he was unlikely to amount to anything significant in life. Instead of proving his doubters right, Campion has wholeheartedly gone and done the contrary. His story is very much that of David and Goliath. Like many of his compatriots, Campion crossed the Atlantic in search of better prospects, travelling as a lighting technician for a small Irish rock band known as the Mama’s Boys. Out in America, he jumped ship and went to work for a rock and roll lighting company. Bigger and better things beckoned, and his path to success was hastened by his own initiative. Working on the David Bowie Glass Spider tour in Manchester in 1987, he noticed a malfunctioning junction box before one of the evening shows. Taking the initiative, Campion managed to fix it. Standing, watching over his shoulder, was the man himself, InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Illustration courtesy of Jen Murphy (@JenJen_Murf). Jen is a graphic design and caricature artist based in the west of Ireland. For further details contact: jenmurphy.designs@gmail.com

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Jen Murphy

MENTORS

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alongside a number of influential figures within the industry, including Benny Collins. “I took an opportunity, saw a need – it wasn’t my job but I fixed it. The story is seizing opportunity and knowing when to seize opportunity,” he tells me. “You can take your business career and whether you’re moderately successful or hugely successful, there’s always a fork in the road. You take a risk.” His impressive skills in ‘MacGyvering’ a solution to a potentially tricky problem made an impression on Bowie – as evidenced by a note Campion received from the star, which read ‘John, Many thanks for all the late night work’. But his actions would have deeper consequences. In 1987, Michael Jackson began his first ever solo world tour, Bad, kicking off proceedings in Tokyo. Power problems plagued the show, however, and Campion was requested by name by Benny Collins, Jackon’s production manager. “I was in Charlotte, North Carolina with Bowie, left the tour, flew from Charlotte, NC to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Tokyo, took a train from Tokyo to Yokohama, took a taxi from Yokohama station to the venue and went to work sorting it out,” he recalls. At a meeting attended by Jackson and his manager Frank DiLeo, Campion was asked to solve their power issues, which had followed the tour to Australia in November. Campion proposed a redundant system of generators, and asked for an advance of $100,000. He got it. “Take an opportunity, then know what to do with that opportunity once you take it, and don’t be afraid to ask for something, even though it might appear that you’ll never get it,” says Campion. “I [was] 25 years old, negotiating with Michael Jackson’s manager about an advance on a contract I didn’t even have.” ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE Campion’s career appears to be punctuated and, indeed, bolstered by his willingness to ask for something even when it appeared he would never get it, something it’s fair to say has paid off. That initial investment allowed him to develop his own business – ShowPower – which provided portable generators for music shows, was taken public on the American Stock Exchange in 1998, and sold to General Electric two years later. Though Campion remained with GE until 2001, building revenues to several hundred 42

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John Campion with Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhalaigh and future motorsport stars Photo: Peter Houlihan Photography

JOHN CAMPION ON... BUSINESS Take an opportunity, then know what to do with that opportunity once you take it. And don’t be afraid to ask for something even though it might appear that you’ll never get it. MOTORS I’ve pulled cars out of barns in Sydney, Australia. I’ve pulled cars out of barns in Belgium. I don’t know if I have it in me to start another business from scratch. But I have it in me to chase cars. BEING IRISH I am probably at 53 more Irish than I was at 33. In other words, as you get older you tend to gravitate to where you came from. And I found that even with my cars.

million dollars per year, creative differences led him to join French outfit Alstom, where he founded Alstom Power Rentals alongside Lawrence Anderson in 2004. Circumstances conspired to give him the opportunity to buy the business, which would become APR Energy, while also requesting a loan of $1,000,000 for cash flow purposes. Once again, he was given what he asked for. “They loaned me a million dollars and then I built that business from zero to $500m of revenue,” he says. “The story, I suppose, is seeing opportunity, taking it...how to leverage those opportunities and experiences into something else.” Today, APR Energy has a truly global footprint, rapidly deploying power plants on short notice from Australia to Argentina, whether in the event of a natural disaster or power shortages. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, it employs over 950 people across the globe, operating in countries as diverse as Egypt, Uruguay, Senegal, Yemen and Argentina, and was valued at $1.2bn in 2014. Campion’s background has played an important role in the development of the company – APR utilises award-winning modular power plants which can be put together in a manner akin to LEGO bricks, a mirror image of Campion’s roadie days. “Exactly the same concept, right? Just InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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MENTORS

John Campion and Martin McKenna, President, Motorsport Ireland Photo: Peter Houlihan Photography

bigger,” he says. “When the pop show shows up at Slane or Croke Park, 70 or 80 semis come in, set it up, it’s done, they go. And the pop star can walk down the stage and the same light will hit him in the same spot every Sunday night. It’s the same ethos, the same thought process.” MAD FOR MOTORS Though I’ve only just met Campion, his enthusiasm for engines and pistons and screaming rubber is immediately evident. When asked about his love of motorsport, his broad grin stretches a little further, and there’s a sudden twinkle in his eyes. He speaks with undeniable and almost infectious enthusiasm of racing a Fiat 131 Mirafiori in Alitalia livery, his impressive collection of cars, and of plans to (legally) scream through the streets of Jacksonville, Florida at night in a 550bhp Lancia S4. When we meet, Campion is in Ireland to promote Motorsport Ireland’s latest venture – the Team Ireland Foundation, a programme that will support and develop talented drivers across racing, rallying and karting to succeed on domestic and international stages. Campion was asked to be the programme’s ambassador. “If we can InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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inspire younger [people] and they can have the benefit I had by seeing what I saw, that would be fantastic, wouldn’t it? Plus, I’ll be able to twist John a few people’s arms in America and Campion raise a few more dollars. Which is always fun, because everybody in America wants to be Irish,” he adds with a mischievous smile. Campion’s fascination with the world of motorsport can be traced as far back as 1976. “CAMPION’S Then 13 years old, he had attended a rally in CAREER APPEARS TO Killarney with his father and brother. Standing by the side of the route at 7am, he recalls hearing BE PUNCTUATED a car screaming through the morning mist, AND, INDEED, sliding almost sideways into view. At the wheel BOLSTERED was one Billy Coleman, a farmer-turned-rallyBY HIS driver who, unbeknownst to himself, was about WILLINGNESS TO to ignite a life-long passion for motoring in the impressionable young Campion. ASK FOR Coleman’s exploits – and those of other Irish SOMETHING people who succeeded on the global stage, EVEN WHEN including Thin Lizzie and Rory Gallagher IT APPEARED – would engender a deep self-belief within HE WOULD Campion, something he has carried with him NEVER throughout all of these years. GET IT.” “Thin Lizzie moved to England, Billy Coleman won the RAC Rally [in 1974]. The last privateer to win the RAC Rally Championship. It’s a great story, and that’s the real David and Goliath story. Growing up with that and growing up realising that, gave me a huge amount of inspiration,” he explains. “I didn’t do well at school, but seeing what these heroes and these people that I could identify with were able to achieve, that gave me the ability to think ‘well, if they can do it, I can do it too’.” 43

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INNOVATION

n, Gibso x e l to A vate talks RVR Inno of S S E IN eA ise InBUS nder of th bout the r lity, u a ea fo ence, mented r tors r e f n Co aug sec l and ok at the pact, a u t r i v a lo ll im ’re gy wi akes and t technolo or not we . this whether adoption tream ioning quest for mains ready

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INNOVATION

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Alex Gibson, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at DIT, and founder of the ARVR Innovate Conference

ugmented and virtual reality is set to be the next big thing in tech. Market predictions for the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) indicate a growth in expected sales from current levels of less than $10 billion this year to $150bn in 2020, according to a recent Digi Capital report. 2015 was a big year for the technology, with the industry capturing nearly $700 million of investments in AR and VR technology. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has said AR and VR will be the next major platform. Google is investing heavily in it with Google Glass and Cardboard and recently announced a new platform called Daydream, which will provide smartphone users with vivid VR immersions. Getty Images, the world’s biggest stock photo agency, has also just announced it is creating a new division focused on VR, believing this technology will become a leading tool for visual storytelling. Hollywood houses, including Disney, are making acquisitions in this area as well. For the uninitiated, what does it actually mean? Alex Gibson, founder of the ARVR Innovate Conference explains. “Virtual reality immerses a person using a wearable device such as an Oculus Rift headset or cheaper version like Google Cardboard. Effectively when you put on a wearable device you are totally immersed and can’t see anything of the outside world. Wearable devices have accelerated this movement, but virtual reality has been around for some 40 or 50 years in various formats. Now the wearable devices allow us to enter a total immersive experience.

“Augmented reality, as the name suggests, is when you augment, add or overlay digital information on the real world. For example, in a tourism context there are apps where you can look at a building and get information about the building overlaid on a mobile device.” The difference between the two is the degree of immersion involved. Both technologies offer exciting opportunities for marketing communications, but also increasingly for sectors such as retail, tourism, medicine, engineering, gaming and property. Gibson has run the ARVR Innovate conference in Dublin for the last three years, and is impressed by the broad range of sectors in attendance. He says he originally aimed it at the marketing community but has had to reorient it because of the huge interest from other sectors. This year’s conference also saw a 40 per cent increase in attendance on last year’s. “The biggest growth, in addition to gaming, will be in enterprise and engineering,” according to Gibson. “The cost of devices is still expensive; good quality augmented eyewear, you’re talking 1,500 and a strong processor to work with them as well. So that’s not within the reach of most consumers.” However, the price points of some of this technology are coming down. This summer, the Samsung Gear 360 camera is launching in Ireland and the UK with a more entry-level price of around 300 – still to be confirmed. This will accelerate adoption and allow the creation of a lot more 360 content, which if combined with a headset can create that immersive VR experience. Gibson says we’re still at the top end of the hype cycle around this. “Certainly both these technologies will become very ubiquitous and a part of our lives, but the reality is a lot of companies are still adopting a wait-and-see approach. Although the hardware is getting more impressive all the time, the reality is that all the content isn’t that scintillating. Ultimately people’s first experiences with these technologies have to be very strong for it to grow; if not, there’s a danger that growth will be stalled. I do think these technologies will be an important part of our lives over the next decade, but in the short term there is a lot of hype.”

INDUSTRY AR technology in industrial sectors, like engineering, automotive and aeronautical, is one of the biggest growth areas. Headquartered in Los Angeles with a development centre in Dublin, DAQRI is a world leader in the development of this technology. Its SMART HELMET was built

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INNOVATION

with the industrial workplace in mind, designed to reduce operational complexity and increase productivity. The interface inserts real-time information, including AR and mixed reality instructions, safety information and mapping, to make tasks intuitive, less time consuming, to improve health and safety for workers and to increase productivity. The technology is currently being tested with various industrial companies, and in trials has resulted in a reduction in quality errors by over 90 per cent and reduced assembly times by over 30 per cent.

RETAIL AR and VR are also being embraced by the retail industry. In the UK, Cimagine has worked with clients such as Coca-Cola, ShopDirect and John Lewis to enhance customer engagement and drive sales. The department store John Lewis has used Cimagine’s technology in its home furnishings department to create a virtual showroom in store, with the idea of visualisation being the sales tool. Coca-Cola has also invested in this technology for selling vending machines. The technology lets potential customers look through a device to see the vending machine in situ, which has had a substantial impact in terms of sales. “Our belief is that the retail industry is and will continue to be dramatically changed by AR,” says Leigh Davidson, Commercial Director of Cimagine. He believes that in an era where a shopper need have no physical interactions with a store or product before they buy, AR technology will drive the evolution of the shopper journey. “It’s our belief that more and more shoppers will expect to truly see before they buy. AR enables retailers and brands to sell bigger, better and faster by enhancing the sales engagement. “I think in the next few years businesses who have taken the first move will benefit from even better sales, conversion and customer experience return.” Davidson believes AR will even become a requirement for retailers over the next few years, driven by the consumer. “AR won’t be perceived as a gimmick or nice to have, it will become a necessity, just like having an image and description of your product online is a must today,” he says.

EDUCATION Education is an area that is also likely to see an explosion of interest and adoption in VR technology. Based in Waterford, Immersive VR Education is developing experiences to provide realistic InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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simulations around historic and real world events to both educate and entertain students. Its Apollo 11 VR recreates the historic event through the eyes of those who lived through it, using a mix of original archive audio and video. The nextgeneration documentary even allows users to take control of the flying module, land on the moon and explore its surface. The experience won the Vision AR/VR award for Best VR Film/ Interactive Experience. Exploring the Titanic is Immersive VR’s next project. Google is also investing heavily in VR for the education sector. Its Expeditions product allows schoolteachers to ‘take’ their pupils to some of the most amazing sites in the world, from Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal, using Google Cardboard. The programme is currently in a pilot phase and has been introduced in a number of countries, including Ireland.

TOURISM VR technology opens up a lot of potential for the tourism industry, allowing would-be tourists to get a realistic taste of a destination. Fáilte Ireland recently employed this technology to improve its marketing of Ireland at the ITB travel trade show. “We were looking at the issues of marketing Ireland abroad. Ireland has a bit of an issue with tourism that it’s a bucket list destination for many people, but they don’t know what to do when they actually get here and that needs to change,” explains Daragh Anglim, Head of Digital at Fáilte Ireland. Fáilte Ireland partnered with Big O Media to create the content using drones, 360 cameras and GoPros. They created four experiences of the Wild Atlantic Way – surfing in Co Clare, Seastacks in Donegal, horseriding in Benbulben and cycling in Clare. Anglim says people were really blown away by the experiences at the show. He does stress, however, that VR experiences are just one aspect of marketing Ireland abroad. “We wanted a way to stand out at the trade shows and I think it helped set ourselves apart and showcase the best of what you can do in Ireland. It also helps show people what we have outside of the main tourist hubs. What we have in Ireland is visually stunning and this is the next stage of marketing it. The technology is becoming more accessible and people will be searching for high-quality content. While we are excited to be one of the first to use it and we see great potential in it, I would say it is just one part of the marketing mix.” For a look at some of the latest VR headsets available on the market go to our Innovation Nation section on page 128.

AR VS VR

TECHNOLOGY

Fáilte Ireland used VR technology to showcase the Wild Atlantic Way at the ITB travel trade show

Google has launched its education platform, Expeditions, using Google Cardboard

DAQRI Smart Helmet

It is likely that AR will become a requirement for retailers in the future

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BOOK EXTRACT

“WE SHALL DO AS WE ARE TOLD IN

THE HOPE OF A LATER REPRIEVE.” In his new book And the Weak Suffer What They Must?, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis draws on the personal experience of his own negotiations with eurozone’s financiers in the aftermath of the global financial crash. In this extract he gives his take on how Europe dealt with Ireland’s banking crisis, drawing a common thread between the Irish and Greek people.

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he Irish and the Greeks are in many ways very different people. And yet the euro crisis merged their fortunes significantly as the weakest of the Greeks and the weakest of the Irish were forced to cover the private losses of German and French bankers. Vincent Browne’s pounding of Klaus Masuch at that press conference put the hapless ECB official in the impossible position of having to defend the ECB’s indefensible behaviour towards the people of Ireland. In his questioning Browne alluded repeatedly to the ECB’s blackmail of the Dublin government, forcing it to transfer private debts to the public purse of a bank that was dead and buried and thus posed no threat to Ireland’s financial stability. Little did Browne know, however, that the ECB’s dirty work was not fully done. To begin at the beginning, when the Anglo Irish Bank and other such

financial time bombs exploded in 2009, the ECB forced the then Irish government, without the consent of its electorate, to offer the bankrupt bankers so-called promissory notes – another type of IOU – which, as every Irishman and -woman knows, bankrupted the nation, brought mass emigration back and condemned the majority to untold hardship. The promissory notes specified regular payments by the Irish treasury to the bearer of the notes that were steep and payable in a few years, thus causing both a liquidity crisis in the public sector and the insolvency of the Irish state. The defunct Irish banks took these promissory notes and deposited them as collateral with Ireland’s central bank, drawing liquidity to repay their (mostly German) uninsured bond holders. The government collapsed under the weight of its hubris, but the new Irish government bowed too to the ECB’s pressure not to haircut or restructure the promissory notes. Instead Dublin adopted the InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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BOOK EXTRACT

‘model prisoner’ strategy: ‘We shall do as we are told in the hope of a later reprieve.’ From then on the promissory notes sat on the books of Ireland’s central bank and the Dublin government struggled to pay them as they matured. For two years the Irish government petitioned Brussels and Frankfurt to elongate the promissory note repayment schedule while subjecting the weakest of Irish citizens to the worst cuts Northern Europe had seen since Ireland’s potato famine. Alas, the ECB was adamant: the Irish central bank was not allowed to give better terms to its own government because that would be considered a violation of the ‘no bailout’ clause of the Maastricht Treaty. In other words, uninsured private bankers had to be bailed out illegally and utterly unethically, but the taxpayers who were forced to carry that can could not even be given better terms for repaying the odious private debt they were forced to acquire in order to bail the bankers out. Only in 2014 did the ECB relent, accepting that the notes could be swapped for new, longer-term, interest-bearing Irish government bonds. The ECB in effect accepted that this repulsive debt should be restructured, lessening a little the strain on the Irish state. Thus Ireland’s central bank swapped the hated promissory notes it was holding for fresh Irish government bonds that promised their bearer significant interest payments in the long term. And, as long as the bearer was the Irish central bank, which kept these bonds to maturity, the government would pay this interest to its own central bank, which would in turn pay it back to the government as dividends. In a sense the longterm beneficiary would be Irish taxpayers, small compensation for the pain the ECB and the bankers had put them through. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Yanis Varoufakis, author of And the Weak Suffer What They Must?

“THE IRISH STATE BENEFITING FROM THE SWAP OF THE PROMISSORY NOTES FOR GOVERNMENT BONDS? WE CAN’T HAVE THAT! THIS WOULD BE A GIFT TO IRELAND’S TAXPAYERS. MONETARY FINANCING BY THE ECB OF THE IRISH STATE. WHAT WILL THE BUNDESBANK THINK?”

But the ECB would have none of that. “What?” its Frankfurt functionaries thought. “The Irish state benefiting from the swap of the promissory notes for government bonds? We can’t have that! This would be a gift to Ireland’s taxpayers. Monetary financing by the ECB of the Irish state. What will the Bundesbank think?” And so the good people of Frankfurt pressured Ireland’s central bank to unload the government bonds, to sell them to private bankers who would then, in the fullness of time, collect the interest from the Irish taxpayers. If anyone was to benefit, it ought to be the bankers and the hedge funds again. Never the citizens.

This extract is taken from And the Weak Suffer What They Must?, reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House.

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VENTURE IN CONVERSATION:

FORTH

Regina Breheny, Director General of the Irish Venture Capital Association, tells VALERIE JORDAN about the venture capital industry in Ireland and discusses the importance of VC for both entrepreneurs and the greater economy.

hen we speak, Regina Breheny, Director General of the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA), has just come into the office after attending presentations by Davra, a data collection company, and Silver Cloud, a company providing online treatment programmes for mental health issues. Though she isn’t involved directly with investment capital, she likes to keep abreast of the technologies and developments her venture capitalist members are interested in. Breheny trained as a chartered accountant and went straight into banking after she qualified. She accidentally fell into investment, managing institutional funds for the AIB Group and Eagle Star, and later did a stint in stockbroking. For the past number of years she has been working as an investment consultant. Out of that came an opportunity to take over the running of the IVCA – her first venture into the venture capital (VC) industry. 50

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Regina Breheny, Director General, Irish Venture Capital Association

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IN CONVERSATION

The IVCA represents VC in both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. Its members are firms that provide funding to high-growth unquoted companies. The body had been functioning as a group for members to communicate among themselves before Breheny’s arrival; her role was to develop it as a professional organisation to represent the industry and provide services to members. “Up to that I hadn’t any venture capital experience but I had extensive investment experience. I knew what the process was about, although the dynamics are a little bit different,” Breheny admits. “I do a lot of work in Europe with the VC body and also with the European Commission on regulating the industry. I’m also liaising with the Central Bank and trying to get a regulatory background that suits the VC industry and how it operates. I deal extensively with the investors, who would be the limited partners. That includes the Government, the EIS in Europe is a big investor in Ireland, pension funds and other private sectors that invest in VC funds. I do that by promoting the industry, collecting data and statistics and generating research that promotes the industry.” To break down the venture capital process, a fund tends to have a tenyear life and raises an average of a100 million which has to be committed in the first five years of its life. The VC selects companies, starts investing and after five years it can no longer take on new companies and must use its funds to support its existing portfolio. When a portfolio company is sold through a trade sale or IPO, the money goes straight back to the limited partners. In that way, the fund is self-liquidating and over a period of time – the second five years, or sometimes longer – the process is an exit process. “It is a significant partnership,” says Breheny. “It works really well if there’s real alignment of interest – their job is to work together to build business and to sell it on. The entrepreneur InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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understands from the beginning that the VC needs an exit.” In terms of what VCs are looking for, Breheny says they’re interested in any business that has global application and a good team behind it – often entrepreneurs are repeat entrepreneurs. Most VCs will have a particular interest or expertise; many operating in Dublin are on their fifth or sixth cycle of investment. Atlantic Bridge, for instance, is one of Europe’s top performing funds specialising in core technology; Delta Partners, investing in Ireland and the UK, has expertise in software; Seroba Life Sciences is headquartered in Ireland with a particular interest in medical devices and drug development. “Some of the biggest companies in America were developed through VC funding,” says Breheny. “It is a resource that is in very short supply. It sounds

WHAT’S FASCINATING IS THE TRENDS HAVEN’T CHANGED. THEY SHOW THAT THE JOB CREATION IS REALLY SIGNIFICANT. OUR SPACE IS A BIG OUTLIER AND IS ALWAYS IN SIGNIFICANT DOUBLE-DIGIT JOB GROWTH. like there’s loads of money available but actually it’s a tiny amount of the capital that swishes around in the economy. VC as a percentage of GDP on an annual basis is less than half a per cent. And it’s not much more in the US either. But its impact is absolutely enormous. It invests in a disciplined fashion in new developments and technologies where there is very high growth in employment in very early stages. That’s its impact on the economy, and it tends to, certainly in Ireland, support the creation of really high-calibre jobs.” Breheny is currently busy driving a collection of data to highlight the economic impact of VC in Ireland; the IVCA conducts regular research to promote the industry. In the last study, covering 2010-2012, Irish venture capital firms had invested a1 billion

in Irish SMEs since 2003, attracted in a further a1bn from international venture capital firms, and created 3,900 high-calibre jobs in the economy. The report highlighted that VCs can drive job creation, economic growth and share risk to enable entrepreneurs turn ideas into products and services. The next report will be published later this year, but the availability of histrorical data allows the IVCA identify patterns and trends in the industry – or lack thereof. “What’s fascinating is the trends haven’t changed,” says Breheny. “They show that the job creation is really significant. Our space is a big outlier and is always in significant double-digit job growth. It’s mainly graduate; it used to be a lot of doctorates but that is dropping off now which is interesting – I think companies are finding doctors less attractive and maybe too academic, so they’re going for masters or primary degree graduates.” The research shows that the companies are emerging from the multinationals rather than universities or research organisations. It also shows that the businesses that the VCs invest in spend a lot on R&D, fuel innovation, and that they are primarily export-driven. Breheny explains that the IVCA produces its numbers by measuring how much SMEs raise, where most economies measure venture capital spend. She says: “I’m agnostic to whether it’s a VC or an angel – to me the true measure of activity in the economy is how much SMEs raise. The numbers are big – we did over half a billion last year. A lot of the money comes from international investors because they like what’s going on in Ireland. The VCs here have been successful in developing relationships with international players, showing them their portfolio and bringing in all that international capital. At this stage, when an Irish VC spends a euro, they also bring in a euro from an international player. That’s really significant and a tremendous success story for Ireland.” 51

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CHAMBERS NEWS

A ROUND UP OF ALL THE NEWS AND EVENTS FROM THE CHAMBER NETWORK NATIONWIDE

CHAMBERS

CATCH UP APPOINTMENT NOTICE:

DROGHEDA Irene McKeown is the recently appointed office manager of Drogheda and District Chamber. She has extensive experience in marketing, events, planning and purchasing having previously worked in organisations including Coca-Cola and GOSH Cosmetics. Taking up the position in January 2016, McKeown is responsible for the day to day running of the Chamber office. In April 2016, the Chamber hosted their annual business expo to great success. The expo is a unique platform for businesses to showcase the fantastic range of local business in the North East. McKeown is looking forward to her continued work with and for the Chamber members of Drogheda and District.

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Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuiness, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan

TIMELY MOVE SEES CHAMBER

organisations increase cooperation

CHAMBERS IRELAND AND THE NORTHERN IRELAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY have announced a strengthening of cooperation between the two organisations, which represent the all-island business community. The launch of the formal affiliation between the two Chambers took place at a side event on July 4th following the North-South Ministerial Council at Dublin Castle and was attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Speaking at the announcement, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive Chambers Ireland said: “ This new relationship is timely as the business community on the island needs a strong voice during the uncertainty arising from the UK referendum on EU membership.”

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CHAMBERS NEWS

MEDIATION

IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS

CHAMBER CAPTION Noelle O’Connell, Executive Director of European Movement Ireland, and Lucinda Creighton, Former Minister for European Affairs, in discussion during the Making the EU Work for Irish Business event organised by Chambers Ireland on May 12th.

APPOINTMENT NOTICE:

CARLOW

Brian O’Farrell has been appointed CEO of County Carlow Chamber of Commerce. Brian is a graduate of the Shannon College of Hotel Management. He spent 14 years working in the UK before returning to Ireland in 2010. O’Farrell has acquired extensive experience in the hospitality industry, working with national and international hotel groups, in a number of management and operational positions. Since his return to Ireland, he has been involved in a number of projects, most recently in the area of hospitality outsourcing, while completing an Honours Degree Programme with Carlow IT. O’Farrell has a passion for many sports including equestrian, cycling and hiking.

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CHAMBER COMMENT “It is worrying to see that the lack of affordable accommodation now risks undermining our overall competitiveness. This is also becoming a threat to Ireland’s attractiveness for Foreign Direct Investment.” Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications, Chambers Ireland, responding to details of the National Competitiveness Council’s study on the affordability of Irish housing released on July 8th.

Chambers Ireland believes that if businesses used alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to solve disputes, they would be more efficient and more competitive. One such method that can be used to solve disputes is mediation. We believe that mediation is good for business and we want to get the message out to businesses of all sizes that if they use mediation to solve their commercial disputes, they will not only save on costs and resources but they will also be more likely to protect and retain their business relationships. In 2015, we launched the Business and Commercial Mediation Scheme. This service has been developed by a cross section of bodies including the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Law Society, the Bar Council of Ireland and the Mediator’s Institute of Ireland. The initiative is also supported by the Courts Service of Ireland. Provided both parties are willing to mediate, all kinds of business disputes can be resolved through mediation, including for example: • Boardroom disputes • Contractual disputes • Debt resolution • Defamation • Negligence • Partnership disputes • Shareholder disputes If your business has a dispute and you would like to use mediation to resolve it, contact Chambers Ireland on 01 400 4300 or email: mediation@chambers.ie. For more information on the initiative or on mediation more generally, visit our website at www.chambers.ie/ services/mediation-pilot-scheme.

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CHAMBERS NEWS

APPOINTMENT NOTICE:

MULLINGAR Steve Cummins joined Mullingar Chamber of Commerce as Office Manager in May 2016. Cummins will have an active role in recruiting new members into Chamber life, which in turn will help them to develop and grow their business. Cummins graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology with a degree in Business Management in 2005 and then went on to work in various roles across corporate and retail banking within AIB. He has extensive experience in management and he is very passionate about industry and the economic development of his hometown of Mullingar.

CHAMBER COMMENT

JOB SHADOW DAY The ninth annual IASE National Supported Employment Week took place from April 24th to 30th. Job Shadow Day was the highlight of the week and saw hundreds of people with disabilities take the opportunity to shadow a workplace mentor on a normal working day. Chambers Ireland was delighted to support this initiative by encouraging and supporting inclusive workplaces across our business network. Chambers across the network got involved, aiming to raise awareness about the positive contribution people with disabilities can and do bring to workplaces throughout the country. On April 27th, Chambers Ireland welcomed Susan Duffy to spend the day in its office shadowing Chambers Ireland staff members. Susan was a great addition to the team and gained an insight into a variety of projects and tasks with various members of staff. “The experience with Chambers Ireland allowed me great insight into a lot of areas which I found very interesting and hope to develop on,” said Susan. “I learned so much in one day and especially enjoyed sitting with each member of Chambers Ireland seeing the very interesting and diverse areas that are involved both internationally and at home. It has really encouraged me to continue on my journey of getting back into the workforce full time. It was a very enjoyable, informative and worthwhile experience.” For further information on IASE National Supported Employment Week and Job Shadow Day please see www.iase.ie

GETTING A PHELAN FOR 2050

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reland’s workers of today are looking for convenience and ease of living. That was the message delivered by Louise Phelan, VP of global operations EMEA, PayPal, at the latest Dublin Chamber of Commerce Dublin 2050 breakfast event, which took place in Dublin on June 16th. The Chamber’s Dublin 2050 series, sponsored by Fujitsu Ireland, is examining how Dublin will look in 34 years’ time. Phelan said Ireland Inc needs to “get over” the idea of having to buy your own house and concentrate on making available accommodation that is convenient for people to get to and from work.

“While this is not the result that we believe is in the long term interests of the Irish economy, the UK will continue to be a key partner for Ireland into the future.” Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, responding to the outcome of British referendum on leaving the European Union.

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Dublin Chamber of Commerce Outgoing CEO, Gina Quin with Louise Phelan, VP of Global Operations for EMEA, PayPal

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CHAMBERS NEWS

APPOINTMENT NOTICE:

NEWBRIDGE

Outgoing Waterford Chamber President Michael O’Dwyer hands over the chain of office to incoming President Laurent Borla

WATERFORD’S FRENCH CONNECTION

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aterford Chamber elected its first ever French President, Laurent Borla, at its 229th AGM in the Granville Hotel May 23rd. Borla has been an active member of Waterford Chamber for many years and said in his opening address that at this stage he is “nearly more Waterford than French” having lived and worked in his adopted county for so long. “To be part of such a rich heritage and to contribute in some small way is a very proud thing for me and my family, who are deeply rooted in this community,” he said. Looking forward to the year ahead, Laurent announced job creation and economic growth as his key priorities, with a particular emphasis on startups and technology.

CHAMBERS IRELAND AND IACC SIGN AGREEMENT Chambers Ireland and the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce (IACC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the links between the two organisations and the Irish and Australian business communities. The two countries already have strong historic and cultural links and strengthening ties between these two organisations will help build new trade relationships between the members of the Irish Chamber Network and members of the Irish Australian Chamber, helping to promote future economic and social objectives of mutual interest.

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IRISH AUSTRALIAN TRADE FACTS • Australian merchandise exports to Ireland were valued at $55 million and imports from Ireland were valued at $1.82 billion in 2014-15. • Australia’s trade in services with Ireland was valued at over $1.5 billion in 2014-15. • In 2014, Ireland’s total investment in Australia was valued at $16.28 billion, while Australia’s investment in Ireland was valued at $8.83 billion. • Dozens of Australian companies are now active in Ireland across many sectors. • Enterprise Ireland is currently supporting over 150 Irish client companies from their Sydney office.

Lorraine Killick is the newly appointed CEO of Newbridge Chamber. Killick joined the Chamber in January this year as Head of Events & Membership and was appointed CEO in May. She is no stranger to the Chamber world, having worked previously as CEO of Arklow Chamber, and is looking forward to building stronger relationships with businesses in Newbridge and supporting business and tourism in Kildare in order to grow the economy and commercial activity. The Chamber’s ambition is to facilitate a network of partnerships that will provide a platform for working together for the greater good of Kildare.

APPOINTMENT NOTICE:

ENNISCORTHY

Catriona Murphy is the new Chief Executive at Enniscorthy & District Chamber. Having spent her career to date in the area of senior management and sales and marketing development roles, Murphy has worked in a variety of industries after qualifying with a degree in Business Studies Management with Marketing and more recently having completed the Digital Marketing Institute Diploma. As Enniscorthy & District Chamber celebrates its 26th year, the town will see a major injection of State investment with the extension of the M11 motorway and imminent flood relief scheme. Murphy is responsible for driving the future growth and strategy development of the Chamber and promoting the competitiveness of business in Enniscorthy & District.

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CHAMBERS NEWS BREXIT

BREXIT:

What It Means for Your Business Following the UK’s vote to exit the European Union, we are left with a large degree of uncertainty on what will now follow. However, there are a few things we know that will and won’t happen in the aftermath of the result.

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n the immediate term, we can expect some degree of currency fluctuation in Sterling and possibly other currencies, so businesses with exposure to Sterling should consider how they will manage this. There may also be some market volatility with knock-on consequences for investments and pensions and it is unclear how long this period of uncertainty will last. However, it is important to highlight that there should be no immediate impact as negotiations for a UK exit from the European Union are likely to take a considerable amount of time. For example, pending the outcome of any negotiations there will be no introduction of tariffs and there will be no immediate introduction of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Free movement of people should also not be impacted in the immediate aftermath. Although the UK is Ireland’s largest single trading partner in Europe and ranks second to the US in terms of global export markets, the share of Irish exports (goods and services) to the UK has fallen from 55 per cent to 17 per cent over the last 40 years. Similarly, the dependence on the UK as a source of goods imports has fallen dramatically, with the share decreasing from 50 per cent to 26 per cent since 1975. The EU bloc (excluding the UK) is the largest trading partner of

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Ireland, and accounts for more than twice the volume of Irish merchandise exports to the US. Irish exporters should look to building on already strong links with US and EU markets in the months and years to come to account for any disruption to trade links with the United Kingdom.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Businesses should begin a process of assessing the impact of Britain leaving the EU on their operations and develop a contingency framework to make any necessary adjustments over the coming years as the terms of a negotiated exit become clearer. Businesses should also assist us in raising matters of which negotiating teams should be made aware or seek alternative solutions. Issues to consider may include: • Update generic contingency plans • Analysis of business models and differences arising if trading directly, using branch structure, commissionaire structure or UK subsidiary • Identify currency exposures and investigate what hedging options may be suitable for your business • Analysis of business lines to identify potentially exposed offerings. For example: + products and services which are typically liable to customs for nonEU trading

+ products and services where regulatory environment may change + impacts of changes in employment laws + identify supply chain issues such as transport routes used for sales and purchases We suggest businesses engage with their local Chamber to highlight substantial areas of particular concern where we may be able to raise these views on behalf of members at a national level. Please note that this information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. If you have specific questions about any matter you should consult your legal or other professional services providers.

MORE INFORMATION For more information on the UK Referendum result, please contact Chambers Ireland directly or see the following resources: Department of Finance Website: www.merrionstreet.ie Institute of International and European Affairs: www.iiea.com European Movement Ireland: www.europeanmovement.ie British Irish Chamber of Commerce: www.britishirishchamber.com/brexit

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CHAMBER Q&A CONOR HEALY

Rising to the

Challenge in Cork For our latest Chamber CEO profile, Conor Healy, Chief Executive of Cork Chamber, was true to his mantra and gave us five minutes of his time. Q: You have been CEO of Cork Chamber for over a decade now. How is Chamber life?

A: It has certainly been an interesting, challenging and enjoyable ten years, particularly with the economic environment transitioning significantly throughout that period. In more difficult times we focused on providing as much assistance and service as possible to the more vulnerable businesses in our membership. That strategy served us well with membership growth and greater value recognition of the Chamber achieved. On an ongoing basis we are driving the economic agenda in Cork forward and continue to be the leading representative voice of business.

Q: What are the burning issues currently facing businesses within the Cork region?

rightly needs to tackle the wider housing issues, there is also a requirement to ensure the environment is in place to facilitate new development of rental based accommodation in locations with good public transport.

Q: In terms of leading the Chamber, where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I would say I have three main sources of inspiration. Firstly, I am fortunate in my role to have a really outstanding team of professionals working with me who continuously go the extra mile to meet the needs of our members. Secondly, I have worked closely with six excellent Chamber presidents, each of whom brings a different perspective and value to the organisation. Finally, the outstanding businesses and business leaders the Chamber supports across our membership.

to survive. Equally, many Chambers of Commerce across the world struggled to survive with falling membership and severely reduced revenue forcing them to cut staff and services. Collectively at Cork Chamber, we adopted a strategy whereby we invested in our services and through that period we actually added to our team, grew our revenues, grew our service offering and grew our membership.

Q: What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given?

A: Show respect for everybody you engage with in business, both inside and outside the organisation. I also have a personal mantra that you can always find those few minutes to engage with somebody even if it may not immediately seem like time well spent. The wheel is always turning!

A: One of the key issues right now, particularly for businesses with a growing workforce who are welcoming staff to new roles in Cork, is the challenge of identifying suitable accommodation. While Government quite

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Q: What accomplishments

Q: Any up-and-coming

are you most proud of to date?

Cork-based companies to watch out for in the near future?

A: As we are all aware 2008 to 2015 was a most challenging period in our economic history when many businesses failed

A: Thankfully we have a thriving enterprise base in Cork across a range of sectors with some really

Conor Healy, Chief Executive, Cork Chamber

exciting companies in both start-up and more established phases of development. While it’s always hard to pick one above the other, some of our recent award winners such as Platform Avenue, Teamwork.com, Technically Write IT and Xanadu are all showing great potential.

Q: What are the key objectives of the Chamber for the latter part of 2016?

A: Continuing to deliver the best of services and business development opportunities for our members is always to the fore but considering the new political environment and Government, we are particularly focused on ensuring the key business needs of the Cork region are to the forefront of policy and thinking across the political spectrum.

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CHAMBERS NEWS EU POLICY

MAKING THE EU

WORK FOR BUSINESS As part of its work in promoting the need for a business friendly EU, Chambers Ireland hosted an event in May to discuss how EU policy works, and in some cases does not work, for Irish business.

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hambers Ireland works not only to represent the views of Irish business nationally, but we also work with our colleagues in Eurochambres to ensure that the interests of Irish business are adequately represented at European level. Chambers Ireland believes that Ireland’s economic future can only be secured by continuing to remain at the heart of Europe. That being said, the European Union can and should

do more to ensure that it creates a business friendly environment that drives innovation and investment across all member states. Amongst our key priorities in 2016 is to work with the Eurochambres and the European Commission on their REFIT agenda to ensure that smart regulation remains high on the EU agenda. Chambers Ireland works to highlight examples of unintended regulatory and administrative burdens on business arising from EU regulation and to push for improvements. Our goal is to ensure that smart regulation remains high on the EU agenda and to highlight the potential for better regulation where possible. We also take a strong interest in the completion of the EU internal market and in tackling the many remaining

Prof John O’Brennan, NUI Maynooth, Lucinda Creighton, Former Minister for European Affairs, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, and Ben Butters, Director of Policy with Eurochambres

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barriers to the free movement of workers, goods, services and capital across Europe. We aim to help Irish companies realise the benefits of the EU Single Market, particularly the proposed Digital Single Market. Currently, the Single Market is not working as effectively as it could be and more needs to be done at European level to ensure that it is working in the interests of business, particularly SMEs. As part of our work in promoting the need for a business friendly EU, Chambers Ireland hosted an event on the May 12th in St. Stephens Green Hibernian Club to discuss how EU policy works, and in some cases does not work, for Irish business. The event was moderated by Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot who holds the role of Deputy President of Eurochambres. As part of the event, there were two panel discussions on a broad range of EU policy issues. The first panel focused on the topic of whether Ireland’s economic future is stronger in Europe. The guest speakers were Lucinda Creighton, Former Minister for European Affairs, Noelle O’Connell, Executive Director of European Movement Ireland and Ben Butters, Director of Policy with Eurochambres. They discussed the future of Europe and whether Ireland is stronger within the EU. The discussion highlighted the many positive benefits for business, particularly SMEs, and the untapped potential to be gained from membership of the single market. Speaking on the panel, Noelle O’ Connell highlighted the many benefits EU membership has brought

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CHAMBERS NEWS EU POLICY

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, Graham Stull, European Commission Representation in Ireland, Ben Butters, Director of Policy with Eurochambres, Noelle O’Connell, Executive Director of European Movement Ireland, Prof John O’Brennan, NUI Maynooth and Lucinda Creighton, Former Minister for European Affairs

to Ireland where we are now no longer on the edge of Europe, but a gateway to it. The second panel then had a robust debate on how Europe can work better for Irish business, potential EU reforms and the future of the EU. The guest speakers on this panel included Graham Stull from the European Commission Representation in Ireland, Ben Butters, Director of Policy with Eurochambres and Prof John O’Brennan, NUI Maynooth. The key points of discussion included the need for investment, ongoing issues with the Single Market and the threat of growing extremism in European politics, on both the left and right, and how this will impact European institutions. On this point, Prof O’ Brennan of NUI Maynooth notes that a return to the politics of the 1930s was not unforeseeable if current trends are to continue. Speaking at the event, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland and Deputy President of Eurochambres said: “Our event today highlights the many ways in which Irish business benefits from our membership of the EU.

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The upcoming British referendum on EU membership has generated much misinformation and many inaccuracies from the ‘Leave’ campaign as to burdensome rules and regulations arising from EU membership. We can often be quick to forget the huge benefits of membership of the single market and the EU. These benefits were hard won and have allowed Ireland to compete

on a global stage economically.” We recognise that some reforms are needed; however we strongly believe that Ireland’s economic future can only be secured by continuing to remain at the heart of a strong Europe. Our priority is to ensure that European legislation and regulation works for businesses of all sizes. Ireland must work within Europe to encourage and strive for an EU that supports a business friendly environment that drives growth, job creation, innovation and investment across all member states.” The resounding message from the day was that despite the many challenges facing the EU and the need for some constructive reforms, Irish business benefits greatly from membership of the EU and in turn the European Union benefits and is stronger due to Irish involvement. The issue of the upcoming British referendum on EU membership, or Brexit, was discussed throughout the morning. The issue will undoubtedly have an impact on Ireland and concerns were expressed about how this has already generated much misinformation and inaccuracies and how Ireland, and Irish business, must prepare for the outcome of the referendum, whatever that may be.

Ben Butters, Director of Policy with Eurochambres

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CHAMBERS NEWS IACC

A DEAL WITH

DOWN UNDER As part of its wider effort to build stronger links with business communities in strategic markets, Chambers Ireland has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce.

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hambers Ireland works not only to represent the views of Irish business domestically, but we also work to ensure that Irish business can trade and invest internationally. With 90 per cent of global economic growth set to be generated outside of Europe over the next 10-15 years, trade must remain a priority focus of Irish and EU policy in the years to come. Therefore it is essential to preserve – and improve – an environment where trading rules are stable, transparent and fair. Our primary focus for 2016 will be to push for an SME-friendly trade deal between the EU and the United States. The negotiations, which began in 2013, will be at a vital turning point this year, as Americans go to the polls to elect a new President. A deep and comprehensive trade agreement between the EU and US has been a top priority to date but progress will need to be made on many significant areas over the coming months. Beyond the TTIP trade deal, the EU is also looking to negotiate a series of other trade and investment deals so as to ensure

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that European businesses remain competitive in the global economy. Of particular interest to Ireland are proposals for a Free Trade Agreement with Australia and New Zealand. In late 2015, the European Commission opened negotiations with both countries and these trade deals will open up new opportunities for Irish exporters. New Zealand is consistently ranked number one in terms of market openness and rule of law in the world. It also has a wide-ranging experience in drafting provisions that actually liberalise markets overseas and has successfully concluded FTAs with partners beyond the comfort zone of EU member states. The positive impact of an EU-New Zealand trade deal is not limited and it could incorporate countries of strategic interest in the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, the EU is one of the primary markets for Australia and Ireland also has a lot to gain from increased trade and investment. According to figures released by the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Embassy in Dublin, trade between Ireland and Australia totals almost a19 billion. As part of our own efforts to build stronger links with business communities in strategic markets, on May 19th 2016 Chambers Ireland and the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce signed a memorandum

of understanding. The agreement is aimed at strengthening ties between the two organisations and the Irish and Australian business communities. Through this collaboration Chambers Ireland and the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce aim to offer access and support to members hoping to increase the trade and investment between Ireland and Australia. The two countries have strong historic and cultural links and strengthening the links between these two organisations will help build new trade relationships between the members of the Irish Chamber Network and members of the Irish Australian Chamber and will promote future economic and social objectives of mutual interest. Speaking on the importance of the new relationship between the two organisations, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland said: “The Irish-Australian relationship has long been defined by migration, particularly over recent years, where many thousands of people left Ireland for new opportunities abroad. As the economy is now recovering, we see huge potential to develop economic links through our Diaspora in Australia. With the EU opening negotiations for a trade deal with Australia, we see countless opportunities for Irish businesses and investors to capitalise on our already strong relationship.

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CHAMBERS NEWS IACC

Rob Clifford, IACC President, Breandán Ó Caollaí, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, and Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland CEO

Building better and stronger links with our Diaspora all over the world is amongst our top priorities in the coming years as Ireland looks to build new trading relationships. This partnership with the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce is one of the first such steps”. Also commenting on the partnership, President of the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce Rob Clifford said: “We welcome the growing interest from Irish companies looking at Australia as their preferred base in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, through our membership of the European Australia Business Council, we share Chambers Ireland’s desire to see an Australia/EU FTA which we believe will encourage even more Australian businesses to consider Ireland, both as a destination market in its own right, and as a gateway to Europe.”

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Chambers Ireland is a firm believer that Ireland’s economic future can only be secured if we continue to build strong trading relationships globally. Our place in the EU is central to this objective as our membership of the EU that will ensure Ireland can trade freely and easily with markets all over the world. Research shows that open economies grow faster than closed ones. However, there are signs that anti-trade sentiment is already translating into protectionist policies. As part of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) campaign #TradeMatters, businesses around the world are coming together to make a positive case for trade as a driver of jobs, growth and opportunity. 2015 saw the biggest rise in protectionist activity since the onset of the financial crisis in 2009— with an estimated 40 per cent rise in

trade barriers introduced. Over the past two decades trade has been a powerful driver of GDP growth and job creation. That position seems to be changing however and it is important that we do not accept this as the new status quo. It is for this reason that Chambers Ireland supports trade deals like TTIP and like the proposed trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand. For more information, on the ICC’s #TradeMatters campaign, visit tradematters.iccwbo.org. For further information on trade relations with Australia visit ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countriesand-regions/countries/australia For further information on trade relations with New Zealand, please visit ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countriesand-regions/countries/new-zealand

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CHAMBERS NEWS DECARBONISATION

The Road to

Decarbonisation In a bid to meet the European 2020 climate targets, Ireland is undertaking a process to decarbonise its economy.

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he Irish Government faces the challenge of meeting the European 2020 climate targets of a 16 per cent increase in renewable energy by 2020, a 20 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and a 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency. Beyond 2020, the EU 2030 framework and COP21 agenda, which sets the direction for global emissions up until 2050, mean that Ireland will continue to have challenging targets within the EU for reductions in carbon emissions - mainly from heat and transport. To achieve these targets Ireland is undertaking a process to decarbonise our economy.

DECARBONISATION OF THE ENERGY SYSTEM The decarbonisation of the Irish economy in order to achieve the emissions targets is not an easy task, primarily due to our large agricultural sector, our rural settlement patterns and the particularly high level of transition necessary in the heat and transport sectors. Approximately 70 per cent of Ireland’s overall emissions are non-ETS, in other words they cannot be traded as part of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Therefore to reduce our carbon emissions in order to come close to reaching the targets, more pressure is placed on lowering the use of fossil

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fuels on our roads and in our homes and businesses. According to Eirgrid: “the challenge of decarbonisation is increasingly looking to the electricity system to solve many of the challenges. While the electricity system currently accounts for 20-30 per cent of the total energy consumption in society (the rest being heat and transport), most developed countries are looking to move this figure to 40-50 per cent by 2050. To do this heat and transport systems will be significantly electrified.” The Irish and international response to climate change is stepping up through the negotiation of the EU 2030 targets and through the negotiation of the COP 21 Agreement. It is clear that international commitments mean that Ireland must further decarbonise. One of Ireland’s leading utility companies, SSE Airtricity recognises the importance of this international response to climate change and is of the view that “COP21 set an irreversible trend towards decarbonisation, however we have a number of choices to make about how we, as a society, want to get there, mindful of the energy trilemma to balance sustainability, affordability and security of supply.” Another leading utility company, ESB, sees the decarbonisation process as a very exciting time for the energy industry. “ESB strategy is shaped by the need to meet the challenges of climate change and decarbonising economy. This is giving rise to a huge focus on renewables for emissionsfree electricity, the development of clean energy technologies and the

efficient use of lower carbon energy.” It is clear that decarbonisation of the electricity supply is an essential step in the process of reducing emissions and there has been some notable success to date. The electricity industry in Ireland has halved its carbon emissions per unit of electricity generated since 1990.

RENEWABLE ENERGY Eirgrid explains how the decarbonisation of the electricity system is happening “through an increasing use of newer renewable technologies in the power system including onshore wind, offshore wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar.” Reaching the 2020 renewable energy ambition for electricity requires transformational thinking in the operation, planning and power markets associated with electricity systems and with the large scale deployment of these technologies. While progress has been extremely positive in the decarbonisation of the electricity sector both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) have indicated in recent reports that Ireland is likely to miss out on the overall renewable target for all energy use of 16 per cent. This is largely due to lack of progress introducing renewable energy into the heat and transport sectors, which has now become the focus for Ireland’s energy providers. ESB is playing a leading national role with EU and national policy developments not only changing the way ESB generates electricity, but also increasing the uses their customers

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CHAMBERS NEWS DECARBONISATION

can make of it. ESB maintains that “new, smart, highly efficient electric technologies will be a key part of the move to zero carbon heat and transport. This will all be facilitated by our smarter, more flexible electricity networks where newer technologies are already improving efficiency and operation. All of this progress will place the customers much more in control of when and how they use electricity. It will also enhance the whole customer experience and engagement in our own homes.” SSE considers electricity well positioned as a workhorse to decarbonise heat and transport through electrification and has plans to further green our electricity supply through projects such as the Galway Wind Park currently under construction. The company notes that “green has become not just a target, it’s a differentiator, and Ireland is starting to reap the benefits, with our green electricity supply supporting economic growth and inward investment.” However, they note the scale of the challenges ahead, and that achievements will only be made if customers have an active participation in the market and fully understand the need to achieve the outcomes we want in the future for society, and indeed play their role in effecting it. “Ensuring that the transformation to a low-carbon economy is affordable and in line with customer needs is incredibly important. The days of being solely an energy business have gone, customers demand more now. We need to strengthen relationships with our business and

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domestic customers, forming a greater understanding of how customers use energy and what they want to use it for. This will enable us to help customers use less energy. We have moved from being just an energy business to partnering with other companies to deliver a range of services.”

WHAT ABOUT WIND ENERGY? Eirgrid maintains that due to our high dependency on imported fossil fuel to fulfil our energy requirements, Ireland can be at the forefront of the system thinking on renewable energy needed to decarbonise the energy system. “This dependency has resulted in the only viable policy option for increased renewables and decarbonisation [for electricity] being from these new technologies, especially onshore wind.” Amongst the challenges posed by increasing our wind energy levels is that Ireland and Northern Ireland are effectively a single power system with limited high-voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnection to Britain. “Therefore the challenge of operating

the all-island system with the levels of wind forecasted and required to meet government energy policy in Ireland and Northern Ireland will require pioneering market, technical and regulatory challenges to be solved by 2020.” Eirgrid sees these challenges as being solvable, keeping in mind that the total electrical energy from wind in 2015 was 25 per cent and will rise to almost 40 per cent by 2020. Similarly high levels of wind penetration will not been seen on the pan-European power system until 2050. Yet the EU has an ambition to be world leaders in renewables. If that is the case what does that make Ireland?

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CHAMBER NEWS HR

THE MAKING OF

INCLUSIVE EMPLOYERS Chambers Ireland is part of a consortium of organisations managing a new information service which provides employers with expert advice on employing and retaining staff with disabilities.

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he Employer Disability Information Service was recently launched, to assist employers with advice and information on the employment of people with disabilities. Chambers Ireland is part of a consortium of employer organisations managing the service, along with Ibec and ISME. The service is government funded through the National Disability Authority (NDA). This dedicated phone helpline (01-6762014) and online information resource provides employers with expert advice and information on employing and retaining staff with disabilities, with a view to enhancing the confidence and competence of individual employers. The main objective is to promote increased employment of people with disabilities by supporting employers with as much information and advice as possible. The website employerdisabilityinfo.ie provides information for employers on a range of topics such as inclusive recruitment and management, which looks at how employers ensure they are being inclusive in their practices and non-discriminatory. It also explains the area of acquired disability with links to practical guides for employers. The NDA estimated that roughly 85 per cent of working-age people with a disability have acquired

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Danny McCoy, CEO, Ibec, Mark Fielding, CEO, ISME, Minister Richard Bruton, Deirdre O’Hanlon, ISME Senior HR Advisor, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland

their disability over their lifetime. It is important that employers are equipped to deal with these employee issues. There are a number of supports and funding available through the Department of Social Protection for employers which are outlined on the website. The supports are centred on helping employers facilitate an employee who has acquired a disability or recruit someone with a disability. These are just some of the many topics that are covered on the website and the phone helpline is available to answer any queries that employers may have on all aspects of hiring or retaining a staff member with a disability. Chambers Ireland is delighted to be involved with this centrally-based national resource which comprises of: • A dedicated phone line providing advice and information to employers

• A website incorporating guidance and an FAQ section • Using the mainstream channels of the participating organisations to disseminate information on the service • Development of networks and fora for employers to share experiences and good practice The service was launched in January 2016 by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton along with Ian Talbot, Chief Executive Chambers Ireland, Mark Fielding, CEO, ISME and Danny McCoy, CEO, Ibec. The service is funded through the NDA, as part of the comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities. It is housed in the ISME office and is coordinated by ISME Senior HR Advisor, Deirdre O’Hanlon. Helpline: 01 676 2014 Web: www.employerdisabilityinfo.ie

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19/07/2016 11:40


CHAMBERS NEWS EDUCATION

A Strategy for

EDUCATION Our education system must be able to evolve to meet the needs of a modern Ireland and the global economy in which we operate, writes Elisha Collier O’Brien, Research and Policy Executive, Chambers Ireland.

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ducation is no longer the pursuit of only the young; given the rapidly changing skills demands of a modern economy, further education, up-skilling and re-skilling are becoming par for the course in a modern professional’s career. As much as employers and employees need to keep pace with this, we also need an education system which is capable of responding and reforming at a fast pace. Our education system must be able to evolve to meet the needs of a modern Ireland and the global economy in which we operate. We are in a period of very rapid change in areas like science and IT, but technology and innovation have changed the way traditional industries operate too, and with these changes new skills are required in a variety of sectors. Ireland is recognised as having a world class education system and our population, uniquely young in a European context, is highly educated. Our education and training system has seen many positive changes over recent years, but modernising the system to meet current and future skills needs will be an ongoing process and continued reform and innovation will be required.

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Industry and enterprises are on the frontline when it comes to skills and are well placed to recognise gaps in education and training where they arise. Inviting industry to partner in the delivery of elements of curricula at third and fourth levels is one way in which we can ensure skills needs are tackled in education. Responsive curricula are essential in dealing with the pace of change in many sectors, and industry is perfectly placed to input and inform educational institutions of developments in their fields. Business is by necessity quick to respond to changing conditions

to complete one course and expect that the requirements of your field will evolve no further. In light of this we must introduce greater flexibility to the education system and create more easily accessible opportunities for those in employment. We need an increase in the number of flexible courses available which will afford workers the opportunity to attend courses on a part-time basis, during evenings, in the summer and at weekends. This will be essential in addressing the skills gaps we currently face and will give businesses and employees alike the

Responsive curricula are essential in dealing with the pace of change in many sectors, and industry is perfectly placed to input and inform educational institutions of developments in their own fields. Business is by necessity quick to respond to changing conditions and educational institutions could benefit greatly from this speed.

and educational institutions could benefit greatly from this speed. We should strive to create an education system where there is delivery and renewal of skills in emerging technical areas. Through engagement with industry, such requirements can be identified and mechanisms for the skills required can be developed in conjunction with traditional educational institutions. Ireland needs an education system which is capable of growing with the economy and helping people to renew, update and improve their skills as the skills themselves evolve and change. It is no longer enough

chance to up-skill and expand their capabilities. Flexibility in course times and greater opportunities for distance learning have the potential to make education more accessible to people in various situations and life-stages, and ultimately increase equity in access. It is encouraging to see the Department of Education and Skills inviting submissions on a new strategy for education; the importance of education, skills and training for our society and economy cannot be overstated. Education can and should be a lifelong pursuit.

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PARTNER PROFILE ESB

The Business of

SMART ENERGY ESB’s new Smart Energy Services is partnering with large energy users in Ireland and the UK to help unlock revenue potential and generate financial savings through proven technology and innovative financing models.

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he energy landscape for businesses and public sector organisations in Ireland and the UK is becoming increasingly complex. Rising energy costs, concerns over security of supply and evolving climate change regulation are all impacting the bottom line. This changing environment also offers new opportunities as new low energy technologies have been developed with the potential to transform how businesses consume and manage energy. The business of smart energy is growing rapidly as organisations seek to have greater control over their energy consumption and management. ESB’s new Smart Energy Services has been created to unlock value for businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs and realise revenue potential. A tailored managed energy solution is developed for each customer site using a portfolio of services such as data analytics, demand response management platforms and innovative financial options.

For generations, ESB has innovated and evolved to remain relevant and reliable for businesses who depend on its services, right across the country.

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John Walsh, Head of ESB Smart Energy Services

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PARTNER PROFILE ESB

John Walsh, Head of ESB’s Smart Energy Services, explains that smart energy and innovation is a practical and realistic option for Irish businesses looking to operate more efficiently. “Proven innovative solutions are the future for energy management in Irish business,” he says. “Using analytics and clean tech solutions enables companies to achieve greater sustainability and efficiency in their operations. For generations, ESB has innovated and evolved to remain relevant and reliable for businesses who depend on its services, right across the country. Smart Energy Services is an example of this evolution.” An exciting and growing area is energy storage, which exists in the form of thermal storage, demand management, battery storage and heat pumps. Industrial and commercial operations can realise significant revenue by combining energy storage technology with the most advanced technology platforms. ESB, through its clean tech fund ESB Novus Modus, has recently invested in this area with a a3.3 million investment in energy technology company Endeco Technologies. This type of real-time energy demand management service enables largescale energy users in Ireland to generate a revenue stream and is one of a suite of competencies that ESB Smart Energy Services offers to its customers. ESB sees opportunities to leverage this expertise beyond its core business by working with new progressive partners who are seeking to increase energy efficiency and achieve operational savings across their business. ESB is working with the Dublin Airport Authority to achieve a 30 per cent energy saving at Dublin Airport by providing expertise such as optimised load management and zero emission transport solutions. This partnership is the first of its kind in Ireland as the airport

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ESB is offering a portfolio of integrated Smart Energy Services to customers.

realises savings across the full energy spectrum of its operations through cutting edge technology. By 2020 Ireland expects to be an EU leader in variable renewable generation with approximately 40 per cent of all electricity consumed in Ireland coming from renewable sources. While there has been a significant transformation in how energy is generated and used in Ireland leading to now, the period from 2020 onwards will provide an even bigger challenge – especially for Irish businesses. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland recently published a report highlighting the importance of energy efficiency in business and the home in helping to meet renewable energy targets. The report found that energy efficiency savings achieved by homes and businesses up to 2014 represent over a700m

in reduced energy bills and that over 550 businesses in Ireland are now using some source of renewable energy for heat. However, key among the report’s actions is a trebling of the number of energy upgrades that will need to be carried out for Irish businesses each year – highlighting the importance of energy and resource efficiency in meeting these targets. With new technologies emerging to reduce energy consumption in the Irish market and with greater control of energy management in the hands of organisations, now is the time for Irish business to get smart with energy. For more information on ESB’s Smart Energy Services’ range of innovative solutions go to www.esb.ie/smartenergy or contact John Walsh at smartenergy@esb.ie

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PARTNER PROFILE CBRE

BIG DEALS IN AN

ACTIVE INDUSTRY Marie Hunt, Executive Director, Head of Research at CBRE Ireland, provides an overview of the current landscape for the commercial property market in Ireland.

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he Irish commercial property market has remained active in recent months with encouraging volumes of transactional activity continuing to be recorded in all of the main occupier markets, buoyed by a positive economic backdrop. Prime rents have continued to increase in all sectors and are firmly on target to reach year-end forecasts. There has been continued activity in the development land and hotels and licensed sectors of the market, and this is expected to continue into the summer with a number of highprofile sales due to conclude. We have also seen continued activity in the investment sector of the market. In total, 52,442m sq of office take-up was recorded in the capital in 50 individual lettings in the first three months of the year and activity during April has remained robust. Almost two-thirds of the lettings signed in Q1 were to Irish companies, which is particularly encouraging with seven of the ten largest lettings signed in the quarter comprising expansions of existing businesses. Occupiers that are currently looking

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for accommodation in the capital include Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Glassdoor, Fleetmatics, Ardagh Glass and Intercom.

LEASE TERMS With visibility on new stock now becoming increasingly evident, the urgency to secure accommodation and conclude negotiations has eased somewhat. Many occupiers are now demanding more flexible lease terms such as short leases. Many technology companies are focusing primarily on sub-letting opportunities on the basis that this allows them greater flexibility such as securing lease terms of less than ten years duration, which is important to them considering the pace at which these companies typcially expand. In other cases, occupiers are committing to shortterm leases for now on the basis that there will be greater availability in the market in the medium term. Prime rental values in Dublin have increased again to a619 per square metre (a57.50 per sq ft) in recent weeks and are on target to reach our forecast of a700 per square metre (a65 per sq ft) by year-end. Take-up of 64,747m sq was achieved in the Dublin industrial market in the first quarter of 2016, which is a strong result albeit down compared to the bumper activity recorded in this sector in 2015. This demonstrates the extent to which the scarcity of modern

Marie Hunt, Executive Director, Head of Research at CBRE Ireland

industrial accommodation in some core locations is impacting on transactional activity at present. Although prime industrial rents have increased to approximately a80 per square metre (a7.45 per sq ft) in recent months, they have not yet recovered to a level that renders new development viable. As this situation changes, we expect to see some speculative development activity emerging in this sector later in the year. The biggest frustration in the Irish retail property market currently is a severe scarcity of stock in the shopping centres, high streets

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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PARTNER PROFILE CBRE

and retail parks that retailers are specfically targeting. The length of time negotiations are taking is also frustrating, with landlords in general being more selective about the tenants and lease terms they are willing to accept now that the market is showing signs of recovery and the next phase of rent reviews are approaching.

REGIONAL RECOVERY The retail recovery that first began to materialise in the Dublin market last year is now becoming increasingly evident in secondary and provincial locations. We expect this to exert upward pressure on rental values in prime schemes and streets throughout the country over the course of the coming months. Although there is an encouraging volume of activity around the country, much of the demand for locations outside of Dublin is emanating from a relatively small pool of retailers. For the first time in a long time, evidence of premiums and key money is now emerging in the restaurant sector. We are confident that demand will continue to strengthen in this sector over the course of the coming months. However, with premises proving so difficult to source in the current climate, the likelihood is that several potential new entrants will struggle to secure premises in the schemes and streets that they are specifically targeting. Total returns in the Irish commercial property market in the year to the end of March 2016 were 23.5 per cent, according to MSCI, with 2.9 per cent growth achieved in the quarter. This clearly demonstrates that while the Irish investment market continues to significantly outperform other markets, the pace of growth has slowed compared to the exceptional growth achieved in 2014 and 2015. News that Blanchardstown Town Centre has been sold for more than a1 billion has been broadly welcomed and will provide a boost

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The Gresham Hotel on Dublin’s O’Connell Street

to Irish investment spend in 2016, following the completion of more than a735 million of transactions in the first three months of this year. Prime yields in the Irish market remain stable. However, with investors increasingly focused on core assets that offer more defensive characteristics, an increase in secondary yields cannot be ruled out as the year progresses. Twenty-eight development sites totalling more than a350m sold in the Irish market in the first quarter of 2016. We have continued to see healthy volumes of activity in this sector in recent months with several transactions being completed both on and off market. There is a considerable weight of capital chasing development opportunities at present with institutional buyers and listed vehicles particularly active. However, many of the sites that

are being offered for sale are not of significant scale, which is frustrating buyers, particularly considering the not insignificant supply demand imbalance in sectors of the economy such as housing. Fourteen hotels totalling more than a47.4m sold in the Irish market in Q1 2016 and this activity has continued in recent weeks with several hotel property sales having been negotiated. The sale that has dominated headlines has undoubtedly been the four star Gresham Hotel on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, which has attracted a huge amount of interest. It has been reported that it has attracted final bids worth as much as d85 million. In addition to various asset sales concluded recently, a significant number of other hotels are due to change hands as part of the various loan books that are currently being traded in the Irish market.

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Trade Sales

Growth Funding

Debt Advisory

Advisory

Mazars Corporate Finance Looking at Funding Options - A partner who delivers Funding options in Ireland have increased significantly and understanding the best option for your business is critical when funding the deal. At Mazars Corporate Finance we know the funding market and don’t just take our word for it ask our clients. For more information, contact John Bowe, Managing Director of Mazars Corporate Finance John Bowe Tel: 01 449 6400 Email: jbowe@mazars.ie

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02/06/2016 16:06:36 18/07/2016 15:53


PARTNER PROFILE WATERFORD CRYSTAL

Trophy Season in

FULL SWING Waterford Crystal continues to design and manufacture unique products and world renowned trophies that capture special moments.

we have those unique products that capture those special moments,” adds McCoy. “It’s a great endorsement for our team and our company that people come back to us, year after year, looking for something unique and special to celebrate life’s great moments and achievements.”

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hen Jason Day raised the Players Championship trophy in Florida earlier in May, like so many other famous golfing trophies, the sparkling prize he held aloft was produced by Waterford Crystal in Ireland. The list of famous trophies produced by Waterford Crystal for the golf industry alone is simply staggering. “We’ve worked with the PGA European Tour on the Irish Open trophy but on the US side we’ve done quite a lot of events,” says David McCoy, Sales & Marketing Director at the House of Waterford Crystal. “We produce the trophies for a large number of events across the Atlantic including the Phoenix Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the Barclays, the Players, the Memorial, the four Shell Houston World Golf Championships and the Honda Classic, which was won by our own Pádraig Harrington for the second time in his career in 2015.” That’s not all. The team at the House of Waterford Crystal factory has just created the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open trophy, which was presented to Rory McIlroy. Waterford Crystal has a great tradition in producing world sports awards and is celebrating 41 years manufacturing

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TAKE A TOUR

The 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open trophy by Waterford Crystal

the Irish Open Trophy. Over this period, it has designed four distinct trophies for this major event on the PGA European Tour. The current trophy designed by Waterford Crystal’s chief designer John Connolly is a truly magnificent piece. The trophy has stature, elegance and scale, and for which John has incorporated the light and sparkle that you associate with a piece of Waterford. A combination of diamond and flat cutting was used to create the contour of a golf ball as a central feature of the trophy. “Waterford is always associated with key sports events like the Irish Open, the Tour Championship, unique and special occasions because

Why not visit the factory located in the centre of Waterford city, which welcomes over 180,000 visitors per year, and take the opportunity to witness the manufacture of these and many other Waterford Crystal products. The factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that enthrals visitors of all ages, both national and international. The guided factory tour – which takes approximately one hour – allows visitors to understand each stage of production. They witness how Waterford Crystal pieces are crafted from initial design right up to the final engraving of the piece. Every year the House of Waterford Crystal melts more than 750 tonnes of crystal, using traditional and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. On completion of the tour, visitors can experience over 12,000 sq ft of crystal heaven in the largest retail and brand showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world. For further details on the tours visit available all year round www. waterfordvisitorcentre.com/cart Telephone: 051 317000

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IB SURVEY EY

The Profit in GENDER DIVERSITY The bottom line is: more women in tech could help sustain the success of the sector in Ireland, write EY Partners Niamh O’Beirne and Marie Treacy.

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Niamh O’Beirne, Partner, EY’s People Advisory Services team

n an era of unprecedented challenges due to technology and disruption, diverse leadership and management are critical for a business to survive. Paradoxically, the same sector that is accelerating large scale transformational change for business lags behind in terms of gender diversity, leaving women vastly underrepresented in its workforce. From our interaction with clients, we know that businesses are experiencing disruption across all sectors. Be it robotics, driverless cars, use of drones in numerous industries or smart homes − disruption is happening now. In order to succeed, and indeed survive, business leaders must mitigate these new challenges by devising strategies to drive innovation and ensure better business performance. Modern research shows that innovation, the capacity to navigate disruption and gender diversity are incredibly closely aligned, and consequently, this issue has moved up on the agenda of priorities for business leaders.

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR GENDER PARITY

Marie Treacy, Audit Partner, EY’S Assurance Services team

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The range of challenges facing women in technology is widely acknowledged, and reflects the legacy of a traditionally male-dominated industry. As with other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors, typical pitfalls include access to education, bias and lack of support in the work environment – notably regarding flexibility to meet family commitments. The problem also stems from the perceptions of working in the industry; the glass ceiling that prevents

progression, and the resulting impact on motivation. Less tangible factors such as lack of confidence can also be a deterrent to women applying for senior technical roles, or even requesting salary increases. What does this mean for the technology sector’s growth potential and viability? The business case for gender diversity was highlighted by a recent global survey Is Gender Diversity Profitable? conducted by EY and The Peterson Institute for International Economics. The findings show that a significant correlation exists between women in corporate leadership and profitability, and that an organisation with 30 per cent female leaders could add up to six percentage points to its net margin. EY advises many of the world’s leading technology companies based in Ireland, and we are still observing that women do not progress to management levels at the same rate as men. In the Irish technology sector in Ireland, a recent report showed that female participation rates fall sharply at more senior ranks of management – 40 per cent at Manager Level 2, 34 per cent at Manager Level 1, 32 per cent at Executive Director and just 21 per cent at CEO level. This is backed by our findings, which indicate that, globally, the gender gap is found to be highest at C-suite level. Our research also demonstrates that while increasing the number of female directors and CEOs is important, growing the percentage of female leaders in the C-suite would likely benefit the bottom line even more. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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IB SURVEY EY per cent of women 18 17

17

Executives Board

16 15

14 12

13 12

18 13

18

12

12 11

10

9 8

8

Finance

Healthcare

Utilities

Globally, only 12 per cent of the technology sector have female executives and just 9 per cent have women on their boards. This could imply that future growth of organisations in the sector may be constrained by the gender gap. Furthermore, the statistics suggest that the technology sector could be facing other specific challenges that other STEM areas, such as finance and telecommunications, are not.

HOW CAN THE GENDER GAP BE ADDRESSED? Accelerating achievement of gender parity is without doubt an economic imperative. It has been predicted that it will take an estimated 117 years to balance gender pay scales, which is entirely too long. We need purposeful action by both men and women to recruit, retain and advance women in equal proportion to their numbers and commensurate with the limitless potential they offer the workplace. To help women get the experience and the opportunities they need to reach leadership roles, we must facilitate communication and supportive collaboration between women in the technology field. EY’s Women. Fast Forward initiative provides a platform for sharing such collective knowledge and experiences, and InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Telecommunications

Cyclical consumer goods/ services

Non-cycllcal consumer goods/ services

Basic materials

aims to convene power to accelerate the global gender parity clock. EY is also one of the founding partners of Connecting Women In Technology (CWIT), a collaborative initiative of women from 15 technology companies in Ireland which aims to attract, retain, develop and empower women in the technology sector. At a macro level, there is an overarching need to change perceptions around STEM education from an early age. CWIT is currently working with IBEC to ensure Ireland is the world leader in addressing the gender imbalance in the tech sector. Their current programme, ‘I.T. Is Not Just For Geeks’, sends female employees from partner organisations to visit schools and present career opportunities in the technology sector. At present, the programme has been delivered to over 4,000 transition year students in the 2015/16 academic year alone. CWIT also partners closely with Science Foundation Ireland’s Smart Futures programme to ensure content is aligned to Government initiatives, and hosts events catering for the 400+ female leaders in the technology industry in Ireland. EY’s research shows that building a ‘pipeline’ of talent is key to getting

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Technology

Energy

Industrial

more women to board and C-level positions. This requires identifying and developing the existing pool of female talent, and supporting women through training tailored around inclusivity that can be reinforced by enabling long-term career paths for women through flexible working policies. At EY Ireland, we focus on accelerating development and opportunities for women across our business. We have a particular focus on ensuring that all of our very best talent is retained and that everyone has the opportunity to realise their potential and achieve their career goals. We do so by providing suitable coaching and mentoring for our female talent. We provide lunch and learn sessions (open to both men and women) that are driven by our EY Women’s Network, helping to connect and empower our females; ensuring that gender equality is considered across our business, internally and also externally. Gender diversity can no longer be regarded as an added bonus for organisations, but a real business imperative that directly impacts on growth and the bottom line. This is particularly important in high-growth sectors such as technology, which are the lifeblood of our economy.

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PRODUCTION MATTERS INNOVATIVE TOTAL SOLUTIONS

Taking the partnership approach David Murray, MD, Contax Production Automation Ltd, suggests that even small improvements in your production process can bring you significant benefits.

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n objective analysis of a production line can identifiy simple changes that can bring significant benefits in terms of efficiency, quality, improved ergonomics and yield. Improvements such as simple changes in layout to improve product flow, the replacement of static buffers with in-line accumulation for better WIP control, or the introduction of a machine or robot to carry out otherwise tedious or difficult manual tasks. The Contax business model involves working with customers to come up with sensible solutions through lateral thinking and partnership, and no project is too small. We listen to our customers’ requirements, ‘nice to

haves’, constraints (including budget) and then we combine our customers’ vital product and process knowledge with our own experience and expertise to develop appropriate solutions. When introducing bespoke solutions, it is advisable to ‘de-risk’ as much, and as early, as possible in a project and Contax engineers facilitate up-front product trials whenever possible. The company adopts a responsive and open approach from the beginning and our aim is to surpass customer expectations of the equipment that we deliver and the service we provide. Now, with our new assembly workshop and service department in Clonmel and with a sales and administration office located in Sligo,

The Contax business model involves working with customers to come up with sensible solutions through lateral thinking and partnership, and no project is too small. we are well positioned to develop partnerships with new customers countrywide, and to continue on a path of steady growth whilst maintaining the high level of service afforded to our valued existing customer base. Please contact us without obligation, if you are interested in making an improvement to your production line.

SPECIALISTS IN FACTORY AUTOMATION Offering advice and equipment solutions to suit your budget Helping you to: REDUCE COSTS • IMPROVE QUALITY SECURE EMPLOYMENT • GROW YOUR BUSINESS Conveyors • Assembly Machines • Liquid Dispensing Robotic Soldering • Ovens • SMT Lines EXPERIENCE EXCELLENT SERVICE FROM OUR IRISH BASED ENGINEERS Contax Production Automation Limited, Unit 5B, Gurtnafleur Business Park, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland M: + 353 (0)52 6129822 W: www.contaxireland.ie

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12/05/2016 11:44

19/07/2016 11:58


PRODUCTION MATTERS O’BRIEN AND ASSOCIATES

Choosing the

RIGHT PATH InBUSINESS spoke with Deirdre O’Brien, founder of US business immigration law firm, O’Brien and Associates, to discover more about US visa options for businesses and their employees.

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or many Irish businesses, the US market is an attractive one. It’s unsurprising – with a population of almost 319 million people, there’s a customer base for virtually every product you can think of. The Visa Waiver (VW) programme, (requiring online registration known as ESTA), allows nationals of certain countries to travel to the US visa-free as visitors for business or tourism, for up to 90 days. For nationals of non-VW countries or those who need to be in the US frequently or for extended periods of time, a B-1/B-2 visitor visa may be required. The B-1 has the same limitations on allowable business activities as VW, but permits entries of up to six months at a time. “It’s important to understand what you’re permitted to do as a B-1 visitor,” counsels Deirdre O’Brien. “You may be unable to travel to the US if the embassy concludes that your intention is to work and many people don’t understand what constitutes ‘work’ in this context.” For businesses with a presence in the US, the L-1 intra-company transfer visa allows managers, executives and specialised knowledge workers to be transferred to US operations in certain circumstances. “L-1 is most suitable for companies already reasonably well established in the US. It can be a major challenge for start-ups, however,” says Deirdre. The H1-B visa is for degree holders being sponsored by a US company for a professional position, but is limited by an annual quota which normally InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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results in a lottery. H-1B petitions filed in April 2016 had about a onein-four chance of being selected. “The uncertainty means other options must be explored. The future of the H-1B quota is hotly debated but it’s generally accepted the current quota of 65,000 visas per annum worldwide is woefully inadequate,” adds Deirdre. The manufacturing sector and companies with US customers may avail of E treaty visas. The applicant company must be majority owned by nationals of a treaty country – Ireland and the UK included – and substantial investment (E-2 visa) or trade (E-1 visa) with the US is required. “Like the L-1 visa, eligible employees under E visas are managers, executives and essential skills workers but E visas are usually more economical as the company gets an umbrella status,” says Deirdre. E visas are processed by the US Embassy in Dublin rather than USCIS, with no attendant filing fees. “Often manufacturers will have a perfect E-2 case because they need to rent or buy a US factory or warehouse space and machinery, or if exporting bulk goods, they’ll have shipping and storage costs,” explains Deirdre. “The required spend of approximately $100,000 can seem like a big ask for some sectors, including tech, but it can be reached surprisingly quickly in many cases.”

THE NEXT STEPS Preparation is key for anyone who wants to do business in the US. “It’s a complex process, and taking tax

Deirdre O’Brien, founder, O’Brien and Associates

and visa advice early can make the world of difference,” says Deirdre. “Sometimes the individual or company may not qualify for any work visa category at the outset, but knowing the rules for business visitors means you can travel with confidence in the early stages. Educating yourself about work visa options means you can put the elements in place as the business progresses,” she adds. “You need to speak to the professionals about tax and related corporate matters as well as immigration. Have an informed plan and be confident about what you’re doing. Don’t wing it!” For more information on various visa categories, client testimonials, and the latest news see www.obrienandassociates.com. To contact the firm, phone the Ireland office on 056 776 7994 or via Twitter @usvisaexpert.

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PRODUCTION MATTERS FAST TECHNOLOGIES

Competitiveness through Automation In an increasingly congested global marketplace, indigenous manufacturing can often find it difficult to be competitive. With the emergence of Industry 4.0, we now have the opportunity to level the playing field. Conleth Doherty, Operations Director, FAST Technologies, explains.

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ver the past few years we have seen the emergence of new cyber technologies that have enabled the drive towards fully automated manufacturing processes. These new technologies, coupled with improved sensor and robotic technologies, have led to the latest (r) evolution to hit the manufacturing space since the introduction of robotics. If you are not engaging then you run the risk of being left behind.

CONNECT. ANALYSE. OPTIMISE. Improved connectivity and complex event driven technologies allow systems to connect directly to data producers, collect and store contextual manufacturing data, analyse on the

fly and make changes in real time to optimise the process. Furthermore, these Smart Manufacturing systems ensure the same desired response is taken time after time, reducing quality defects and improving asset utilisation/uptime.

COLLABORATIVE ROBOTICS Investing in automation is both necessary and expensive, meaning that manufacturers need to be confident they are getting the best solution. As a result we have built a strong toolbox that includes both the traditional automation robotics and the latest in collaborative robotics – Universal Robots. Universal Robots now allows

manufacturers to deploy robotic solutions in areas previously ‘out of bounds’ due to space constraints, programming knowledge, or general workflow issues. With the introduction of cobots, lines can become automated through collaboration, with worker and cobot co-existing in the same space. Simple programming interfaces deliver improved flexibility that allows manufacturers to deploy a cobot in one location for part of a shift and then move it quickly and simply to another location for the remainder of the shift. For more information, contact the team at FAST Technologies on +44 2871 357740 or visit www.fasttechnologies.com.

Automation and Manufacturing Software specialists

Call the team today on +44 2871 357740

Skeoge Industrial Estate, Derry, BT48 8SE info@fasttechnologies.com

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19/07/2016 11:57


PRODUCTION MATTERS NSAI

A High Standard OF BUSINESS Organisations that use certified standards from the National Standards Authority are reporting an increase in turnover.

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new Behaviour and Attitudes study carried out on behalf of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) shows a sharp increase in the number of companies using standards. The study revealed that 88 per cent of Irish firms are now using standards – almost 20 per cent more compared to a similar survey conducted in 2012. Almost half of the firms using standards have reported an average 20 per cent increase in turnover. Of the 250 organisations examined, 93 per cent of certified firms said they believe their company has benefited from the use of standards. One company to benefit from the use of standards is Wicklow contract manufacturing firm Sigma Aldrich, which has saved a substantial sum on energy costs due to the certification. Eugene Mulholland, Engineering and Technology Processing Manager with Sigma Aldrich says, “Our energy costs are about a900,000 annually. Since we became certified to ISO 50001, we’ve saved over a30,000, or up to 5 per cent in our energy bills.” Installation Manager with the Monaghan solar energy renewable

firm Activ8 Energies, Stephen Duffy believes achieving NSAI certification to the Quality Management Systems standard, ISO 9001, will be extremely beneficial for the company. “This will really help us secure more contracts as it is required when tendering for big projects,” he explains. “It gives assurance to our clients and customers that we’re not ‘fly-by-nights’, we have been audited independently by the National Standards Authority of Ireland and found to be conducting our business to the highest standard.” Experts at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) have found that standards support an estimated 20 per cent share of Ireland’s GDP growth. In monetary terms, this equates to an annual contribution of approximately a500 million of the a2.5 billion of GDP growth recorded in 2013, supporting the creation of an estimated 7,000 permanent full-time equivalent jobs in Ireland over the period 2006 – 2013. NSAI CEO Maurice Buckley attributes increased globalisation for the change in the way in which business is done today. “The challenges faced by Irish businesses today are

Top Ten Benefits of Standards • H elp you compete on a level playing field with bigger enterprises.

• Add credibility and confidence for your customers.

• Open up export markets for your products and services.

• Facilitate inter-operability of products and processes.

• Help enhance the quality of your products and services.

• Make your brand name internationally recognised.

• Drive efficiency in your business operations.

• Help your company grow.

• Give you the competitive edge.

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• Enable a common ‘language’ to be used across an industry sector.

Celebrating after achieving NSAI certification were Michael Feehan, DAA Security and Fergus Foran, DerryCourt Cleaning Specialists.

very different from a few decades ago. Technology is driving increased expectations from customers and businesses,” says Buckley. “More and more tender requirements seek certification to internationally recognised standards, such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Certification to these standards can also be a deal breaker when it comes to securing export opportunities.” NSAI invites members of the business community and the general public to further the development of standards by visiting the website NSAI.ie. For further information on standards or certification, email fergal.obyrne@nsai.ie or follow us on Twitter @NSAI_Standards

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PRODUCTION MATTERS EASTWAY TECHNICAL CONSULTANTS

Condition Monitoring Eastway Technical Consultants, the market leader in condition monitoring, are lowering manufacturing cost in the most efficient way possible.

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ith the help of Eastway Technical Consultants, manufacturing companies across Ireland have improved their production efficiency by increasing their output, lowering maintenance costs and significantly reducing unforeseen downtime. There’s a variety of benefits to the condition monitoring service that Eastway provide, including early warnings of potential machine failure, prevention of

secondary damage to equipment and reduction of spare-part and labour costs. Thanks to a nationwide team, Eastway can quickly dispatch engineers to address any urgent client requirements. For on-going programmes the company supply site dedicated engineers, supported by the Eastway back-up team. Over the last number of years, clients’ demands for zero machine downtime have increased significantly, along with the need for continuous monitoring of their most critical assets. In 2015 the company launched the Safeguard online monitoring system, offering 24/7 online vibration and temperature monitoring of a plant’s assets, as well as remote machine condition diagnosis by a team of condition monitoring experts.

The Safeguard monitoring system provides alerts of potential machine failures and a detailed diagnosis of the machine condition without the prolonged wait for an engineer to arrive on site. Along with the improved fault diagnosis, the monitoring system also eliminates the risk of injury from manual inspection. The Eastway team, with a combined experience of over 30 years in condition-based maintenance, specialise in tailored solutions for clients. Their core aim is to advise on the most appropriate conditionbased maintenance and energy management services and products for their plant’s applications, to the maximum advantage of the individual client.

Eastway increase industrial plant reliability by providing the highest quality condition monitoring and maintenance services Services: Eastway Technical Consultants Ltd, Roselawn House, National Technology Park, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland Office: +35361203933 Web: www.eastwaytech.ie Email: info@eastwaytech.ie

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Online Monitoring

Vibration Analysis

Thermal Imaging

Ultrasonic Leakage Management

Steam System Audits

Lubrication & Oil Analysis

Portable Appliance Testing

Fixed Wire Testing

04/05/2016 12:10

19/07/2016 11:57


PRODUCTION MATTERS MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC

DRIVING

ENERGY SAVINGS Mitsubishi Electric Variable speed drives deliver big energy savings for Irish businesses.

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ased in Tullow, Co. Carlow, and owned and run by the Codd family, Codd Mushrooms is Ireland’s most progressive mushroom farmer, with a focus on quality and sustainability. As the company has grown and built new production facilities, it has maintained a clear focus on the benefits of automation. “Through progressive automation, we have been able to advance our production as the business has grown,” explains director Raymond Codd. Codd Mushrooms sought energy savings and increased reliability in the factory’s chilled water system. The system addresses the different requirements of the various production areas, which work independently, and need varying amounts of heating or cooling. As a result, Codd Mushrooms called in local Mitsubishi Electric system integrator MPAC. “The system didn’t have any way of knowing what the demand would be and so it was constantly working at full capacity,” says director Matt Pender. “Meaning it was only ever working efficiently when demand was equal to 100 per cent of capacity, when in reality, demand at the plant is dynamic.”

THOROUGH INVESTIGATION MPAC performed a thorough investigation of the system, looking at inefficiencies and areas for possible improvement. Their solution was a calculated demand system. The various pumps in the system – including the primary, secondary InBUSINESS | Q2 2015

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pump and the twinset pump feeding the upper side of the factory – were all put under the control of Mitsubishi Electric FR-F740 variable speed drives, linked to a Mitsubishi Electric MELSEC Q series PLC via CC-Link. All process variables of pressure and temperature are measured by sensors, and all analogue and digital data is fed to the Q series PLC via Mitsubishi Electric STLite remote I/O unit. The PLC calculates the actual demand and then the appropriate response, sending control signals to the variable speed drives. By offering precise and appropriate pump control, the volume of water moving through the primary and secondary circuits is always proportional to demand. Operator interaction and plant process visualisation is accomplished through a Mitsubishi Electric GOT series HMI. Centrifugal pumps operate on a cube law for energy consumption, and even small reductions in speed can quickly deliver significant energy savings. “We identified increases and decreases in demand at varying points of the day,” says Pender. “The advantage of our control solution is that it constantly measures the load and responds accordingly, keeping the system at its maximum possible operating point.”

ENERGY CONSUMPTION Following the installation, MPAC monitored demand over a second seven-day period. Energy consumption fell from 6115kWh to just 664kWh using the new control method – a saving of 5451kWh. The system therefore has the potential to deliver up to d40,000 per year in savings depending on seasonal variations. A switch to variable speed drive control from direct-on-

line starting has reduced electrical and mechanical stresses on the pump motors, and eliminated water hammer effects by removing the ‘shock’ of starting and stopping the pumps, and eased the operational stresses. “Before the upgrade, we had begun to see some failures in various seals and bearings. But the upgrade should have a big impact on maintenance requirements and repair costs, while extending the life of the motor and the driven equipment,” says Pender. Raymond Codd sums up the benefits of the new control system. “We were delighted to work with MPAC, who have helped us to automate our processes using a range of industry leading solutions from Mitsubishi Electric. These have increased our productivity and overall efficiency,” he says. “We look forward to working with them and using the innovative solutions of Mitsubishi Electric on future projects to ensure our control systems exceed the demands of future market requirements.” Contact Mitsubishi Electric on 00353 1419 8800, email sales.info@meir.mee.com or visit ie3a.mitsubishielectric.com.

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PRODUCTION MATTERS AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS

AIS: Experience and Expertise Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) focus on providing their customers with the right solution, engineered to the highest standards.

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IS Ltd, a Dublin-based company, supply, install and maintain automatic labelling systems, machine vision, barcode scanning, barcode verification and RFID systems to a number of companies throughout Ireland. Established in 1998, we are a 100 per cent Irish-owned company with divisions in the UK, Spain and the Netherlands. Our customers comprise of multinationals as well as SMEs, in a variety of sectors including manufacturing and logistics, pharmaceutical and food and beverages. We work with leading manufacturers such as Herma and ALTech for automatic labelling

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systems, Datalogic for machine vision and scanning solutions, Zebra for label printers and Microscan/LVS for label inspection and barcode verification. We have been awarded the Elite Quality Partner status with Datalogic and we are also a Premier Partner with Zebra Technologies, highlighting our experience in the industry. We are focused on providing the customer with the right solution, engineered to the highest standards and combined with the technical support that the industry demands. From initial contact, our sales engineers work closely with our customers to fully understand their needs. Our design and project engineers design and install our

solutions while our service team assures the customer of a dedicated after-sales support. Our success has been built on our customer-focused approach, our quality engineering and our focused pre and post-sales customer service. We are ISO 9001:2008 certified, in recognition of our standardised best practice techniques. The ISO certification process ensures on-going compliance to performance standards as, once certified, companies are externally audited for continuous execution of these standards. For more details please phone +353 (01) 620 5742, email info@aisltd.ie or visit www.aisltd.ie.

19/07/2016 12:15


PRODUCTION MATTERS EDUCATION AND TRAINING BOARD IRELAND

Confidence in your Skills for Work Skills for Work are breaking the mould with a variety of employee confidence building and training courses.

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kills for Work is a national programme which delivers workplace educational training courses to people in a wide range of employment sectors. The aim of the programme is to provide training opportunities for employees to allow them to deal with the varied demands of the workplace. Skills for Work primarily focuses on workers who, without the opportunity to participate in this training, may not have the confidence to embrace challenges or avail of opportunities in the working environment.

BUSINESS BENEFITS In every workforce there are employees who don’t possess the confidence to put themselves forward for general training opportunities. Participation in Skills for Work gives employers the chance to provide appropriate and quality training

to employees and in turn gives employees the opportunity to build on the talents they already possess. For more information on the wide range of SFW courses visit www.skillsforwork.ie, email info@skillsforwork.ie or phone 01 4529 600.

Comments from employees and employers “The Skills for Work programme has proved to be a totally positive experience for all of the employees who have engaged in the programme.” (Arnotts Department Store, Dublin) “This programme was one of the most positive initiatives we undertook to help employees.” (Diamond Innovations Dublin) “The course was a huge success. It gave them the confidence to advance the company’s business in the labour market.” (Tipp Distribution) “I’m after taking on extra duties in work and I’m now part of the training team in work.” (Employee, retail sector, Cavan) “I’ve the confidence to take on additional work duties and have put my name forward to do a supervisors course.” (Employee, pharmaceutical industry, Cork)

SKILLS FOR WORK EDUCATION FOR WORKING AND LIVING • Skills for Work (SFW) is a national programme aimed at providing opportunities for employers to promote an ethos of lifelong learning in the workplace. • Contribute towards the creation of a well educated and highly skilled workforce. • Raise the competency level of employees with low levels of educational qualifications. • Enable employees to cope with frequent and ongoing changes in work practices • Sample courses include reading, writing, spellings, computers, maths, online

tax returns, Health & Safety in the Workplace, customer service, culinary skills and communications. • Courses are designed and delivered in a flexible way to meet the local needs of employers and employees. • Employment sectors engaging with Skills for Work include: Retail, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Services, Hospitality, Farming, SME and Lone Trades. • Skills for Work is funded by the Department of Education and Skills, and courses are delivered by the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) across the country.

WORKPLACE EDUCATION COURSES

For more information about Skills for Work courses in your area visit www.skillsforwork.ie email info@skillsforwork.ie or phone 01 452 9600 239798_2L_Skills_AMA_IB.indd 1

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19/07/2016 12:15


PRODUCTION MATTERS QMS INSIGHT

High Quality Management at QMS Insight QMS Insight is generating significant turnover with the advanced, straightforward 123insight system.

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MS Insight Ltd has been providing the the awardwinning 123insight system to the Irish market for over a decade. QMS Insight Ltd believe competent enterprise resource planning is the backbone of any successful SME and companies who implement this advanced, straightforward software experience significant turnover. Just some of the areas 123insight manages include estimates, quotations, quality control,

sales order processing and invoicing. Drew McCoubrey, Managing Director of QMS Insight says, “From the initial acquisition process through to the workflow process of the software itself, everything about 123insight is different from the traditional approach. Companies get to see the software at evaluation workshops with no pressure, and if they like what they see they can take the no-obligation training. If they decide not to take up the low monthly subscription, at that point they can walk away with nothing to pay, and knowing a lot more about ERP than they did before.” This was proven recently when Waterford-based company Eco-

Burner reviewed systems costing up to a200,000, finally selecting 123insight due to its SaaS model. After an 8-week implementation process the company saw their turnover increase by over 800 per cent in just four years. They also used the 123insight software development kit to interface to their in-house shop floor and benefited from seamless integration with Access Dimensions accounts. “123insight is the cheapest employee we have in the building,” says Ciaran Doyle, CFO for EcoBurner. “To add five production facilities, four warehouses and 800900 per cent growth with the same resources speaks for itself.”

QMS Insight Limited +44 (0)28 9336 7336 info@123insight.com www.qmsinsight.com

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19/07/2016 12:12


PRODUCTION MATTERS TOYOTA MATERIAL HANDLING IRELAND

A Partner for Business Toyota Material Handling is a global leader offering reliability and durability.

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uring the past 43 years Toyota Ireland has firmly established the Toyota brand as a household name in Ireland, and continues to be a market leader today. A division of Toyota Ireland, Toyota Material Handling Ireland now brings to the market the full range of Toyota and BT products, offering the customer a one-stop-shop for all material handling needs, bolstered by a strategically located dealer network which has the know-how and experience to recommend and advise the best solutions. “Toyota cars are synonymous with reliability, durability and the

best resale value in the business. “The same applies to our material handling equipment. Our customers know they get value for money and quality when they purchase a Toyota,” explains Terry O’Reilly, managing director of Toyota Material Handling Ireland. Toyota Material Handling Ireland has recently completed the launch of the brand new Toyota Traigo series of electric forklifts – designed to deliver more productivity and offering safer and more energy efficient operation than ever before. With load capacities ranging from 1.0 tonnes up to 8.5 tonnes, the Traigo range is the

Our customers know they get value for money and quality when they purchase a Toyota.

result of an intense and continuous collaboration between Toyota and its customers, whose feedback contributed to the parameters of the new design. “Toyota is number one when it comes to material handling worldwide. ‘The Toyota Way’ underlines Toyota’s managerial approach with emphasis on continuous improvement, teamwork and respect for people,” says O’Reilly. “The Toyota Production System is real and tangible and with its research and development, it’s amazing how Toyota keeps evolving. It’s great to be part of that ‘Toyota Way’.” If your business needs a lift, give Toyota a call.

Highly efficient businesses deserve highly efficient partners. www.toyota-forklifts.ie

Call Toyota for all your material handling needs. www.toyota-forklifts.ie or Toyota Material Handling Ireland at Toyota Ireland, Killeen Road, Dublin 12. Tel: 01 4190200.

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19/07/2016 12:11


DATA PROTECTION EUROPEAN COMMISSION

The Digital

SINGLE MARKET A package of updated rules has just been agreed by EU governments and MEPs in order to stimulate the Digital Single Market and add transparency to the EU’s existing stance on data protection.

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he European Commission has introduced a ‘Data Protection Reform’ package in order to give confidence to consumers and businesses to go online and increase protection for personal data. The package aims to create a single, pan-European law for data protection, replacing the current inconsistent patchwork of national laws, ensuring that companies will deal with one law, not 28. The estimated benefits of this action are a2.3 billion per year. Along with one law, companies will only have to deal with one single supervisory authority, making the process of doing business in the EU significantly easier.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR SMES

PLAYING IN THE EU MARKET

PROTECTIONS FOR PERSONAL FREEDOM

European companies have to adhere to strict standards compared to those established outside the EU who are also doing business in the Single Market. With the reform, companies based outside of Europe will have to apply the same rules when they offer goods or services on the EU market, creating a level playing field. The European Commission has said: “The data protection reform will cut costs and red tape for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). By having one rule instead of 28, the EU’s data protection reform will help SMEs break into new markets. In a number of cases, the obligations of data controllers and processors are calibrated to the size of the business and/or to the nature of the data being processed.”

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SMEs won’t require a data protection officer unless their core activities need regular and systematic monitoring of the data subjects on a large scale or if they process special categories of personal data. Moreover, this will not need to be a full-time employee and therefore, would be much less costly. SMEs won’t need to keep records of processing activities, unless the processing they carry out is not occasional or likely to result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of data subject, and SMEs won’t be obliged to report all data breaches to individuals, unless it represents a high risk for their rights and freedoms.

There are also new protections for personal freedom in the package , such as the ‘right to be forgotten’, which states that if you no longer want your data to be processed (and there’s no legitimate grounds for retaining it), it will be deleted. This is to protect privacy, not to hide past events or restrict press freedom. Another new aspect includes the fact that companies and organisations must notify both the National Supervisory Authority and the person concerned of data breaches which put individuals at risk. Data protection authorities will be able to fine companies who do not comply with EU rules up to 4 per cent of their global annual turnover. Member states now have two

The data protection reform will cut costs and red tape for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). By having one rule instead of 28, the EU’s data protection reform will help SMEs break into new markets. In a number of cases, the obligations of data controllers and processors are calibrated to the size of the business and/ or to the nature of the data being processed. years to apply the new rules, giving them and companies sufficient time to adapt. The European Commission believe these changes will provide a clear consensus on data protection to take Europe through the coming years. For further information on data protection reform visit: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/dataprotection/reform/index_en.htm InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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DATA PROTECTION EVERSHEDS

DEALING with Data InBUSINESS spoke with Eversheds partner Marie McGinley to discover more about the data protection landscape in Ireland.

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hanging times are upon us in the world of data protection. Major data breaches and questions over the use of personal data by multinational organisations has engendered increased awareness on the part of data subjects across the globe, who question why and how their information is held and used. It’s a potential minefield for businesses who aren’t aware of their role and responsibilities. “Data protection is a huge issue for businesses. Users are becoming more aware of their rights with regard to their information, and any failure to protect their information can potentially result in huge reputational damage for a company,” explains Marie McGinley, Partner and Head of Intellectual Property, Technology and Data Protection with Eversheds Ireland. Legislation and regulation is also changing to accommodate these winds of change. At present, the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 govern data protection, originally implemented under the EU Data Protection Directive which was transposed into legislation in each jurisdiction, resulting in a patchwork of 28 different interpretations across the EU. As the European Commission officially adopted the Privacy Shield – the replacement for the now defunct Safe Harbour programme which was overturned by the European Court of Justice last October – current legislation will be replaced by the General Data InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will remove inconsistencies and legal uncertainties. Due to be implemented in May 2018, companies now have two years to get their data protection affairs in order and ensure compliance with the new regulations. “What it’s doing is building upon what is currently there, and creating more defined and stringent obligations based on those principles,” says McGinley. “Companies will only have to deal with one law going forward, creating a streamlined approach to data protection.” Two main principles are set out under the GDPR. Accountability is a big issue, and those involved in data control (which now includes data processors) must now actively demonstrate their compliance, with a basic obligation to maintain records in relation to data activity, which will need to be constantly updated, with certain companies obliged to appoint a data protection officer who will be required to implement measures and ensure compliance. The GDPR also marks a major shift towards privacy by design, to ensure that data protection becomes embedded within businesses’ operational strategy from the outset. The penalties for non compliance will be severe – under GDPR, non-compliant organisations can face fines of up to a20m or a percentage of global turnover, whichever is greater. Charting such complex waters can be a difficult task, and making the most of available resources is the key to success, and compliance. Eversheds offer advice and assistance across a broad spectrum of topics and levels of compliance, from companies first approaching the issue of data protection to

Marie McGinley, Partner, Eversheds

those who already have a data protection protocol in place. For those seeking compliance with the new GDPR, Eversheds undertakes a data protection assessment and then develops a framework to implement the necessary policies and procedures. They also offer their expertise in the event of a data breach, providing an on-site team to assist companies through the data breach process, while customers can avail of data protection training for staff members, a key point within the GDPR in terms of accountability and demonstrating ongoing compliance. “From a practical perspective, we understand the current regime, we understand what is being implemented and we understand how it is being applied by the data protection commissioner,” says McGinley.

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no gimmicks Mortgage rates as low as

2.99% (APRC 3.14%) No silly offers, no cash incentives, just a really good rate with a KBC Current Account.

1800 51 52 53

In Hub or talk to a Financial Advisor

Click kbc.ie Information is correct as of 10th June 2016. The 2.99% fixed-rate (APRC 3.14%) is based on a 2 year-fixed term with a LTV of < 50%. LTV means Loan To Value. At the end of the fixed period a variable rate will apply.

WARNING: YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY CHARGES IF YOU PAY OFF A FIXED RATE LOAN EARLY. WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP YOUR REPAYMENTS YOU MAY LOSE YOUR HOME. WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE REPAYMENTS ON YOUR LOAN YOUR ACCOUNT WILL GO INTO ARREARS THIS MAY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT RATING WHICH MAY LIMIT YOUR ABILITY TO ACCESS CREDIT IN THE FUTURE. Lending criteria, underwriting, terms and conditions apply. The property is mortgaged to secure the loan. Life and home insurance are required. The maximum loan amount will typically not exceed 3.5 times an individual’s gross annual income. The maximum mortgage is 90% of the property value. As a general rule, loan amounts are subject to monthly repayments of a maximum of 50% of disposable income and will vary according to individual circumstances. Rates may vary over the term of a mortgage.To avail of the 0.2% discounted rate, you must mandate your salary and pay your new KBC Mortgage by direct debit from your KBC Current Account. Offer excludes Buy to Let Mortgages. A typical variable rate mortgage of €100,000 over 240 months costs €619 per month at 4.25% (APRC 4.35%). The total amount repayable is €148,616. A 1% rise in interest rate will increase this payment by €55 per month. APRC = Annual Percentage Rate of Charge and consists of a variable borrowing rate of 4.25%, valuation fee of €126.97 and security release fee of €38. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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18/07/2016 15:54 16/06/2016 17:01


Back in

BUSINESS The MoneyMate Group & Investor Awards returned last April, as Ireland’s financial services sector begins to find its feet.

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he winners of the MoneyMate Group & Investor Awards were announced on Friday April 22nd at an awards lunch in Dublin’s Mansion House. The awards, hosted by Vincent Wall, Business Editor of Newstalk Breakfast, are designed to recognise and reward the companies and individuals who have excelled in the investment, mortgage, life and pensions sectors. The return of these prestigious awards, which were last held in 2008, mirrors the optimism beginning to gather in Ireland’s financial services sector. Longboat Analytics, part of the MoneyMate Group, presented four awards. They calculate the risk adjusted performance for all qualifying funds within the Fund Focus database, to determine the award winners. Funds must be open for new business and be over a certain

fund size to be considered. Speaking at the event, Simon Fawsitt, Managing Director of Longboat Analytics, said: “MoneyMate Group is delighted to co-host these prestigious awards for the Irish financial services market. We are excited to present the awards again after their long absence. Our four Longboat Analytics awards are designed to reward excellence in fund management and aim to honour the exceptional quality of work in this sector. The re-emergence of the awards is a symbol in itself of the resilience of the Irish economy and our industry. We hope the awards will continue to grow and become the gold standard again across the industry. Congratulations to all the winners.” Partners of the awards included ITC, IG, Kantar Media and the Sunday Business Post.

MEET THE JUDGES THE INVESTOR AWARD JUDGES • Brian O’Loughlin, Independent Investment Advisor, BL Financial Management • Don Browne, Head of Capital Management, AIB • Frank O’Riordain, President of the Securities • Gerry Keenan, Non-Executive Director and Business Coach MONEYMATE AWARD JUDGES • David Tyrell, Cedar Portfolio Partners Ltd • Paul McArdle, Chartered Accountant/QFA

2016 MONEYMATE GROUP & INVESTOR AWARD WINNERS Best CSR Award BANK OF IRELAND Best Customer Service LION.IE Best Financial Communications Team KBC BANK Best Innovation in Financial Services Award IRISH LIFE Best Insurance Provider CORNMARKET GROUP FINANCIAL SERVICES LTD. Best Life and Pensions Broker MCCARTHY INSURANCE GROUP Best Mortgage Broker ROCKWELL FINANCIAL Best Mortgage Product KBC BANK Independent Trustee of the Year ITC Grand Prix CORNMARKET GROUP FINANCIAL SERVICES LTD. Longboat Analytics Best Balanced Managed Fund NEW IRELAND EVERGREEN FUND Longboat Analytics Best Balanced Managed Pension Fund NEW IRELAND PENSION EVERGREEN FUND Longboat Analytics Best Pension Fund Provider MERRION INVESTMENT MANAGERS

Awards host Vincent Wall

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Longboat Analytics Best Investment Fund Provider STANDARD LIFE

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MONEYMATE AWARDS INDEPENDENT TRUSTEE COMPANY

Excellence

RECOGNISED Independent Trustee Company was among those recognised for their excellence in financial services at the relaunched MoneyMate Group & Investor Awards.

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ollowing an eight year absence, the well-regarded MoneyMate Group & Investor Awards 2016 acknowledged top performing companies against a range of awardspecific criteria set out and reviewed by an independent judging panel. The awards are the must attend event and a major celebration for the financial services industry, recognising those who have excelled in investment, life and pensions, and who consistently provide outstanding products and service. The most recent awards ceremony took place on April 22nd in the Mansion House, Dublin and included professional pension trustee organisation Independent Trustee Company (ITC) among the list of winners on the night. “I am very pleased to see the awards return. We were particularly pleased to be a sponsor at this year’s event, which recognises excellence in our industry,” says Aidan McLoughlin, Group Managing Director. “We were delighted to be recognised as the Independent Trustee of the Year. We feel that winning the award represents ITC’s continued growth and ongoing focus on developing our business in Ireland and other jurisdictions.” ITC is one of the major players within the Irish market. Based in Dublin City Centre, the firm’s focus is on delivering flexible and transparent pensions for their clients, and is now one of the largest providers of self-administered pensions in Ireland, administering d800m of client funds in 3,000 pension structures. “ITC stands out as we offer self-

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Aidan McLoughlin receives Independent Trustee Firm of the Year award

We were delighted to be recognised as the Independent Trustee of the Year. We feel that winning the award represents ITC’s continued growth and ongoing focus on developing our business in Ireland and other jurisdictions.

administered schemes which promote transparency and allow the customer the greatest level of control over the direction of their investments. We have been specialists in the selfadministered space for over 20 years and have a track record in providing excellent service to the broker market,” McLoughlin explains. “We are also dedicated to promoting a

better understanding of pensions and trust law with the financial services and professional sectors through seminars, articles and other events. ITC prides itself on its high-quality professional pension trustee service, and is known for its technical skills. The firm ensures that all members of staff have the expertise to provide a highly efficient and professional service to clients and advisors, and continually strive towards excellence. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve our practices and innovate our systems to stay ahead of the curve. We recently developed the LEAP platform which has been designed to provide the professional advisor with innovative and transparent pension and investment solutions,” says McLoughlin. ITC has recently launched a client portal which allows clients to easily access a comprehensive breakdown of their schemes, contribution details and full account details. “This year we also launched PensionProperty.ie to the Irish market to assist and inform pension investors on the benefits of investing in property through their pension funds. We have had an overwhelming response to the website and have already partnered with major national and local estate agents in less than two months,” he adds. ITC’s 2016 MoneyMate award is welcome recognition of its hard work in recent months and years, and McLoughlin notes the role ITC’s staff have played in this success. “We would like to acknowledge our staff and brokers for their hard work and continued support,” he says. “We would also like to thank MoneyMate for honouring us with this award and we look forward to next year’s event.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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MONEYMATE AWARDS BANK OF IRELAND

The Bank Showing

LEADERSHIP IN CSR Through its CSR activities, Bank of Ireland is interacting with its customers, communities, colleagues and the environment in a number of different ways.

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s a business that has been serving communities for over 230 years, CSR has always been an integral part of how Bank of Ireland does business. The bank’s CSR approach is underpinned by a commitment to ensure the communities in which it operates are sustainable, and as Ireland’s largest lender with 250 branches nationwide, Bank of Ireland is a core part of the communities it serves. This is something that was recognised at this year’s MoneyMate Group and Investor Awards when Bank of Ireland won the Best CSR Award. “We strive to continually improve our business and its impact on our customers, the communities where we live and work, our colleagues and the environment,” says Audrey Nolan, Head of CSR at Bank of Ireland. “As a people driven business, our colleagues are at the heart of many of our initiatives and their participation levels grow year-on-year

from fundraising to volunteering and community outreach.” Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Town programme is an example of one such initiative helping to invigorate and re-energise communities. The programme, which was launched in 2013, is aimed at helping people grow their local economies, and at the same time fostering a renewed sense of purpose and identity for the whole community. It has grown to a nationwide programme of business and community expos in 100 towns in 2016, representing an investment of over a1 million by the bank this year. “In every town we reach, local people tell us it provides a spark that is igniting further action in the community,” says Nolan of the initiative. Bank of Ireland’s workplace wellbeing programme, Be At Your Best, has also proved to be a great success. With this initiative, employees come together to develop

Pictured connecting at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town Thurles are Denis O’Reilly, proprietor of Premier Meats Butcher, and Jenny McCormack, owner of Jenny’s Jams

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innovative and creative ways of supporting the bank’s flagship charities and getting behind good causes. Recent highlights include the Big Blue Box charity cycling event, which raised a83,000 for St Vincent de Paul supporting communities along the Wild Atlantic Way and the Be Our Inspiration project in which colleagues developed their talents and raised over a100,000 for Barnardos. According to Nolan, the publication of Bank of Ireland’s first Responsible Business Report in early 2015 marked a turning point in the external positioning of its CSR activity. “It has been hugely important for our colleagues who have told us that it has helped to build their pride in the organisation,” she says. “But more importantly, it has become a catalyst for creating strategic engagement and improvement programmes in each of our divisions. What we have found is that telling the story is in itself a powerful thing to do.” The bank’s latest Responsible Business Report presents a comprehensive picture of what happened across the group in 2015 through the lens of its customers, communities, colleagues and the environment. As for the award win, Nolan says it provides great recognition and external endorsement of all the initiatives that are taking place in the bank. Following on from the Best CSR award, the bank was also recently accredited with the ‘Business in the Community Business Working Responsibly Mark’. The mark is awarded to those who achieve best in class CSR ranking and is a visible testimony of excellence in CSR by an organisation. Only 18 Irish businesses have received the award since its foundation in 2011.

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LIST OF 2016 WINNERS Banking, Finance/Restructuring & Insolvency Law Team/Lawyer of the Year: BEAUCHAMPS Sponsored by The Financial Times

LEADERS

Connacht Provincial Law Firm of the Year: CALLAN TANSEY SOLICITORS Criminal Law Team/Lawyer of the Year: JOHN M. QUINN & CO. SOLICITORS Sponsored by Kantar Media

IN LAW

Dublin Law Firm of the Year: Reddy Charlton Solicitors Sponsored by Lincoln Recruitment Specialists Employment Law Team/Lawyer of the Year: DANIEL SPRING & CO. SOLICITORS Sponsored by LawOnline Family Law Team/Lawyer of the Year: MANGAN & COMPANY SOLICITORS Sponsored by The Sunday Business Post In House Legal Team/Lawyer of the Year: ULSTER BANK LEGAL TEAM Sponsored by Thomson Reuters Irish Language Practitioner of the Year: COLM MACAODHÁIN, MACAODHÁIN TOALE, ATURNAETHE Sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge Law Firm Innovation: HEALY CROWLEY AHERN Sponsored by Documatics Law Firm of the Year: BYRNEWALLACE Sponsored by AIB Private Banking Legal Book of the Year: MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE AND CHILDBIRTH BY DOIREANN O’MAHONY Legal Executive of the Year: PAUL BRENNAN, EUGENE F. COLLINS SOLICITORS Leinster Provincial Law Firm of the Year (Over 5 Solicitors): ORPEN FRANKS Sponsored by Advanced Legal Leinster Provincial Law Firm of the Year (Under 5 Solicitors): DILLON SOLICITORS Sponsored by Advanced Legal Litigation Case of the Year: AHERN RUDDEN QUIGLEY Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year (Over 5 Solicitors): ERNEST J. CANTILLON SOLICITORS Munster Provincial Law Firm of the Year (Under 5 Solicitors): HOLOHAN LAW Property, Planning, Probate Law Team/Lawyer of the Year: RONAN DALY JERMYN Public Sector Law Team/Lawyer of the Year: EVERSHEDS Service Provider to the Legal Profession: DIPLOMA CENTRE, LAW SOCIETY OF IRELAND Sole Practitioner/Sole Principal of the Year: SUSAN WEBSTER & COMPANY Sponsored by AON and AmTrust International Lifetime Achievement Award: HIS HONOUR JUDGE JOHN F. BUCKLEY Sponsored by the Institute of Legal Research & Standards Special Merit Award: PATRICIA RICKARD-CLARKE Sponsored by AIB Private Banking Legal Student of the Year: ANNIE NEVALA Sponsored by Bloomsbury Professional

The top legal professionals were out in force at this year’s AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards.

I

rish law firms, legal practitioners and in-house legal teams were recognised at the 5th annual AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards on Friday May 6th 2016. The awards commend excellence in Irish law and recognise the outstanding achievements and exemplary practices of leading law firms and teams throughout the country. Michael McDowell, SC, Bar Council of Ireland was guest of honour at the event, opening the awards with a welcome address. Irish soprano Celine Byrne gave a stunning performance following the meal, entertaining the audience of 600 legal professionals with an aria from La bohème, I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady, and You’ll Never Walk Alone. Patrick Farrell, Head of AIB Private Banking said: “AIB Private Banking is delighted to sponsor this event, recognising the outstanding contributions of the Irish legal sector. The sheer scale of the categories of awards demonstrates the extent to which the legal profession operates and influences society and individual lives. I would like to congratulate the award recipients in all their respective categories.” Dr Eamonn G. Hall, Chairman of the judging panel, commented: “Year-onyear, the standard and calibre of the submissions for the AIB Private Banking

Awards host Miriam O’Callaghan

Irish Law Awards are exceptional. They reflect the significant and impressive achievements of solicitors, barristers and legal executives from all over Ireland and the panel of judges greatly admire the many achievements. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners.” Tracey Carney, Event Director, said: “The standard and number of nominations in the 2016 AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards has been outstanding. The recipients thoroughly deserve their awards in recognition of their achievements in 2015. They’ve demonstrated excellence in their sector and practice and we’re delighted that the awards are able to provide a platform that recognises and showcases the truly remarkable work they do.” The charity partners for the awards in 2016 were the Solicitors’ Benevolent Association, The Barristers’ Benevolent Society and Suicide or Survive. To date almost a40,000 has been raised at the awards for charitable groups.

Legal Website of the Year: COMMUNITY LAW AND MEDIATION 92

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InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 12:08


LAW AWARDS 2016 EVERSHEDS

PUBLIC SECTOR PARTNERS IN LAW Eversheds has been awarded Public Sector Law Team of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2016.

E

versheds’ hunger for success in Ireland has shown no sign of abating. Following on from an impressive year for accolades in 2015, the law firm has once again been recognised at the AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards. This time around the company was awarded Public Sector Law Team of the Year at the prestigious event which took place back in May. Eversheds, which employs 246 staff in Ireland, has become synonymous in recent years for the high quality service it offers its clients, something Partner Peter Curran doesn’t take for granted. “Increasingly, clients look to us to bring added value through the provision of strategic advices, as well as training,

knowledge/resource sharing and broader consultancy work,” he says. Eversheds is recognised internationally for providing innovative solutions to client problems and we find that our public sector clients are very receptive to the fresh ideas we bring to the provision of legal Miriam O’Callaghan, Chris Lavery of Irish Conferences, and Pamela O’Neill, Partner at Eversheds services.” Eversheds is not for the future and we are all looking content to rest on its laurels and forward to working with our public Partner Pamela O’Neill believes the sector clients to face the challenges and latest award as well as recent contract seize the opportunities that lie ahead. wins will only serve to galvanise the team to achieve more. “The success we We are committed to ensuring that have had recently in winning significant Eversheds remains among the leading public sector firms in the country.” public sector mandates bodes well

Rising to the challenge Integrated legal advice for the public sector The increasing challenges facing public and administrative bodies requires lawyers with scope and vision. Eversheds seamlessly provides expertise for all the issues faced by the public sector. We advise State bodies, semi-State organisations, and regulators, as well as Government Departments and local authorities. As the only full service international law firm in the Irish market, we deliver quick, cost-effective and tailored solutions, led by some of the sector’s top advisers. Peter Curran Partner +353 1 6644 990 petercurran@eversheds.ie

Pamela O’Neill Partner +353 1 6644 241 pamelaoneill@eversheds.ie

eversheds.ie ©Eversheds Ireland is a member of Eversheds International Limited.

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in 19/07/2016 15:47


M&A activity –

A Positive Outlook Positive growth within Irish mergers and acquisitions has continued in 2016.

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his year represents a strong period of growth for Irish mergers and acquisitions. Building on positive figures from 2015, when the value of mergers and acquisitions quadrupled to a189 billion, the trend is set to continue for 2016, according to KMPG’s annual M&A outlook report. This growth in M&A activity has been noted as the result of greater access to finance, as well as Ireland’s ability to attract capital from a range of sources. “Despite some recent adverse global macroeconomic developments, the Irish M&A outlook remains largely positive, with substantial deal-making expected in 2016 across a range of sectors including healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences, agribusiness and food and technology. The UK has overtaken Ireland as the territory that Irish respondents expect to see most deal flow and interestingly, mainland Europe and emerging markets are coming more into focus for larger organisations which highlights the desire to seek out new territories,” said Mark Collins, Partner and Head of Transaction Services at KPMG in Ireland. The report noted that ‘strategic fit’ was the most important consideration when identifying potential InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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acquisitions – the focus has shifted to long term planning rather than a short term fix. Among the leading reasons for making acquisitions were increasing revenues/cutting costs, expanding lines of business, and greater geographical reach. Notable deals over the past year include Lone Star’s purchase of Jurys Inn at a cost of a900 million and the recent acquisition of AA Ireland by Carlyle Cardinal Ireland for a156.6m. According to Michele Connolly, Corporate Finance Partner, KPMG Ireland, Ireland’s economy continues to serve as a barometer for M&A activity. “Although there are concerns about the world economy, the report flags a return to confidence among Irish deal makers and the emergence of strong funding opportunities for existing and new sectors,” she said. “When it comes to funding for acquisitions, half of all respondents prefer debt funding ahead of cash reserves, private equity, IPO/equity markets and alternative investment sources. The preference towards debt funding is indicative of greater access to credit and increased willingness from financial institutions to partake in such transactions.”

In the following pages, we seek the advice of firms operating within the Irish M&A sector, and ask them about the current growth trends, and common pitfalls in such arrangements.

P.96 Mazars

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Dillon Eustace

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MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS MAZARS

IRISH OUTLOOK for deal activity With the successful uptake of mergers and acquisitions in recent months, companies are now looking past organic growth and towards acquisitions and investments as a profitable means of business in Ireland, explains John Bowe, Managing Director at Mazars Corporate Finance Ireland.

A

Growth by acquisition has its risks and it certainly isn’t inexpensive but with corporate balance sheets strong, growth through acquisition is on the agenda.

s a country, Ireland has strong fundamental qualities in terms of a growing economy, increased consumer confidence, a young educated workforce and an export orientated outlook. These qualities, which create an attractive environment for investment, indicate that the outlook for activity in Ireland will remain positive into 2017.

GROWTH BY ACQUISITION While companies can grow organically by winning new customers, adding new products or services, investing in new people and equipment and entering new markets, another way to grow is through acquisitions which, if executed correctly, can do all of the above but at a faster pace. Growth by acquisition has its risks and it certainly isn’t inexpensive but with corporate balance sheets strong, growth through acquisition is on the agenda. US corporates have always viewed Ireland as a place for investment with US investment representing over 75 per cent of all FDI into Ireland. In the mid-market space we have seen Irish companies such as Realex become acquired by Global Payments, Eirgen acquired by Opko and recently OSG was acquired by Sedgwick Claims Management Services. North American buyers are paying larger multiples, reflecting the strength of the dollar and also the availability of debt financing at cheaper interest rates than in the

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John Bowe, Managing Director, Mazars Corporate Finance Ireland

US. The IDA does an excellent job at attracting companies to Ireland with a positive onshore tax environment and holding company regimes.

PRIVATE EQUITY AS AN INVESTMENT Some recognisable Irish companies, such as Cartrawler, Hostelworld and Fintrax, have received private equity investments, allowing founder families to successfully exit the business. Although private equity investment for Irish companies is not new, today it is has a much more focussed and active investor base. Companies currently active in the Irish market include The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund, Development Capital, MML, Broadlake, Renatus

and LionCourt, with even more companies taking private equity investment recently such as Carroll Meats, GSLS, Version 1 and Identigen. Private equity can be a good investment option for funding growth and allowing owners the opportunity to take some cash off the table. For those considering private equity, it is important to view it more as a partnership rather than just a cash investment. The added benefit is access to the private equity contacts, network, experience and portfolio companies that can really help your business grow. While private equity are not managers they will want a seat on the board, so it’s important to pick the right partner. The best way to find out how private equity firms operate is to speak with the companies in which they have already invested. The Irish outlook for M&A activity is positive. For companies looking at either funding growth or considering their strategy options, there are various funding options, private equity and trade companies looking to invest. Picking an adviser with international reach who can navigate the various options will add enormous value to your transaction. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 12:07


MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS DILLON EUSTACE

Profiting from

PARTNERSHIP Increasing activity in the Irish economy has led to a substantial rise in mergers and acquisitions. Lorcan Tiernan, Head of Corporate at Dillon Eustace, questions whether Irish businesses are willing to take a risk on external investors in order to establish significant growth for their company.

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fter a number years of stagnation in the face of recession, recent months have seen a significant increase in activity for inward investment acquisitions. It appears that management buyouts, for example, are increasing alongside the improving economy as management teams take control of companies from receivership. “Recently we acted for the shareholders in an Irish entity that was bought this year by Blackberry, and there have been others as well. Entities like Centric, the healthcare group, continue to be active on the acquisition front,” explains Lorcan Tiernan, Dillon Eustace.

INVESTORS & INVESTMENTS Very often there’s a reluctance from Irish entrepreneurs to bring in third party money, such as other shareholders or investors. This hesitation stems from a fear of giving up a degree of control. After all, if you bring an investor in, they’ll want to have some element of influence over the business. “As a result I think a lot of Irish companies don’t necessarily meet their potential because they’re restrained from a capital perspective. However, as the cliche goes: ‘you’re better having a small slice of a big cake than a big slice of a small cake.’ Quite often, if you get the right type of investors for your business it can be transformative, even though you are giving up full control along with a slice of the equity and the shares,” Tiernan advises. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Make sure your business, if you’re looking at an external investor, is fit for purpose and that you’ve carried out your own internal due diligence on the company. He also stresses that this type of external financing is definitely something that SMEs should consider, especially as it becomes more widely available to them.

COMMON PITFALLS When taking in an investor or looking at a management buyout, preparation is paramount. Tiernan advises that you make sure your business, if you’re looking at an external investor, is fit for purpose and that you’ve carried out your own internal due diligence on the company so that it will stand up to

scrutiny. You’ll want to present a clean business to a potential external investor. You should always have your business plan well researched however, remain wary of being overly ambitious. There’s no benefit in setting impossible targets that will only lead to disappointment when they aren’t met. On the management buyout side, the team should always be conscious not to wander into potential conflicts of interest. Also, it’s always good to step back and get a bit of advice before embarking on anything or going too far in a negotiation. “Finally, be careful about giving out any confidential information to third parties without the consent of the board. That’s the tricky thing about MBOs,” he adds. “Just don’t overstep the mark too soon in the process – without the permission of the powers that be, you could just walk yourself into a world of trouble.”

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MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS DELOITTE

A Return

TO FORM InBUSINESS spoke with Anya Cummins, Partner, Deloitte Ireland, about increased investment activity across the country.

particular actively seeking minority and majority stake investments in high-growth Irish businesses.

Q: From your point of view,

Q: Are management

stakeholders from the outset is key, as is selecting the right partner who can bring more than just a financial investment, but also skills, network and expertise.

buyouts beginning to make a comeback?

Q: Are there any common

is there any increase in activity in terms of mergers, acquisitions or investments?

A: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve recently returned to Dublin as a partner with Deloitte M&A Advisory, having spent the last five years in London where I was a partner with Cavendish Corporate Finance, a midmarket M&A boutique focusing on privatelyowned companies and private equity purchasers. Since my return Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen a huge increase in transaction volume as compared to when I left five years ago. Deal values and prices paid have also improved greatly. There is a build-up of privately owned businesses where profitability has grown over the last number of years and owners are now ready for partial or complete exits. High growth businesses with ambitious management teams are

Anya Cummins, Partner, Deloitte Ireland

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increasingly looking to private equity as a route to de-risk the shareholders who may not wish to exit entirely, but also to fuel the growth of these businesses. There is also strong appetite from international acquirers across the full spectrum of business sectors. The impact of Brexit on international (in particular, UK) buyer appetite and underlying valuations is still an unknown, but is generally expected to reduce the pace of M&A at least in the short term as corporates take some time to assess the current market uncertainty. We are seeing significant incoming investment, both from acquisitive international corporates and from international private equity funds. International private equity is also active in the Irish market, with UK and US private equity funds in

A: We are certainly seeing

pitfalls to avoid?

increased appetite for management buyouts and a very strong private equity community, both indigenous and international, with a willingness to support these transactions. The principal advantage of MBOs is that they allow shareholders to release some equity but to retain a stake in the business (the level of which is negotiable) and benefit from the valuation uplift on the second exit. This is particularly attractive where an owner sees significant growth potential in the business and rates the management team but wishes to partially exit. They also enable such businesses to secure growth capital to fund more aggressive growth plans, via acquisition or otherwise, without the need for significant gearing. One of the key risks to MBOs is getting the structure right and ensuring that the shareholders and the management team understand the upsides and potential risks of the structure. Early planning for an MBO and agreement of the objectives of all of the

A: Running an MBO process is very time consuming. Plan well in advance, appoint advisors and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t commence a process until the business is ready. Bring in additional resources to support the finance team if needed and try to ensure that key management personnel remain focused on the running of the business during the process. If trading starts to slip because management are focused on the transaction, it is likely to have a direct impact on valuation. Prepare your business, plan well in advance of entering discussions with any potential investor. Identify the potential deal issues early and agree with your advisors a strategy to deal with these from the outset. Agree the objectives of the exiting shareholders, the rolling shareholders and the management team amongst yourselves and with your advisors before engaging in discussions with potential investors. If you are all aligned and agreed on your key priorities before you begin a process you have a much higher chance of a smooth, successful deal. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 12:05


Brexit in the boardroom The implications for Irish business kpmg.ie/brexit

© 2016 KPMG, an Irish partnership

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NSAI - 1 Swift Square, Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9 D09 A0E4 | T +353 1 807 3800 | E info@nsai.ie | @NSAI_Standards NSAI and the NSAI Logo are registered trademarks of NSAI

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18/07/2016 16:11


IB SURVEY CRO

Conversion under the

COMPANIES ACT 2014 Under the Companies Act 2014, businesses must comply with a number of obligations.

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he Companies Act 2014 was commenced on June 1st 2015. It consolidates the existing Companies Acts 19632013 into a logical legal code with the most common company type (private limited by shares) placed at the centre. These companies, which account for 85 per cent of all companies on the register (approximately 160,000 companies), will have to opt to convert to one of two new company types during the transition period which ends on November 30th 2016. There is no charge for this process. There are two new company types: •L  imited (LTD): Simplified company structure which operates under a one document constitution (no objects) and it may have only one company director and convene through written AGMs. • Designated Activity Company (DAC): Operates under a two document constitution (with objects). Companies wishing to be converted to a DAC must, under the Act, pass an ordinary resolution to convert by August 31st 2016 and should follow up by filing a Form N2 and amended Constitution with the CRO as soon as possible thereafter. Companies wishing to convert to an LTD and adopt a new Constitution should do so as soon as possible (using the Form N1) as the CRO cannot guarantee that applications received at the very end of the transition period will be processed before November 30th. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Directors of companies wishing to be converted to a new company type are requested to consider this matter at the earliest opportunity and to file your conversion applications with the CRO in good time. Companies that have not applied to the CRO to be converted to either a DAC or an LTD by the end of the transition period will be automatically converted to an LTD by the CRO after November 30th 2016. Please see Leaflet no. 31 which is available at www.cro.ie.

NAME CHANGE REQUIREMENT During the transition period, Guarantee companies and Unlimited Companies, whether private or public and which were incorporated under the previous companies acts, are obliged to fulfil the requirement under the Companies Act 2014 to specify their company type at the end of their name. Until the end of the transitional period, which ends on November 30th, these companies can continue to not include the company type at the end of their name. If the company does not change the name of the company and submit an amended constitution using Form N3, the Registrar of Companies will change the name of the company and issue a new certificate of incorporation after the end of the transition period – November 30th 2016. The requirement for these companies to alter their name is being facilitated by the free submission of Form N3 to enable the name change required. This can be done once (and only

Maureen O’Sullivan, Registrar, CRO

Directors of companies wishing to be converted to a new company type are requested to consider this matter at the earliest opportunity. once) by any company where there is a requirement for the name change under the Act. Changes to the company name will affect company letterheads, stationery and signage. Any documentation submitted to the CRO after the end of the transition period which bears the incorrect name will be refused. Companies incorporated under the previous Companies Acts which were exempted under section 24 of the Companies Act 1963 as amended will continue to be allowed to apply the exemption. Please see Leaflet No. 33 which is available at www.cro.ie for FAQs and common reasons for applications being returned.

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Save the Date 8-9 Nov 2016 RDS, Dublin BE PAR T OF YOU R INDUST RY Visit Data Ce ntres Ireland

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INFRASTRUCTURE. SERVICES. SOLUTIONS. Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re running a couple of stacks, a nationwide network of comms rooms, a small datacentre or a mega-shed, you face similar challenges: to operate more sustainably, boost efficiency and cut costsâ&#x20AC;Ś All without compromising speed, resilience, service continuity or security. DataCentres Ireland Conference & Exhibition is where you can get the knowledge, ideas and see the technology that can help you.

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18/07/2016 16:12


IB SURVEY DATACENTRES IRELAND

Down to the

BUSINESS OF DATA DataCentres Ireland, the country’s largest and most complete data event, returns for the fifth year running focusing on ‘infrastructure, services and solutions’.

I

n recent years, data centres have become a profitable business in Ireland. Multinationals like Microsoft, Google and Amazon have rooted their data storage sites across the country leaving Ireland in the unique position of having all of the top five international IT cloud providers and the top ten IT companies based in the country. Taking place on November 8th and 9th at the RDS, Dublin, DataCentres Ireland is a free two-day conference and exhibition attracting an audience of over 1,000 people each year, and is Ireland’s premier business forum for data and data infrastructure professionals.

Combining a dedicated exhibition with a world class multi-streamed conference, DataCentres Ireland will again address the data and data infrastructure needs of companies – both large and small. It is a must attend event for any company that owns or is investing in its digital assets, either by operating its own datacentre, server or comms room, or is looking to outsource some or all of its IT and storage needs to a third party or in the cloud. The growth in the number and size of data centres, particularly in Ireland, will be driven by many factors including the IOT (Internet

of Things), M2M (Machine to Machine) communications, new 5G services, and the continued growth of streamed video. So why should you attend the event? DataCentres Ireland will feature leading companies and experts showcasing the latest tools, technologies, ideas and best practices in data centre design, build, operations services and solutions. The current exhibitors for 2016 include Great Lakes International, Rittal, Sungard AS and Gas Networks Ireland, to name but a few. Notable themes addressed over the two days will include energy and sustainability, regional opportunities, improving legacy data centres, DCIM and BIM tools, legislation, open compute, financing of new builds, security (both physical and cyber) and much, much more. The combined impact of Safe Harbor and Brexit will also be addressed, as the ramifications of both are likely to make Ireland more attractive as a location for data centres and data storage facilities. Ireland, as an EU country with strong cable networks to the US, is in a prime location for development within the data sector. If you’re involved in the hands on delivery and operation of datacentres or you’re responsible for shaping your company’s digital future, DataCentres Ireland is considered an unmissable opportunity to learn and grow while networking with a wide number of industry professionals.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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18/07/2016 16:13


IB SURVEY DUBLIN PORT

THE PORT with a Plan Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan is well underway, seeking to establish Dublin Port as a modern and accommodating seaport destination.

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ast year was a historic one for Dublin Port – with cargo volumes growing by 6.4 per cent, the Port experienced total throughput of 32.8 million gross tonnes and 7,166 ships, exceeding the previous record which was set in 2007. The Port’s tourism business also performed strong – 1.8 million passengers travelled through the port, representing a 5.1 per cent increase on the previous year, placing Dublin Port on par with international airports including Cork and Shannon. This year, as Pat Ward, Dublin Port Company’s Head of Corporate Services explains, is set to follow the trend, with 6.8 per cent growth in Q1 alone.

THE MASTER PLAN Dublin Port’s growth in recent years has been driven by the investment decisions of their major customers, including Irish Ferries, Stena Line, CLdN and Ecocem. “It is essential that we match these customer commitments by investing in important or critical port infrastructure in Dublin, the country’s premier port,” says Ward. The Port’s Masterplan guides development and growth between 2012 and 2040. The Alexander Basin Redevelopment (ABR), for example, will involve lowering the channel by two metres, installing 10,000 metres of new quays, alongside the removal of 100m from the North Quay InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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extension that will provide a turning circle for large vessels (up to 360m) which enter the Port. Due to be largely completed in four years, the ABR is one of a number of projects which comes under the auspices of the Masterplan, required if Dublin Port is to have sufficient capacity to capitalise on expected high levels of future growth. “It’s a very significant piece of work which has commenced. Our ABR project is the first phase of a three part phase of development. As work has commenced on the ABR, we are turning our focus to the next project, beginning to assemble the team that will look at the preliminary stages,” Ward explains. “We’re very conscious that we have to run a busy port while we develop the port, and ensure as best we can that minimum disruption, if any, is caused to our stakeholders.”

SETTING SAIL The Port has been busy on other fronts too. At the end of May, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críona Ní Dhalaigh, officially opened a state of the art Seafarers Centre on the Port’s iconic Odlum’s site. A home from home for those who work on the many vessels that pass through the Port on a daily basis, Ward describes it as providing “a place to relax, a communications channel, free internet and what we call in Ireland, ‘céad míle fáilte’, a very warm welcome to those who come ashore.” The Port also welcomed Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic vessel on her maiden voyage to Ireland, with 3,650 passengers, cast and crew on board. Elsewhere in the Port’s tourism portfolio, the cruise business started as early as January, with over 110

Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services, Dublin Port Company

ships calling to Dublin bearing up to 180,000 visitors during 2016. Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council jointly hosted the Cruise Europe conference which attracted over 200 delegates and cruise executives to the capital, providing great insight into the port and shipping industry, and an excellent opportunity to showcase what Dublin – and Dublin Port – has to offer. “Dublin Port is marketing Dublin as a vibrant European city and as a home port to the cruise industry. We have recently established a new cruise tourism development and cruise agency called Cruise Dublin,” says Ward. “Dublin has fantastic air connectivity, and is a very appealing destination for Europeans and Americans to come and spend several days either side of setting sail on their cruise. We look forward to developing that aspect of our business in the years ahead.”

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Do you need to reduce your energy costs?

The new F800 Variable Speed Drive from Mitsubishi Electric has arrived, taking energy savings and motor control to a new level. The drive features many innovative functions that ensure accurate control, while also achieving energy efficiency figures of up to 98%. The new Advanced Optimum Excitation Control function ensures that the motor excitation current is constantly adjusted, leading to approximately 12% extra savings compared to a standard variable torque curve operation. The F800 is designed to be used predominantly with pumps and fans but is equally suitable for compressors and HVAC applications.

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18/07/2016 16:12


IB SURVEY BLAIRSCOVE HOUSE

Beauty at

BLAIRSCOVE West Cork’s Blairscove House offers a relaxing and tranquil escape from everyday life.

I

n this Georgian country house standing at the head of Dunmanus Bay, everything revolves around the courtyard. Beautifully restored with cobbled paths, shrubs and flowers, its 500-year-old stone outbuildings contain the restaurant and four stylish suites or small apartments which can be rented on a B&B or self-catering basis. Blairscove House also enjoys a stunning waterside location. With beautiful views across the bay and surrounding hills the rooms count amongst the best in West Cork, ideal for short getaways. Relax in beautiful surroundings, enjoy an evening in the restaurant and start the day with breakfast served in your suite. Each suite is totally individual in style and furnished with a dashing mixture of modern and antique furniture and original artwork. With a mix of modern amenities, contemporary art and a good selection of bric-abrac, you will find each suite cosy and homely. The Coachhouse, with its large stone arch, now features a very modern duplex apartment with a huge window from the downstairs up past the mezzanine floor offering fabulous views over Dunmanus Bay and the Sheep’s Head Peninsula. The Smoke House is the most spacious of Blairscove’s guest apartments and has a fabulous bathroom with his and hers sinks, rain shower and a InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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large free-standing bathtub. On the grounds, but a short distance from the main complex, is The Cottage, which stands on its own grounds with direct access to Dunmanus Bay. This spacious house features living and sleeping accommodation for four guests downstairs – perfect for a larger group. The restaurant, on one side of the courtyard quadrangle, was once the property’s stable building. This 250-year-old building is lofty, stone walled and black beamed with the central feature being the magnificent chandelier. Blairscove Restaurant is best known for its buffet style starters and great, open, wood-fired grill, where a wide choice of fish and meat dishes are simply cooked. This outstanding example of Irish food and hospitality earned Blairscove the title of ‘Outstanding Guest Experience’ at the 2015 Georgina Campbell Awards.

This beautiful part of West Cork is the perfect holiday destination for the discerning individual traveller. A place untouched by mass tourism, it showcases the best of Ireland’s unspoilt beauty - enjoy stunning walks on the Sheepshead and Mizen peninsulas. Nature sets the pace in this beautiful southwest corner of Ireland, and West Cork is the place many Dubliners head for – leaving hurried city lives behind to play along the long zig-zagging coastline, and walk or ride through peaceful inland woods and valleys. Blairscove is much loved by its patrons who come time and time again. Your hosts, Philippe and Sabine De Mey, are looking forward to welcoming you. Blairscove House is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. For more information phone 027 61127 or visit www.irelandsbluebook.com.

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18/07/2016 15:51


IB SURVEY RENAULT IRELAND

RENAULT: Quality and Reliability InBUSINESS spoke with Patrick Magee, MD, Renault Ireland, to discover more about the company’s Irish growth and plans for 2016. Q: Has 2016 been a positive year for the Renault Group so far?

A: This has been the most successful year for the Renault Group as Renault has the largest increase in market share for any manufacturer when compared to 2015. In terms of commercial vehicles, we have secured the number one spot in Europe again for 2015, and in Ireland we have maintained the podium finish for the fifth year in a row. We are also the number one van manufacturer for the past 18 years. Our second brand, Dacia, is celebrating its fourth anniversary in Ireland, and has already secured nearly 11,000 customers.

Q: What new products are due on the Irish market between now and the end of the year?

A: 2016 is an exciting time

Patrick Magee and the new Renault Kadjar at the K Club

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for the evolution of the Renault brand. The Megane range will be launched in the coming months which will include the all-new Renault hatchback, grand coupe and sport tourer. The Megane is a hugely important vehicle to us due to the fact that it was the bestselling vehicle in the entire market in 2010. We will also celebrate the 25th birthday of the Renault Clio with the launch of the Clio facelift, and later this year we will see the launch of the all-new Scenic 5 and 7.

Q: How competitive are your fleet market options?

A: Over the last few years, Renault Group Ireland has developed strong relationships with key fleet partners. We provide vehicles to public and local authorities, county councils, driving schools, taxi and public service vehicles, disabled

drivers and wheelchair associations. Pro+ is a programme within our network which provides a professional service to businesses in Ireland. Our product is only as strong as our dealer network, which understands a fleet owner’s needs in order to provide the optimum service. Renault Group Ireland offers a one-stop shop for sales, financing and aftersales solutions.

Q: In terms of finance from Renault’s bank, how much value does this represent for your customers?

A: Based on our recent surveys, Renault’s customers value the convenience, the flexibility and cost efficiency that our own bank offers. They can avail of a ‘one stop shop’. This means that customers can apply for the finance, have a quick decision and collect their car in a short turnaround time and that is very attractive. RCI Bank & Services provides a full range of financial offers (HP, PCP, Finance lease) with finance or car-related services to meet every one of our customers’ needs, with some of the lowest rates you will find in the market. Our customers have recognised this as, in 2015, almost six customers in ten bought their Renault or Dacia cars through our

Patrick Magee, MD, Renault Ireland

own bank, and the trend has been confirmed this year. Since beginning in 2011, we have lent in excess of a487m to more than 22,500 new, used, private and business customers.

Q: Does Renault’s five year warranty continue to stand out as a key selling point?

A: Yes – at Renault our confidence in the quality and reliability of our vehicles means that we can offer a real 5 Year, 200,000km manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty provides protection and peace of mind while motoring for five years and gives comprehensive coverage including Renault Roadside Assistance on both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. In fact, mileage is unlimited in the first two years. So if any part of the vehicle needs repair or replacement during this period due to a manufacturing defect the work will be carried out at no cost to the owner by an approved Renault repairer. 109

19/07/2016 12:29


IB SURVEY LONGUEVILLE HOUSE

A Stylish

RETREAT Longueville House offers a relaxing and tranquil experience in the heart of Cork.

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et in 500 acres of wooded estate in the heart of the Blackwater Valley, Longueville House is a Georgian heritage mansion, built in 1720, owned and run by the O’Callaghan family. Longueville House is an ideal base for touring or golfing in the scenic southwest and provides a peaceful and tranquil setting for those who wish to relax or laze by the fire. The Longueville estate offers a variety of activities to guests, including salmon and brown trout fishing on the River Blackwater, scenic walks throughout the estate, May dawn chorus walks and autumn mushroom hunts. At the Presidents’ Restaurant, guests can enjoy dining in the recently restored Victorian Turner Conservatory (1862) which has been beautifully and aesthetically restored to its former glory. Every day proprietor and head chef William O’Callaghan and his team prepare, cook and serve the most seasonal and freshest ingredients available to them from the estate. A five-course set dinner menu, which changes daily (with one or two surprises), is the fruit of their labour. Longueville is very proud of the fact that much of its meat and game is reared on the on-site farm. William oversees the gardens and farm ensuring that ingredients such as woodland pork, spring lamb, woodcock, snipe, pheasant and duck come straight from the estate, depending on the season. Fresh river salmon and brown trout are available when in season, coming straight from the Blackwater

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Longueville House

Head chef William O’Callaghan

River that runs through the estate. All of the vegetables, oriental greens, herbs and much of the summer and autumn fruit come from the three-acre walled kitchen garden and polytunnels on the east side of the house, carefully toiled by gardeners Michael, Dan and David. The busy Longueville bees, which live in the orchards, produce honey for the house, the hens lay fresh eggs daily and even the drinking water comes from Longueville’s own wells. Guests are assured of experiencing the freshest ingredients with a menu that underlines a ‘field to fork’ policy. In one word – provenance. Only the extensive New and Old World wine list is drawn from farther afield. Longueville also has a 25-acre apple orchard from which they produce their own craft apple cider, known simply as Longueville House Cider. In addition, they distil an apple brandy, known as Longueville House Apple Brandy, made in the calvados style. The apples

Producing Longueville cider

are harvested in the autumn every year. Once the cider is made, resulting in a rich amber colour, it is poured into pot stills where it is distilled into an apple brandy. The brandy is stored in French oak barrels where it is aged for four years to mature. Longueville House is an ideal location for romantic breaks, private house parties, celebrations, and meetings. Each of its bedrooms and suites are stylishly decorated in traditional country house style and free from the intrusion of televisions. Longueville offers a unique country house experience, which will stay with you long after you return home. Longueville House is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. For more information, telephone 022 47156 or visit www.irelandsbluebook.com. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 12:33


31,000,000 tonnes of goods pass through the heart of Dublin City annually

www.dublinport.ie

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18/07/2016 16:14


IB SURVEY KPMG

10

important things you need to know about R&D tax credits

Ken Hardy, head of KPMG’s R&D tax team, outlines the must-know points about the R&D tax credit scheme.

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TAKE ADVANTAGE

The R&D tax credit can be a significant source of tax saving/ cash. Relief is 25% of the qualifying expenditure incurred in carrying out qualifying activities. Loss making companies can also benefit by receiving a credit cash refund, subject to conditions.

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MANY COMPANIES ARE CLAIMING CREDIT

Recent figures indicate that almost 1,500 companies claim the tax credit annually, with over a421m being claimed in 2013. Around a20m in settlements are made through Revenue’s R&D audit programme. Reasons for settlement include the discovery of non-qualifying R&D activities and expenditure.

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QUALIFYING ACTIVITIES AND EXPENDITURES

Qualifying activities are those that meet the statutory definition – systematic, experimental or investigative activities, which seek scientific or technological advancement and involve the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty. Activity can be either basic/applied research or experimental development. Qualifying expenditure includes direct salary costs, materials and some overheads. Payments to third parties to carry out qualifying R&D activity can also be included, subject to restrictions.

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OUTSOURCING

Claimants can use third parties to assist in R&D activities. The legislation acknowledges that a claimant is unlikely to have all resources available in house, with some limitations to be considered.

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R&D BUILDINGS AND KEY PERSONNEL

Qualifying expenditure can also include construction/ refurbishment costs for buildings used for qualifying activities. Provided certain criteria are met, a company has the option to transfer part of the R&D tax credit to key R&D personnel to reduce their personal income tax bill.

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DEADLINES

Ken Hardy, head of KPMG’s R&D tax team

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Claims must be filed 12 months from the end of the accounting period in which the qualifying expenditures were incurred. Under the self-assessment system, when a company is satisfied that requirements are met, the only requirement is to insert the relevant

details in the CT1 return. If the deadline is missed, no claim can be made subsequently.

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REVENUE AUDIT

Revenue can audit any claim made up to four years from the end of the accounting period in which it was filed. Revenue often seeks information on the basis of the claim, alongside formal desk and field audits. Claims found to be overstated or not meeting legislative requirements must be repaid either in part or in full with interest, and sometimes penalties.

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REVENUE’S GUIDANCE

Revenue regularly update their own guidance and it is important to keep an eye on their latest positions at www.revenue. ie/en/tax/ct/research-development. html – a good view of their interpretation, but it’s not the law!

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RECORDS

Records are key. Companies who claim have an obligation to maintain records of expenditure incurred in qualifying activity. Records must be prepared while activity was carried out, and must be relevant. The quality and quantity of records could affect the outcome of a Revenue audit.

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FINAL POINTS

The R&D tax credit is a valuable incentive. Key issues in making a claim include understanding the merits of the R&D activity carried out and related expenditure incurred, and the quality of the supporting documentation. In our experience, a claim that is properly prepared prior to filing is likely to withstand a Revenue challenge. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • Local groups honoured in Wicklow, Beijing comes to the capital and a budget for action in Louth.

Developing culture in Limerick, Kerry unveils tourist attraction and award win for saucy start-up.

IoT project launched in Mayo, Sligo’s Swiss Valley opens to the public and gastronomy win for Galway.

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A groundbreaking partnership in Donegal, conference focuses on crossborder business and Game of Thrones at Ulster Museum.

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ON THE

WESTERN FRONT Key stakeholders in the West of Ireland are working to ensure the regional economy continues to propser in the years ahead.

INNOVATION VILLAGE Plans for the Local Enterprise Village at this year’s Ploughing Championships have been unveiled.

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InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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LEADERS IN 26LOCAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY Having become the first local authority in the country to achieve ISO 50001 accreditation, Cork County Council’s energy policies are having positive knock-on-effects for the local economy.

In Association with

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COUNTY DUBLIN

LEINSTER

21ST - 24TH JULY Festival of Curiosity Dublin City 28TH - 31ST JULY Vodafone Comedy Festival Dublin City 29TH JULY – 5TH AUGUST Birr Vintage Week and Arts festival Birr, Co Offaly 21ST AUGUST IVVCC Annual Vintage Car Rally Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow

BEIJING COMES TO THE CAPITAL On June 30th Trinity College Dublin (TCD) hosted a unique event arising from the twinning of Beijing and Dublin. A Study Tour of senior officials and tourist organisations from Beijing visited Ireland to promote Beijing as a destination and to discover the opportunities for organised tours and business events from China being brought to Dublin.

COUNTY LONGFORD COUNTY WICKLOW

LOCAL GROUPS HONOURED IN WICKLOW One June 13th Wicklow County Council recognised the hard work of the volunteering communities in the county, honouring organisations like Tidy Towns, Men’s Sheds, first responders, scouting organisations and women’s groups at the Community Grants Awards. As part of its ongoing commitment to local community development throughout the county, Wicklow County Council has recently allocated in excess of 570,000 to over 440 different groups, organisations and individuals under it various grant schemes.

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ACHIEVEMENT FOR ABBOTT Longford County Council has honoured the work of local medical device facility Abbott. The company received the Shingo prize, an international award for operational excellence by the Shingo Institute at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council marked the achievement by presenting Abbott with a Quality Achievement Scroll.

THE SHINGO PRIZE: FAST FACTS • Established in 1988 in Utah State University • Universally considered “the Nobel Prize of manufacturing” • Previous Irish winners include Abbott Vascular and DePuy Synthes Ireland

COUNTY LOUTH

A BUDGET FOR ACTION IN LOUTH Louth County Council are due to receive a budget of 3.5 million to direct at a number of projects under the Louth Peace IV Action Plan. These projects include children and young people, shared spaces and services and building positive relations. The plan aims to promote understanding and active participation in cross-border initiatives and reconciliation activities. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 13:18


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: MUNSTER COUNTY LIMERICK

AWARD WIN FOR SAUCY START-UP Raheen-based company, Global Sauces, has been crowned Best Start-Up at the 2016 National Enterprise Awards. The firm was nominated for the award by the Local Enterprise Office Limerick, which supported the company through priming and expansion grants.

ABOUT GLOBAL SAUCES • Company Founders: Liam Hayes and Vincent Sheehan • Product: Table Sauces • Staff: Nine • Location: Raheen Food Park, Limerick

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29TH - 31ST JULY Indiependence Music & Arts Festival Co Cork 29TH - 31ST JULY Doonbeg Seafood Festival Co Clare 17TH - 21ST AUGUST Masters of Tradition Co Cork 9TH - 17TH SEPTEMBER A Taste of West Cork Food Festival Co Cork

FORUM LEAVES A GOOD TASTE FOR RETAILERS The Happy Pear team who took part in this year’s Cork and Kerry Food Forum

It was announced at the Cork and Kerry Food Forum that retail sales from companies supported by the Food Academy programme are expected to top 25 million in 2016. The Food Academy Programme is a partnership initiative between SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) network, and works with and nurtures small food businesses from start-up to getting their products onto supermarket shelves. Guest chefs at the Cork and Kerry Food Forum, which took place on June 27th, included David and Stephen Flynn of The Happy Pear.

COUNTY KERRY

KERRY’S NEWEST TOURIST ATTRACTION UNVEILED Kerry’s newest interactive tourist attraction, a 12ft druid carved from the trunk of a large Monterey Cypress tree and cloaked in copper, has been welcomed to its new home at Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Traditional Farm in Bonane Co Kerry. The impressive druid figure is the result of a collaboration between two west Cork artists, wood sculptor Anthony Cornforth and metal sculptor Peter Little, and was commissioned by Kerry County Council. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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COUNTY LIMERICK CARLOW

DEVELOPING CULTURE IN LIMERICK Limerick City and County Council has launched a plan it hopes will “grow cultural current engagement to 2030 and beyond”. The Limerick Cultural Strategy 2016-2030 promises to deliver further step-change in Limerick’s cultural development. The 17page report was worked on in partnership with both the Limerick Arts and Culture Exchange (L.A.C.E) and Professional Limerick Artists Network (PLAN), as well citizens, businesses and voluntary and community organisations across the county.

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CONNAUGHT 19TH - 24TH JULY Sligo Jazz Festival 2016 Sligo Town, Co Sligo 24TH JULY - 7TH AUGUST Tread Softly 2016 Co Sligo 12TH - 21ST AUGUST Belmullet Gala Festival Co Mayo 26TH - 28TH AUGUST Loughrea Medieval Festival Co Galway

COUNTY MAYO

IOT PROJECT LAUNCHED IN MAYO Plans for a smart city and energy efficiency project has been announced for Crossmolina by a leading networking platform solutions provider for smart energy networks. The company has deployed an Internet of Things (IoT) network canopy with Mayo County Council for smart street lighting and a residential energy efficiency project, which is being part-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

COUNTY SLIGO

ABOUT IOT The Internet of Things is a system that allows devices to communicate with one another. It could be your fridge defrosting your dinner while telling your oven to heat up. One day we could even have couches that heat automatically when temperatures drop or even plates that track our calorie intake.

COUNTY LEITRIM

COUNTY GALWAY

GASTRONOMY WIN FOR GALWAY Galway has been officially presented with the European Region of Gastronomy 2018 title at a special ceremony in Denmark. Newly-elected mayor of Galway Noel Larkin and County Cathaoirleach Michael Connolly attended the ceremony in Aarhus to accept the award, which Galway County Council hopes will contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of the city, county and region.

For more on how Galway County Council is promoting food, tourism and film in the region go to page 9

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SWISS VALLEY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

NEWS JOBS FOR LEITRIM

Sligo County Council has partnered with local residents to develop the Sruth in Aghaidh an Aird trail, also known as ‘The Swiss Valley’. Before the development, areas of the trail were completely closed off to the public. Sligo Country Council has expressed its thanks to local residents for opening their land to the public in order to enhance the region.

Leitrim County Council has welcomed the news that Masonite Ireland is to create 30 new jobs within the next six months as it continues to expand its facility in Carrick-on-Shannon. The new positions will primarily be in production with some support roles. Masonite Ireland, a global designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior doors, already employs 143 members of staff at their Leitrim site. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 13:18


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: ULSTER

COUNTY MONAGHAN

CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON CROSS-BORDER BUSINESS Monaghan Local Enterprise Office was the proud sponor of this year’s BorderBizcamp conference, which took place in June, in an attempt to promote business in the border counties. The free conferencing event is now in its fifth year and consists of entrepreneurs from all sectors and backgrounds. The themes discussed at this year’s event included future trends, inspirational business stories and practical tools.

COUNTY CAVAN

APPOINTMENT NOTICE

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28TH JULY - 1ST AUGUST BeatlesFest on the Lough Moville, Co Donegal 6TH AUGUST The Cavan Kayakarun Co Cavan 21ST AUGUST Annual Ballyshannon Agricultural Showcasing, Co Donegal 27TH AUGUST The Park After Dark Glaslough Village, Co Monaghan

Fergal Curtin has been elected as Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, taking over the role from Fine Gael’s Paddy Smith. Sinn Fein’s Paddy McDonald has been named Leas Cathaoirleach. The new chair and vice-chair will take up their positions for the next 12 months.

COUNTY ANTRIM

GAME OF THRONES AT ULSTER MUSEUM

COUNTY DONEGAL

A GROUNDBREAKING PARTNERSHIP

Re-imagined Landscape with Sheep painting at Ulster Museum

Renowned painting by artist William Mark Fisher, ‘Landscape with Sheep’, has been updated to include a Game of Thrones giant and dragon. The new painting went on display in the Ulster Museum in June, side-by-side with the original, and will remain on display until September. The re-imagining of the painting is part of a wider Game of Thrones campaign being rolled out worldwide by Tourism Ireland in partnership with HBO, celebrating Northern Ireland as Game of Thrones Territory. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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AN IDEAL LOCATION Game of Thrones isn’t the only TV show to use Northern Ireland’s rugged landscape as a backdrop for its storytelling. Other popular dramas including Penny Dreadful, Vikings, The Fall and Camelot have all been based in the region.

Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Donegal County Council have come together to be the first two organisations of their kind to sign a memorandum of understanding in Ireland. The partnership will focus on promoting sustainable economic development and job creation through various education and training. It also aims to develop the region’s research and innovation, entrepreneurship, investment and enterprise with a particular focus on cross-border collaboration.

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On the WESTERN FRONT Key stakeholders in the west of Ireland are working to ensure the regional economy continues to propser in the years ahead.

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espite the recession taking a heavy toll on the west of Ireland, the region has experienced positive levels of growth and investment in recent months and years, propelled by a concerted effort from all stakeholders including county councils, state bodies, Chambers and local businesses. Though tourism has long been a major contributor to the western economy, that is being supplemented through investment from businesses operating in a variety of sectors – Galway, for example, boasts a burgeoning medical device cluster, and has recently opened the first building in the new Galway City Innovation District.

Galway 2020 On July 15th Galway was named European Capital of Culture 2020 at a ceremony in Dublin. Limerick and the ‘Three Sisters’ region of Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford had also competed for the title. Galway now receives a prize of a1.5m from the EU and will jointly hold the Capital of Culture honour with Rijeka in Croatia in 2020.

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“As President of Galway Chamber, one of my key aims is to celebrate and socialise Galway’s successes and its attractiveness as an investment location. The recent opening of the PorterShed, the first building in the new Galway City Innovation District, is a great example. The PorterShed, which is situated in the heart of the city, near Ceannt Station, is a co-working space which showcases Galway’s vibrant start-up scene and will host a number of events for local businesses and visitors to our city,” said Conor O’Dowd, President, Galway Chamber. “As a Chamber, we will continue to work to achieve optimum conditions to attract business to Galway and the region. This will include working with other stakeholders to increase the amount of good quality office space in the city to ensure that no inward investment is lost. It will also include working to address traffic problems and supporting

“WE WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE AN EXCELLENT SERVICE TO OUR MEMBERS AND RUN A RANGE OF EVENTS AND NETWORKING MEET-UPS TO PROVIDE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR GROWING MEMBERSHIP.”

our new entrepreneurs and existing businesses as they seek to expand from their Galway base.” “We will continue to provide an excellent service to our members and run a range of events and networking meet-ups to provide business opportunities for our growing membership,” he adds. INVESTING IN MAYO Similar sentiments are shared in nearby Mayo, which has been

An illuminated Galway city at night at the bank of the ocean bay

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In the following pages, we speak to a number of local authorities and businesses in the west of Ireland about the business environment in the region, and what is being done to improve growth and investment.

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View from Limerick “Limerick is a place that has been on the rise for a number of years now and shows no signs of stopping. With an excellent blend of talent, a low cost of living and doing business, exceptional national and international connectivity as well as strong leadership, Limerick has rapidly become an attractive place for investment,” explains Dr James Ring, Limerick Chamber of Commerce. “Limerick Chamber, through its corporate partners programme, has met and will continue to meet with key policy makers to ensure our region is best placed to continue to attract such investment.”

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bolstered by recent developments including the commencement of gas flowing from the Corrib gas field, the completion of a project linking Mayo and Ireland to North America via a transatlantic fiber optic cable, as well as positive regional collaboration in the guise of an initiative, led by Mayo County Council, which has secured agreement from seven local authorities in the west and northwest to buy a 17.5 per cent stake in Ireland West Airport Knock, which will provide the airport with much needed funds to develop and grow. “As we approach the half way point of the calendar year, I am pleased to say that from a local authority and county perspective we have had a positive six months,” Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council, told InBUSINESS. “Our unemployment numbers are down, our visitor numbers are up. Many of our general indicators would suggest that we are heading in the right direction and there is a greater sense of confidence in a growing number of sectors across the region.”

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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SHANNON REGION Further south in Shannon, Shannon Chamber’s CEO, Helen Downes, believes that business confidence in the west/mid-west region is visible and tangible, and evident across all sectors. “Companies are planning for growth, domestically and internationally, and are differentiating themselves in the marketplace through consolidating their unique selling proposition. They are increasing their R&D spend, adding new product lines and processes,” she says. “This is a very healthy approach as it ensures that change exists within an organisation and remains part of the DNA of a company. Companies realise that it is no longer desirable to innovate; it is a necessity.” Downes also notes the presence of a very real appetite for business development in the Shannon area. “The region is set for growth and is very much open for business and the talent pool to fuel this growth is emanating from the pipeline of graduates being generated by LIT, UL and the other institutes in the region,” she explains.

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WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS TO ENHANCE THE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL & CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF COUNTY GALWAY

Galway is:

n An attractive location where people want to live in, work and visit n A clean attractive environment with excellent primary production, natural amenities and beautiful landscapes n Served by excellent infrastructure and connectivity n Recognised internationally for innovation and economic clusters with excellent third level and research capacity in the private and public sectors - NUI Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Teagasc & The Marine Institute n Enriched by a highly educated and young labour force and an increasingly multicultural population

Galway County Council supporting the development of Galway for our citizens and communities through initiatives and supports such as the following: n Made in Galway madeingalway.ie – winner of several awards for support to businesses n Galway, West of Ireland European Region of Gastronomy 2018 galwaygastronomy.ie n Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 galway2020.ie n Galway County Community Support Schemes galway.ie n Galway Local Enterprise Office localenterprise.ie/Galway/

n Citizen focussed with a very strong community and voluntary sectors that have a track record

Galway County Council, Áras an Chontae, Prospect Hill, Galway, H91 H6KX Tel: +353 (0) 91 509000 • Fax: +353 (0) 91 509010 • Email: customerservices@galwaycoco.ie • www.galway.ie

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS GALWAY COUNTY COUNCIL

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Film, Guests and Gastronomy

in Galway County Galway County Council, in partnership with a number of agencies, has put measures in place to promote film, food and tourism in the region, which have already yielded impressive results.

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alway has undergone significant growth across a number of sectors in recent years. While tech start-ups and industry leaders such as Apple continue to be attracted to the county, Galway County Council aims to complement this growth by promoting the rich heritage and culture that the region has to offer. As part of this strategy, three areas – film, food and tourism – have been identified by the council as sectors that can be further tapped into. Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive of Galway County Council, explains: “I’m conscious as a local authority that our role in many ways is about leadership, it’s about collaboration, it’s about cooperation. It isn’t about trying to do someone else’s job or about trying to work our way into an area that’s already fully subscribed. It’s about areas where we can add a little bit of value.” With Galway City having secured the first Irish City of Film designation from Unesco back in 2014, the film industry is vitally important to the region. One measure aimed at boosting the indsutry further was a move by Galway County Council and Galway City Council to lease two hangars at Galway Airport to a media company, providing an opportunity for a business to make use of the 115-acre site. “It’s about utilising the resources we have, identifying the opportunities and then allowing those opportunities to develop into something,” says Kelly. Among the forthcoming plans to promote Galway as a region of culture, measures to enhance the InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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“AT THE END OF THE DAY WHAT PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES ARE LOOKING FOR NOW ON BEHALF OF THEIR EMPLOYEES IS WHAT’S CALLED QUALITY OF LIFE AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT GALWAY CAN OFFER.”

local food sector have seen Galway officially awarded European Region of Gastronomy 2018, the first region in Ireland to receive this designation. A consortia of stakeholders led by Galway County Council (including Galway City Council, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Teagasc along with representatives from the private sector

and a Fáilte Ireland Food Ambassador) worked tirelessly to earn the accolade. “It’s a recognition of the tremendous work right across the sector over many years, including the producers, the restaurateurs, and the education sector,” says Kelly. Catherine McConnell, Acting Director of Services for the council, says: “It provides a platform for the continued growth of Galway and the wider west of Ireland region as a destination known for the quality of its food sector and the strength of the connection between its people, the land and our gastronomic traditions.” While Galway has always had a rich tourism trade, the council has taken steps to build on this reputation. One example is its support for the development of the cultural centre at Teach an Phiarsaigh in Rosmuc village, one of the seven flagship projects for the 1916 Centenary year supported by the Government. The cultural centre will provide an experiential introduction to the Irish language and the local Gaeltacht culture and environment, while focusing on Patrick Pearse and his relationship with Rosmuc. Other examples of how the council has sought to develop the county’s rich tourism reputation is by actively supporting the development of the Marconi site in Clifden as well as its involvement in the expansion of the Castle Harbour area, Portumna. Whether it’s food, culture, the arts or tourism, in the years ahead Galway County Council, along with other stakeholders in the region, will play a pivotal role in building on the county’s impressive offering. “At the end of the day what people and businesses are looking for now on behalf of their employees is what’s called quality of life and that’s what Galway can offer,” concludes Kelly.

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Chamber Magazine.pdf

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Congratulations to Galway 2020 official winners of the European Capital of Culture Candidate C

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Let’s make this happen together www.galway2020.ie #IBackGalway

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS GALWAY CITY COUNCIL

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Building Blocks

FOR GROWTH “GALWAY 2020 HAS ACTIVELY ENGAGED WITH BUSINESSES OF ALL SIZES TO BACK THE BID VIA ITS BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME – BE GALWAY 2020 – AND THE SUPPORT FROM THE BUSINESS SECTOR HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL.”

InBUSINESS spoke with Galway City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, to discover more about concerted efforts to boost Galway’s growth and profile both in Ireland and on the international stage.

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he local economy in Galway city has progressed from strength to strength over the past few years, driven by hard work and innovation on the part of key stakeholders in the region, including Galway County Council, Galway Chamber, and local businesses and organisations. Much of the city’s economy is driven by the many events and festivals that take place throughout the year and the visitors they attract. In June, for example, Galway hosted a new sports tourism venture – the Challenge Triathalon. It’s the first time the event has been held in Ireland, with plans to make Galway its permanent home, and it boosted the local economy to the tune of a1 million. Other important events for the city’s economy include the Galway Film Fleadh, the Galway Races and Seafest. This and other growth is being driven by Galway City Council’s latest development plan – currently in the draft stage – which focuses on key topics including the local economy, tourism and culture and which was developed in consultation with local business interests and the Chamber of Commerce. The plan was originally approved by Galway City Council last October, with Liam Hanrahan, Senior Executive Officer, providing a comprehensive presentation on the development process. “We have completed a cultural strategy

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Brendan McGrath, CE, Galway City Council

alongside a new Local Economic and Community Plan, very much focusing on microenterprise and community enterprise,” explains Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive, Galway City Council. “Ongoing since Christmas, we will be progressing to a new draft development plan for Galway city.”

BUILDING ON SUCCESS This year has also been a positive period for Galway’s reputation on the international stage, with recognition by Travel + Leisure as the world’s friendliest city, the Financial Times noting the city’s potential in the digital and ICT sectors, alongside being named as a European Region of Gastronomy for 2018, an award which will undoubtedly lead to significant opportunities for the city. More recently, Galway was named European Capital of Culture 2020 at a ceremony in Dublin, a significant coup for the city. Galway will receive a prize of s1.5 million from the EU and will jointly hold the Capital of Culture honour with Rijeka in Croatia.

Speaking before the announcement, Mark O’Donnell, a member of the Galway 2020 bid team, commented on the potential impact of the title, and the invaluable support received from the business community in Galway. “This is a once in a generation opportunity to use culture as a tool for positive transformation,” he explained. “Galway 2020 has actively engaged with businesses of all sizes to back the bid via its Business Engagement programme – BE Galway 2020. The support from the business sector has been absolutely phenomenal. Business in Galway city voluntarily accepted a 3 per cent increase in rates to support the bid which is unprecedented, and a very clear sign of support.” Looking forward, the future for Galway city is bright. The new development plan, alongside recognition on both a national and international stage, looks set to spur Galway city on to greater things, building on positive attributes which include a world class medical technology sector, continually enhanced transport links, and the presence of two third level institutions in NUIG and GMIT. “Those are key building blocks, laying very important foundation stones for Galway’s development,” McGrath concludes.

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View from the Ground We spoke with Paul O’Brien, WARS Ltd, to discover more about what they do, and their view on the western business environment. Q: Can you explain the services you provide to the business community?

A: We provide the part of the business continuity solution that is often overlooked; if the place of business is destroyed or otherwise made unusable, where will the phones ring? How will skilled people answer them to support customers? We have a fully equipped and prepared place for people

to work from, a work area recovery site just off the M18 in Ennis.

Q: In terms of infrastructure, why do you think the west of Ireland is an attractive place in which to do business?

A: The building of the road infrastructure and the current extension of the M18 to Tuam is significant for access. We are well supported by a good selection of

broadband providers in the region. Indeed we have most of the major providers in the Ennis site with both fibre and wireless available. There are a lot of good people doing good things in the area, it is a good place to do business and as the growth in business activity spreads across the country, we expect to benefit from it.

Q: Is there anything the Government or other organisations might do to improve the local business environment?

A: If I had the option

I would complete the motorway network to Cork but on a more westerly route connecting Adare to Ballincollig through east Kerry. I would break the broadband rollout into manageable chunks – the technology exists and it is possible to bring business usable connectivity into every village. Some joined up thinking and a central strong lobby – ‘Chambers West’ – with a few focused key asks would help spread the wealth. For more information visit www.atlanticway.com.

YOUR BUSINESS NEVER NEEDS TO STOP

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200 workstations (Desk, Tel, PC) Cisco telephone system Connectivity Primary and Redundant (multiple routes) Computer room - supported by UPS and Generator 5 Separate rooms Printing, scanning and fax server facilities PC imaging retention on site Client dedicated rack space Business continuity plan testing

SHANNON Suite 4, 4200 Atlantic Avenue, Westpark, Shannon, Co. Clare ENNIS Suite 13, Information Age Park, Gort Road, Ennis, Co. Clare

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PAUL O’BRIEN Managing Director - pobrien@wars.ie GERARD JOYCE CTO - gjoyce@wars.ie Registration No: 432977

TEL: EMAIL:

061- 477 888 enquiries@wars.ie

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS CENTRE FOR ADULT LEARNING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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BOOSTING the Playing Field

The diverse mix of blended learning programmes at NUIG’s Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development provides a boost to students, employers and the wider economy.

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dult learning and continued professional development (CPD) can be key factors in career success and growth, alongside delivering a boost in confidence as people develop skills such as critical thinking and teamwork. But it’s not always just about personal growth. Encouraging professional development can have a major impact on a much wider scale, providing a higher skillset base, greater workplace productivity and increased innovation for employers. NUI Galway is one of a number of organisations playing its part within this field. The Department of Education and Skills has supported the development of nine regional skills forums, established to bring together Ireland’s further and higher education institutions to work with industry in mapping industry requirements across the country. “NUIG is an active member of that forum and is working with industries to identify needs. It’s about the west getting together and saying ‘how can we attract industry and how can we prospect for future employment requirements?’” explains Nuala McGuinn, Director, Centre for Adult Learning and

Nuala McGuinn, Director, Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

“THERE’S NEVER A BETTER TIME FOR STUDENTS WHO WANT TO STUDY, BECAUSE THERE’S SUCH A CHOICE OUT THERE.” Professional Development. “They also want graduates with professional transferable skills, like critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. Adult learners are in a better position to present those skills to employers. Our programmes offer a different delivery method, which

The Right Approach A past student of NUIG on the MSc. in Technology Management programme, David Ronan, Vascular Solutions Galway, speaks of how it provided him with the right attitude to succeed, alongside key skills. “[It] gave me the knowledge to approach medical device R&D management with fresh insight and up-to-date tools which had practical applications in the workplace,” he said. “The blended learning approach meant that the coursework never overwhelmed me, and I could plan for assignments and exams well in advance. The support from the lecturers and course administrators was constant and the online portion ensured my focus was maintained throughout the course.”

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enhance those skills as students go through the content.” Flexibility is key. Targeted at working adults, the majority of the courses on offer at the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development involve blended learning – a mix of classroom and online content delivery. For example, students can tackle a Master’s in Software Engineering and Database Technologies delivered entirely online in partnership with Regis University in the US. Modules can be completed on a standalone basis for CPD, and can then be used as part of a diploma, or a major award such as a degree or a masters. NUIG offers a number of specialist diploma options, which are useful for those interested in crossskilling – for example, warehouse technicians undertaking a course in Automation and Control, which tackles the trend towards the use of robotics in automation. “All of our courses have industry input from the very start,” explains Dr Niamh Nolan, the Centre’s Flexible Programmes Development Officer. “We have guest speakers from industry, but half or more of our lecturing staff are tutors, with industry background. They have very strong input from industry.” For both students and employers, now is the time to invest in education and professional development, whether the aim is to increase personal skills or boost innovation within the workplace. “There’s never a better time for students who want to study, because there’s such a choice out there,” advises Nuala McGuinn. “It’s just picking the right course and making the commitment.”

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MAYO: QUALITY OF LIFE Mayo, a place where you can sample an ambitious culture of enterprise and business development. Heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way, County Mayo is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Atlantic Coastline. Voted ‘Best Place in Ireland To Live’, Mayo is also synonymous with international brands and global success stories. Utilising our energy resources and connectivity, Mayo is a ‘place’ people simply like doing business with.

INVEST From indigenous success stories to major multinationals, many well-known companies have chosen to locate in Mayo. A vast pool of educated and talented workforce, world class business infrastructure, transport links including freight, road and air, continue to attract major multinationals. Mayo is now the platform for connecting US and European financial markets with the largest sub-sea fibre optic cable project in the world. Mayo can deliver for your company. Read about these companies and many more on www.mayo.ie Enterprise and Investment Unit

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E: invest@mayo.ie T: +353(0)949047555 W: www.mayo.ie

Mayo County Council Cedar House, Top Floor, Moneen, Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS MAYO COUNTY COUNCIL

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Investing in Mayo Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council, explains how they are working with a number of stakeholders within the county to support the local business environment and encourage growth.

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ith unemployment figures down, and visitor numbers rising, it’s fair to say that Mayo is heading in the right direction, with a sense of confidence growing across the region. Over the past six months, natural gas has begun to flow from the Corrib field – providing 75 per cent of the nation’s requirements during peak usage periods, a new fibre optic cable running from New York to Killala has been completed, while ongoing regional collaboration around the Regional Atlantic Corridor alongside the impending opening of the M17 from Limerick to Sligo is creating greater possibilities for further economic development in the west. Among the various stakeholders working to secure Mayo’s future is Mayo County Council. With Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, at the helm, the local authority has developed an excellent relationship with the business community in Mayo. As part of their effort to position Mayo as the leading enterprise support agency in the county, the council established a dedicated Enterprise and Investment Unit in 2013. “Central to this effort has been the support we provide to the local startup and micro business sector through Mayo Local Enterprise Office (LEO),” Hynes explains. “In the context of available state and local supports, the LEO is now firmly established as the first point of contact for those starting or growing a business within the county. The work of the LEO is

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central to helping to support existing business while also creating a much more supportive environment for local enterprise.” The Council also works in partnership with the broader business infrastructure in Mayo, including the Mayo Industries Group, Chambers in Mayo, community enterprise centres and other business advocacy groups.

ATTRACTIVE LOCATION Mayo has a track record in attracting, maintaining, developing and growing business in the county, and there are a number of key factors that entice inward investment. Offering excellent national and international transport links (across road, rail and air), Mayo also boasts a highly educated and skilled local workforce boosted by the presence of GMIT. Businesses in Mayo have access to cost effective, renewable energy solutions, while the county has also positioned itself as the ‘Heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way’, a major boost for the tourism sector. “Around 3.5m people around the world can trace their roots back to Mayo. Business is about relationships and these Mayo people across the globe share a special bond. Investing in Mayo guarantees a good cup of coffee, a friendly introduction and enthusiastic support,” Hynes adds. In addition, a wide and varied range of projects and initiatives are promoted and supported by Mayo County Council. Among the recent developments is the AEConnect Transatlantic Fibre Optic Cable

Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council

“INVESTING IN MAYO GUARANTEES A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE, A FRIENDLY INTRODUCTION AND ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT.” project on the north Mayo coast, capable of handling all transatlantic internet traffic between Europe and North America, a development which places Mayo in a strong position to meet the needs of multinational organisations. Mayo will also soon play host to the largest biomass CHP plant in Ireland which will form part of the new Killala Site Data Park. “Mayo has an identity all of its own. Its people have a global reach, but they are rooted to a sense of place, grounded by a feeling of shared responsibility and centred by a spirit of effort,” says Hynes. “I am honoured to serve the county as chief executive and together with the support of the Cathaoirleach and members, we are confident that county Mayo and its people have a bright future ahead.”

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DRIVING INNOVATION IN GALWAY The Galway City Innovation District, centred in the city’s PorterShed, has the means and opportunity to transform the city into a global hub for technology and innovation.

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he Galway City Innovation District (GCID) is a gamechanger for the city’s burgeoning start-up community, fostering creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship within a tight knit cluster of entrepreneurs, start-ups, accelerators and incubators. Nestled between Galway’s transportation gateways, the district has begun with the PorterShed, a creative hub that provides co-working spaces and an open space for workshops and talks. And their work thus far has not gone unnoticed. “We at AIB were immediately taken by the drive and passion the GCID team had, not just for the PorterShed, but for the wider innovation district. That drive was infectious, bringing the whole Galway community together.” explains Vinny Coghlan, Galway Retail and Business Banking Manager with AIB, the title sponsor of the PorterShed. “We believe that people do their best work when they’re surrounded by like-minded people in a space that encourages flexibility and collaboration. By partnering with Galway City Innovation District (GCID), we are backing the evolution of the city centre into the ideal place for entrepreneurs to come together to work and share ideas.” The GCID concept centres on the idea that innovation in cities cannot exist in a vacuum, but is created and nurtured by the indefinable

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Olivia Lavelle, LingoHost, Bernard Byrne, CEO, AIB and Maurice O’Gorman, Galway Chamber of Commerce pictured at the launch of The PorterShed, proudly backed by AIB in Galway City Centre

atmosphere that arises in areas when entrepreneurs can work closely together and inspire each other to produce innovative and exciting work. Backed by AIB, the GCID partnership is a fiveyear plan that brings together the knowledge and expertise of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Startup Galway, Galway City Council, NUI Galway, GMIT, local entrepreneurs and other partners. The hub aims to attract young technology companies with strong growth potential, including many existing and exciting Irish firms such as Element Wave, Pocket Anatomy, RealSim, SourceDogg, Instillo, Tribal City Interactive and many more besides.

INNOVATION HUB The PorterShed is a collaborative space which will allow Ireland’s best and brightest minds to work side by side, to network and to learn from each other; the first step in a journey that will transfer Galway into a technological hub to rival anything the world has to offer. A former Guinness storehouse, it’s located just off Galway’s historic Eyre Square and will serve as an innovation hub that supports high potential start-ups and SMEs in the west of Ireland. It is also hoped that the GCID will align with Galway’s ambitions to become a major location in Ireland for foreign direct investment (FDI), forming a cohesive and attractive investment package alongside a highly educated

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Vinny Coghlan and Johnny O’Dwyer

and dynamic workforce, a thriving knowledge base and cooperation among the existing clusters, as well as a positive culture in research and development. “Developing an innovation district in the heart of Galway can serve as a catalyst for high growth companies, and is a model that has worked in other cities around the world. The GCID is the first part of an ambitious plan to support the growth and development of innovative companies across the west of Ireland,” Coghlan states. “The Innovation District is set to expand over the coming years with additional buildings due to open over time, and it is envisaged that this area could eventually support up to 20,000 workers.” Since opening several months ago, 14 companies employing more than 40 people have already developed a base at the PorterShed, spanning various fields including software, film development, customer service, language education, contactless payment, fashion and training. The shared workspace has capacity for up to 85 workers, alongside high speed internet, meeting rooms, hot desks and custom designed workspaces. This exciting new space serves as the cornerstone of the GCID, and the catalyst for a project which aims to attract the world’s most exciting and forward-thinking companies to Galway. The PorterShed will also be available as an open working area for

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Johnny O’Dwyer, Conor O’Dowd, Paul Killoran, John Breslin, Niamh Costello, Michael Fitzgerald, Maurice O’Gorman and Dave Cunningham pictured at the launch of the PorterShed, proudly backed by AIB in Galway city centre

local businesses and start-ups, as well as hosting workshops and seminars. And that’s not all. “The key resources provided for companies in the PorterShed include access to financial services for advice and funding purposes, IT guidance, legal and regulatory counsel and networking opportunities,” says Coghlan. “Start-ups at post incubation stage are challenged to find an innovative, affordable workplace environment where they have the opportunity to scale at pace; with the PorterShed, AIB and other partner firms are setting these up for success by addressing these challenges and providing support and assistance.” In addition, an AIB customer service team will be on hand in the PorterShed to provide advice on business and support with access to finance. Looking to the coming months

and years, the outlook is very bright for the GCID’s prospects, with plans in place to add 20 start-ups to the local economy each year, backed by key partnerships with organisations such as AIB. Plans are also being developed to introduce a Galway Innovation Commissioner next year – an innovation ambassador to represent the city outside of Ireland – as well as an accelerator programme due to come into force this autumn, making finance and other supports available for start-ups. “Galway city is a major industry hub in the west of Ireland, attracting large scale FDI investment, and the PorterShed has the capability to transfer Galway into a technological hub that can compete on the global stage,” says Coghlan. “AIB is committed to backing tech start-ups in Ireland, and the passion and determination of the GCID board and team deliver a perfect partner in fostering the future of technology and innovation in Ireland.”

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POWERING

GROWTH InBUSINESS spoke with Ronan Deasy, MD and Country Chair at Shell EP Ireland, to discover how the energy giant is providing a platform for future development in the west. Q: How have the first six months of 2016 been for Shell in Ireland, and in the western region in particular?

A: We received the final consents to operate the terminal at Bellanaboy in late December last year so the past six months have been a very productive and positive period for us. We’ve successfully completed the transition from construction project to a fully operational gas processing facility. Over this period we’ve been working hard to complete the start-up activities and close out the construction phase of the project. This has meant working closely with the regulators, partners and Gas Networks Ireland. But I’m pleased that the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal and the field are now successfully operating at design capacity. It’s testament to the 6,000 people who have worked on Corrib over its long period of construction. The last piece of the development is to link in the final production well which will be connected to the production system during August.

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Our objective now is to keep providing a safe and reliable indigenous supply of gas over the next two decades and we hope that it will provide a platform for many more positive developments for Erris and the west. Q: From your perspective, how is the economy in the west of Ireland faring at present? How important is the Corrib gas field to both the regional and national economies? A: The economic crisis has taken a heavy toll on the west of Ireland. I think there are definitely signs that the economy is improving but the progress is much slower than in other parts of the country. The regional development strategy for the Atlantic Economic Corridor being proposed by the Chambers of Commerce in the region is very exciting and it is something that sets the west apart as a region. There is an understanding that we need to work collectively to make regional development happen, we can’t just sit back and wait. Corrib has also helped in powering future

growth in the west of Ireland. Ten towns have been connected to the Gas Networks Ireland national grid, sustaining jobs and increasing competitiveness in the region. Shell and our partners installed a fibre optic cable along the route of the national grid pipeline; once fully transferred to State ownership, this investment should enable the provision of high speed broadband across the region, fuelling the possibility of new business opportunities.

From a national perspective Ireland is hugely dependent on fossil fuel imports for its energy. Roughly half of the country’s electricity is generated using gas imported from the UK and the recent UK referendum result is a reminder that external factors could influence how such supplies are provided in the future. Corrib is capable of providing up to 60 per cent of Ireland’s natural gas demand on any given day. With the economy beginning to

Operatives at the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal, Co Mayo, Ireland

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS SHELL EP IRELAND

grow strongly once again and energy demand on the rise as a result, this improved security of supply will be vitally important. Equally, it reduces the dependency on imported supplies. Should these supply lines be restricted or constrained, those most likely to be hit first and hardest are those on the periphery of the continent – that is Ireland of course. That’s why Corrib is such a significant element of our energy security framework. There are also the environmental benefits. Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels and it is a critical part of the mix of sources that will continue to sustain the country’s energy needs for decades to come. As Ireland strives to reach its goal of a sustainable energy future, Corrib gas will play a complementary role alongside these new energy sources. Q: How is Shell contributing to local communities in the West, and around the country?

A: We feel that it’s important to contribute positively to the areas that we operate in; for this reason the vast majority of our social investment activity is aimed at the community of Erris; this includes the Third Level Scholarships and Local Grants Programme. The social investment programmes are set to continue as we start into the production phase. Just

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Pictured at the official opening of the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal are Tom Bond, Control Room Operator, Minister of State Joe McHugh and Shell E&P Ireland Managing Director Ronan Deasy

recently five young people from the area joined us for a paid internship. It’s great to be able to support the community in this way and give them the opportunity to grow and develop.

There have also been knock on effects with other companies in the region who have continued to grow as a result of their involvement in the Corrib construction project. On the back of winning the contract for the concrete rings in the Corrib tunnel, Shay Murtagh and Company successfully won the contract to supply all of the concrete rings for the crossrail project in London. Similarly, Shevlin Engineering used the experience of working on Corrib to develop their capabilities and are now exporting steel products to the UK, Europe and the Middle East. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of

the project to see that it has been a platform for positive developments in the region. Q: What do you think are the main factors that attract businesses to the west of Ireland? Are there any particular challenges posed by doing business in the region?

A: There are many reasons why businesses are attracted to the west of Ireland. The building blocks are there, there are two international airports and three significant ports. It offers a fantastic quality of life, which is becoming a more important consideration for global companies. This coupled with the young vibrant, well-educated population that we have in Ireland means that the west is a very attractive proposition. I think the challenges faced by business in the region have been well documented. The limited availability of fibre optic

broadband in the region is one of those challenges. The road and freight network is another challenge but both of these can be overcome and certainly shouldn’t deter investors from exploring the region. It’s also interesting that the recent 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round received the highest number of applications in its history and 28 licences were awarded by the Department for Energy, Communication and Natural Resources in June. It demonstrates that there is a keen global interest in developing Ireland’s natural resources despite having a reputation as a high risk location due to the lack of historic commercial discoveries. I hope that Mayo and the wider Western region can use the Corrib project as a catalyst to attract new investment and development.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS THOMOND PARK

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The Home of Hospitality After reopening in 2008, Thomond Park has received widespread acclaim and recognition as a conferencing and banqueting centre of the highest standard.

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he iconic Thomond Park stadium, renowned for its award-winning design and architecture, has dedicated an entire level of its legendary structure to promoting an array of hospitality and conferencing facilities. The multifunctional design and layout of the conferencing facilities can cater for every level of business from intimate meetings and seminars to large-scale conferences, receptions, and gala banquets. The spacious Thomond Suite alone can facilitate banquet style dining for up to 480 guests and up

to 1,000 for theatre style conference events. This unique suite features glass facades that provide natural daylight with panoramic views of the famous stadium and hallowed Thomond Park pitch. The truly breathtaking views of the wonderful grounds deliver an additional and unique appeal for any event. Thomond Park Stadium has all the facilities to host corporate social events, meetings, gala dinners, exhibitions, product launches, promotions and staff training programmes. The five state-of-the-art event suites adapt to suit any type of corporate event with

top class audio visual facilities and WiFi available throughout. The stadium’s catering partner, Masterchefs Hospitality, is widely considered one of Ireland’s leading corporate and event catering companies, specialising in the management and delivery of premium, bespoke hospitality experiences. The Conferencing & Hospitality team at Thomond Park are dedicated to the success of every event from start to finish, and offer an exceptional level of customer service to ensure that each occasion is an unrivalled experience in this unique sporting and cultural location. For further information, please call 061 421100, or email events@thomondpark.ie.

When CommuniCation is everything

ConferenCes | seminars | Corporate events

THOMOND PARK STADIUM

TO BOOK YOUR EVENT

Call 061 421100 | Email: events@thomondpark.ie Visit www.thomondpark.ie

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19/07/2016 13:09


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS ÚDARÁS NA GAELTACHTA

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Gaeltacht regions see economic growth Údarás na Gaeltachta continues to stimulate economic growth in the Gaeltacht regions by nurturing new and existing businesses.

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darás na Gaeltachta is the regional development authority funded by the Government to promote the economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht regions. The agency aims to stimulate economic growth and job creation in these areas by nurturing new and existing businesses, developing modern enterprise infrastructure and enhancing the skills base of the Gaeltacht community. Its contribution to the region has been significant and the figures back it up. The agency supports in excess of 7,200 FTE (full-time equivalent) jobs in rural based client companies, which contribute in the region of a1.5 billion per annum to the Irish economy. Micheál Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Enterprise & Employment at Údarás, has been witnessing a healthy upturn in business activity within the Gaeltacht regions. “There’s been a very marked improvement over the past year or so,” he says. “I would say that there is a positive outlook as things stand at present. That’s not withstanding the challenges that we’re facing in terms of ensuring that there’s adequate infrastructure and good financing in place along with other challenges such as Brexit and the impact that might have on some of our client companies.” Ó hÉanaigh highlights some of the recent success stories such as medical diagnostics firm Randox Teo based in Dungloe. Last year the Government approved an investment by Údarás of InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Micheál Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Enterprise & Employment, Údarás

a5 million research and development grant assistance to be paid over a period of five years to the company. The investment will progress Randox’s strategy for biochip technology and diagnostic equipment and will lead to the creation of 450 jobs by the end of 2020. “Randox found that they were able to operate effectively, get the types of skilled people they wanted and deliver to their worldwide markets from Dungloe,” explains Ó hÉanaigh. “I think that’s a big vote of confidence by a successful company in a rural area in the north-west of Ireland. We also have local life science companies that are in expansion mode in the Connemara Gaeltacht such as Proxy Biomedical Ltd, Cambus Medical and Mylan. It’s very encouraging to see these companies being able to thrive and develop in rural locations.” Ó hÉanaigh cites the audio visual and digital media and the natural resources sectors as areas in which he has seen recent successes. “We have placed a big emphasis over the last 20 years on the audio visual sector and we’ve seen the development of

some very successful companies like Telegael in Connemara and Nemeton in Waterford, who are leaders in terms of video and TV production. Údarás also places a large emphasis on the development of natural resources so we support companies like Marine Harvest in Donegal and Bradán Beo Teo in Connemara in the area of aquaculture and farming of organic salmon. This is another sector that is coming along very well and is one which we hope to expand on.” Údarás also works closely with Fáilte Ireland and the county councils in promoting the Gaeltacht’s tourism sector, particularly regions located on the Wild Atlantic Way. Údarás na Gaeltachta offers a competitive portfolio of grant aid and supports, has funded hundreds of outstanding community, cultural and enterprise based initiatives, established a collaborative working environment and implemented its strategic vision to achieve a unique place to work and live for Gaeltacht Communities. For more information on its range of supports visit www.udaras.ie.

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READY TO RACE The 2016 Galway Races are set to be another successful event, and one which will continue to boost the local economy.

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vital cog in the western economy, the Galway Races are worth around 54m each year to the local economy, providing a major and much welcomed boost. This year the Galway Races will run from Monday July 25th to Sunday July 31st, and General Manager Michael Moloney is looking forward to another successful event. “We’re anticipating a big increase in bookings from overseas, in particular from the UK but also America, Australia, Dubai and further into Europe,” he explains. “We’re certainly starting to see an

improvement in Galway – you’ll see certain clients opting for hospitality packages that they may not have chosen for the last two or three years. I think there’s a positive vibe among the business community, as people try to make the most of the environment.” Moloney also highlights the role played by their colleagues in the tourism and hospitality industries in supporting the annual event and, by extension, the regional economy. “I think the hotels here in Galway do a fantastic job. They support the racecourse right across the public sector – everyone works hard

from taxi companies to buses and restaurants,” he states. “Everyone works together to make sure that people travelling to Galway get the best out of their experience.” Over the last few months, Galway Races has announced two new sponsors in the form of Colm Quinn BMW (headline sponsors on the Tuesday race card) and the G Hotel and Spa (headline sponsors of the Best Dressed Lady competition). “It’s great to be supported by local businesses and to have the opportunity to promote local businesses during the week to a national and international audience,” says Moloney. “We always look for local suppliers for our events – if we can do business in Galway, we’ll do business in Galway first.”

there’s nothingg like it on eart rh rt MONDAY A JULY AY L 25 - SUNDAY LY A JULY AY L 31 LY

galwayraces.com

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STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

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Masters of

BUSINESS The Executive Masters in Business Administration from NUI Galway stands as one of the most rigorous and respected programmes in Ireland. With extensive industry based experience and training that enables participants to compete successfully on a global scale, it’s easy to see why.

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he Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) at NUI Galway, a 21-month part-time programme, is among the pioneers of career-focused qualifications here in Ireland and over the years has proven itself to be one of the most successful EMBA programmes in the country. Its strong reputation and vigorous training is founded on the thoroughness and practicality of the programme content.

THE CRITERIA FOR BUSINESS The participants involved with the EMBA programme come from all sectors and sizes of business. Many are managers at large multinationals or indigenous companies, while others work in small to medium enterprises. Some are even entrepreneurs with their own business ventures. The typical participant tends to be mid-career with an average work experience of 14 years, a proven track record of solid business success and an ambition to achieve more. One distinct feature that separates the NUI Galway EMBA programme from its competitors is its extensive engagement with industry. There is a key focus on competing globally from and with a peripheral region. Thanks to this engagement, participants emerge enabled for career progression having acquired the business knowledge, transferable skills and confidence required for success in strategic management and senior leadership roles. Such was the case with the Atlantic Aviation management team, former EMBA InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Atlantic Aviation Group owner Patrick Jordan (middle) and CEO Connor Flanagan (right) welcome Shane O’Neill, Chief Operating Officer (left) and Edel Jordan, Director of Strategy & Marketing to the management team

participants who successfully joined the company post graduation. The focal point of the industry interaction for participants is the Interdisciplinary Consultancy Project (IDCP) whose primary focus is to integrate the discipline-based, largely functional skills already acquired in the programme. It then provides participants with the opportunity to apply their knowledge, expertise and experience in the context of a real business situation and develop the interpersonal skills needed for effective cross-functional teamwork. “The Interdisciplinary Consultancy Project has been for me the flagship, whereby all previous learning makes better sense,” said Teresa Kirk, Senior Inspector, Department of Education and Skills.

LANDSCAPE OF THE WEST The rising levels of uncertainty in Ireland have created a challenging

business landscape in the west. The UK has voted to leave the EU and the Irish economy, while showing significant signs of regaining strength, remains highly susceptible to international shocks. That said, there are opportunities within the uncertainty and Galway has a lot to offer potential investors looking for a base with access to the EU. The region has a proven ability to compete with global centres of excellence in medical devices, IT and cloud services, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality. These areas are driven by the availability of a highly educated and motivated workforce supported by a dynamic and engaged third level sector. To find out more about the NUI Galway EMBA Programme, contact Programme Director Martin Hughes at martin.hughes@nuigalway.ie or on 091 493 814.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS START-UPS

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Innovation VILLAGE Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has unveiled plans for the Local Enterprise Village at this year’s Ploughing Championships.

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inister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has unveiled plans for the Local Enterprise Village, which will be home to 84 small businesses from around the country for the three days of the National Ploughing Championships. Managed and funded by the Local Enterprise Offices, the Local Enterprise Village opens its doors from September 20th to 22nd at Screggan in Tullamore, offering Irish start-ups and small businesses a launch-pad for new products and services, giving them the chance to impress the 280,000 visitors expected at Europe’s largest outdoor event. Last year, small businesses inside the Local Enterprise Village generated sales and orders worth nearly a645,000 to

the Irish economy, according to figures from the Local Enterprise Offices. Among the 84 companies, the food and drink sector is well represented this year, alongside fashion, toys, giftware, craft and agri-services. The plans for the 2016 Local Enterprise Village include a new product launch and demonstration area, where small businesses and startups can invite visitors to preview and sample new Irish brands. A new award scheme, the Local Enterprise Village Awards, is also being introduced for the first time to highlight up-andcoming brands and companies. Minister O’Connor unveiled the plans at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Dublin with Kieran Comerford of the Local Enterprise Offices, PJ Lynam of the National Ploughing Association, Paul Reid, Chair of the Local Government Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Committee, Mark Christal of Enterprise Ireland and six of the small businesses that will be relocating to the Local Enterprise Village in September.

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor with Kieran Comerford, Local Enterprise Offices and PJ Lynam, National Ploughing Association

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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Announcing the plans for the village, Minister O’Connor said: “The National Ploughing Championships is a wonderful event which attracted 281,000 visitors last year and it continues to grow in scale and importance, especially for small businesses looking to launch new products and services to a mass audience. The Local Enterprise Village is another important initiative from the Local Enterprise Offices in partnership with local authorities, as it enables small businesses to grow sales and expand, creating more jobs across every county.” Kieran Comerford of Local Enterprise Offices said that the Local Enterprise Village is fast becoming a “must visit” destination. He said: “By having the right mix of appealing products and services in place with a series of high-profile product launches over the three days, we will be encouraging as many visitors as possible through the doors of the Local Enterprise Village, to support Ireland’s small business community.” The entrepreneurs that met with Minister O’Connor at the announcement in June included the founders behind Toby Wagons in Wicklow, Celtic Gent in Fingal, De Mad Food Company in Offaly, Melanie Hand Design Jewellery in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Tumbledown Media in Carlow and Scotts Irish Cider in Cavan. More details on the Local Enterprise Village are available through www. localenterprise.ie and by searching #localenterprise on social media. The 85th Annual National Ploughing Championships run from September 20th to 22nd 2016 at Screggan in Tullamore in County Offaly with tickets on sale from August through www.npa.ie.

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Local Leaders

IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY Having become the first local authority in the country to achieve ISO 50001 accreditation, Cork County Council’s energy policies are having positive knock-on-effects for the people of Cork and for the local economy.

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ork County Council has a long history of being a leader in the management of its energy portfolio. In 1995, it set up an energy office at Spa House in Mallow to research the relevance of the sustainable energy agenda, promote awareness in reducing energy consumption and establish linkages with other European partners with a similar

agenda. During this time, the council has partnered with 100 organisations in over 20 countries on 40 projects. It also commenced a local programme whereby staff visit primary and second level schools in order to promote awareness of the energy agenda and the council’s green flag programme. It received funding from the European Commission to engage with other European pilot projects, therefore

Cork County Council personnel at their celebratory ceremony as Ireland’s first local authority to be accredited to ISO 50001. Pictured are Sharon Corcoran, Director of Services for the Environment, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council and Michael Brophy, CEO, Certification Europe

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encouraging the learning process and spreading good practices.

Currently, all public sector bodies are obliged by law to achieve a 33 per cent efficiency in their energy usage by the year 2020. Cork County Council believes that if something has to be done it should be done well using the proper verification measures. It did not want to stop at minimum standards; the council wanted ISO 50001 accreditation so it set itself a higher level goal to work towards. In essence, Cork County Council was very aware of the fact that no other local authority had achieved such an accreditation and it wanted to stand tall as a leader and become an exemplar within the area of environmental awareness and energy management. Achieving the ISO 50001 and having the privilege of being the first local authority in the Republic of Ireland to do so, is of benefit to both the council, the people of

“ IN ESSENCE, CORK COUNTY COUNCIL WAS VERY AWARE OF THE FACT THAT NO OTHER LOCAL AUTHORITY HAD ACHIEVED SUCH AN ACCREDITATION AND IT WANTED TO STAND TALL AS A LEADER AND BECOME AN EXEMPLAR WITHIN THE AREA OF ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT.”

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS CORK COUNTY COUNCIL

Cork which it serves and future generations of the county. The Environment Directorate team was confident in the benefits of aiming for such an honour, and explained that by following all the necessary guidelines it could: • Make annual savings of 10 to 15 per cent • Save energy through lessening kilowatt consumption • Reduce negative impact on the environment • Enhance customer satisfaction and quality of service These are just a few of the many benefits associated with the ISO 50001 accreditation. In order to make ISO work, those in the know explain that four integral factors must first be implemented: • There must be a guarantee of commitment from the top members of a management construct and a well-versed team must be established. • The baseline use must be identified (for Cork County Council it would be 2009 energy levels) • An action plan identifying key opportunities must be compiled and the plan must then be consistently implemented. • Finally, report and review your success. Cork County Council set up its multidisciplinary team, led by Sharon Corcoran, Director of Environment for Cork County Council in 2012. The team represented all functionalities within the organisation, including roads, public lighting, housing, recreation, fire services, libraries and waste management functionalities. The team received significant assistance from the SEAI, who provided training and information and monitored progress throughout the journey with the help of an EMAP (a structured energy management action plan). The team experienced

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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“CORK COUNTY COUNCIL HAS BEEN ABLE TO MAINTAIN A RATES FREEZE FOR BUSINESS OWNERS IN THE COUNTY AND HAS ALSO MANAGED TO FUNNEL THOSE SAVINGS BACK INTO LOCAL PROJECTS.”

a very hands-on approach, meeting five times a year. Each directorate set one significant goal that they would implement for that year. Over the course of four years, the team put numerous energy saving measures in place. For example, business units that would have previously left lighting on overnight were now switching them off; libraries replaced old boilers; the islands off the coast of Cork switched from standard lighting systems to LED lights. Such thorough work was bound to have results and to date, Cork County Council has made savings of a637,807, which translates into 3.1 million kilowatt hours saved, all of which results in carbon emissions savings. There have been a staggering 135 individual actions over four years, some of which include: • Swimming pool reducing electricity by 26 per cent in Mallow • Libraries insulated and heating systems upgraded • Fire stations fitted with new drying room solution So what proved to be the real big challenge? Raising awareness amongst staff in the various departments and getting management buy-in to commit to the change proved to be the single biggest challenge. Many people never considered energy consumption as a priority, and 2013 and 2014 were the most difficult years, but once evidence

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of real savings came to light, the buy-in and commitment from management and staff increased. The second biggest challenge that faced the team was addressing the issue of public lighting. With 42,000 public lights in Cork county, a4 million a year is spent on keeping them lit. That accounts for over 43 per cent of the council’s energy consumption and that’s 10 per cent of the national picture. Almost all of the lights are fitted with old bulbs, so the aim is to switch to more energy efficient technology incrementally over the next 10 years. Together with the CCMA – the representative body for city and county managers nationwide – city and county chief executives are now developing a plan to tackle the challenge of public lighting. There is a recognition within the sector that in order to achieve the national energy efficiency target of 33 per cent by 2020, this challenge will have to be addressed. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, what have been the rewards for those who have worked so hard and pulled together to achieve the ISO 50001 accreditation? Very significant financial savings, for one. Cork County Council has been able to maintain a rates freeze for business owners in the county and has also managed to funnel those savings back into local projects, such as a new, state-of-the-art swimming pool in Dunmanway, the extension of the Ballincollig regional park, and the addition of new playground equipment in Fermoy including a special needs accessible area to name but a few. Cork County Council is striving to become exemplary in the way it reduces energy consumption, lowers carbon emissions and improves the quality of the environmental offering for the people of Cork. It has shown – and continues to show – commitment to innovation and its efforts to maintain a sustainable environment for future generations.

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Informing you about the work of local authorities in supporting the business needs of their community... To tell us what your local council is doing for business email joseph.oconnor@ashvillemediagroup.com

In Association with

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19/07/2016 13:05


IB SURVEY VOLVO

Safety

in Style Having debuted the new S90 in the first half of 2016, Volvo are offering road safety in style with their new intellisafe technology.

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osting significant growth of 40 per cent in the first half of 2016, against an overall market that’s currently ahead by 23 per cent, it appears Volvo is set for another strong performance this year. This will be made all the more achieveable with the release of the Swedish carmaker’s new Volvo S90, a model which has already gained notable recognition for its lavish design, being named Production Car Design of the Year by a panel of professional

Drivers can do up to 130 kilometres per hour and it automatically maintains set speed and distance from other cars. It’s certainly a step towards Volvo’s 2020 Vision work, were nobody would be injured in their Volvo car.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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car designers from around the globe. “I suppose with S90 and Volvo it’s about differentiating ourselves from the German brands and what we’ve done is put a focus on Swedish luxury,” says Stephen Teap, Volvo Corporate Sales Manager.

DRIVE SAFE Along with the sleek design which includes leather seats, LED headlights, two-zone climate control and a nine-inch touch screen monitor, the S90 also holds a host of additional digital safety features, making it the lead in intellisafe technology for the Volvo range. The aim of these features, which include Pilot Assist and automatic emergency parking, is to increase road safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. “Volvo is a intellisafe technology which is designed to prevent accidents and protect drivers in the event of an accident,” says Teap.

Pilot Assist is designed to automatically maintain a set speed or distance from a vehicle travelling ahead of the Volvo S90. Embracing the notion of fully autonomous driving, the vehicle will also provide gentle steering inputs to keep the car aligned within the road lane markings. “Pilot Assist basically makes driving easier and makes drivers feel more relaxed,” explains Teap. “Drivers can do up to 130 kilometres per hour and it automatically maintains set speed and distance from other cars. It’s certainly a step towards Volvo’s 2020 Vision work, were nobody would be injured in their Volvo car.”

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE Another prominent safety feature is the automatic emergency break. The S90 can detect pedestrians, cyclists and, for the first time, large animals on the surrounding roads. Not only does the vehicle signal to the driver that a collision may be imminent, but it will then intervene and brake automatically if necessary. The installed City Safety technology will also warn the driver of a collision risk when approaching slower moving or stationary vehicles from behind. The Heads Up display allows users to view important incoming information at eye level. This safety feature discourages drivers from turning away from the road to view a monitor. The leisurely comfort of the Volvo S90 combined with the leading intellisafe and tech features, has led to an increased popularity of the model with order numbers growing all the time. “It’s a great all rounder,” says Teap. “The key selling point is that it’s a car that ticks all of the boxes, the ones that drivers expect with regards to comfort and the look and feel of a car.”

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IB SURVEY MEATH COUNTY COUNCIL

On a Mission IN MEATH

Meath County Council has set a target of 7,500 additional jobs by 2022.

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eath County Council is on a mission. Led by Chief Executive Jackie Maguire and Director of Economic Development Kevin Stewart, Meath has set itself a goal of helping to create 7,500 new jobs across the county between now and 2022. That’s three jobs a day, every day, and to achieve this ambitious target they have enlisted the assistance of all those involved in commercial activities across the Royal County.

one place in Ireland in which to do business. Two members from each of the county’s five Chambers – Ashbourne, Kells, Navan, Trim and South East Meath – sit on the joint council. Through collaboration, the Association aims to have a stronger voice to promote business, investment and employment in County Meath. The Association organises networking events and encourages support for the individual Chambers and business

COLLABORATION One key initiative that Meath County Council has been helping drive is the amalgamation of all of the county’s Chambers to create the County Meath Association of Chambers and Business Councils. This volunteer-led organisation, chaired by John V. Farrelly, seeks to make County Meath the number

Through collaboration, the Association aims to have a stronger voice to promote business, investment and employment in County Meath.

councils who arrange similar events. The new Association is also a key element in helping Meath County Council’s ‘Make it Meath’ campaign, which has the ambitious plan to create 7,500 jobs by 2022. It was decided that each Chamber within the Association would continue its own day to day activities, but that they would come together as an Association to have a stronger collective voice to promote business, investment and employment in County Meath. Meath has suffered from an economic magnet effect where a very large number of the working population make the daily commute to Dublin. The Chamber amalgamation and other initiatives under the County Council’s ‘Make it Meath’ programme aims to try to reverse that commuter flow and get those living in Meath to set up, build businesses and work in Meath.

DRIVING GROWTH The Association continues to drive economic development in the county by twinning with Ningbo Chamber in Ningbo City, two hours outside Shanghai, a city of a ‘mere’ 10 million people. A delegation from the Ningbo Chamber will visit Meath later in the year to further friendship and co-operation and to develop possible trade links. Another undertaking by Meath County Council is the development of a Retail Investment Prospectus in collaboration with both Navan and Ashbourne Chambers of Commerce for their respective towns. This measure was undertaken to encourage retailers to choose

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IB SURVEY MEATH COUNTY COUNCIL

Meath has much to offer: proximity to the airport, commercial property and housing costs that are considerably lower than neighbouring Dublin. these high growth towns when considering a location for their business. Navan boasts the Purple Flag status for its night time economy. The Purple Flag is a town and city centre award similar to the Blue Flag for beaches that we’re familiar with. It aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 6pm and 5am. Towns that have been awarded Purple Flags are recognised for providing a vibrant mix of entertainment while promoting the safety and wellbeing of both visitors and local residents. Navan is now on par with cities including Dublin, Cork and Galway who also have Purple Flag status. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside the Purple Flag Advisory Committee – a partnership of key stakeholder groups including, in this case, Navan Chamber of Commerce.

Above: At the Launch of the Meath Chambers meeting in Navan. (L to R) Cllr Alan Tobin (Ashbourne); Paul Mc Glynn (Navan); Bill Sweeney (Kells); Joe Giltnen, Sec, Meath Association; Jackie Maguire, CEO, MCC; Donal O’Brien, CEO, Aramark; Brian Fitzgerald, Chair, MCC; Donna Farrell (Navan); Noel French (Trim) and Joe English, Local Enterprise Officer, Navan. Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive, Meath County Council

BEHIND THE SCENES All of this work within Meath County Council and the business community is underpinned by the support, dedication and innovation of the Local Enterprise Office team in Meath. Led by Joe English, the team provide a range of supports to pre-start, start-up and established SMEs across the county. This teamwork is already yielding results. At the start of the year, Facebook announced it was investing a200m in a data centre in Clonee, County Meath. Employing 2,000 people during its construction phase, the facility will InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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then provide at least 150 tech jobs in the longer term. The Council is working to create a cluster of data centres. Meath has much to offer: proximity to the airport, commercial property and housing costs that are considerably lower than neighbouring Dublin, and a large and highly educated workforce already living in the county. The year 2022 may appear a long way away, but Meath County Council and its partners in the County Meath Association of Chambers and Business Councils

are determined to deliver class-leading results during the lifespan of Meath’s Economic Development Strategy. For more information on the Economic Development Strategy for Meath contact Tara Smith, Marketing and Communications Officer, Meath Economic and Enterprise Team. Phone: 046 909 7525, email tsmith@ meathcoco.ie./economic@meathcoco.ie or visit www.meath.ie/business.

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CHARITY SURVEY TRÓCAIRE

The Greatest Crisis

Facing our Planet Éamonn Meehan, Executive Director of Trócaire, outlines the need to tackle Ireland’s decarbonisation targets and combat climate change.

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limate is becoming a hot topic. From cabinet tables to boardrooms, more and more people are sitting up and paying attention to how our behaviour is having a negative impact on our weather. Storms, droughts and floods are becoming more commonplace around the world. This summer, there are approximately 60 million people throughout the developing world facing food shortages due to the worst drought in decades. The threat posed by climate change to our common home is enormous. How we respond to this crisis on a global level will affect how we live our lives into the future. The UN Climate Summit, held in Paris last December, committed 192 governments from around the world, including Ireland, to act collectively to keep further global warming well

below two degrees Celsius. Businesses will be to the fore of making sure that commitment is maintained. The recently published White Paper on Energy commits Ireland to achieving 80-95 per cent decarbonisation by 2050 and full decarbonisation by the end of the century. That will require huge investment in renewable energy and technology to decarbonise our industries. Climate change is a change in global and regional climate attributed to increased levels of carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry – coal, oil and gas – contributes more than any other towards the floods, droughts and storms that are causing havoc, particularly in the developing world. According to the most recent annual report of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the successor to the National Pension Reserve Fund, Ireland has investments

Children in Khakhwa village in the Chikwawa district of southern Malawi at a water pump installed by Trócaire. The region is increasingly affected by long periods of drought due to climate change, meaning this water pump is their only source of water for much of the year. (Photo: Eoghan Rice/Trócaire)

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of a72 million in the fossil fuel industry. This is public money invested in the sector that is directly contributing to what is commonly accepted as the greatest crisis facing the planet. The ISIF has invested in some of the planet’s worst climate offenders. Particularly concerning are investments in TransCanada, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipe in the US that was vetoed by President Obama, and Peabody Energy, a coal company which refers to climate change as ‘a non-existent harm’. These investments are in stark contrast to Ireland’s decarbonisation targets. The State is, in fact, investing in the very fuels it has committed to phasing out. The evidence shows that to have a chance of limiting global temperature increases to below two degrees Celsius we need to keep 80 per cent of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

NEED FOR TRANSITION The implications of not transitioning to renewable energy are drastic, particularly for people in the developing world. Despite having done the least to cause this crisis, it is the world’s poor who are paying the heaviest price. Throughout east and southern Africa, where as much as 90 per cent of the population are reliant on rain-fed agriculture, climate change is putting lives at risk. Around the world, Trócaire sees the impacts of climate change on a daily basis. Whether it is a farming community in east Africa facing hunger due to drought or a family in Latin America or Asia attempting to rebuild after a storm, increasingly our work is defined by the impacts of extreme weather patterns. Globally, the fossil fuel divestment movement – the campaign calling on governments, individuals and institutions to withdraw investments InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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CHARITY SURVEY TRÓCAIRE

Silas Njagi (35) in his field of crops at the Ishiara parish’s Sky Limit irrigation scheme supported by Trócaire. Photo: Jeannie O’Brien

Thiga Nanyaga (65) on his farm near to Chuka in the Tharaka district of central Kenya. Farmers here have struggled to survive due to increasingly erratic rainfall. However, Thiga has benefited from a Trócaire-funded irrigation project that has brought water directly to 8,000 people in the area. (Photo: Eoghan Rice/Trócaire)

from the fossil fuel industry – is growing in strength. More than 500 institutions, with an approximate value of $3.4 trillion, have divested. A number of universities, including Stanford and Oxford, have committed publicly to divesting from the fossil fuel industry, while in Ireland student groups in Trinity, Galway and Queens have been applying pressure on their authorities to do likewise. Maynooth University is the first university in Ireland to publicly commit to a fossilfree investment policy. But this movement goes far beyond university campuses. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Norwegian State Pension Fund have both made InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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commitments to divest. These are massively powerful investment funds which recognise not only the moral impetus but also the financial benefits of abandoning an industry without a future. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has said that fossil fuel investors are vulnerable, warning that “changes in policy, technology and physical risks could prompt a reassessment of the value of a large range of assets”. Highlighting the threat to “financial resilience and longer-term prosperity” caused by climate change, Carney concluded: “The more we invest with foresight, the less we will regret in hindsight.”

Withdrawing the ISIF investments will do little to change the global climate crisis in the short term but it would be hugely symbolic. Divesting from fossil fuels and prohibiting future ISIF investment in the industry would send a powerful message that there is a step change in Ireland toward a more ambitious and coherent policy on climate change. This is urgently needed given the recent warning from the Environmental Protection Agency that Ireland is currently off-track to meet its 2020 EU targets. A precedence for this action was set in 2008 when the government passed the Cluster Munitions Act, banning the investment of public money into the cluster munition industry. Faced with a global challenge of unprecedented seriousness, it is time we did likewise with the fossil fuel industry. The growing emphasis on how we respond to the climate crisis will present us all – government, business and individuals – with challenges and opportunities. How we respond to those challenges and rise to those opportunities will determine what sort of world we will live in. Éamonn Meehan is Executive Director of Trócaire. Visit trocaire.org/ burningquestion to demand the incoming government divests from fossil fuels.

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IB SURVEY CREDIT REVIEW OFFICE

Preparing for Success Sufficient preparation is key to a successful credit facility application, according to the Credit Review Office.

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here has been a lot of coverage in the media about the high level of ‘discouraged’ business borrowers in Ireland. These are businesses that are viable, but do not apply for finance because they believe they will not be able to get it – and are missing opportunities to grow and develop their businesses as a result. This is regrettable as funds are available from our traditional high street banks, and also new lenders at www.ifpireland.ie. As a business, making sure your application for credit facilities will be successful requires good preparation, such as up to date trading and financial information. The starting

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point is the business plan, which should provide a brief overview of the business, including its management, market and customers. Assumptions underpinning future growth need to be clearly stated, with as much supporting documentation/ third party validation as possible – for example debtor and creditor listings, and your order book. Cashflow projections must be realistic as banks and other funders will usually want to know if targets in original plans are being achieved. Some form of security will typically be required. In the absence of security being available, the Government Credit Guarantee Scheme can help. In addition to

security, banks do not want to take all of the up-front risks associated with a project, and are typically prepared to lend 65-70 per cent, with the remaining 30-35 per cent coming from the business itself, or other investors (family and friends or external), and in some cases Microfinance Ireland. The good news is that banks are lending to viable businesses which present their cases well. However, if you are a borrower who believes that your business is viable, but has been refused credit, appeal that decision to the Credit Review Office – we are able to recommend that credit should be provided to over 50 per cent of SMEs who apply to us.

19/07/2016 12:23


IB SURVEY OCEÂNICO GOLF

Oceânico Golf –

Unforgettable Experiences Stunning layouts and intricate courses ensure that Oceânico Golf courses are the only setting for serious players of this noble game.

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s the main player within Portugal’s distinguished golf tourism market, Oceânico Golf owns and operates one of Europe’s most prestigious course portfolios. Oceânico Golf offers championship courses, with a range of premium value, bespoke golf packages across five locations. The Amendoeira Golf Academy and Fitting Suite offers a wide variety of training programmes for golfers of varying experience, from absolute beginner to low handicapper. Each programme features a maximum 5:1 student to teacher ratio, allowing for plenty of personalised instruction designed to deliver maximum results.

Also catering for larger groups – events can be organised for visiting golfing associations and clubs with the experienced team behind Oceânico Golf ensuring that everything runs smoothly from beginning to end. The company also hosts its own tournaments throughout the year for both adults and children, demonstrating its commitment to the world of golf.

OCEÂNICO OLD COURSE Situated in the heart of the Vilamoura seaside resort, a 20-minute drive from Faro Airport, this Frank Pennink designed parkland course, one of the oldest in the region, is renowned throughout the golfing world. Often InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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described as the Grande Dame of Algarve courses, it meanders through impressive pinetrees – the principal hazard – and over gently undulating natural terrain. Featuring a truly magnificent layout, this Portugal course certainly lingers in the memory of visiting golfers.

OCEÂNICO PINHAL The second course built in Vilamoura, Pinhal, also designed by Frank Pennink, is typified by rolling parkland terrain covered with umbrellas and Atlantic pines that line many of the fairways. To keep up with modern technical advances in clubs and balls, several holes have recently been lengthened and the par-72 course now measures 6,353 metres off the white tee markers.

OCEÂNICO MILLENNIUM The arrival of the Millennium Course made Vilamoura one of the main - if not the main - European golf destinations. This course is particularly open with selected holes (the 3rd to the 7th) winding between pine trees, similar to the neighbouring fairways of the Old Course and Pinhal. The narrow fairways require more skilled

accuracy from golfers, while lakes enrich the landscape at the 4th, 17th and 18th holes.

OCEÂNICO LAGUNA Laid out over low-lying coastal terrain, with its many water hazards and few trees, this course is considerably different from the others at the resort. Measuring 6,121 metres from the white tees, the par 72 course includes several lakes which influence play on a total of 11 holes. Located on relatively flat, open terrain, the basis of its modern design is strategic placement of bunkers and water hazards, all of which demand accuracy of play.

OCEÂNICO VICTORIA Home to the Portugal Masters since 2007 and host to the PGA World Cup 2005, the 18-hole, par 72 championship Oceânico Victoria course covers some 90 hectares and is the most recent course project of Arnold Palmer in Portugal. One of the most sophisticated golf courses in Europe, it features five or six tees per hole, wide fairways, extensive water hazards, cleverly positioned bunkers and a 2,500m2 putting green, providing an unforgettable experience for all who play at Oceânico Victoria. For more information visit www.oceanicogolf.com.

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TRAVEL IN STYLE. TRAVEL IN SPACE.

The new ŠKODA Superb. From €289 per month including three years servicing. Imagine a car that blurs the line between beauty and functionality. Where style and spaciousness are in perfect harmony. Where there’s room for everything, except compromise. We imagined such a car and we call it the new ŠKODA Superb. Longer, wider, taller, lighter and packed with the latest technologies, the new Superb represents 120 years of forward thinking. From €26,995, the Superb will be one of the most talked about cars of 2016. Call into your local ŠKODA dealer and see the all-new Superb for yourself.

skoda.ie

Clever inside The most popular Superb model, the Ambition, is available with a host of standard features such as: Bi-Xenon Headlights with LED day time lights

Smartphone compatible with latest Infotainment Systems

Largest interior in its class

Terms and conditions apply. RRP prices displayed exclude dealer delivery and related fees. Typical Finance Example: Superb OTRP €27,595. Deposit / Part Exchange €8,519. 36 monthly payments of €289 (Including service plan of €13.99 per month). Optional Final Payment €10,798. Total cost of credit €1,772.50. Total hire purchase price €29,368. Minimum deposit is 10%. Subject to lending criteria. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. ŠKODA Finance is a trading style of Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland, authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Images used for illustrative purposes only.

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IB SURVEY ŠKODA

ŠKODA:

Top of the Range Towing The Škoda towing system offers advanced features including trailer bulb monitoring, parking sensor deactivation and an anti-theft device.

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owing and trailers are not one of the most glamorous subjects when it comes to motoring, and for this reason have not been topical over the last number of years. Škoda, however, consider themselves to be one of the most practical and functional car brands on the market and take the subject very seriously. Škoda have highlighted that 22 per cent (1,375) of their retail customers fitted genuine Škoda towing systems (tow bar and electrical harness kit) to their vehicles last year. According to Škoda, they are seeing an increasing number of customers requesting towing systems for leisure purposes such as boating, caravanning and equine activity, as well as business and agricultural functions. Škoda towing systems start from a499 and include safety and functional benefits such as Electronic Trailer Stability Assist which works through the vehicle’s ABS and ESP systems to maintain vehicle control when the trailer begins to wallow and

destabilise the trailer and the vehicle itself. Engines have to work harder when towing a trailer, therefore the vehicle cooling strategy is altered to account for heavier loads on the

engine. The system also offers simple, yet clever features like trailer bulb monitoring, parking sensor deactivation, advanced park assist features and even an anti-theft device that triggers the vehicle’s alarm if an unauthorised attempt is made to disconnect the trailer from the vehicle. Speaking about Škoda’s towing and trailer offering, Raymond Leddy, Head of Marketing at Škoda Ireland, said, “Škoda offers an excellent range of vehicles suitable for towing. The most suitable are our 4x4 variants of the Octavia, Yeti and Superb that offer up to 25 per cent increased towing capacity compared to standard 4x2 versions.” Leddy added: “Legislation around trailer standards and towing licenses and testing has changed since October 2012, with many people uncertain of the regulation. In the main a standard category B licence does not entitle the holder with a standard large 4x4 commercial or SUV to tow a horsebox or livestock trailer, because the combined maximum weight exceeds 3,500kg. In this case a test is required to acquire a BE licence. A Škoda Superb Combi 4x4 on the other hand can legally tow a standard 900kg horsebox and two 500kg horses on a standard B licence.” Škoda are set to increase their towing and 4x4 range even further when they launch a larger SUV in early 2017. A hint of what this new car’s design will look like was seen at this year’s Geneva Motorshow when Škoda unveiled their Vision-S concept vehicle. For further information on Škoda, visit: www.skoda.ie.

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Making more of Irish Seafood

Bring your seafood companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s innovative ideas to life, contact: BIM Seafood Development Centre Clogheen Road, Clonakilty Co. Cork. Email SDC@bim.ie Tel 01 2144280

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IB SURVEY BIM

The Business

OF SEAFOOD Bord Iascaigh Mhara set out an ambitious vision for Irish seafood at this year’s National Seafood Conference, in association with Seafest 2016.

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ord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) was delighted to be part of the annual maritime SeaFest 2016 event in Galway from June 30th to July 3rd. During the four-day maritime festival, BIM successfully highlighted the importance of our seafood sector, which contributes a1 billion in GDP to our economy, employs over 11,000 people directly and indirectly in our coastal communities, and represents 70 per cent of our overall blue economy valued at a1.4bn. Highlighting the business potential of seafood, BIM organised a high level national seafood conference, ‘Global Insights, Irish Opportunity’, in the Radisson Hotel on June 30th, which attracted more than 300 delegates from the fishing, processing and retail sectors. The overall theme of the event was one of greater inclusiveness and a collective determination to realise the full potential of Irish seafood. BIM’s CEO Tara McCarthy outlined the agency’s role in implementing such change over the next five years: “Our priority is to provide industry with the supports to succeed not just in the short-term but to upskill and assist our seafood producers to lay the foundation for future growth through a focused strategy on skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness. This is an exciting time to work in seafood. This was clear to see from the strong leadership and calibre of discussions at our conference from fishermen to seafood processors to retailers.”

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Shark sculpture at this year’s Seafest

The implications of the UK referendum on EU membership was one of the topics discussed at the conference, in addition to structured breakout discussions on discards, careers at sea, maximising value and sustainability. International and Irish leaders in agribusiness, including thought leader Mary Shelman, Aidan O’Driscoll, Secretary General, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Malcolm Beveridge, Head of Aquaculture, FAO Rome; Ali Sheridan, Origin Green, Bord Bia and Jean Jacques Vandenheede, AC Nielsen Europe, delivered valuable insights to industry with Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, closing the conference on a positive note detailing the significant investment of a241 million available to the seafood sector under the European Maritime Monetary Fund (EMFF), which will double development funding to the industry until the scheme ends in 2021. Following the business conference, on July 2nd and 3rd, BIM staged a spectacular seafood showcase at the family SeaFest festival at the docks in Galway. Taking place in an eye catching ‘big top’, BIM’s Seafood Experience

attracted more than 15,000 people over two days. All of BIM’s exhibits were designed to capture the imagination and to celebrate our vibrant seafood industry. With interactive games allowing kids to design and project their own fish along the big top, to cinemas playing Tails from the Deep with stories and insights from Irish fishermen, to Professor O’Meara, an animated character who explains how our fish and shellfish are farmed around our coast, there was a lot to see and do! In partnership with Bord Bia, seafood cookery demonstrations from celebrity TV chefs Martin Shanahan and Rory O’Connell - not to mention Michael O’Meara, chef and owner of Oscar’s Seafood Bistro in Galway and recent winner at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards along with BIM Young Fishmonger Gerard Collier - proved extremely popular, attracting big crowds for each demonstration. The BIM Seafood Experience was partfunded by the Exchequer and European Union through Ireland’s EMFF Operational Programme 2014-2020. For more information on SeaFest 2016 and BIM, please visit www.seafest.ie and www.bim.ie

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LIFESTYLE LIFESTYLE: motoring

NEXT

GENERATION

RENAULT HAS SENT A STRONG SIGNAL TO COMPETITIORS WITH THE RELEASE OF ITS FOURTH GENERATION MEGANE, WRITES OLIVE KEOGH.

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enault is on a high. Its Clio, Captur and Kadjar models are all performing strongly and assuming the market stays on course for sales of around 155,000 this year, the Renault group will have doubled its volume in Ireland over the last three years. The company is also about to begin a product roll out that will see five new models making their debut in the next six months. This includes

a Clio facelift, the new Scenic and the new Koleos large SUV. First out of the traps is the new Megane which went on sale here in July at an entry price of â&#x201A;Ź19,490 for the TCe (petrol) Expression. This is the fourth generation Megane and the launch model is the 5-door hatchback with the Sport Tourer (estate) and Megane GC (saloon) to follow. The biggest seller in the new range is most likely to be the well equipped dCi (diesel)

Dynamic Nav version at â&#x201A;Ź23,990. The new Megane comes with a five star safety rating from EuroNCAP, five trim levels and a choice of four fuel efficient, low emissions engines - two petrol, two diesel. The hatchback will be a key model variant within the range as despite the popularity of SUVs and crossovers, Irish people still love 5-door cars. Indeed the hatchback segment is growing here at the cost of saloons and estates.

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MODEL Renault Megane GT PRICE €25,990 (optional 18”

LIFESTYLE: motoring

California alloys adds another €500)

ENGINE 1.5 litre dCi, 110bhp CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km) 96-101g/km COMBINED CYCLE 3.7-3.9l/100km

The new Megane sits lower than its predecessor and comes with a longer wheelbase and wider tracks. This gives it an inherently sporty look but in a nicely restrained way. The styling itself is sharp and modern and accentuated by distinctive front and rear end lighting strips that illuminate when the engine is switched on. This lighting ‘signature’ looks particularly striking from the back. The Megane may be a mid-sized family hatch,

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but Renault has fairly packed it with hi-tech features including access to the car’s R-link 2 connectivity system via either a 7-inch landscape or an 8.5-inch portrait tablet. There is also Multi-Sense technology to personalise the driving experience. For example, frugal drivers can choose the Eco mode and this will automatically dial down the engine response whereas switching to Sport will do the opposite. There are also a number of

driver assistance systems available including very useful adaptive cruise control. This means the car will automatically adjust its speed if the vehicle directly ahead is moving more slowly. The Megane on test was the GT version with flashy alloys and sporty trim. It also came with very comfortable sports seats that hug your shape. The driving position is good, the visibility is good and the steering was communicative and accurate. The cabin

felt upmarket and well finished with the use of soft touch materials adding to the quality feel. Renault has launched the new model at the same price as the outgoing version despite the big increase in technology and equipment on board. This is good news for consumers and a strong signal to the competition (such as the Opel Astra, VW Golf and Ford Focus) that Renault is making a determined push up the sales leader board.

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MOTOR ING: LIFESTYLE: motoring

Taking a Punt

on PACE OLIVE KEOGH TOOK THE NEW JAGUAR F-PACE FOR A TESTDRIVE AND DISCOVERED A CAR THAT JUSTIFIES THE HYPE.

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oo much hype around a new car launch immediately arouses one’s suspicions. What are they trying to hide? In the case of the new Jaguar F-Pace the answer is nothing. The hype was justified. It’s a great car. Jaguar has always struggled with its driver age profile and its ‘green wellies and Labrador’ image – until now. In one fell swoop the F-Pace has made the company ‘visible’ to younger buyers, both male and

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female, and put Jaguar on the radar of any buyer regardless of age with €40,000 plus to spend on a shiny new SUV. Hardly surprising then that Jaguar has described the F-Pace as its most significant launch since the E-Type and the model destined to become the best selling vehicle in its history. The test car came in a striking shade of cherry red and its clean styling and compact dimensions had instant appeal. It had a full leather interior and numerous creature comforts including mood lighting and the option of an activity key, which incorporates your car key into a wristband that can be worn while taking exercise – even swimming. The finish and build quality were top notch

apart from a very flimsy seat adjustment lever. The other slight drawback is that if you choose a full sized spare tyre rather than the emergency version, it intrudes into the boot storage space. That said, the boot has a class-leading 650 litre capacity. F-Pace buyers have a choice of specifications kicking off with the F-Pace Pure at €44,100 and topping out at €101,250 for the F-Pace first edition which comes with either a 3.0 litre V6 300bhp turbocharged diesel or a 3.0 litre V6 380bhp supercharged petrol. This version also provides 22” alloys, an S body kit and hounds tooth embossed Windsor leather sports seats to keep the green welly brigade happy.

All F-Pace models come with advanced safety features including lane departure warning, park assist and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian sensing. This detects potential collisions and provides an audible warning. If there is no response from the driver it automatically brakes the car to mitigate the impact. Also on board is a techfest of connected car features controlled by a high-resolution 10-inch touchscreen. Up to eight devices can be connected to the vehicle’s WiFi hotspot and there is a full-screen 3D navigation display with a laser head-up display. Apart from looking well, the F-Pace is practical and hugely appealing to InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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MODEL JAGUAR F-PACE

LIFESTYLE: motoring

PRICE FROM €44,100 ENGINE 2.0 LITRE DIESEL CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km) 129g/km FUEL CONSUMPTION: Combined cycle 4.9l/100km

AUDI DEBUTS HIGHLY AUTOMATED DRIVING Piloted driving is one of the top three areas of emerging technologies in the motor industry today. (The other two are electrification and connectivity). With piloted driving, vehicles ‘learn’ to see, communicate and make driving decisions on their own and this technology has the potential to revolutionise mobility. Testing of autonomous vehicles that can drive and park themselves is well underway, but Audi will up the ante in 2017 when the latest version of its A8 flagship becomes the brand’s first series-produced car capable of self-driving. With the traffic-jam pilot the A8 will be able to drive itself on the autobahn at speeds up to 60kph. This development sees Audi cross the threshold from partial to highly automated driving and company boss, Rupert Stadler says fully automated driving will be with us by 2025.

BMW’S FOCUSED ON DRIVER WELLBEING

drive. It is built on Jaguar Land Rover’s lightweight aluminium architecture so it is slim and trim and capable of quick responses and nimble handling. Jaguar had the Porsche Macan in its sights when designing the F-Pace, which is an indication of how it wanted its first crossover to drive. The F-Pace’s other main competitors are the BMW X3, the Mercedes GLC, and the Audi Q5. The average age of a Jaguar buyer is 54. Jaguar thinks the F-Pace could reduce this to 44 and it also expects one in three buyers to be female. There’s a lot riding on the F-Pace for Jaguar but with great dynamics and arguably the best looks in its class, it’s already got a lot going for it. InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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BMW celebrates its centennial in 2016 and in March it unveiled its strategy for the next 100 years. Its attention will remain focused on the driver, but his or her interaction with their vehicle will change significantly. The next generation driving experience will be all about the car’s interior where the driver’s wellbeing will become paramount. In this new order the cabin can be set to ‘boost’ or ‘ease’ mode. In boost mode the driver is in control. In ease, the vehicle takes over. With boost the aim is to offer intelligent support to maximise the driving experience. The seat and steering wheel change position, the centre console moves to become more driver-oriented and the entire windscreen is used to communicate with the driver. Change to ease mode and the steering wheel and centre console retract and the seats and door panels merge to form a single unit, allowing the driver and passenger to sit at a slight angle making it easier to communicate.

YUKO BOOSTS MOBILITY OPTIONS IN DUBLIN Transport of the future is all about personal mobility not about owning a car. Buy-to-own is on the way out and carmakers are now talking about being mobility providers rather than manufacturers. Car sharing is gaining real momentum as the transport landscape changes and Toyota Europe chose Dublin as the launch city for its YUKO car sharing initiative. YUKO means “let’s go” in Japanese and it has kicked off the service with a pool of 15 hybrid vehicles at three city centre locations. The fleet is made up of Yaris, Auris and Prius models with the C-HR and the Prius plug in hybrid to follow. Private YUKO users pay €50 to join the scheme and a monthly subscription fee of €6. They also pay an hourly or a daily rate for use of a vehicle. The share is available to corporate customers and a number of vehicles will be positioned outside upmarket hotels and in areas of high business density.

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LIFESTYLE: innovation

INNOVATION NATION

InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping the future. In this issue: Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.

HTC VIVE Like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive offers outstanding design, works well with a wide range of content and can deliver to customers an experience unlike anything they’ve ever witnessed. With a price tage of €899, it’s a little more expensive than the Rift, but it comes with two motion-tracking controllers, making it an excellent choice for gamers. Available at www.htcvive.com/eu

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LIFESTYLE: innovation

SAMSUNG GEAR VR

OCULUS RIFT The Oculus Rift began as a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter back in 2012, with the aim of raising $250,000, and ended up being acquired by Facebook for $2 billion. Now Oculus VR has finally hit the market, albeit in limited quantities, with more shipments planned for August. Unlike many latecomers to virtual reality, the Oculus team has had years to fine-tune the design of the Rift headset itself, and it shows. The hefty price tag (€699 to Irish customers without shipping and taxes) is undoubtedly the biggest obstacle keeping more people from getting the chance to try virtual reality how it’s intended to be experienced. But like the first computers or smartphones, the cost of the headset will only go down over time. Available at www.oculus.com/ en-us/rift

GOOGLE CARDBOARD The perfect starter kit to experience virtual reality on your smartphone. www.google.com/ get/cardboard/ get-cardboard

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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So quickly is the ARVR technology space heating up, that the Samsung Galaxy virtual reality headset already feels like old news. Nonetheless, at €99 it remains the affordable option for virtual reality lovers. Compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone as well as newer devices, the headset allows users to explore a complete 360 degree view. Overall, it’s a step in the right direction but is more an indicator of what’s to come. Available at www.oculus.com/en-us/gear-vr

Digital Digest Fáilte Ireland has unveiled its new 360° views of the Wild Atlantic Way which it says will add another level of immersion for visitors researching the destination. A number of activities, including surfing under the Cliffs of Moher, are now all available on virtual reality apps including LittleStar and Samsung Milk VR.

Sony has announced that PlayStation’s virtual reality headset will go on sale in October priced at about €400. The technology giant first unveiled its VR system in 2014 under the name Project Morpheus.

Searches for “VR porn” have increased 100-fold from November 2014 through April 2016, according to Google Trends data. That represents a growth of 9,900 per cent in 17 months.

Estate agency Sherry FitzGerald is to start using VR technology to enable prospective house buyers to view properties. Using the Samsung Gear VR headset, they will start with Rokeby Park development in Lucan Village, Dublin.

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LIFESTYLE: travel

Finding Faith in

There’s the other narrative, which shows Ethiopia leading the pack of fastest growing economies – not just in Africa, but in the world

Ethiopia THE ANCIENT AND HOLY TOWN OF LALIBELA HAS PUT ETHIOPIA BACK ON THE TOURIST MAP. JOSEPH O’CONNOR VISITED THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE AND SURROUNDING AREA FOR AN AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE OF LIFE IN THE ETHIOPIAN HIGHLANDS.

Orthodox priest of Lalibela

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E

thiopia has been making the news for contrasting reasons in recent months. In early July, former president Mary Robinson travelled to the east African state with aid agencies in tow to witness the international response to the country’s worst drought in half a century. Robinson, who is UN Special Envoy for climate change, visited areas affected by reduced rainfall levels, which are said to have left some 10.2 million people urgently in need of food aid. Then there’s the other narrative, which shows Ethiopia leading the pack of fastest growing economies – not just in Africa, but in the world – in 2015. While many African states struggle with currency depreciation and falling revenue from

commodities, Ethiopia’s economy grew 8.7 per cent last year and is expected to expand 8.1 per cent in 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund. This period of economic resurgence is being driven by a government that’s been in power since toppling a military regime in 1991, and has been buoyed by the decision to allow a significant amount of Chinese investment in the country. The Asian powerhouse’s presence is certainly visible – from Chinese characters written in public places to village-like compounds set up to accommodate its construction workers – and as a local joke goes, Ethiopia, which comprises upwards of 80 different ethnicities, has just added one more tribe. Whatever you take from the above, it serves to remind us of how diverse, vast and somewhat contradictory this Horn of Africa nation is. But while the InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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LIFESTYLE: travel

UNMISSABLE ETHIOPIA If, unlike me, you have several weeks to spend in Ethiopia make sure you check out some of the below.

Tribes in Omo

The villages of the Lower Omo Valley are home to some of Africa’s most fascinating ethnic groups. While getting there is no mean feat (particularly in the rainy season), a visit represents a unique chance to encounter a culture markedly different to any other.

The tukul or sarbet, a typical dwelling of people in the Ethiopian highlands

political and economic landscape might be complex, there is no doubt that Ethiopia is bursting at the seams with cultural riches. And the tourism industry is beginning to boom. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, tourism revenue jumped 20.7 per cent in 2015 to a record high of $3.5 billion from $2.9 billion in the previous fiscal year, lifted by an increased number of foreign visitors who choose to overlook the lazy stereotype of African countries as dangerous, war-torn and disease-ridden nations. Quite the contrary, Ethiopia is a country laden with historical treasures, InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES: FAST FACTS FOUNDED: 1945 FIRST FLIGHT: April 8th 1946 MEMBERSHIP: A Star Alliance member SERVES: 81 international destinations HEAD OFFICE: Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa WEBSITE: ethiopian airlines.com

dramatic landscapes and food that is arguably unmatched by any other country on the continent. When you’re restricted to just over a week in Ethiopia it’s a real challenge to decide where to focus your attention. Mine rested on the town of Lalibela, the UNESCO World Heritage Site made famous by its 13th century rock-hewn churches. Located some 645km north of the capital Addis Ababa, Lalibela is one of the holiest places in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. With the scene having changed little through the centuries, it’s a reminder that Ethiopia was one of the first lands to adopt Christianity. The

Joseph O’Connor

Ethio-Jazz in Addis

Ethiopian jazz had its heyday in the 1950s and 60s but in recent years it has been making a slow but significant comeback in Addis Ababa. Several venues featuring different styles have sprung up across the capital, one of the best being Mama’s Kitchen.

History in Gonder

Once home to the emperors and princesses who led the country from the 12th century to the last decade of the 20th century, Gonder is a city steeped in history. The walls of the Royal Eclosure contain a halfdozen medieval palaces to explore.

Trekking in Simien

Located in Simien National Park not far from Gonder, the Simien Mountains are quite magnificent. With spectacular landscape, including jagged mountain peaks created by massive erosion over millions of years, the range offers tough but rewarding trekking.

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WAY TO GO... The iconic Church of St George, one of the 11 churches making up the Lalibela UNESCO World Heritage Site

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES In June 2015, Ethiopian Airlines launched a new service from Addis Ababa to Dublin to LA, using the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This was the first time the three continents of Africa, Europe and North America were directly connected with one airline through Dublin Airport. The Dreamliner service offers economy in a 3:3:3 configuration and business class in 2:2:2. As a member of the Star Alliance group, passengers earning miles on the frequent flyer programme, ShebaMiles, can redeem points for flights or upgrades across any airline within the network. Ethiopian Airlines fly direct from Dublin to Addis Ababa three times weekly with fares starting from €556 return. For more information visit ethiopianairlines.com.

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11 churches that make up the site were built on the orders of King Lalibela, not from the ground up but chiselled out of the town’s red volcanic rock hills. The goal was to build a “new Jerusalem” to save his people suffering the long pilgrimage overland to reach the Holy Land. Although some visitors rush through the site in one full day, a second day allows proper appreciation. It’s worth getting a licensed guide who can offer an insight into the history of each church. This can be arranged through most hotels, and if flying to Lalibela (Ethiopian Airways operate daily flights from Addis Ababa which take one hour), you’ll be approached by plenty of opportunistic locals at the arrival gates. Make sure to get a snap of yourself in front of the other-worldly and iconic Church of St George, undoubtedly one of the site’s highlights. As impressive as the ancient rock churches are, it’s not all about Christianity in Lalibela. The town itself is a pleasant and lively affair with tuk-tuks whizzing by, locals chatting at coffee shop shacks and kids gathered around battered fussball tables on the side of the streets. A must-visit on any evening is Ben Abeba restaurant, a bizarre and wonderful piece of architecture perched on a

hilltop offering excellent panoramic views of the town. It’s the brainchild of Scottish woman Susan Aitchison and Lalibelian Habtamu Baye and it offers some of the best Ethiopian food in the town. It’s the perfect place to taste your first injera, an experience you’ll never forget. The national staple and base of almost every meal, injera is a sourdough-risen flatbread spread out like a large, thin pancake, upon which food is served. Wash it down with world famous coffee or a delicious layered fruit juice. Given its mountainous location, the surrounding areas of Lalibela provide great hiking options for the outdoors enthusiast and provide a unique and authentic look at the life of locals in the Ethiopian highlands. Popular treks from the town to the Lasha area north-west and part of the Meket Plateau to the south-east have everything from low gradient walks to rugged treks and heavy duty climbs. Along the route you’ll witness children on their daily trek to school and squeeze past busy highways of donkeys, cows and goats being brought to market. The treks are typically three to five days long but can be tailored to your needs depending on how much time you have at your disposal. Whether you’ve one night or five,

The ubiquitous tuk-tuk, which has proved to be a popular and reliable mode of transport in Lalibela since being introduced from India in recent years

a stay at a community-run lodge in the mountains is a must. This eco-friendly accommodation consists of traditional yet comfortable mud and stone tukuls (a cone-shaped dwelling with a thatched roof). For an experience like no other, try the Lalibela Hudad, an eco-lodge whose services centre on rest, reflection and cultural immersion. Its tukuls are scattered over a 10 hectare plateau abundant with wildlife, breathtaking views and dramatic sunsets. Keep an eye out for mischievous baboons and inquisitive hyraxes. It is difficult to judge Ethiopia solely on a visit to Lalibela – a glance through a guidebook gives some indication of the abundance of awe-inspiring attractions on offer across this diverse country. Nonetheless, the ancient and holy town goes some way to provide a sense of a nation that, despite the massive challenges it faces, is rich in culture with proud people who express optimism about its future in the world. Here’s hoping that a boost in tourism numbers can serve to strengthen the coordinated response to the country’s climate change crisis and put the country in its rightful place on the tourist map. InBUSINESS InBusiness | Q2 2016 2014

19/07/2016 12:47


LIFESTYLE: books

BOOKS ON

SPRINT:

HOW TO SOLVE BIG PROBLEMS AND TEST NEW IDEAS IN JUST FIVE DAYS InBUSINESS looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge.

QUINTESSENTIAL FEARGAL

Q

uinntessential Feargal is an in-depth examination of one of Ireland’s best known entrepreneurs, Senator Feargal Quinn; politician, businessman and television personality. In this intimate memoir Quinn offers up personal snapshots from his long life in the public eye. He discusses the birth of his company, Superquinn, and the acumen that allowed him to build the business empire from scratch. He also describes the more turbulent times in his career and the reasoning behind his final decision to sell the company in 2005. On a personal level, the book reflects on key moments from both Quinn’s childhood and adult life, such as his time spent at Red Island holiday camp, or the personal tragedies he experienced from the loss of loved ones. Quinn relays these heartfelt moments with witty and engaging storytelling that offers an intimate insight into the life of a celebrated Irish businessman.

AUTHOR: Feargal Quinn PUBLISHER: O’Brien Press RRP: 24.99 AVAILABLE: Easons

YOUR TRAVEL COMPANION

AUTHOR: Dervla Murphy PUBLISHER: Eland AVAILABLE: easons.com

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

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This straighttalking, how-to PUBLISHER: guide on running The Liffey Press a business lays RRP: out the authors’ 19.95 formula, known AVAILABLE: as Sprint, for dubraybooks.ie testing new ideas in just five days. Having used the method themselves while working on projects for Google and Google Ventures, each chapter is laid out with clear guidelines and checklists, alongside case studies from start-ups as evidence for its success. The sprint formula aims to quickly resolve the common obstacles that arise during the start-up process and with a host of industry endorsements singing its praise, it promises to make any product problem free.

The Career Code

In Ethiopia with a Mule

With romantic visions of Africa, in the late 1960s Irishwoman Dervla Murphy travelled to Ethiopia against official advice. In her book she depicts the triumphs and perils of her trek with gentle humour and good nature. Five decades on and it’s still essential reading for those with a thirst for adventure and paints a vivid picture of a time when the country had few visitors from abroad.

AUTHOR: Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz

“It’s who you know that gets you there, and what you know that keeps you there.”

AUTHOR: Hillary Kerr & Katherine Power PUBLISHER: Abrams Image AVAILABLE: easons.com

Plucked from the minds of Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr, the co-founders of Clique Media Group, this stylish how to guide endeavours to pinpoint the classic errors people make while navigating the working world. From what not to do in a job interview to how to be a good boss, The Career Code will provide clean cut advice for those starting out or even starting over.

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LIFESTYLE: style Stylists Pick...

E K A

Ray Ban Tortoise Light Ray, €168

OWN THE LOOKS FROM SPRING/SUMMER’S CATWALKS, WITH OUR TOP PICKS FROM THIS SEASON’S COOLEST TRENDS. STYLING BY RACHEL MURRAY

The cuban collar has quickly become the cornerstone of an off-duty look. A lightweight shirt with pockets for storage and a straight shirt hem designed to be worn untucked.

1 | Grey Debonair Wool jacket, 455, Ted Baker

2 | Black Around-ear Headphones,

370.99, Sennheiser Momentum at Argos

3 | Distressed Cotton Jeans,

495, Dolce Gabbana at Brown Thomas

4 | Wave Print Cuban Collar Shirt 60, Reiss

5 | Grey Brouges,

69.99, H&M

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We’re listening to... Red Hot Chilli Peppers The Gateway

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 12:40


LIFESTYLE: style We’re reading... Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success

Philip Lim Spring/Summer 2016 The paper bag waist isn’t the easiest trend to pull off but paired with something tight on top, it’s a powerful look and a trend-setter in business.

1 | White Draped Sleeve Shirt Dress, 180, Jaeger

2 | Nashi Blossom Cologne, 370.99, Jo Malone

3 | Crystal-embellished Patent-leather and Velvet Mules, 650, Miu Miu at Net-A-Porter

4 | Small Half Moon Bag, 1,890, 1,890,

Victoria Beckham at Brown Thomas

5 | Orange Zip skirt,

42, River Island

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THE InBUSINESS INDEX

RESILIENCE In this issue, InBUSINESS explores data from the 2016 FM Global Resilience Index.

SEVENTH US

94.2

FIFTH LUXEMBOURG

94.5

EIGHTH CANADA

92.7

SECOND NORWAY

99.6

FIRST SWITZERLAND

100

3rd:

IRELAND 98.4

Ireland has jumped one place from last year to be ranked as the third safest country in the world in which to do business. The study finds that Ireland is considerably more insulated from threats such as depressed oil prices, natural catastrophes and the spread of terrorism, than most other countries. Only Switzerland and Norway are ranked higher for supply chain resilience.

SIXTH NETHERLANDS

9th:

AUSTRALIA 90.4

Australia returns to the top 10 after a one year absence, and scores in the top 10 countries in the world with respect to both economic and risk quality factors. In a similar profile to Norway in second place, Australia scores well in its economic productivity and in its control of corruption.

94.3

130th:

VENEUZUELA

Venezuela has retained its place at the bottom of the index, hampered by exposure to the twin natural hazards of wind and earthquake, perceptions of extensive corruption, poor infrastructure, and ill-perceived local supplier quality. The country ranked 116 in exposure to natural hazards and 124 for quality of natural hazard risk management.

FOURTH GERMANY

94.6 TENTH DENMARK

90.8 136

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ABOUT THE FM GLOBAL RESILIENCE INDEX The FM Global Resilience Index ranks the resilience of 130 countries and territories to supply chain disruption. It is designed to help executives evaluate and manage unknown risk potentially inherent in the countries they rely upon. Nine key drivers of supply chain risk are grouped into three categories: economic, risk quality and supply chain factors. These combine to form the composite index. For the full findings go to www.fmglobal.com/ resilienceindex

InBUSINESS | Q2 2016

19/07/2016 12:45


NEVER STOP

LEARNING

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