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Contents NEWS

APRIL 2017 VOL. 54 NO. 2 Ian Hyland


Deanna O’Connor

Group Head of Content

Colin White

Online Editor & Videographer Associate Editor

Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly Aidan Donnelly

Regular Contributors

Valentina Doorly

Keith Dalton

Head of Design

Mark Hurst


Marketing & Events Coordinator Ailbhe Cooke

4 Company of the Month: March 2017 Avolon 6 Business Person of the Month: February 2017 Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark 8 Business Person of the Month: March 2017 Paul Coulson, Executive Chairman, Ardagh Group

Maura Reidy

Marketing & Events Executive

Neil Butler

Commercial Director Major Accounts Director

Noelle Campbell

Client Account Manager

Kate Ryan


2 Company of the Month: February 2017 Actavo

n the Move O Executive appointments 20 Ones to Watch Emerging enterprises

17 Fast Company March 2017 eShopworld 19 On the Move Executive appointments 20 Ones to Watch Emerging enterprises


COMMENT & ANALYSIS 23 Silver Cloud, Grey Lining Aidan Donnelly on cloud computing

50 CEO Q&A Brendan Woods of OCREX on transforming data entry

26 Germany’s Misunderstood Trade Surplus Marcel Fratzscher on the need for investment

54 Compromising Positions Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro talks GDPR 58 Cyber Self Defence Tom Kellerman’s top tips for personal cyber security

28 Latin America Chile’s former finance minister on free trade without US reliance

60 CIO 100 The professionals at the forefront of IT in Ireland

Evelyn O’Keeffe


Trish Moore Contact: Tel: +353 (1) 237 7000

08 10 FDI of the Month: February 2017 Dell EMC 12 FDI of the Month: March 2017 Intel

BUSINESS & FINANCE SUBSCRIPTION ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION: Ireland: €50 EU: €120 World: €150 Digital Subscription: €40

APRIL 2017

15 Fast Company: February 2017 Rebrandly


ISSN: 0007-6473 Published by: Business & Finance Media Group Unit 1A Water’s Edge, Charlotte Quay, Dublin 4 Phone: 01 237 7000


94 Food for Thought Ireland’s food scene

31 Robot Wars Automation and job displacement

96 Tech Update The latest gadgets and tech news

34 View from the Boardroom Fujitsu Ireland CEO Tony O’Malley


TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY: Phone: +353 (1) 237 7000 Email: Subscribe online:

88 Hotel Review The Cliff at Lyons 90 Millionaire’s Playgrounds Another level of luxury in Morocco’s finest hotels

PHOTO GALLERY 98 Ireland Day on the NYSE

37 The Changemaker Karen Blackett OBE on diversity in business


42 Persuade on Pupose Eric Fitzpatrick unlocks the art of engaging presentations


To subscribe to Business & Finance in print or digital, visit April 2017 Business & Finance


NEWS COMPANY OF THE MONTH, FEBRUARY 2017 Pictured: Alan Doherty, Chief Financial Officer and Sean Corkery, CEO and Chairman, Actavo



A series of partnership announcements and charity ties all point to growth at the Irish-owned services firm.


ervices firm Actavo has a global workforce of 6,000 providing network, in-home, industrial, hire and sales, building and event solutions in 100 locations. It has a client list featuring some of the biggest names in business: Heineken, Virgin Media, Sky and Red Bull all feature, and the company has an ever-increasing visibility as construction work in Dublin continues to ramp up. Actavo is now the fastest-growing modular building company in the UK, according to Plimsoll Analysis figures. In this sector the company has landed a series of contracts on the NHS’s four-year £750m modular building framework that is designed to alleviate bed availability. “Modular building is the NHS’s construction dream,” explained Matthew Goff, director of UK operations at Actavo Building Solutions. “It delivers sustainable, cost-effective buildings in tighter timeframes which gives a high degree of certainty in meeting specific needs. “As modular buildings are manufactured in controlled factory environments and assembled onsite, it means that in many cases ward blocks, A&E departments, theatres and cleanrooms can be designed, built and delivered in a matter of weeks, reducing the pressure on bed 2

Business & Finance April 2017

availability and the need for short-term hire. “Through working with the NHS over the next four years, we look forward to delivering off-site constructed buildings that are designed to stand the test of time.” The company has also expanded its branch presence in Scotland and the north-east of England, building up its offerings at Gateshead, Dundee, Manchester and Glasgow. “The Scottish construction sector remains buoyant with major government transport and energy projects planned for this year, as well as the housebuilding sector that continues to grow in confidence,” said Gary Johnstone, regional manager for Scotland and the North. “With our expanded branch presence we will be best-placed to deliver the support and product solutions this sector needs.”

MODULAR MATTERS Closer to home, Actavo Building Solutions recently designed, built and delivered a 120 square-metre modular gym at Shannon Airport’s fire station, a project that took a mere 70 days. The company constructed the facility offsite and used cranes to install it without disruption to the airport or fire station. “The project ran smoothly, and installation was efficiently executed,”

Sean Corkery is an IT and telecoms veteran with over 35 years’ experience, having served in senior positions at Dell, Esat Telecom, AST Computer/Samsung and Apple. A University College Cork graduate, Corkery joined the former Siteserv in 2013 and has led what the company describes as “culture of improvement and process excellence” ever since.

said operations director Liam Brew. “Increasingly, we are seeing modular facilities being embraced for a variety of purposes, be that healthcare, educational, residential, or, in this instance, health and wellbeing.” Actavo Hire & Sales has been active too, working on listed 15th-century Scottish heritage site Ury House, a yearlong engagement that is scheduled to complete soon. It also partnered with Kier Living on access solutions for a £9.5m Magenta living project creating 75 extra care homes in Ellesmere Port, north-west England. Meanwhile, Actavo Events has announced a partnership with the Wings for Life spinal cord research foundation: it will donate a percentage of its Red Bull-derived revenues to the charity. “To continue supporting medical developments in treating spinal cord injuries, Wings for Life relies on generous donations from people and businesses across the world,” said Wings for Life UK partnership manager Hannah Bostock. “That’s why we are so grateful to Actavo Events for its charity partnership with Wings for Life.” n

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NEWS COMPANY OF THE MONTH, MARCH 2017 Pictured: Dómhnal Slattery, CEO, Avolon



Avolon’s fleet grew 69% in 2016 to 435 aircraft by year-end and will effectively double again in 2017 on completion of the acquisition of the aircraft leasing business of CIT Group.


eadquartered in Ireland, with offices in the US, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Avolon provides aircraft leasing and lease management services. The company is now a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Bohai Leasing, a global leader in transportation leasing, following the completion of a merger back in January 2016. Following completion of the merger, Avolon assumed management of Hong Kong Aviation Capital (HKAC) with a total fleet of over 400 aircraft. More recently, in October 2016, Avolon announced an agreement to acquire the aircraft leasing business of CIT Group, which will create a leading aircraft leasing business with a fleet of 868 aircraft valued at over $43bn.

appointed three additional independent directors to the Avolon board: Dr Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Joe Nellis and Denis Kalscheur. Dr Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh is Professor of Accounting and Dean of University College Dublin (UCD) College of Business and has been published in international peer-reviewed journals on audit and accounting matters. Joe Nellis was most recently a Managing Director of the Business Development team at GE Capital, which oversaw the signing and closing of nearly $200bn worth of transactions in a 24-month period. Denis Kalscheur is a 25-year aviation industry veteran and previously served in both Vice Chairman and CEO roles at Aviation Capital Group Corp (ACG).

NEW APPOINTMENTS Recently, Avolon has made further progress towards the completion of the acquisition of the CIT Group. $8.5bn has been raised in capital markets to finance the acquisition of the CIT Group aircraft leasing business, while receipt of corporate/issuer credit ratings from Fitch (BB), Moody’s (Ba3) and S&P Global (BB+) have been obtained. The company has also recently

INFLUENCE OF CHINA In March, the firm issued a white paper looking at the development, growth and gradual maturing of China’s domestic airline industry. The paper identifies key drivers of growth and forecasts domestic air travel demand over the next decade. The paper also examines the factors that influence the development of commercial aviation in China including economic and demographic trends,


Business & Finance April 2017

Dómhnal Slattery is the founding CEO of Avolon, a global leader in the aircraft leasing industry. His ability to build and rapidly scale a market-leading aircraft leasing platform is evident in his successful establishment of IAMG, RBS Aviation Capital and Avolon through three business cycles – from the early 1990s to today. In 2010, he founded Avolon, a global aircraft leasing business, which, in five years, has been built into one of the top 10 lessors in the world. Avolon listed on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2014 in what was the largest ever listing on the NYSE by an Irishfounded company. In August 2015, Avolon announced a merger agreement with Chinese leasing company, Bohai, which valued Avolon at $7.6bn. In October 2016, Avolon announced an agreement to acquire the aircraft leasing business of CIT Group. Slattery has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from University College Galway and is a graduate of the Accelerated Development Programme from the London Business School. He also picked up the 2016 Business Person of the Year Award at last December’s Business & Finance Awards.

aviation infrastructure and the industry’s regulatory framework.

NEW AIRCRAFT Throughout March, Avolon also announced the delivery of one Airbus A320-200N aircraft to Garuda (the ninth Avolon aircraft on lease to Garuda), as well as an Airbus A321-200 to Frontier Airlines (the fourth Avolon aircraft on lease to Frontier Airlines). n



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BUSINESS PERSON OF THE MONTH, FEBRUARY 2017 Pictured: Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark


Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark Paul Marchant will be hoping Primark’s newly opened seventh US store at Staten Island Mall will bolster the fashion retailer’s presence in the lucrative US market.


rimark, which operates as Penneys in Ireland, has opened a 55,000 sq ft store in Staten Island just 18 months after it first entered the US market with the opening of a Boston store. Since September 2015, Primark has opened in Burlington Mall in Massachusetts, King of Prussia Mall and Willow Grove Mall in Pennsylvania, Freehold Raceway Mall in New Jersey, and Danbury Fair Mall in Connecticut. The Dublin-run company, owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), will employ 200 staff at the new Staten Island store. Primark is ABF's biggest profit maker and is expected to deliver a 22% increase in sales during the first half of the group's financial year. It has been reported that a weak sterling has given a €58.6m profit boost to ABF. As a result of new store openings and expansions, ABF has stated that Primark sales would be up 12%. Primark generated an operating profit of €367m in the first half of the last financial year, with sales at €3.1bn.


Business & Finance April 2017

UK DOMINATION Primark is Britain’s biggest fashion retailer by volume and is continuing to grow its market share throughout the UK. The fashion chain has also stated its plans to open ten new stores and create 2,000 jobs in the UK during 2017. Founded in June 1969 in the Republic of Ireland, Primark has 330 stores in 11 countries (Ireland, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France, the US and Italy) and employs over 69,000 people. Paul Marchant has been the company’s CEO since September 2009, replacing the retail chain’s veteran founder, Arthur Ryan. Previous to this position, he was chief operating officer of New Look Retail Group. Marchant has also served as trading director for clothing at Debenhams and buying roles at clothing chain Topman and River Island. In Ireland, Penneys operates in 36 stores, offering a diverse range of products, stocking everything from baby, kid’s, women’s and men’s wear to homeware, accessories, beauty products and confectionery.

•P aul Marchant is CEO of Primark, a position he has held since 2009. • Marchant has held a number of senior management roles in retail throughout his extensive career. • Previously, Marchant was chief operating officer of New Look Retail Group. • He was also trading director at Debenhams.

SUSTAINABLE FARMING In February, Primark also released new numbers revealing the impact of its Sustainable Cotton Programme on women smallholders in India. Set up in 2013, the Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme is a partnership between Primark, agricultural experts CottonConnect, and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). The programme trains women smallholders in sustainable farming methods, so they can improve their livelihoods through increased income. In total, 1,251 farmers participated in the first three years of the programme and in 2016 Primark announced that the programme would be extended to reach a further 10,000 farmers over a six-year period. Farmers received training and support from CottonConnect and SEWA experts on the ground through classroom sessions, in-field training and learning groups. They were also trained on the most appropriate farming techniques for their land, from seed selection, sowing, soil, water, pesticide and pest management, to picking, fibre quality, grading and storage of the harvested cotton. n


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BUSINESS PERSON OF THE MONTH, MARCH 2017 Pictured: Paul Coulson, Executive Chairman of Ardagh Group, rings the opening bell alongside John Sheehan, Director of Investor Relations of Ardagh Group; David Matthews, CFO of Ardagh Group; and Ian Curley, CEO of Ardagh Group, at the group’s listing day at NYSE.


Paul Coulson, Executive Chairman, Ardagh Group March has been an exceptionally successful one for the Ardagh Group boss as the organisation held an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).


n Wednesday, March 15th, shares jumped to $22.74 quickly after the Group’s executive chairman Paul Coulson rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Shares closed at 18.2% stronger at €22.465. On March 20th, Ardagh Group announced the closing of IPO at $19 per share, as well as the sale of an additional 2.43 million Class A common shares pursuant to the exercise in full of the option granted to the underwriters to purchase additional Class A common shares. Following completion of this offering, Ardagh has over 236 million shares in issue, comprising 18.63 million Class A common shares and over 217 million Class B common shares. Net proceeds to the Group from the offering, and the exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional Class A common shares, were approximately $319m after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses. 8

Business & Finance April 2017

Ardagh Group operates 109 facilities in 22 countries, employing approximately 23,500 people and has global sales of approximately €7.7bn. Its products include conical, rectangular, and oval shaped steel and aluminium cans for multi and singleserve use; glass bottles and jars; steel and aluminium aerosols; single-serve bowls; kegs; and custom products, including cigar boxes, rectangular steel boxes, peanut cans, and coffee cans. The company serves personal care, household, food and industrial, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage, pet food, seafood, and pharmaceutical sectors worldwide.

RUGBY INVESTMENT Ardagh Group also recently announced an important investment in its Rugby manufacturing plant in the UK for the purpose of converting its beverage can production capabilities from steel to aluminium. This venture will serve to support committed partnership agreements with some of the most well-established beverage brands in the world. The

•A TCD graduate, Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson qualified as an accountant with PwC, founded Bates Coulson & Co, entered aviation leasing and set up Yeoman International Group in 1982. • He took over the former Irish Glass Bottle Company in 1998, setting off on a lengthy series of expansions and acquisitions that continues to the present day, and closed its landmark Ringsend plant in 2002. • In March 2017 Ardagh Group announced the closing of IPO at $19 per share.

timeline for the conversion involves project commencement in Q4 2017 and with an anticipated completion in Q1 of 2018. The investment in the UK plant’s manufacturing capabilities signals intent from Ardagh Group in the continued development of its recently acquired beverage can business. The Rugby UK plant was first established in 1989 as a two-line aluminium plant. In 1996, the plant was converted to steel to support customer needs at that time. Processes within the plant are currently being optimised via Ardagh’s Wrexham plant and other locations across Europe to ensure that customer expectations continue to be met during the plant’s downtime. Universally recognised for its protective qualities, versatility and environmental credentials, metal has the strongest recycling rates of all packaging materials in Europe, thus effectively contributing to the fundamental principles of a circular economy. n

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NEWS FDI OF THE MONTH, FEBRUARY 2017 Pictured: Bob Savage, Country Manager,

Dell EMC Ireland


Dell EMC It’s been a good start to 2017 for tech giant Dell EMC, having been named as the best place in the country to work for in a recent report.


n a ranking of Ireland’s best companies to work for, based on thousands of employee reviews compiled by Indeed, Dell EMC was placed in the top spot. Speaking with Newstalk, Marie Moynihan, Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Dell EMC, said: “We are delighted that through employee reviews Dell is being recognised as the best company to work for in Ireland by Indeed. Dell EMC sites across Limerick, Cork and Dublin support our whole business across EMEA and having highly engaged, motivated staff is a vital element of success. “As a company, we’re very focused on ensuring we create a fun, open environment where our employees can be themselves, innovate, enjoy their job and grow their capabilities and career at Dell. We provide flexible working options for employees to allow them to find a better balance between work and personal commitments. It’s an exciting time to be working at Dell and we’ll certainly celebrate this recognition with our employees today.” February saw Dell EMC host the first of five leadership talks for the Mid-West business community and education


Business & Finance April 2017

community at its Limerick campus. Delivered in collaboration with Limerick Chamber and the University of Limerick, the audience heard from Denis Brosnan, former chief executive of Kerry Group, who spoke about leadership insights and challenges he has overcome during his career. “Dell EMC is delighted to be working with Limerick Chamber on this exciting programme to support the growth and development ambitions of the mid-west region,” said Dell Limerick campus leader Timmy O’Dwyer. “Since the launch in January, we have received such positive feedback from the initiative. The details of the remaining events for the coming year will be announced soon but I know I speak for everyone attending today in saying that we’re delighted to have Denis Brosnan speaking at the inaugural event.” Dell EMC sites across Limerick, Cork and Dublin support our whole business across EMEA and having highly engaged, motivated staff is a vital element of success The tech giant also opened the doors at its Limerick Campus to celebrate International Women’s Day and Engineers Week 2017. The event was hosted by Dell EMC in collaboration

Bob Savage joined EMC in 1988 and held a variety of roles with the company. He is chairman of the Governing Body of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and is a board member of Enterprise Ireland and American Chambers. He is an electronic engineering graduate of CIT and a former lecturer there. Savage is currently Dell EMC’s Vice President Managing Director EMC Ireland COE, as well as chairman of the South West Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee.

with University of Limerick and supported by Johnson & Johnson, and explored the challenge of ‘Changing Mindsets’ in the working world. Just over 200 people from the MidWest community from business and education attended the event. At Dell EMC campuses in Cork and Dublin smaller celebrations for International Women’s Day were held both focused on highlighting diversity across all areas of the business.

REASSURANCE AND EXPANSION With the economic uncertainty of current months, IDA Ireland’s Ray O’Connor stated his belief that Cork badly needed office space if it is to utilise opportunities from foreign investment, Dell EMC’s Irish head Bob Savage was quick to respond, stating that Cork and Ireland would remain “absolutely central” to the company’s future plans. Meanwhile, in international news for Dell EMC, a partnership with provider of information technology and services company Prysm to address the smart city opportunity in India. It is hoped Prysm’s large format content collaboration and mobile solution will further help gain deeper insights into all aspects of smart cities. n


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JAGUAR.IE Terms and Conditions: Total Cost of Credit: €1,874.29 which includes a documentation fee of €63.49; APR*(Annual Percentage Rate) 2.90% as at 20th December 2016. †Includes delivery & related charges. Model is shown for illustrative purposes only. ††The Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV) is payable if you renew or retain the vehicle at the end of the agreement. Further charges may be applied by your Jaguar Retailer subject to kilometre limits/condition of the vehicle. *Lending criteria and conditions apply. Offer available on all new Jaguar XE models registered from 1st January 2017 until 31st March 2017 at participating retailers. APR (Annual Percentage Rate) 2.90% Fixed is inclusive of a documentation fee of €63.49. This is a Consumer Hire Purchase agreement provided by Bank of Ireland t/a Bank of Ireland Finance. To qualify for this finance offer a minimum deposit of 10% of the ‘On the Road Price’ and a maximum term of 37 months applies. Over 18s Only. Ownership remains with Bank of Ireland until the optional final payment is made. Rate quoted is correct as at 20th December 2016 and is subject to change. Official Fuel consumption figures for the Jaguar XE and XF ranges in 1/100km: Urban 4.4-11.9, Extra Urban 3.4 – 6.7, Combined 3.8 – 8.6. CO2 emissions g/km 99-204

NEWS FDI OF THE MONTH, MARCH 2017 Pictured: Eamonn Sinnott, Vice President and General Manager, Intel


Intel March was an eventful one at Intel Ireland, as a series of announcements combined to take it a month to remember for the tech giant.


ntel has invested in the self-driving car sector by agreeing to a $15.3bn purchase of Mobileye, a leading supplier of software that enables advanced driver assist systems (ADAS). Mobileye was launched in 1999 with the belief that vision-safety technology will make roads safer, while reduce traffic congestion at the same time. With a team of more than 450 engineers, Mobileye has developed a range of software products that is deployed on a proprietary family of computer chips named EyeQ. The partnership will undoubtedly help Intel to increase its autonomous vehicle solutions offering. Intel also recently appointed three new Irish Vice Presidents: Noel Murphy, General Manager, PEG IOT and Wearable Group, who becomes a Vice President of the Platform Engineering Group; Paul Scully, Human Resources Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa Region, who becomes Vice President of Human Resources; and John Healy, General Manager, Datacenter Network Solutions Group who becomes Vice President of the Data Center Group. This brings to 11 the number of Irish people who now hold Vice President positions in the company.


Business & Finance April 2017

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME To mark International Women’s Day in March, Intel Ireland launched its 2017 Women in Technology scholarship programme. The scholarship programme aims to encourage a new generation of high-achieving women to take up the challenge of a career in science and technology. The programme forms part of a wider focus by Intel on empowering girls and women by fostering educational opportunities and encouraging females to participate, prosper, and lead in the global economy. Intel also hosted the Women’s Achievement Awards during March. A presentation took place at a special ceremony held in the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, where employees from across Intel in Ireland came together for an evening of celebration in which nine awards were presented to the 2017 recipients. The Women’s Achievement awards were designed to acknowledge women working at Intel for a variety of outstanding achievements that have delivered a significant impact to Intel’s business. The awards are sponsored by the Women at Intel network, whose

Eammon Sinnott has been a major player in Intel’s Irish operation since 1991, becoming a plant manager in 2006. He has held a variety of factory management positions in Ireland, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Portland, Oregon. As well as being general manager of Intel Ireland, Sinnott is also an Intel Vice President within the corporation’s technology manufacturing group. Prior to joining Intel, Sinnott worked as an engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation and as a manufacturing manager at Nuvotem. Sinnott is a board member of the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.

mission is to empower women to deliver significant business impact with expanded connections, valued skill development, increased representation, and directed support.

ENGINEERING FOCUS Additionally, 5,000 primary and secondary school students across Ireland took part in Intel-hosted activities as part of Engineers Week 2017 in early March. Engineers Week, a week-long programme of nationwide events with the aim of celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland, took place from March 4th to 10th with events happening across the country in the aim of creating a positive awareness and sparking enthusiasm about the engineering profession to people of various ages with little or no engineering background. In addition to the school outreach programme, Intel ran an online social media campaign throughout Engineers Week, which included a number of posts profiling engineers from across the company as part of an #IGrewUpToBeAnEngineer campaign which showcased individuals in their roles today while holding pictures of their younger selves. n



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ebrandly is the easiest way to create, share and manage branded links, offering individuals and companies the possibility to brand and shorten the links they share using their name or brand through a unique domain name. The company was spun out of ClickMeter, an analytics company with more than 100,000 customers, and Rebrandly’s mission is to help company and personal brands thrive by developing a more memorable and consistent web presence. Rebrandly wants to change the way people shares their relevant online content and the company believes people deserve to sign with their name or brand the important links they share online. The startup creates shorter URLs and custom domain names for companies, offering the possibility to brand through a specific domain name. The new branded link can then be created and shared directly from the browser extension while online. The branded link is memorable and trustworthy, which leads to greater sharing on social media.

BRAND ON THE BRAIN Branded links have up to 45% more click-through than a generic short link and companies can increase brand visibility as the brand is embedded in the link also when it’s shared by others. Most destination links are long alphanumeric combinations, impossible to remember and not descriptive. Link shorteners solve part of the problem but can remain untrustworthy and impronunciable. Branded links are the best alternative to short links. By utilising these links, brands are more likely to share relevant content because they are associating themselves with the content represented on the links.

Pictured: Davide De Guz, founder, Rebrandly

Dublin-based tech startup Rebrandly recently announced it is raising €5m for a global expansion through a new Silicon Valley office.

Personal and professional branding is more popular now than ever. It improves brand visibility, increases link trust and optimises SEO ranking.

US EXPANSION Rebrandly is expecting to add 35 jobs across its new office in San Francisco, California and its Irish base. Speaking with the The Business Post, founder Davide De Guz, discussed the decision

to expand to the US. “We need to open an office in San Francisco with some people there, then we need to expand here in Dublin with more marketing people,” he said. “This is why we need the money. We’re looking for funding because we want to grow faster. There is an opportunity to grow much faster to build a global brand and what we are doing.” He added: “We had so much positive feedback from the people there, so we decided this was good enough as its own company.” An entrepreneur with over 15 years’ experience in internet business, De Guz is an expert in new technologies. He is a serial entrepreneur who started his first company while at university in Italy. Founded in 1999, University Srl allowed students to share notes through an online portal. He exited this company and established an offshore programming company ConsultingSoft in 2004, which has since closed.

THE SUMMIT Rebrandly was present at this year’s Dublin Tech Summit in February, a conference that welcomed leaders and members of the tech community from across the globe to share insights, learn and network. It offered opportunities for startups like Rebrandly to get exposure for their service. “We wanted to meet our current customers and share our platform with new customers, while also learning about other great startups had to offer,” commented De Guz. “It was humbling to meet people who already loved our product.” n April 2017 Business & Finance


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he announcement that eShopWorld will create up to 250 new jobs over the next three years coincided with the official opening of their global headquarters at Airside Business Park in Swords, Co. Dublin by Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton. The expansion is part of a €25m investment that eShopWorld will make in people, software development and R&D over the coming three years as it continues to grow and expand. It will bring total employment at eShopWorld to almost 400 staff by 2019, inclusive of 80 new jobs created in 2016. The company will continue to develop its technology, refining it to deliver hyper local shopping experiences, according to local market preferences in global markets. eShopWorld was launched in Dublin in 2010 by founder and CEO, Tommy Kelly. It has grown from a team of just six staff to 150 today with a presence in Dublin, Newry, the US, Singapore and the Netherlands. The company provides sustainable, scalable ecommerce technology for retailers by delivering a localised shopping experience that enhances their brand. Its bespoke ecommerce solutions enable some of the world’s most iconic clothing and sportswear brands to grow internationally. Brand-loyal customers worldwide enjoy a personalised ecommerce experience regardless of location or device, from the first website visit through to delivery, including customer service and returns.

ONE TO WATCH The company, which recently featured as a Business & Finance ‘Ones to Watch’, recently opened a fulfilment hub in Singapore to facilitate greater access to the Asian market. Through this hub, eShopWorld plans to deliver efficiencies and cost savings to retailers, and bring

Pictured: Tommy Kelly, CEO/founder, eShopWorld

The announcement of 250 new jobs and a new global headquarters during March has solidified ecommerce company eShopWorld’s presence in an exciting sector.

order fulfilment closer to market. In 2016 it was named Ireland’s fastest growing tech company in the Deloitte Fast 50 (for the second year in a row) having quadrupled its revenues to €211m since 2015. Its continuing growth is supported by a sophisticated, scalable, proprietary platform and fulfilment network that provides end to end checkout solutions, sales, customer service and shipping & returns management to customers in over 200 countries.

BRAND-LOYAL CUSTOMERS Welcoming the jobs announcement, Minister Bruton said: “eShopWorld is a great model of what we are trying to achieve through our Action Plan for Jobs. Here is an innovative Irish company, established 6 years ago, which now employs 150 people and has a turnover of over €200m.” He added: “The announcement that eShopWorld are creating 250 jobs in Ireland is a great boost and a huge indication of what’s possible. I look forward to seeing further jobs created by high-growth companies like this in Ireland over the coming years.” eShopWorld CEO Tommy Kelly commented: “We are very pleased to be adding jobs and investment to fulfil demand from leading global brands. Premium brands see our technology platform as a key pillar for growth and establishing longterm sustainable relationships with brand-loyal customers. This is a really important investment for eShopWorld and one that will further our capability to optimise our technology, driving growth through existing and new revenue streams.” n April 2017 Business & Finance



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On the move Business & Finance highlights some of the top executive appointments and promotions.


Chairman, Adare Human Resource Management 4Kieran Mulvey is one of the country’s leading employment law, industrial relations and HR experts, having retired as director general of the Workplace Relations Commission in 2016. He has now accepted his first major appointment in the private sector since retirement by joining the Adare Human Resource Management, which is growing and expanding via its Dublin headquarters and new regional office in Shannon and under the managing directorship of Derek McKay. “I look forward to supporting the senior management team to deliver strategic HRM and IR advice to grow our national and international client base across the public and private sector,” said Mulvey.

Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland


Managing Director, Promed

4Petre Sandru, a 12-year veteran of the company, has been appointed country manager of Coca-Cola Ireland, replacing Aedamar Howlett who becomes managing director of Coca-Cola’s UK and Irish operations. Sandru is a graduate of the Polytechnic University in Bucharest and the New York Institute of Professional Photography, as a keen photographer. He has previously served as brand manager, commercial director for Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and Albania, and country manager for Romania and Moldova. Jon Woods, general manager of Coca-Cola, said that Sandru will join a talented marketing team and work closely with bottling partner Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company with whom they make significant investments on the island.

4Kerry-based medical products supplier Promed has appointed Barry Russell as managing director, replacing Colin Denman who departs after 12 years. With 20 years of experience, Russell has most recently led the international commercialisation of his own neoSurgical company, and moves from Boston to take on the new role. He has also served in senior roles at Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific. Promed, founded in 1985, is based in Killorglin and employs 40 people. “We must lead the change, find new ways to enable GPs to acquire the technology for diagnoses and treatments that are currently only available in the expensive and inaccessible hospital setting,” said Russell. n





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April 2017 Business & Finance


NEWS Ones to

WATCH COMPILED BY Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly




Send ‘em home smiling

What is it? YourSmileDirect. com corrects dental concerns within 16 weeks with invisible customised aligners at a price you can smile about. An award-winning teeth-straightening company that has launched a clear cosmetic brace system across the UK via pop-up scan clinics in London, Manchester and Paris, it is due to open scan clinics across in Spain, France, Germany, Portugal and Italy in 2017. aims to transform your smile simply, swiftly and discreetly. Developed by leading orthodontic labs in the UK and Europe, the treatment can correct minor to moderate dental concerns. An affordable, convenient option (treatment is £1,199/€1,399 including teeth whitening and retainers), the treatments address problems including overcrowding, unevenness, gaps and rotation with impressive results in an average of 16 20

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Business & Finance April 2017

weeks. This is a unique directto-consumer product, bringing clear cosmetic dental aligners directly to the consumer saving them 75% on costs and providing the convenience of no monthly dentist office visits. All treatments are fully insured and prescribed by a registered dentist.

Who’s behind it? The company was founded by CEO Graham Byrne.

How is it funded? By Graham Byrne and Capricorn Capital Partners (Nandos,


2. Leading Social


Taking the lead

What is it? Leading Social is a wholly dedicated social media marketing agency working with the likes of the HSE, KPMG, Mount Juliet, Glendalough Distillery and DNG. Their work primarily takes place on behalf of clients through Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter and on occasion across other social platforms. Work is focused across three key areas: content in the form of copy, imagery and video made specifically for social; advertising whereby they push this content to target markets through paid social advertising, and community management which is effectively customer care through social.

biggest names in business and entertainment all through social media: he brought Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort and Gary Vaynerchuk to Dublin. He also created, established and recently sold CollegeTimes. com and, websites that collectively reached over 100 million millennials weekly.

How is it funded? Leading Social was initially self-funded by Jamie but has since broken even and is now profiting. Keen to build on this success and grow, profits are being reinvested now to strengthen the businesses development, operations and management.

Future plans... is on track to be the largest orthodontic provider in Europe. It recently launched in France and Spain and has also launched three scan clinics, with a further 35 scan centres opening throughout Europe this year.

Who’s behind it?

Future plans...

Leading Social is the brainchild of Jamie White, who has a history of business success through social media and now applies his lessons learned to the benefit of the agency’s clients. To date he’s promoted and sold events to over half a million people, hosting some of the

With social media marketing growing in effectiveness and appreciation Jamie has big ambitions. They aim to be the leading agency for social media marketing here and abroad, with plans to open offices in the UK and US and capitalise on their traction and insight in those markets.





3. Flender

If you would like to be profiled in Business & Finance as a ‘one to watch’, please email with ‘Ones to Watch’ in the subject line.

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The flexible lender

What is it? Flender is Ireland’s first consumer peerto-peer finance offering, as well as a new entry in the existing SME lending space. It allows people to borrow and lend money through their own social circles with the confidence of recouping it due to an underlying legal framework with flexible interest rates and automated payments. Flender borrowing and lending is done primarily through a mobile platform, including digital signing of contracts, meaning there is no paperwork. Uniquely, it also makes it possible for businesses to raise finance through their existing customers, increasing loyalty for businesses and rewarding customers for participating.

Who is behind it? Flender is the creation of Oli Cavanagh, Kristjan Koik and Jeremy Davies Bettancourt. They have been involved in other tech start-ups, most recently DOCLINK, which helps doctors and their teams collaborate digitally and securely, and INSTACOACH,

a video analysis platform used by tennis, golf, cricket and swimming coaches around the world.

How is it funded? Angel funding from notable Irish investors was raised in 2016 to complete the platform and secure licences to trade in the UK and Ireland, and 253 individuals recently invested €590,000 in Flender through an equity crowdfunding campaign on Irish investors were joined by individuals from 11 other countries, largely the UK. Flender is the first Irish FinTech to complete equity crowdfunding successfully.

Future plans The platform launched this month to consumers and SMEs in Ireland and is being launched shortly in the UK. The fintech business currently employs six people in its Dublin headquarters, with up to 23 jobs to be created in 2017 as the peer-to-peer finance platform is rolled out.



4. DesignWizard

Corkonian wizards

What is it? DesignWizard is an Irish company founded in Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Its online graphic design software enables users to create and share brilliant visual content within minutes in a fun and easy way. Getting started is simple; users are guided through the imagemaking process step by step. gives users access to a library of over 1 million images and 13,000 templates for print and social media. You can also upload your own images, logos and add brand colours to customise your design.

Who’s behind it? The company was founded by Sean Prior. He had been working in the stock photography industry for over 10 years and saw a gap in the market for a new kind of design tool. CTO Aidan Casey joined DesignWizard in April 2016 to oversee the technical development and to ensure they had a stable, scalable platform when DesignWizard went public.

How is it funded? DesignWizard has been funded by Wavebreakmedia and Enterprise Ireland. They have also recently taken in investment from a number of private investors. It’s not just about the funding,– it is the industry experience that these investors bring to DesignWizard.

Future plans… In February they announced 10 new jobs. Their goal is to bring DesignWizard to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe over the next 12 months and to continue to grow the number of users year on year. n



IT is no longer

a support function within organisations – it’s a key driver. Before you acquire or invest in a company, you need to have a complete picture of its technology landscape. And you need to ask the right questions. Is the technology integrated in the right way? Is it scalable? Does it need to be re-architected? Are the IT systems secure, efficient and capable of supporting future business growth? Our IT Due Diligence specialists will get you the answers you need by performing a comprehensive review of a target company’s IT assets – people, processes and systems, and identify potential technology risks and opportunities. We use leading practices and industry recognised methods in assessing and evaluating the company’s current state of IT empowering you to make insight-driven business decisions when IT matters most.

26 28





Aidan Donnelly follows the ever-growing adoption of the cloud – and its security implications for businesses large and small

Silver cloud with a grey lining?


ne of the key tenets of technology is that it allows us to do things ‘Faster – Better – Cheaper’ than we have done in the past. We are in the midst of many large secular trends that are changing the landscape in more ways than we can imagine. Terms like the cloud and big data are fundamental elements in a wave of technological change that can best be summed up by: store it, secure it, analyse it, access it. These trends bring new dimensions in the form of ubiquitous access and applicability.

‘OLD’ WORLD VS ‘NEW’ WORLD The benefits of cloud computing, particularly for smaller companies with limited budgets, are significant, particularly when compared to the traditional data centre model. This ‘old world’ approach provided a model in which a single computer application required a fixed set of hardware resources to support it, including a server, fixed network access, and storage. Given technological constraints, the environment was rather inflexible, as running multiple applications on a single server created insurmountable complications due primarily to resource allocation issues. As such, an entire server was generally devoted to a single application – which proved to be an expensive proposition, especially after considering the high levels of underutilisation that typically occurred. Then some smart person looked to the heavens and found the answer! Cloud computing has many widely debated meanings but at its core is the concept of gathering computing resources (servers, storage, applications) into a shared pool and delivering these resources or application functionalities as a service either within, or from outside the organisation, on a per use basis.

WEATHER FORECAST: CLOUD COVER TO INCREASE DRAMATICALLY Opinions on the proliferation of the cloud fall into two main camps – the first is that everything moves to the cloud very quickly, while the second view believes that the transition is more gradual and ultimately not everything moves, resulting in a hybrid model forming. Given the large infrastructure footprint already in place, the latter point of view is more likely to be the actual result. No matter the size of your company, nor where its applications and data reside, the most important issue will be the integrity and safety of your computer network. Therefore security is vital to cloud adoption, as information is migrated off-premise, and enterprises must address new concerns about data safety.

Aidan Donnelly, Head of Equities, Davy

The most important issue will be integrity and safety

DATA SOVEREIGNTY Perhaps the biggest concern is the loss of visibility, or more importantly control with respect to corporate security policies. When data is migrated to the cloud, particularly the public cloud, enterprises have limited visibility or flexibility to adapt the cloud service provider’s security controls. These internal company concerns are further exacerbated by external regulations as the use of cloud services may complicate the ability to comply with an increasing number of information security standards enforced by governments and industry mandates, such as the EU Data Protection Directive or the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. Data sovereignty is also a major issue because when data moves to the cloud, the company may be in one place – but the IT department may not control where data is stored in the world and which countries it may go through to get there. While these areas relate more to issues of policy, April 2017 Business & Finance



there are practical concerns to be dealt with on a daily basis. With the proliferation of devices and the increased mobility that comes with these devices, many companies worry that devices outside the corporate firewall can access enterprise cloud services and put private data at risk.

PROTECTING THE TOTALITY While protecting the cloud in isolation is by no means a simple task, the changing technological landscape is making the situation even more complex. As larger enterprises adopt the cloud, they are shifting from on-premise datacentres to a hybrid cloud model, requiring IT departments to protect both on-premise networks and workloads as well as what lives in the cloud and the pathways connecting both domains. In the early days of the cloud, security was a major reason for companies to defer their decision to move to the brave new world. As time has gone by, the big cloud companies like Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft have done a great job of securing their environments or at least making everyone believe they are more secure. Today there is a perception that the cloud is actually more secure than on-premise datacentres. SAFE LIKE A WARM BLANKET! It is a fair question to ask what has been driving this change in perception. The obvious answer is that the large cloud vendors know that security is a key proof of concept for the cloud and have much more resources they can dedicate to security. They are analysing and updating their environment in real time and investing/developing new technology to combat a multitude of threats. There is a natural trickle-down process in the model, as many of the smaller cloud companies run on the large cloud providers and thus can leverage their huge investments in security. For smaller organisations there is the added peace of mind in knowing that the security software protecting your system is the most up to date version. Internal IT solutions often require dedicated resources and can take longer to implement security patches than the cloud providers. Time is of the essence in cybersecurity and the cloud providers should be able to react faster than most IT organisations. BIGGER... NOT ALWAYS BETTER If the large service providers are the best resourced and best equipped, then why is there any hesitation in transferring everything to them? The 24

Business & Finance April 2017

fact is that they are the best equipped because they need to be. From the viewpoint of the hacker or criminal organisation, cloud vendors – especially the large ones – are much larger and juicier targets than the average company. Think of the spectrum of information a hacker could get by hacking into AWS, Microsoft or Google. And the threat is not just from external forces. When it comes to the large vendors the service offering is not confined to simply storing data. Most players are infrastructureas-a-service or platform-as-a-service vendors whereby they host millions of applications they did not develop and have no control over. Clients are loading up software to these cloud providers – who knows whether that software has already been compromised, and even whether a client could be a hacker? For any organisation, the need to protect their data even if it is secured at a cloud hosting provider remains.

WHAT IF? But what happens when there is a major cloud breach? Every week we hear stories of how successful hackers have been – you have to figure it is just a matter of time before one of the major vendors is impacted. Although not the result of a security breach, we recently saw the impact when something malfunctions in the cloud. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is storage for the internet and is used by more than 120,000 domains across the world such as Quora, Giphy, Instagram, IMDb, American Airlines, Imgur and Slack. At the beginning of March it experienced a service disruption – in some cases entire sites went offline, and in others it was just parts of the service. A number of smart home devices that rely on S3 for parts of their functionality also experienced problems – that’s why the heating didn’t come on! The cloud may well be the brave new world but as adoption rates increase, organisations will want to make sure that they experience the sunshine behind it rather than a deluge of rain! Aidan Donnelly is Head of Equities at Davy Private Clients. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal views of the author and not necessarily those of Davy. Follow him on Twitter @aidandonnelly1 J&E Davy, trading as Davy, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. n

Every week we hear stories of how successful hackers have been


Snap, crackle and stocks


he most talked about IPO of the year so far has finally arrived. Snap Inc, the parent company of the picturemessaging app Snapchat, listed on the NYSE on March 2nd and was immediately met with enthusiasm from investors. After an initial pricing of $17 per share the day prior, the stock soared 44% during its first day of listing to close at $24.48. It would then go ahead to hit a high of $29.44 the following day before returning to around $20, where it stands as of the time this piece goes to print. The listing has been especially popular with a group that had previously been hesitant to invest: millennials. On the website, a Twitter-like platform for stock tips popular with 18 to 34 year-olds, Snap Inc was the most discussed stock for the days surrounding the listing. Snap is the most recent high-profile Silicon Valley tech startup to list publically and the first to garner so much attention since Facebook’s IPO in 2013, or Twitter’s in 2013. Other prospective tech IPOs in the upcoming years include Uber, Spotify and Airbnb.

FED RATE HIKE After months of speculation, the US Federal Reserve surprised no one by raising rates during its March meeting for the second time in the past half-year. After a strong jobs report added a quarter of a million jobs in February, bringing unemployment to 4.7%, doubts were low that the Fed would stick to its plan of quarter per cent interest rate increases over the next year. The Federal Funds Rate target range now stands at 0.75%-1.00%.

US stocks responded positively to the news, signalling that the move is due to a robust economy, rather than needlessly restrictive monetary policy. The Dow finished up 0.54% for the day with the S&P 500 up 0.84%.

Paul Laverty, Head of Business Development Ireland with online broker DEGIRO, discusses the major market stories for April.

Paul Laverty, Head of Business Development, DEGIRO

GERMAN AUTO 2017 is preparing to be an interesting year for industries highly reliant on exported goods. One such industry is the European, and particularly German, auto industry. Manufacturers, such as BMW, Daimler, and VW, are extremely dependent on the health of the global economy. With a relatively weak euro making auto sales cheaper outside of the EU, German cars have enjoyed a prime position in recent years. Still unclear though is how Trump’s upcoming ‘America first’ policy will affect European auto manufactures and how European goods will be taxed overseas. Taking advantage of the situation is China, which has overtaken the US as the largest trading partner of Europe’s largest economy. China is currently involved in trade negotiations with Germany over a fixed rate for electric cars. The country’s proposal that 8% of all cars should be electric in 2018 is facing difficulty due to capacity issues with German manufacturers. A shift to a later date is currently being discussed. n Providing an online investment platform for all types of investors, DEGIRO enables its clients to invest worldwide for unheard-of low prices. For more information: w: e: t: +353 1 513 4951





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April 2017 Business & Finance




ow that Germany’s current-account surplus has reached a record €270 billion ($285 billion), or close to 8.7% of GDP, the ongoing debate about its economic model has intensified. Eurozone politicians and Donald Trump’s administration in the United States are each blaming the other for the economic imbalance; and all are blaming the euro. Trump’s administration, for its part, has attacked Germany for exporting too much, and accused it of manipulating the euro. In fact, Germany’s trade surplus has little to do with the euro; which has become a convenient scapegoat – a stand-in for other policy mistakes. Many Germans view the latest wave of criticism as a sign that others are merely envious of their country’s success, and they have angrily refuted arguments that Germany has tried to gain an unfair competitive advantage. Germany, they point out, does not engage in price dumping or direct export promotion, and its leaders do not target the euro. On the contrary, prior to adopting the common currency, Germany had for decades pursued a strong-Deutsche Mark policy, because it wanted to encourage domestic exporters to maintain competitiveness through innovation, rather than reliance on the exchange rate. This was the central feature of Germany’s economic model after World War II, and the main reason its long Wirtschaftswunder (“economic miracle”) could be sustained. The criticism of Germany’s trade surplus suffers from three fallacies. For starters, many of the critics seem to believe that Germany’s trade balance can be systematically manipulated with the exchange rate. But, owing to the integration of global value chains, industrial exports now comprise many imported inputs, which means that the effect of exchange-rate movements on domestic prices and the trade balance has decreased substantially over time. In fact, Germany’s bilateral trade surplus with the US has barely changed, despite substantial swings in the euro-dollar exchange rate – which was as high as €1:$1.60 in 2011, and as low as €1:$1.04 more recently. Germany owes its export success not to currency manipulation, but to its strong market position and the pricing power of its highly specialized manufacturing champions. A second fallacy is the belief that politicians and central banks can actually set exchange rates. In most advanced economies, the exchange rate cannot simply be decreed; rather, it is endogenously determined by the underlying real economy and the state of the financial 26

Business & Finance April 2017


Germany’s Misunderstood Trade Surplus Germany needs to encourage investment to deal with its uneven trade levels, writes Marcel Fratzscher.

Marcel Fratzscher, Professor of Macroeconomics, Humboldt University

Germany’s bilateral trade surplus with the US has barely changed despite swings in the exchange rate

system. Currency markets are too deep for direct intervention to be worth the risk, as the Swiss National Bank discovered a few years ago when it tried to stem the franc’s appreciation. The US Treasury abandoned currency-market interventions in the 1990s; and the European Central Bank has tried to intervene only once, very briefly in 2000. Accusations that the US Federal Reserve and the ECB have pursued unconventional policy measures to weaken their respective currencies miss the fact that exchange-rate movements have only a limited, short-lived effect on domestic inflation, exports, and growth. Both central banks are guided by their mandates, not by an implicit or explicit exchange-rate objective. A third fallacy – which one often encounters on the German side of the debate – is the belief that a country’s current-account balance reflects the competitiveness of its exports. In reality, a country’s external balance is determined by its preferences and its intertemporal saving and investment decisions. Fundamentals such as Germany’s demographics alone probably account for only about three percentage points – or one-third – of its current-account surplus.



30 20 10 0













0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 -70 Source: Statistisches Bundesamt. U.S. Census Bureau. * Current exchange rate. February 2017

As these three fallacies show, the debate over Germany’s external surplus should not be about the euro exchange rate or German exports. The euro is not too weak, and German exports are not too high. Rather, the problem is that Germany’s imports are too low, owing to its huge investment gap. Germany has one of the lowest publicinvestment rates in the industrialized world. Its municipalities, which are responsible for half of all public investment, currently have unrealized investment projects worth €136 billion, or 4.5% of GDP; Germany’s school buildings alone need another €35 billion for repairs. Meanwhile, private investment in Germany’s aging capital stock has been weakened by many German companies’ desire to invest abroad. debate about The gap is the result of policy failures – namely Germany’s protectionist policies in the non-tradable current account services sector. The International Monetary should focus Fund, the European Commission, and the on measures OECD have long tried to convince Germany to to liberalize deregulate services, curtail vested interests, and Immedis 180x38 Strip Advert.pdf 1 03/04/2017 16:23 the countrry’s improve competition. But, as it stands, wages, services productivity, and investment remain high in

the German export sector, and low in the nontradable services sector. The international debate about Germany’s current account should thus focus on measures to liberalize the country’s services and remove other barriers to investment. To that end, Germany should improve its digital and transportation infrastructure; strengthen market mechanisms to encourage more renewableenergy development; address its shortage of skilled labor; change its tax system to strengthen incentives to invest; and reform its regulations to reduce uncertainty. Germany is an increasingly important political and economic power in Europe and on the world stage. But, until now, the debate about Germany’s current-account surplus has been counterproductive. Criticism of Germany’s export prowess, and accusations of currency manipulation, are just as wrong-headed as Germany’s own defense of its excessive surplus. Ultimately, Germany can serve everyone’s best interests – including its own – by reducing its surplus, and thus the harmful economic imbalances that lie just beneath the surface. n

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ow should Latin America respond to US President Donald Trump’s America-first approach to the global economy? Here’s one possible answer: build a free-trade area of the Americas without the United States. Of course, the idea is far from new. The founding fathers of Latin America’s republics talked about it two centuries ago. But it never came to pass. In the 1960s, there was much discussion about Latin American integration. Summit meetings were held and agreements signed. But little progress on free trade followed. For most countries in the region, Europe or the US remained larger trading partners than their immediate neighbors. In the early 1990s, then-US President George H.W. Bush grandly proposed a free-trade area from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. The US subsequently signed agreements with Canada, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Central America, but the ambitious and overarching north-south agreement did not materialize. The good news is that most of the factors blocking regional free trade back then have disappeared. So now is the right time to pick up on Simón Bolívar’s two-century-old idea. One reason why a region-wide trade deal foundered was that proud Brazil was unwilling to attend a party whose main host was the US. But if Trump sticks to his protectionist promises, we will no longer have to worry about US-Brazil rivalry within the same trade agreement. In the past, US farm subsidies were also dealbreakers for large agricultural exporters like Argentina and, again, Brazil. With the US out of the picture, this also becomes a non-issue. As the 1990s progressed, left-wing populist governments came to power in a number of Latin American countries. For these governments – in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and, of course, Venezuela – free trade was a dirty “neoliberal” phrase. For their leaders, too, an agreement with the US was out of the question. Today, that brand of populism is (knock on wood) in retreat across Latin America. In Argentina, the Peronists have lost the presidency; in Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff got herself impeached; and in Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro’s increasingly dictatorial regime is teetering on the edge of the abyss. Ecuador also may soon end its flirtation with populism: Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor did less well than expected in the recent first round of the country’s presidential election. So, with the three main stumbling blocks gone, what is preventing a free-trade agreement of the Americas from being signed? Nothing much, except for policy inertia and lack of clear 28

Business & Finance April 2017


Free Trade Without the US Latin America needs to build its own free trade area without reliance on the US, writes Andrés Velasco.

Andrés Velasco, Professor of Professional Practice in International Development, Columbia University

Now is the right time to pick up on Simon Bolivar’s twocentury-old idea

leadership. But there is no shortage of regional leaders who could carry the torch of trade integration from the Rio Grande to the Cabo de Hornos. Aside from their wariness of the US, past Brazilian presidents also feared their domestic business establishment, which never met a tariff or a non-tariff barrier it did not like. That protectionist sentiment, always strongest in the industrial heartland of São Paulo, is still there. But with Brazil just beginning to emerge from its deepest recession in decades, Brazilian businesses are eagerly seeking new customers. And with China slowing, Europe mired in its own crisis, and the US walling itself in, the region’s growing markets have fresh appeal. Something similar has happened to Mexico. Its leaders always talked the talk of regional free trade, but no Sherlock Holmes was needed to discover that their real interest lay in the US market, where over 80% of Mexican exports go. Now that Trump has called Mexican immigrants rapists and has called for a wall on the border (along with a tariff on Mexican exports to pay for it), trade intimacy with the US is losing – how can one put it politely? – some of its appeal. So it should come as no surprise that Mexican politicians and businesspeople are looking south with newfound enthusiasm. Argentina also has reasons to back regional free trade. President Mauricio Macri’s year-old administration is naturally inclined toward




Mexcio 2.1%

Central America 2.9%




Equador -2.3%



INFLATION projection for Latin America revised up to 6.4% for 2017 INFLATION seen rising to 3.1 % in Central America and the Caribbean




Regional 2017 GDP Growth

Regional Inflation Forecast




Analysts revise down Latin America analysts cut forecast to 3.1 % Central America and the Caribbean analysts cut forecast to 3.1 %

Dominician Rep.







3.6% 2.5%














5.7% -3.7% 0.8% 3.5% 1.0% 3.0%

Source: FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Latin America, December 2016

economic liberalism, and Argentina is caught today in the straitjacket of the external tariff of the Mercosur regional trade agreement with Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The least traumatic way to achieve greater openness without having to blow up the existing agreement is to have Mercosur join a larger free-trade area. That transition would suit Argentina well. With Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina pushing in the same direction, the issue of leadership would be solved automatically. Chile, which for political reasons has always wanted to bring together the more liberal economies of the Pacific with the more protectionist regimes of the Atlantic, would have plenty of reasons to help move the process forward. And Canada, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (everybody’s favorite English-speaking leader nowadays), would be most welcome to join. Yes, Venezuela’s Maduro would object and denounce a neoliberal conspiracy against him. But, given his rock-bottom standing in the region, most countries would regard this as an additional incentive to join the new bloc. Nicaragua, Bolivia, and perhaps Ecuador might drag their feet. But they lack the political and economic heft to stop a deal.

The always prickly issues of investment and intellectual property should be a part of any new deal

A hemispheric free-trade agreement would not have to start from scratch. The Pacific Alliance, which already binds together Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru, is a useful starting point. That agreement focuses on trade in goods and services, trade facilitation, rules of origin, and dispute resolution. In any new deal, non-tariff barriers and government procurement, two sets of instruments often used for hidden and not-so-hidden protectionism in Latin America, ought to follow common standards. So should labor and environmental practices. The always-prickly issues of investment and intellectual property should be a part of any new deal; but, with the US absent, some of the more controversial rules that North American businesses have lobbied for could now be excluded. So, yes, the era of free trade across much of the Americas finally may have arrived. And we have Trump’s nationalist and protectionist bullying to thank for it. n Andrés Velasco, a former finance minister of Chile, is Professor of Professional Practice in International Development at Columbia University.

Interpay Ltd trading as TransferMate is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

April 2017 Business & Finance


ARE YOU GDPR READY All you need to know about becoming GDPR compliant! Royal College of Physicians of Ireland 9th June 8:30am to 1:00pm Services offered by Ward: Assess Readiness Data Inventory Gap Analysis Data Protection Programme Data Protection Officer

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General Data Protection Regulation Current EU data protection law is based on the Directive 95/46/EC. Some time ago, the EU recognised certain shortcomings with the legislation and that it needed to be changed. Since 1995 there have been significant changes in information technology and the way in which people and organisations communicate with each other and share information. Social media is a prime example; it would be another 10 years after the legislation came into force before companies such as Facebook and Twitter were founded. Another issue with the Directive was that interpretations of the guidelines varied from state to state, making compliance difficult for multinational organisations. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on May 25th, 2018 heralds a new era in data protection. The regulation raises the bar with respect to data protection, introducing stringent and prescriptive data protection and privacy requirements which drive a range of tougher sanctions. Potential liability to fines of up to 4% of global turnover or â‚Ź20m means that organisations will have to put in place programmes to achieve and demonstrate credible levels of compliance before May 25th 2018.

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t first glance, the Minimum Wage Machine looks like an entertaining way to idle away a Sunday in a seaside-town amusement arcade. It’s filled with pennies and equipped with a basket to catch them when they come tumbling out… but this is no slot machine. Crank the handle for 3.892 seconds and your reward is one cent. If you have the stamina to crank it for an hour you’ll have earned €9.25 – Ireland’s minimum wage. It’s a clever comment on modern working life in an exhibition full of them in Trinity College Dublin’s Science Gallery1: thought-provoking experiments that raise questions about computers, robotics, artificial intelligence and the implications for the humans who created them. Of all the themes touched upon, “the foremost is the future of employment and how we might deal with the changes that are underway in the way that we work,” explains William Myers, curator of the exhibition, titled ‘Humans Need Not Apply’. “Clearly there’s a lot of evidence that shows that machine learning is advancing very quickly. Many sorts of tasks that we have relied on humans to do will very soon be done by machines. So the question comes up: how do we respond to that?” Myers’ exhibition is just one contribution in a prolific global debate that is taxing the era’s leading thinkers. The driverless car is all but guaranteed to upend how people travel and redefine our roads and cities, and its imminent arrival seems to have focused minds and sparked much reflection. Artificial intelligence is evolving to a point whereby algorithms can cause overnight currency flashcrashes. Virtual reality headsets are already a consumer reality. The argument that we are living through another industrial revolution doesn’t seem like an exaggeration. And just like the original industrial revolution, such rapid and uncontrollable change will generate winners and losers. Some of these concerns have a sci-fi flavour, with figures such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Tesla/SpaceX pioneer Elon Musk lending weight to long-standing distopian worries about wayward robots and AI. For Myers, the questions raised are more everyday and policy-based. “How do we reform systems of

Robot Wars Automation, artificial intelligence and robotics are on the march – and the talk is of job displacement and a new industrial revolution, writes Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly.

Many sorts of tasks that we have relied on humans to do will very soon be done by machines

education? How might we reform taxation? Or come up with new structures like labour unions to protect workers? All are questions or topics that need to be addressed urgently.” The inspiration for Humans Need Not Apply came from two sources. “One was that there’s this very rapid automation happening and so questions around unemployment were coming up. There seemed to be somewhat of a consensus among experts like economists that we would adapt to these changes by ways we have done before: by inventing new jobs and that new industries would arise that we can’t even think of yet. The results of all this automation would be that we’d have more free time, we would have more opportunities to pursue creative endeavours. “And at the same time, separately, there seemed to be this trend of artists embracing the use of machine learning and also experiments in designing April 2017 Business & Finance



A LEISURE SOCIETY? On the wall of the exhibition is classical economist David Ricardo’s warning that “substitution of machinery for human labour… may render the population redundant”. One recalls John Maynard Keynes’ prediction that his grandchildren would only have to work for a few hours a week. In fact, successive generations since the 1950s have been told that a ‘leisure society’ is achievable and that increased wealth and automation would leave them free to enjoy life without work. It has proved as elusive as Mars colonies and nuclear fusion. “It seems that we’ve just embraced more activity and more work, even when more conveniences and presumably more productivity have been gained,” notes Myers. “I think it’s desirable to have much more leisure time. Perhaps what will happen is that in the coming decades we’ll move into the sorts of work that, from our perspectives today will seem like leisure but to the person decades from now will very much feel like work. “And I say that while trying to imagine what it would be like if we’d had this conversation 100 years ago, and considering what our work is like… you and I talking over digital interfaces and having the kind of jobs that we do. 100 years ago we’d look at ourselves and would be incredulous that this would qualify as work.”

the point of view of the economic system, basic income seems essential for it to survive.” The second major advantage is that it removes bottlenecks such as welfare traps and social welfare bureaucracies: basic income would replace social welfare and its expensive administrators, and a move from social welfare to low-paid employment would no longer cause a drop in one’s income. “I’m concerned in the long term that the technological revolution is going to completely change the way that people are rewarded in society,” says NCAD lecturer O’Brien, whose forthcoming book provisionally entitled Universal Basic Income: The Irish Context looks set to be published by History Press Ireland in May. “I think the role of work is going to be much less important than it currently is. “In the short term you can see it already with driverless cars; you go into the bank and you’re dealing with machines increasingly rather than people; bank workers made redundant… you go into the supermarket and you’re supposed to deal with machines rather than people.” Basic Income Ireland are receiving a steady stream of enquiries from the media, with O’Brien reporting a lot of interest. “Some years ago it would have just been laughed at as utopian nonsense,” he knows, but it became a mainstream policy option in Ireland when Fianna Fáil announced its support in 2015. The Green Party and Social Justice Ireland have pushed the concept for many years. Globally, Finland is experimenting by paying €560 a month to a cross-section of the unemployed, and in Switzerland basic income proposals were defeated at referendum. At the centre of the argument, as if on cue, is Elon Musk once again. “I think we’ll end up doing universal basic income. It’s going to be necessary,” Musk said in February.

BASIC INCOME Preparing for this monumental shift is now a thorny public policy problem. Widening global inequality has led a faction of the political-minded, emblemised by the work of economist Thomas Piketty, to claim that the growing chasm between rich and poor is unsustainable – a narrative that gathered moral and popular force with the economic crash and anger against the 1%. Similarly, the prospect of machines replacing jobs raises not just the question of how people will use their time, but how they will earn that living. For some, the time has come to put the longstanding concept of basic income, which can be traced back to philosopher Thomas Paine in 1797, into practice. “It’s a guaranteed unconditional income for everyone in the community, without means testing or work requirements,” explains Paul O’Brien of campaign group Basic Income Ireland. “It fulfils a number of functions: one is that it means that people will be able to afford the goods that the system produces, which they may not be able to do in the future when automation takes over the jobs and relegates people to low-paid work or no work at all. From

MAPPED OUT Back at the Science Gallery, William Myers attempts to map things out. “I think in the shorter term what we’re seeing is work that is formulaic and repetitive, even if pretty complex like driving, will rapidly be automated – maybe in the next five to ten years. Then in the medium term more complex and decision-making, judgement-based occupations will be under threat or will be automated in a big way. If that’s happening in about 15 years there’s the big concern that there’ll be simultaneously big social upheavals because of jobs [being replaced] so quickly. And I think how we respond to that and how that’s managed will largely define what happens in the longer term. “But in terms of how the technology develops, I think it will be quite a long time before machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches the point where it seems like it’s at the human level.” Earlier this year recruitment firm CPL revealed survey results showing that clients believe that 20% of jobs may be performed by machines in 20 years’ time. The time to start preparing is now. n Humans Need Not Apply is at the Science Gallery, TCD until 21 May.

algorithms or artificial intelligence to create works that are passable as art.” These are teased out in a questioning atmosphere whereby visitors are invited to respond or form their own conclusions. But Myers has strong views that education, taxation and power-sharing need major reform in order to tackle the automation of jobs.

Widening global inequality has led a faction of the political-minded to claim that the growing chasm between the rich and poor is unsustainable 32

Business & Finance April 2017


The payment predicament


lthough margins may still be tight, recent commentary suggests that revenues are increasing through a recovering economy, though maybe margins are still tight, but it might be with the large corporations where economies of scale are easier, as not everyone is feeling the recovery. There are some industries where credit management performance is showing improvement, as those wanting products and services that might be new to the industry are paying to terms and conditions. But, not all businesses are seeing the benefits. With margins tighter and better controls in place, large firms are managing the cash flow better and average payment time frames has reduced to 38 days from last year’s figure of 42 days. This also has a positive impact on reduced credit management staffing and related costs, which can only be good for a business.

RESOURCE CHALLENGED For SMEs, the challenge is still there. Average payments of up to 71 days cannot be good for the cash flow of SMEs, often forcing them to incur additional fees and charges as they use bank credit facilities to fund their business waiting for payment’. In businesses with turnover of less than €1m, one deal or invoice can have such an impact. It really isn’t until you see turn over in excess of €30m that it becomes more sustainable, but, should it be acceptable? Funding other people’s invoices is not cheap and can impact staffing, morale, business expansion, amongst other impacts. How can we change the mind-set and behaviour? SMEs are always resource challenged and late payment just adds to this, often taking resource away from growing the business to working on activities to make the business survive. The financing of extended payment terms directly impacts profits and then directly the businesses ability to invest, expand, create employment and ultimately to survive. CULTURE SHIFT Introduction of the prompt payment code in Ireland, as well as European laws to allow pen-

alty fees and charges and Government support won’t solve the problem. It really needs a change in culture and each business understanding how their trade and payments help each other’s business grow, be more competitive and in turn create opportunity.

Businesses that have worked hard to be sustained through the recession are not gaining from new fresh credit, believes Intrum Justitia Managing Director Mark Chandler.

IMPACTING BUSINESS The SME impact and concern can often be perception driven. Do you really want to do future business with a customer that you are not making any money on? Within Ireland, 38% of businesses stated that late payment was impacting additional employment opportunities – on average payment terms have increased and this though has driven longer payment time scales between businesses. Across companies, 8.4% of invoices are outstanding more than 120 days and losses average 1.8%. This has a significant impact to the cost of future goods and services that companies can deliver. REDUCING RISK The biggest impact to payment, whether perceived or actual, is disputes regarding the goods and services delivered, where all other areas including customers in financial difficulties. The impact of late payment has seen more credit checks and credit insurance being taken out to reduce the potential impact to a business, though both of these are additional costs to the business. ADDING VALUE Intrum Justitia’s mission in society is to help payments flow as they should. Our vision is to be a genuinely people-focused company that offers credit management and financial services that add considerable value. We promote long-term relationships that create value for all parties concerned. We take the perspective of you and your client or customer and do everything to understand and improve the payment process between the parties. n

Mark Chandler, Managing Director, Intrum Justitia

For more information: w: t : +353 1 869 2222 April 2017 Business & Finance



A question of balance


s a former captain in the Irish Defence Forces, Tony O’Malley’s is one of the more unusual career paths among Irish CEOs. After serving from 1986 to 1998, including time in Lebanon, he retired from the army to work in the private ICT sector. That path has clearly been central to the formation of his management ethos. “I would consider my style as collaborative, which draws on my experience in the military and ICT sector to date,” O’Malley, now CEO of Fujitsu Ireland, acknowledges. “I believe that successful teams need input from all levels, as most will consist of a variety of skills, experience and indeed opinions. “When managing teams it is important to outline what is expected from everyone from the outset: what you are trying to achieve; and respective team roles in achieving that end result. A collaborative approach ensures that a dynamic mix of different personalities, expertise and approaches can work effectively.” Indeed, the global Fujitsu business is made up of 156,000 people – little wonder that O’Malley regularly emphasises collaboration among the Irish-based teams. The Fujitsu Ireland headcount exceeds 350 – and every single member of staff is integral in exceeding customers’ expectations, he says. Every CEO has his or her own motivational techniques, and O’Malley puts the focus on trying to foster and develop an inclusive and rewarding work environment, and ensuring that his team is properly engaged. Fujitsu operates in a unique industry, and O’Malley has identified some key managerial priorities. “In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges facing the ICT industry is attracting and retaining talent,” he says. “As already widely reported, there is an insufficient number of qualified professionals to fill the current market vacancies. There are numerous ways of resolving these issues: promoting ICTrelevant subjects within our schools curriculum at an early stage, providing opportunities for employees to develop their IT skills through retraining/upskilling, competitive packages,


Business & Finance April 2017

culture of positive work/life balance – together these help to improve the attractiveness of ICT careers across the board. “Another key challenge that needs to be addressed is increasing the accessibility within the sector for people to re-enter the workforce; in particular greater female participation within the sector. In November 2016 Fujitsu launched Women’s Business Network to enable its female employees address gender balance and to promote the value and importance of its female workforce in a male-dominated sector.”

Tony O’Malley, CEO, Fujitsu Ireland

Fujitsu Ireland CEO Tony O’Malley talks to Business & Finance about collaboration and motivation.

DEFINING SUCCESS Asked to define success, O’Malley says that in professional and personal terms it’s all about balance. “From a professional standpoint the balance is between sustainable growth and an engaged workforce, delivering positive results and always seeking new ways to improve. This constantly evolving journey is what drives me to push ahead. On a personal level success is about making time for those important people in my life – being there for those significant milestones and recognising the importance this time spent has on you both as a person and as a leader.” As for the future of his company, O’Malley’s vision is clear. “Fujitsu Ireland has a vision to be the leading IT services provider in the Irish marketplace and to be the partner and employer of choice. “We plan to achieve our ambitions by leveraging our extensive global and local capability for our Irish customers to help them grow their business, in some cases transform their operations or customer experience, and to position our customers to avail of the significant opportunity that the Digital Age presents. “Moving forward, the commercialisation of our R&D programmes in Big Data, eHealth and sensor technology will also be key to delivering Fujitsu’s vision of a human-centric intelligent society, a vision in which ICT supports innovative solutions to society’s problems whether by meeting the challenges of an ageing population through smart homes, or improving the connectivity of our cities.” n

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A new approach to data privacy


he General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was initially published by the European Commission in January 2012. After several years of negotiation, it will come into force on the May 25th 2018, replacing the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive. While the narrative for most will focus on the significant fines associated with this new regulation, it is unsure whether this will be the biggest issue. First, let’s get into some details on what the GDPR will do. The GDPR aims to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe to protect consumers from data breaches and to reshape the way businesses approach data privacy. Data protection focuses on law and absolutes, whereas data privacy is more consumer-led. Data privacy can change in a weekend, whereas data protection is very rigid. For too long the focus has been on protection, aiding businesses, but at the cost of privacy and the consumer. The GDPR rebalances that equation and loads the dice in the favour of the consumer.

staff outside of the EU, for example in the US or India. IT departments will need to have an increased focused on data transfers and data location (as they should be already). If they want to use a certain company outside the EU, there may be a lot of other considerations and paper work that could make this transfer non-profitable. One of the biggest changes will be that the GDPR has extraterritorial scope. Even if you are outside the EU and have no assets from the EU, if you are processing data from the EU you are now in the sights of the GDPR.

Quentyn Taylor, Director of Information Security, Canon EMEA, believes GDPR is set to be one of the most impactful and significant pieces of legislation on data privacy.

INCREASED TRANSPARENCY The GDPR will ensure that businesses must make it clear from the outset how they will use a person’s data and ensure that they seek consent in clear and plain language online. Companies found to be in breach of the GDPR can be fined up to €20m or 4% of global turnover (whichever is larger) for offences related to data processing, consent, transfer of data to a third party and more. These fines, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the costs will be under the waterline and aren’t as obvious. Internal costs, legal costs, process changes and PR fees are all potential expenses if an organisation is not prepared. There is a probability of a 1:10 ratio of fine to actual cost. TRANSFER WINDOW Cross-border data transfer is likely to become more of an issue also. This will become particularly important if a company has support 36

Business & Finance April 2017

CLOSER TO HOME The GDPR requires businesses to revisit how ‘safe’ they think they are from security breaches, but with a focus on structured data and external hacking attacks. Some closer to home aspects of pragmatic information security protection are easily overlooked and may not be in place. A key focus area for Canon is to advise organisations on how to secure office networks and protect sensitive data held in documents. For many companies, information security starts and ends with structured data – the type that resides on systems of record like ERP and financial systems. PROTECTING SENSITIVE MATERIAL In the office, there are many more back-door areas to consider, such as the potential for someone to intercept unencrypted print data, access data from a printer hard drive potentially containing years of passport ID scans or payslip print data, target the weaknesses found in less familiar printer languages, or pick up discarded sensitive documents found in print output trays or waste paper bins. The most important thing is that your IT department needs to act now. They need a tier of people from multi-disciplines (IT, legal, compliance) to prioritise data mapping and the shift to privacy by design. n

Quentyn Taylor, Director of Information Security, Canon

For more information: w: e:




he has been called the most powerful woman in UK media, and in June 2014 was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours list for services to the media industry. Karen Blackett is Chairwoman of the MediaCom UK, part of the global media agency. A single mother from a working class background, daughter of Barbadian immigrants to the UK, she is a champion of ethnic and gender diversity in business.

THE INFLUENCER Striking, warm and at the same time a serene and egoless presence, Karen eschews the ‘powerful’ tag, but admits she knows she has worked her way up to a level where she can make a difference. “I feel as though I can influence,” she admits, “because I always talk about having a network which is broad, diverse and varied, and you can call on different parts of your network. And when you can change things, you can help change things for the better, that’s what I really enjoy.” Where her efforts have been concentrated is pushing the agenda for greater diversity in business, be that diversity of ethnicities, of genders, or even diversity of thought. DIVERSITY MATTERS Although things have improved since she first started out in the ad industry, she is still one of the few women at her level, and frequently finds herself at events one of only a handful of women or people of colour. Diversity is not just a fluffy concept to her and she quotes statistics from McKinsey’s Diversity Matters report which underline this: “The more gender diverse organisations outperform those that are less so by 15% and more ethnically diverse organisations outperform that are less so by 30%.” Things are changing, and Blackett says, “People realise inclusion or diversity is actually an economic issue not just a social issue, or an altruisitic issue. When you have more diverstiy at senior levels, you get better business results. I do think there are still the old stalwarts and networks which we need to try and penetrate,

but I think there are a lot of smart men who are concerned about future-proofing their business and ensuring that they deliver results and deliver success. That means that you need diverstiy of thought, so the doors or the barriers that were there are opening up.”

Karen Blackett OBE, Chairwoman, MediaCom

A champion for ethnic and gender diversity, Karen Blackett OBE, Chairwoman of MediaCom, speaks to Deanna O’Connor about her passion for making change happen.

It has always been about wanting to win, wanting to make a difference, wanting to be the best.

CONSUMER APPEAL Teasing out the reasons for the greater success of businesses who demonstrate greater diversity, Blackett senses that it is about appealing to and engaging with consumers. And like any good advertising person, she always has a statistic to back it up. She says, “If the consumer economy had a gender it’s female.” She had done her homework too, for her visit to Ireland, rattling off the local figures: “Irish statistics show 62% of main shoppers are women; 52% of car purchases in Ireland are women and 38% of main income earners are women. 70-80% of all purchases are made by women.” When it comes to the UK, they are far ahead of Ireland when it comes to a greater ethnic mix, and she points out that, “In London, over 40% [of the population] comes from a black or Asian minority ethnic background and I think Birmingham is going to be the first minority majority city in the UK, where ethnic minorities outnumber the white population.” Whether you are talking about gender or ethnic diversity, if your audience is diverse, your company needs to be equally so: “It’s a tremendous purchasing power,” Karen points out. “If you have people within an organsiation that can build empathy with people that you are trying to target and sell products or brands to, you’re going to get more successful organisations.” THE ORIGINAL APPRENTICES Diversity of thought within organisations is another subject close to Blackett’s heart. MediaCom appears to be forward-thinking in this respect with initiatives such as ‘If I Ran the Company’ encouraging employees to pitch April 2017 Business & Finance



ideas. One such session generated a programme of access to life coaches within the company, which Blackett has been committed to for the last 13 years, and credits her own personal coach with helping her plot a course through difficulties. Another inclusive effort was her apprenticeship scheme, set up in 2012 to discover and mentor talent. “I created the first government-backed one for the media industry in the UK. In the creative industries Channel 4 were the only other company that were doing apprenticeships, but I am very realistic that the advertising industry can be a route for people from a certain background,” she explains. The difference with the scheme was that it extended long beyond a traditional internship, provided a wage and crucially, at the end, a qualification – not to mention a job for many of the successful applicants. “I do think apprenticeships is a way of protecting our talent pipeline coming into the industry, because talent can come from everywhere but the opportunity isn’t always there, so we need to give people an opportunity,” she continued.

AMBITIOUS MINDS Opportunity is certainly important, but so is ambition and work ethic. When pressed on her levels of ambitions when she entered the industry Blackett, a former sprinter, claims her competitive streak is the real driving force behind her rise to the top. “I have always wanted to win or be the best, so I think that has always been there. What I could achieve…I never knew I wanted to be CEO or Chairwoman. It has always been about wanting to win, wanting to make a difference, wanting to be the best.” Now she says her ambitions are less personal, and more broader goals for her company and

the industry she operates in: “ I think as you get older and your world changes it takes on different forms. For me, my ambition is for the ad industry to be a beacon for talent and to stand head and shoulders in the world stage above other markets.”

Output should be judged on results not whether or not your bum is on a seat

FLEXIBLE WORKING Given Blackett’s public notoriety as a figurehead for ethnic and gender diversity, when you ask about greatest challenges she has faced in her working life, it hasn’t been so much about issues like racism or sexism – or as she notes, certainly not to her face – but, instead, it is the difficult balancing act of being a working parent that strikes her. “I don’t think our industry is great with working parents, which is why we need more when it comes to flexibility, shared parental leave, maternity cover and care. We need to be better at it; 12% of the industry in the UK is over the age of 40. People drop out because it is too hard.” Another MediaCom initiative, Project Blend, has encouraged employees to find that balance in their lives, whether it be flexibility to shape their working lives around parenting, or fit in training for a marathon. “It’s all about finding that blend, and I think it’s our responsibility as managers to make sure that we help people with that. I still go into organisations where they don’t allow women to work part time in senior roles… Presenteeism is still a way of judging output, whereas output should be judged on results not whether or not your bum is on a seat.” Given her formidable output, since she took on the role of CEO as a single parent with a fivemonth old son, Blackett is a shining example of how an agile, engaged approach to modern working life produces a very impressive output indeed. n

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Business & Finance April 2017


The war for talent


here is not a person out there who does not lock up their house or their business to protect it and its valuables from criminals getting in. So why then do people and businesses not take cyber security seriously? There is no denying that the world is experiencing a cyber security pandemic. Recently I attended a talk by PwC on cyber security where some of the examples and statistics were a little scary to say the least. Cybercrime is now more lucrative than illegal drugs and it’s a much easier crime to stay hidden from. According to the FBI there are now only two types of companies in the world: those that have been breached and those that just don’t know yet. A big trend at the moment is the ever-evolving malware, ransomware and phishing emails. Companies are under relentless pressure to ensure they have the right infrastructure, technology, and IT security staff to be on top of this on a daily basis. The CISO 2017 Annual Security report said the top constraints to adopting security products and solutions are budget 35%, product capability 28%, certification 25% and talent 25%.

STAFF TRAINING So, what can you do to help protect your business? Technology is advancing and there are numerous solutions and specialised vendors available so ensure to utilise these. According to the CISO 2017 Annual Security Report most companies use more than five security vendors and more than five security products in their offices. If you are a business owner, you need to meet with your IT security staff and understand what is happening and ask if all the right things are in place to protect your business. Hiring the right IT staff, keeping them upskilled and also keeping the rest of the business aware of potential threats is imperative for keeping your company and data safe. GROWING INDUSTRY Reporting breaches should be at the forefront of your mind. Some businesses don’t want to report or share their experience as they fear it will

have negative PR for the business, however, the only way to beat the criminals is by working together to keep on top of them. In addition, train internal staff outside of IT in basic cyber protection, such as not clicking links and flagging anything unusual to the IT department. Cyber security professionals are in high demand. With cyber criminals getting more and more sophisticated, it’s an area of recruitment that we expect to grow in the coming 12-24 months. The war for talent in this area is relentless – sometimes it is not all about the compensation package, as there are other factors to consider in talent attraction. n

Associate Director IT at Next Generation Jennifer Brennan offers an insight into the growing issue of cyber security and how firms can attract top professionals to protect their businesses.

For more information: w: e: t: +353 1 662 9120

TIPS FOR TALENT ATTRACTION • The candidate is also interviewing you so it is important to really try to engage with them • Ensure the candidate has a very good understanding of your company before they leave and really upsell any key aspects of your business • Explain very clearly what their career path will look like • Training and covering the cost of certification is important to candidate • If there are any key projects or changes the business is about to go through ensure to tell candidates about it at interview stage so they really engage and see the future of the company • Team dynamics and set up is also important. If there are thought leaders within the team/ company let them know as having key professionals they can learn from can really sway a candidate on an offer

Jennifer Brennan, Associate Director IT, Next Generation

• Know what they are looking for and what motivates them by asking some key questions around this. Plan to use these when you are making them the offer, so if they say they want to work with the latest technologies reiterate what exposure they will get from working in your company or if they say training then upsell the training aspect of the role.

April 2017 Business & Finance





JP HUGHES CCO, Friends First Q. What was your first job? I had a few shelf stacking and waiting tables jobs in early college years but also worked as an assistant to a private investigator for a summer. While it may sound glamourous and my friends referred to me as JP PI, with brushes with members of the special branch and car chases with walkie talkies across Cork city, I soon discovered this life was not for me and chose the more sedentary role within Barclays Bank’s management development programme in London. Q. What would you regards as your greatest achievement to date? I have two; firstly helping steer Friends First through the trouble and very choppy waters of the deep recession in 2012 and 2013 to now being a vibrant and successful Life company boasting the fastest growth rates in the Irish Life & Pensions market. The other is representing Ireland, albeit at junior level and now a long time ago, in golf. It still gives me a thrill to think back to that summer with the shamrock on my chest. Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Culture eats strategy for breakfast! While clearly we can’t all go about our work without a goal or sense of purpose, engendering a culture of empowerment and can-do attitude amongst all those who work with you is far more effective than spending months ruminating over the finer details of your strategy. Devise

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff? I try to ensure that our goals and plans are very clear at the beginning of the year and highlight how each team and member within each team will be contributing to exceed these goals. It is important then to regularly celebrate success and I must say we have a team who are always willing and able to celebrate!

your plan, set your goal and then ensure that everyone around you is both clear and enthused by delivering the aspect they are responsible for. Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for a day, who would it be and why? Possibly Michael O’Leary or Richard Branson as they have continued to deliver growth in sales and profits in an extremely competitive market. It would also be interesting to see the creative processes of both of them and how they translate that into delivery through their organisations thereafter. Q. In three words or less, how would you define success? Exceeding through others. (I don’t like the word achieving, it is so limiting!)

Q. How do you relax? During the summer months, when I can, I will try to fit in at least 9 holes of golf during the evening. It is a great way of just clearing your head of all the work noise from the day and sometimes taking out any frustrations on a small white orb! Golf is also one of the best ways of developing really strong long lasting business relationships and amazingly in this ever changing high tech world, taking a few hours out with someone you would like to get to know a little better can be far more effective than dealing with them through a cleverly designed web portal (albeit if you would like more regular business through these relationships, you need both). Q. What’s your motto? I am not sure I have one but I do believe that hard work and keeping a positive outlook on whatever is thrown at you, will both see you through to a pretty positive place in most instances. Failing that, I resort to one of my age old heroes, JR Ewing; “Never give a sucker an even break!” n

Culture eats strategy for breakfast! 40

Business & Finance April 2017


The requisite regulation


he General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been the most lobbied regulation in the history of the European Parliament. It is expected to have the most significant effect on the financial sector, where millions of financial records and personal data transactions are handled daily. Data is the lifeblood of the financial services industry and the need for proper management and use of such data has never been greater. Some companies look at the new GDPR rules as a hindrance to how you run your business, placing stricter data protection rules that could limit your ability to advance your digital offering. However, another school of thought is stronger data protection laws is an enabler to offer an enhanced service to customers and build that all important aspect of trust with both your existing and potential customers. The GDPR will put individuals in control of their personal data. It is one of the most groundbreaking pieces of EU legislation in the digital era. The GDPR aims to make businesses more accountable for data privacy and offers citizens extra rights and more control over their personal data. Where personal data is not treated correctly, individuals will have increased legal rights and, in certain instances, claim compensation. Regulators across the EU will have significant powers to enforce the legislation and impose hefty fines in instances of non-compliance. The GDPR will replace the current EU Data Protection Directive, which has been in place since 1995. It will be directly applicable in all 28 member states without the need for further national implementing legislation. It’s fair to say that the majority of business in financial services are only becoming aware of this legislation while it is complex and wide-ranging the following are the key areas of change that organisations need to be aware of and prepare for:

• Increased territorial scope – the jurisdiction of the GDPR will be extended to apply to all companies processing the personal data of data subjects residing in the EU, regardless of the company’s location. • Consent – explicit permission to hold any personal data in electronic systems will become mandatory. It will no longer be possible to rely on implied

The long-awaited General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) will put individuals in control of their personal data, writes Shane Quinn, Commercial Product Director, Friends First.

Shane Quinn, Commercial Product Director, Friends First

consent with individuals having the option to opt-out. • Breach notifications – the notification of a breach, where there is a risk that the rights and freedoms of individuals could become compromised, must be reported within 72 hours of the breach being identified. • Right to access – data subjects will now have the right to obtain confirmation from you of what personal data is held concerning them, how is it being processed, where and for what purpose. • Data portability – data subjects will now have the right to receive the personal data concerning them, which they have previously provided, in a commonly used and machine readable format. • Right to be forgotten – data subjects will now have the right to be forgotten which entitles the data subject to have you ensure that information is deleted from every piece of IT equipment, portable device and from server backups and cloud facilities. • Privacy by design – privacy by design calls for the inclusion of data protection from the onset of the designing of systems. • Mandatory Data Protection Officer (DPO): A DPO must be appointed by all public bodies and by businesses where core activities involve regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale or the handling of a large scale of special categories of data. There is an exemption available for certain categories of SMEs. • Tougher penalties - companies will face fines of up to €20m or 4% of global turnover for noncompliance, whichever is higher. • Appointment of data protection officers – Certain organisations will be required to appoint a DPO.

The GDPR will have a significant impact for all organisations doing business in Ireland and the EU. It is critical for organisations to begin preparing for what will be the biggest change to data protection laws in over 20 years. Education and awareness of the key changes as outlined above amongst the senior management team is vital in getting the attention this legislation deserves and needs. Thereafter, conducting a gap analysis to understand your company’s state of readiness is among the necessary first steps in preparing your organisation well in advance for this legislation. n For more information: w: April 2017 Business & Finance




Make your presentations great In an extract from Persuade on Purpose, Eric Fitzpatrick explains the essential criteria for engaging your audience with your presentation

om Peters, the management guru, says that “presentation skills are worthy of extreme obsessive study.” Whether you are selling a start-up to investors, or a new strategy to your staff, the manner in which you deliver your message will greatly impact the engagement with and adoption of it. The latest trends in presentation-giving encourage the presenter to approach their performance in a way that is focused on persuasion and invitation to engage, rather than a revelatory or directive speech. In this extract from his new book, Eric Fitzpatrick reveals the keys to a more meaningful presentation style.

A great presentation should be easy to remember. The audience should be able to recall the key points. Great presentations need to meet four essential criteria. Meeting these criteria is what will help you to create and deliver a clear compelling message. Within each of the eight presentation components (pre-presentation; opening; roadmap; message; audience engagement; delivery; close; PowerPoint slides) you will find elements that meet some or all of these criteria. The four true criteria are:

1. THINK Your presentation should make the audience think. They should be moved to consider the points or message you are making. Do they agree or disagree? To get them thinking, your message must be relevant to them and should offer them a new or alternative view. 42

Business & Finance April 2017

2. REMEMBER A great presentation should be easy to remember. The audience should be able to recall the key points and overriding message a day, a week, a month after the presentation has been delivered. Given that presentations are often delivered to influencers and not to the economic buyers or decision makers, it is important that influencers can recall your key points when they sit down with the economic buyer, which can be weeks after your presentation. 3. UNDERSTAND A great presentation should be easy to understand. There should be no confusion or doubt. It should be easy to follow. It should have a logical sequence. 4. ENGAGE A great presentation should engage the audience. It should grab their attention at the beginning and hold it throughout.

ENGAGING YOUR AUDIENCE Audiences need to feel that they are part of your presentation. They need to believe that you are having a conversation with them that they can contribute to, even if they don’t contribute out loud. In many ways the aim of a presenter is to get the audience to contribute to the presentation inside the confines of their own head. This means getting your audience to think about your presentation and how it can benefit them. It means delivering the presentation in a way that resonates with them and making sure

that they don’t get distracted and start thinking about something else. To do this, presenters need to employ ‘audience engagement techniques’. These are elements in presentations that will make some parts of your presentation stand out from the whole, which are then easier to recall a week later because of how they connected with the audience. Collectively they con¬tribute significantly to meeting the TRUE criteria. In a twenty-minute presentation a presenter will use between 2,500 and 3,000 words and the reality is that most of these words will be forgotten almost as soon as they have been said. The challenge is how as a presenter, when your words are being forgotten, do you make sure your message is remembered? Audience engagement techniques work because they generate a reaction in the audience. Whether that reaction is physical, emotional or intellectual, it is more easily remembered than words. If you ask an audience what they can remember about a presentation a week after they heard it, the first thing they will recall is something that applied directly to themselves. It might be that they laughed, or carried out a physical action, or made sense of something the presenter said that they then applied to their own personal circumstances. Once they recall their reaction, they can remember the relevance of that reaction and that helps them to remember your message. As a presenter you can apply audience engagement techniques as follows: 1. By what you say. It might be a turn of phrase that stands out. It might be a phrase that is pleasant on the ear, making it memorable. Think of some of the stand-out phrases attributed

to the likes of Mark Twain. For example, ‘It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, than open it and remove all doubt.’ We remember what was said because of how it was phrased.

Audience engagement techniques work because they generate a reaction in the audience

2. By how you make your audience feel. If you say something that disgusts them, makes them angry, makes them happy or sad, or catches them by surprise, a week later they will remember that feeling more quickly than the words that generated it. Once they recall that feeling, it will be easier to recall the words, which in turn will help them remember the message. 3. By getting your audience to do something physically. A week later they will find it easier to remember something they did than something you said and, when they do, it will help them to remember why they were asked to do it, which will make it easier to recall your message. 4. By connecting your message to something they are already familiar with. Attaching your message to something that already resides within their existing bank of knowledge allows them to make sense of your message and makes it easier to recall. A week later if they are trying to recall your message, they will recall what they are already familiar with first and that will help them remember your message. The ‘Law of Contiguity’ states that ‘when two ideas or psychologically perceived events have once occurred in close association, they are likely to occur in close association again, the subsequent occurrence of one tending to elicit the other’. Attaching your message to something your audience is already familiar with will keep them linked going forward and each time they recall April 2017 Business & Finance



one they will recall the other. In my experience, most sales professionals don’t take the time to coat their presentation with these techniques. They focus solely on the message they want to get across without ever considering how to make sure it is listened to, understood and remembered.

TECHNIQUES TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE Humour Humour is a powerful tool for sales professionals. Victor Borge once said, ‘Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.’ Making an audience laugh, in an appropriate manner, goes a long way towards helping a presenter connect with them. An audience’s laughter is a signal of their acceptance of the presenter or the presenter’s point of view. This acceptance makes it easier for them to buy into a presenter’s ideas. Laughter is an internal reaction to an external stimulus and when trying to recall the details of a presentation a day, a week or a month after it was delivered, we find it easier to remember our internal reactions. Once we remember the internal reaction it becomes easier to remember the information that generated that reaction. Humour engages an audience and holds their attention. That said, for many presenters, making an audience laugh can be challenging. Some presenters believe that they are not funny, while others are afraid that audiences won’t laugh where they are supposed to. The good news is that anyone can learn to be funnier, can learn how to inject humour into presentations. Of course, sometimes audiences won’t laugh when you want them to and will laugh when you weren’t expecting them to. That said, the reward when you get an audience to laugh is definitely worth the risk.


Business & Finance April 2017

A story Stories are the most powerful tool a presenter can use when creating a presentation to meet the TRUE criteria. Nothing connects as effectively, aids recall, promotes understanding or captures an audience’s attention with the same impact as a well-told story. Stories are part of our DNA. It is how we have transferred information and learning for thousands of years. It is one of the first mediums we use to teach children from an early age and it is the medium we use to share information on a daily basis and yet, for some reason, when it comes to delivering presentations, we choose not to apply this tried and tested method. Instead we stick to facts, figures and statistics (more about these below). Stories connect emotionally and are more powerful for doing so. Dialogue Dialogue is a tool that can be used by a presenter to reinforce a point they are trying to make. It works when the presenter decides to become the person or persons in the example they are using to make that point. Instead of just giving the example as something that happened in the past, dialogue allows the presenter to deliver the example as if it is taking place in front of the audience. This changes how the audience receives it. They become more active when they feel that the story is unfolding in front of them and this increases the impact of the message. As an example of dialogue, I tell a story about my eight-year-old nephew. I use this story to illustrate that on occasion we can all make an assumption that we know the correct answer to a question or problem, but then discover that our assumption is wrong. The story goes like this: One day my nephew was sitting at the dinner table with the rest of his family when his

Stories connect emotionally and are more powerful for doing so




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mother decided to explain who the Suffragettes were. She looked at him and said, ‘There was a time in history when men could vote and women couldn’t and a group of women got together to address this terrible injustice.’ She then asked her son a question: ‘Do you know what those women were called?’ Her son looked at her confidently and said, ‘I do, mum. They were called prostitutes.’ When giving this example I become the mother (and give her a distinctive voice) and deliver her words as if I am her. I then become the son (and give him a different voice) and deliver his reply as if I am him. The dialogue brings the example to life in front of the audience, which increases the impact of the message. A question Questions are a powerful tool for engaging your audience. Questions get them thinking, and when they are doing that they are fully focused on your topic. Presenters can ask questions that require the audience to answer verbally, to answer with a gesture or action, or just to consider the answer in their own heads. Questions promote understanding, as they allow the audience to derive their own answers. They also make your message easier to remember because it makes them active participants in your presentation. A full range of questions are available to the presenter, from closed questions that generate a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, to open questions that require a more detailed answer. Probing questions such as ‘What exactly do you mean by …?’ can also be asked, or hypothetical questions such as ‘What would happen if …?’ or ‘How would we handle the following situation?’ Audience involvement Getting your audience to physically do


Business & Finance April 2017

something during your presentation is a very effective means of engaging them. It also helps to create understanding and makes your message easier to remember. There are many techniques for getting your audience to do something during a presentation. For example when demonstrating how easy it is for our message to be misunderstood, I will often ask audiences to tear a piece of paper by following a set of instructions. I give everyone a plain sheet of A4 paper and ask them to hold the sheet in both hands and close their eyes. I then ask them to fold the piece of paper in half and, once done, ask them to tear off the right-hand corner. They repeat the action of folding and tearing another three times. They then open out their sheet of paper, open their eyes and hold up the sheet for everyone to see. In spite of the fact that everyone received the same instructions the audience members always end up with a plethora of vastly different results. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is due to how they interpret my instructions and the second is due to the lack of clarity of those instructions. Another useful audience participation exercise is to ask members of the audience to draw an image on a flip chart. There are many different types of activities available to a presenter. Spending a little bit of time finding appropriate activities and practising getting comfortable with using them will add significantly to the impact of your presentation. I have had audience members meet me months later and comment that they can still remember the activity or action I asked them to get involved in. n Eric Fitzpatrick is a speaker, trainer and coach. w:

Questions promote understanding as they allow the audience to derive their own answers


Opportunity and risk


he past 20 years has seen a tidal wave of globalisation as we have experienced a massive increase in the flow of goods, services, people and technology. In Ireland, we are particularly successful at exploiting these opportunities and taking indigenous businesses abroad, with success stories including Voxpro, Stripe and DCC headlining the news on a regular basis. Yet, with every opportunity, comes an element of risk. Just when you think you have a solid plan for international growth, the very simple task of paying overseas employees creates more headaches that you ever thought possible. And, if there’s one way to inadvertently drive your business into the ground, it’s by making mistakes on how you pay your staff – or by failing to pay them at all.

PAYROLL STRATEGY Developing a global payroll strategy is a daunting task. And implementing a global payroll strategy is a career defining moment. So how do you set your organisation up for success? There are many factors to consider. Organisations that outsource their payroll operations can typically save up to 20% off costs. If you choose to outsource, ensure that your vendor will provide a single point of contact for all your queries to keep things streamlined. What does your payroll process look like? What are the key dates, stakeholders, data obligations and communications channels to keep track of progress? Who owns the payroll process on a global, regional and country level? What are the roles and responsibilities within these layers to give you visibility and assurance on risk across all affiliates? What are the escalation processes to ensure everyone is paid on time, every time? Many people prioritise gross-to-net calculations in their payroll strategy. Yet, calculation engines within payroll systems rarely get things wrong. The key to accuracy is data. How is your data captured and entered into the payroll system to ensure calculations are accurate? To better understand, manage and respond to the costs associated with paying your people, you need access to the right information. Time and attendance platforms, HRIS, finance and payroll

systems across multiple countries can leave you with more data than insight. Look for a global payroll platform that integrates with these systems and consolidates data at a regional or global level to provide you with the reports you need.

The most mission critical component for any business’s back end is its payroll operation, writes Mark Graham, Executive Director, Immedis.

Mark Graham, Executive Director, Immedis

NEW LEGISLATION With the vast amount of information being processed, payroll encompasses highly sensitive personal data. Yet, organisations can be relaxed about the way they transmit this information within and outside their business. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to simplify the current data protection laws, replacing the EU Data Protection Directive. It is applicable to all businesses within the EU and focuses on the exchange of data between employees, employers and payroll providers. This includes anyone handling the personal data of an EU-based individual from outside EU borders. The official enforcement date is May 25th 2018, at which time those organisations in non-compliance will face heavy fines. CURRENCY FLUCTUATIONS Paying staff and local authorities in multiple currencies can lead to huge costs in administration and exchange rate fluctuations. The ability to manage through a single regulated provider who will distribute payments accordingly can result in massive cost savings to your organisation. LEGISLATION AND COMPLIANCE Time after time, the biggest operational challenge facing payroll departments is the ability to find information on legislation and compliance. With tax, salary and social security processing so greatly affected by changes to legislation in different countries, just keeping on top of the changes is a tall order for anyone. The implications for fines are significant. Working with a global payroll provider who is an expert on international payroll and tax legislation can ensure that your payroll team are freed up to liaise with internal stakeholders to keep the process on track. n For more information: w: April 2017 Business & Finance



Portugal global


ortugal caught the attention of Irish people last year when the Web Summit relocated there. What was it that made our EU neighbour such an attractive proposition? To discover more about their blossoming economy and Portugal’s growing attractiveness as an FDI hub, Business & Finance met with Bernardo Futscher Pereira, Ambassador of Portugal in Ireland, and Rui Boavista Marques, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of AICEP Portugal Global Trade & Investment Agency.

MAKE UP OF THE ECONOMY Having weathered the crisis, Portugal’s economy has been growing uninterrupted for the last 13 consecutive quarters, with a GDP growth rate of 1.4 per cent last year. While tourism is the sector on most Irish people’s radar, Portugal has a very strong tradition in engineering – indeed, Portuguese expertise was brought in on many Irish road and bridge projects including the M6/M4 and M50 motorways. With a small home market, Portuguese firms have had to look outward to the export markets and currently the export figure stands at greater than 40% of GDP (2015 figure), with Spain, France and Germany the top three export markets. Last year Portuguese exports of goods to Ireland grew by 41%. Chemicals, machinery and equipment and metals, in that order, represented almost two-thirds of Portuguese exports to Ireland in 2016. Ireland now ranks as the 19th biggest market for Portugal, with total value of trade between the two countries (exports plus imports of goods and services) valued at €1,735 million last year. FDI IN PORTUGAL Portugal boasts an aeronautical industrial hub, around Evora in the south – including Embraer, the third-largest aeronautical company in the world. The major FDI projects in Portugal come from Germany and a long-standing relationship with Siemens, who have been in Portugal for over


Business & Finance April 2017

The Portugese economy is growing and attracting new investment. We discover a vibrant modern country, ready for business.

Bernardo Futscher Pereira, Ambassador, Portugal

Rui Boavista Marques, Director, AICEP

100 years and have several large plants. Portugal’s technical prowess is underlined by Bosch’s decision to establish two R&D centres in the country. From the UK, Vodafone has three hubs in Portugal, including their most advanced R&D unit, with 80 new niche engineering jobs announced last October.

A SKILLED WORKFORCE When it comes to talent, the strong tradition in engineering and highly skilled workforce are coupled with excellent language skills, as English is compulsory from elementary school. Shared service centres and world players in sophisticated call centres and business processing outsourcing have all chosen to locate in Portugal due to the high standard of linguistic abilities. Other attractions are the very competitive costs of living and a flat tax rate of 20% for expatriate workers for ten years, a useful tool in attracting top professionals. Portugal also benefits from being on GMT, and is the nearest European country to the US and Canada. TAX AND SUPPORTS AICEP specializes in supporting foreign investment, namely by large companies, through tax credits and job creation incentives. AICEP has a wide range of aftercare services to support the development and growth of new and existing investments. Furthermore, for a company locating in Portugal, labour and office costs are attractive. Another exciting scheme happening in Portugal is a new €200m venture capital co-investment fund launched late last year. While Lisbon attracts its fair share of technology companies, Porto, further north, is transforming at an incredible pace under a dynamic new mayor and, while traditionally the area was the centre of SMEs, is now becoming a hub for engineering and technology. Portugal: a forward-looking attitude, a highly skilled workforce and an attractive place to do business. n For further information contact: e:


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INTERVIEWS & FEATURES Q. Tell us about your company. OCREX product AutoEntry helps you become more productive, letting you focus on running your business rather than doing admin. It’s an intelligent, automated cloud-based solution that eliminates bookkeeping data entry so you will never again have to type up invoices or receipts. Available on both web and mobile apps, AutoEntry captures and analyses details from scanned and photographed invoices, receipts, bank and card statements and inputs them directly into your accounting software or lets you simply download into Excel. We eliminate data entry for accountants and bookkeepers – automating everything between snapping a photo of invoices, receipts or statements on your phone, to having all of the information entered and categorised in your accounts software. If people in your business are still spending hours manually entering data into accounting software, they need to stop. They need to know that this isn’t necessary anymore. Most accounting data entry can now be automated, providing accountants and bookkeepers with time savings of up to 90%. Q. What makes your service unique? AutoEntry stands out due to the quality of its features which outshine other solutions in this space. This includes advanced features like purchase order matching and the ability to capture full line item details from invoices. In terms of business impact, AutoEntry provides users with significant cost and time savings while also eliminating the traditional side effect of human error arising from manual data entry. Its flexible pricing structure and ease of use are unmatched in the marketplace.


Brendan Woods, Founder and CEO, OCREX

RUNNING ON AUTO Brendan Woods, founder and CEO of Dublin-based startup OCREX, talks about how he quit his role as a software developer to set up a company that automates data entry for accountants and bookkeepers.

Q. What advice would you give to an early-stage start up? Rigorous testing of your productmarket fit and to be vigilant not to make assumptions about what your intended customers might want, might be willing to pay, etc. This will prevent money being spent building things that are not wanted or necessary – something that is most important when at that early stage you have so few resources and have little room for making mistakes. Take more time to seek out the valuable resources available to startups from both local enterprise boards and Enterprise Ireland. Don’t wait until you need money to start preparing to raise funds and don’t be shy to ask for, and take advice from, everyone and anyone who can give it! Q. What are your plans for the next 12 months? Primarily, our aim is to continue our growth in the UK and to establish a significant presence in some target international markets. We also expect to secure a new round of funding in the first half of this year to support this endeavour. Q. What is the most exciting thing in tech right now? The rapidly growing applications of artificial intelligence. Its development stands to transform almost every aspect of our lives and it’s already making a huge impact on businesses around the globe, even in accountancy. It will be fascinating to monitor advancement in this field over the next few years, and continue to leverage these breakthroughs into our own line of business. n

If people in your business are still spending hours manually entering data into accounting software, they need to stop 50

Business & Finance April 2017


Bringing data modelling into the boardroom


hroughout the past four years of data business, participants at IMI have increasingly understood the importance of being visual when they are trying to convey their understanding of complex problems. While on this journey, participants have also realised that the capability to translate verbal and textual data into a visual artefact is not well developed in most people. This represents a significant challenge, because breaking down complex problems most often requires an ability to ‘see’ the problem, and seeing the problem requires us to visualise its components so we can share our understanding with others. In business today there are many data black boxes. By data black boxes I mean business applications with associated data repositories that no one truly understands, i.e. no individual or group has a full appreciation of the data models that dictate the structures of the data in these repositories. The data models I refer to are the relationships between the business things of interest (the master data of the business). However, our applied research activities on the data business programme inform us that, when executed effectively, data modelling can impact positively on the business – from the shop floor to the boardroom.

COMPLEX ISSUES Sound bites from business executives on the use of data modelling have been extremely positive.So, the fact that a business is supported by many different business applications (data black boxes) can suggest that the data picture (data model) may not be very well understood by the business, or indeed, it may not be as simple as it could be. This data complexity is further compounded by the semantic differences that exist across business units when defining the same business thing of interest (e.g. a customer or a product). Our data business experiences tell us that by taking part in data modelling workshops,

business executives can experience the value of thinking differently about their data and essentially draw a more appropriate data picture.

David Sammon and Tadhg Nagle highlight the importance of data modelling.

David Sammon, IMI associate and Professor at Cork University Business School

Tadhg Nagle, IMI associate and lecturer at University College Cork

CHAMPIONING BUSINESS However, in the big data era, relational data modelling has been somewhat disregarded as to its importance, but this is simply because it has all too often been misunderstood by business executives as to its business value. A point often not appreciated is that relational data modelling does not simply mean relational databases; they are two very separate things. To be clear, relational data modelling is more concerned with the fact that the business understands its critical business data through the lens of a relational data structure (the relationships between the business things of interest). THE BIG PICTURE Within data business we champion a mind-set that promotes the business value of relational data modelling as being a low-tech, low-cost, collaborative and people-centric activity. The data models that are designed are independent of any existing systems and low-fidelity. These valuations have come in at €1m, €10m and €16m. So data modelling has an important role to play in unlocking quantifiable business value from business data. To conclude, our applied research experiences (both inside and outside the data business classroom) have provided ample evidence that the design of a data model by business executives is an effective way of visualising complex problems through the translation of verbal/textual data into visual artefacts. Ultimately, a data model designed by business executives targets the complexity of business data, and, remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. n For more information: w: t: 1800 223 388 April 2017 Business & Finance


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CIO 100


The Chief Information Officer The professionals at the forefront of IT in Ireland.


ello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?” The role of IT in business has moved on from the basement dwelling crew portrayed in cult comedy The IT Crowd. Led by Chief Information Officers, the IT function is now expected to partner in the business to add value (and in some cases generate revenue) and improve the experience for all stakeholders, from staff to customers. The CIO now stands at the intersection between business and technology, directing the traffic towards a digital future is an imperative – either step up to the task or risk getting run over in the melee. One of the most important developments to affect the role of the CIO in recent times is the evolution of cloud infrastructure. The adoption of cloud-based services has soared in recent years, and business leaders are asking the question of CIO’s as to how this can be leveraged to increase productivity across organisations and build more agile businesses. A new report from Nucleus Research shows that cloud-based analytics solutions can offer 2.3 times the ROI compared to on-premises deployments. The seamless connectivity and unhindered access to data and systems offered by the cloud bring a host of opportunities – but also new threats. The issues surrounding cybersecurity and data breaches have come to the fore as financial losses have been keenly felt and top executives ousted after incidents. The pressure is on CIOs

as the question is not if your company will be hacked, but when and how. Keeping systems secure and protecting client information is crucial, yet the goalposts are constantly moving and it is incumbent upon the industry leaders to keep up, while regulatory and international bodies continue to search for effective ways to police the internet and cybercrime. Innovation in technology continues at pace; it would be no surpise were the rate to surpass the prediction of Moore’s Law. Today’s CIO must be up to date with the latest developments, but aside from technical excellence, they must possess soft communication skills, as business leaders managing teams. They need to be able to articulate the importance of their function to less technically-minded colleagues and convince them of the usefulness and potential of innovations. They need business acumen and negotiation skills to add value to the organisation. And above all, they need to continually strive to strike a balance between security, risk management and innovation. In our gathering of the CIO 100 you will find some inclusions whose job title is not exactly Chief Information Officer, but whose role in innovation, in deploying against cyber risk, and leading the technology vanguard, makes them worthy of their place among the top technology leaders working in Ireland today. n April 2017 Business & Finance




ik Ferguson is the rock star of the cyber security world. An industry thought leader and frequent speaker at events – he gave fascinating talks at both Dublin Tech Summit and Zero Day Con in Dublin recently – he is actively engaged in research into online threats and the underground economy. He also researches the wider implications of new developments in the information technology arena and their impact on security, both for consumers and the enterprise. I caught up with him to discuss the latest in regulatory efforts and where businesses need to be focusing their efforts to combat cyber criminals. Where are we at right now as regards regulation when it comes to cybercrime? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a really good step forward in that area. Business people are far more responsive to regulation and legislation than they are to changes in the technology environment. It’s really positive to see legislative bodies or regulatory bodies of one description or another getting involved in information security and cyber security and building at least a framework for security. Certainly if you are GDPR compliant, same as with anything else compliant, whether it’s Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS), GDPR, or any other, it doesn’t mean that you’ve built a secure enterprise, but it certainly means you have a good framework to build security into the way that you do business. Do you think it’s where it needs to be, or are we only at the baby steps level? I think we’re beyond baby steps because it’s not the first security regulation to come out of the EU and it’s certainly not the first computer security legislation. We had that nationally and we’ve had that internationally and we’ve had a lot of law enforcement collaboration in terms of how we go about prosecuting and collecting and sharing information. Obviously you’ve got the expertise of the security industry, which is 20 to 30 years’ worth of knowledge and applied expertise. But where it’s a real step change is how scary it is as a regulation, because that’s where legislation and regulation has fallen down in the past – with the notable exception I suppose of something like the Computer Misuse Act (1990), and its various other national equivalents throughout the EU, that carries the threat of jail time. But that’s for illegal activity in terms of breaking into somewhere you are not supposed to be in; it’s not about how you handle other people’s


Business & Finance April 2017


Compromising Positions Rik Ferguson, VP Security Research, Trend Micro in conversation with Deanna O’Connor about cyber criminal activity targeting business.

Rik Ferguson, VP, Security Research, Trend Micro

People in EU countries tend to look at cyber attacks and say it’s a US problem

information. GDPR is the first one that’s actually had significant teeth that people will take notice of because, previously, you could make a business decision about whether you wanted to be compliant or not, as the cost of compliance may have been greater than the cost of noncompliance. So if it’s more cost effective for you to not bother and pay a fine, that’s a cost of doing business – a risk management and financial decision. Now that we’re looking at GDPR with a potential 4% of the previous year’s annual gross turnover, suddenly the numbers start getting big and the more successful the business is, the bigger the fine that is going to be levied. So the more data you hold nominally, the more attention you are going to have to pay to it. It’s a great way of doing it. If you look at the Yahoo breach, the notifications of the breaches over this year and last, when they notified the first one I was thinking, ‘What would have been the case if GDPR had already been in force?’ And I looked at the annual turnover figure of the previous year and calculated 4% of it and it was something in the order of $170m, and that’s just the regulatory fine. Then you’ve got all the other costs that they have already incurred: loss of share value going through an acquisition that’s cost them a large amount of money; there has been direct financial

costs to the CEO and other senior members of the business who have effectively not been paid and in some cases had to step down; there’s the cost of notification and remediation; and there’s the cost of investigation. So, when you’re starting to factor in that 4% fine along with everything else, the costs are no longer negligible. So, that to my mind is why GDPR is a significant step forwards. People have to take notice now. Is there anything else you would like to see? The thing with regulation – particularly regulation in the cyber area or even in the IT area in general – is that the authors have to work in relatively broad brush strokes because they are dealing with a lot of different industries, in a lot of different areas and technology itself is moving on. And the way that people do business is moving on continually and always accelerating. So you can’t be prescriptive, you can’t say ‘you must use this technology in this way at this time and you can tick all the boxes and be compliant’ – you’ve got to be more about processes and you’ve got to be more general. So I certainly wouldn’t say it would be great if it was more specific, because it wouldn’t – it would actually be less helpful. But where it would be great to see some clarity in GDPR, and this may just be my reading of it because I’m not a legal professional, it appears to me that we could do with more clarity around what actually constitutes a breach, and under what circumstances is a breach a breach. And are there circumstances under which it’s not? So, if you look at breach disclosure notification in the US for example, although it varies state by state, if the data stolen was encrypted and the encryption key was not stolen, it doesn’t count as a breach, as the data was not stolen, so you don’t have to notify. If you can’t read it, it’s not a breach. Is that the case within the EU? Who knows? Does a ransomware attack count as a breach? Obviously, criminals had access to your environment, they had access to your data, they were able to encrypt your data and demand a ransom, but do you have to notify? If you can demonstrate that it wasn’t stolen, what are the obligations around those kinds of circumstances that would be hugely helpful, because one of the things that really drives awareness of risk is notification. I think people in EU countries tend to look at cyber attacks and say it’s a US problem; those guys are disproportionately targeted and getting a lot of stuff stolen and they’re really bad at security. But that’s because they have to notify, so we hear about it, and in Europe people brush it

Anyone who is selling their services to EU citizens – including the good old UK when they finally complete their madness of withdrawal – they are still going to have to comply

under the carpet and pretend it didn’t happen. One of the great things about GDPR is that, although it’s an EU regulation, it’s global in scope and scale, which is fantastic. Anyone who is selling their services to EU citizens – including the good old UK when they finally complete their madness of withdrawal – they are still going to have to comply. It almost made me laugh when I heard Theresa May’s government say they had decided to adopt that regulation and it would become part of UK law – you’re going to be subject to it anyway if you are digitally selling services to people in the EU, you don’t have a choice about whether you adopt it or not – same in the US, same in China, same in Russia; doesn’t make any difference, and that’s a massive thing. That’s a first and it’s a really good first. What really keeps you awake at night? Certainly the Internet of Things (IoT) stuff is big. It’s still slow but we’re certainly seeing focus from criminal innovators on IoT-type platforms. So, not looking at the WinTel platform but looking at Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) processors, and looking at the Linux platform – that’s clearly a shift towards IoT-type devices because that’s the platform that many of them use – some kind of Linux derivative operating system and a different chip set on board. We’re seeing slowly the number of malware focusing, particularly on that combination, increasing, just like we saw ransomware slowly increasing and then it exploded. Now is our chance to get ahead of the game. There are a couple of notable offices in Dublin that have IoT connected offices, such as Accenture’s new Innovation Hub and Microsoft’s new campus. There will be a lot of that within the building so will this be happening more? Yes, and there a couple of really interesting proof of concept (POC) type attacks out there. Obviously, because it’s POC stuff, it tends to be more visually amusing – people may look at it and think it’s just a stunt. But it’s not just a stunt; it is proving a concept, that’s the point of it. I saw a fantastic video online of a drone flyby which had some weaponised code on it. That was a wormable piece of malware that would compromise wireless light bulbs. So just by flying past the building that had the wireless light bulbs, it would compromise one of them and, because it was worm functionality malware, it would spread between the light bulbs over the mesh network and the outcome was that April 2017 Business & Finance


CYBER SECURITY all the lights in the building were flashing SOS. It just shows that there are routes in. And while things like light bulbs may be on their own mesh network, that mesh network is still connected to the rest of your corporate estate. If you can’t secure them directly, how are you going to monitor those other areas of your network for malicious activity and what other kind of new avenues for data loss and data leakage do they represent, which are currently off radar for you? Potentially, if you have a light bulb connected to a network that your servers are connected to, are there real ramifications for data? Even if it just represents your initial beachhead within a corporate environment and you’re able to develop some wormable code which can then go and explore, if there is an open connection between A and B, then, you just have to work out how to make it work in your favour as an attacker. So IoT is one thing. The other thing, which was part of our prediction document for 2017, is something that we call business process compromise. Business email compromise is already a big thing. According to the FBI it cost businesses $3.1bn between 2013 and 2015. They haven’t released any 2016 figures yet but I am sure it will be larger. It basically involves invoice fraud, CEO fraud, compromising an email account that belongs to a senior executive within a business and using that to socially engineer someone in the finance department to pay a made up invoice to a criminal account number using a lot of social engineering pressure. We’ve seen a company in Germany that lost €40m in one transaction through business email compromise. A US company lost $480,000 because somebody who worked in finance had received an email from the inbox of their real CEO: “I’m giving you the responsibility for this particular file. It’s part of a mergers and acquisitions activity, so you can’t speak to anyone else about it. It’s all privileged communication. Just letting you know you’re probably going to hear from Kevin Shapiro from KPMG. He’ll probably contact you.” That’s all, the first email had no requests for payment, just scene setting and this is all social engineering. Then the victim gets a phone call from ‘Kevin Shapiro’, who is obviously a criminal. “Hey, yeah it’s Kevin Shapiro, KPMG, I’m in charge of the due diligence for the acquisition activity. I’m going to send you an email with instructions of how to make the payment.” Put the phone down, followed up with an email, external now, from fake KPMG guy: “There’s $480,000 that needs to be paid for due diligence for the 56

Business & Finance April 2017

acquisition. Here’s the bank details, here’s the wiring instructions.” And of course it was sent. Then another email acknowledging receipt a couple of days later and requesting a further $18m for due diligence fees which, when you’re talking about M&A activity, isn’t a substantial sum. Luckily, that was enough to raise the victim’s suspicions and he started to question it internally and the transfer wasn’t made, but notwithstanding they lost half a million. And so globally a figure of $3.1bn over two years is potentially even a conservative estimate. Where we’re expecting to see that grow over 2017 is more into business process compromise, rather than simply business email compromise. Business email compromise, of course, will carry on as it’s lucrative. But we’ll talk about criminals actually inserting themselves into business processes and making digital changes within a business to be able to extract money without direct human interaction, for example. So, potentially being able to change account details within a process and then remove themselves from the environment and just watch the money roll in. So, the less human interaction, the less chance there is that someone is going to notice something is wrong presumably? If you manage to change the account number of two suppliers to a business, and you get all of their money for a month, no one is going to raise any questions probably until a month has gone by and the supplier starts looking for their money. What should people be doing ? In the business email compromise and business process compromise-type scenarios, it’s all about process. Obviously, you’ve got to make sure that you have effective security in place and multilayered security looking at different functions (black listing and white listing functions), you’ve got behaviour analysis, intrusion prevention, post-level firewalling, machine learning – fantastic technologies need to be there, but at the end of the day these kind of attacks are going after humans and human weaknesses and emotional pressure. So, you’ve got to make sure that your workforce is educated; that they are aware that these threats exist and that people will be attempting to use them. More importantly, you’ve got to make sure that your workforce is empowered, that everyone feels that they have the ability and the right to question an instruction even from someone at CEO level, CFO level, MD, board, whatever. If they feel that it is going outside established

We’ve seen a company in Germany that lost €40m in one transaction through business email compromise

processes, they have got to know that it is alright to demand that the person demonstrates that they are who they say they are, even if they are the CEO. In fact, it is to be rewarded, rather than sanctioned. It’s really important to create that culture to empower employees to be able to question when they feel uncomfortable. Aside from that, it’s the process stuff – making sure that you have got secondary sign-off, making sure that any change requests for important details go through a particular process that takes a set period of time, and making sure that any outgoing payments get that secondary sign-off. Also, that there is not just one person responsible for making those kinds of sensitive financial transactions – it’s about the right tools from a security perspective, the right education from an employee perspective and the right processes from a business perspective. What industries are doing the best and worst in terms of security? I don’t even know if you can break it down. Different business verticals are challenged in different ways. If we look at the healthcare vertical, they often operate on limited budgets, particularly in public healthcare systems. So, they find themselves squarely as the targets of ransomware attacks right now, and data theft attacks against medical institutions are massively growing. If you’re in manufacturing, you’re probably more at risk of those kinds of business email-type attacks if you have a large supplier base and you pay large amounts of money. You’re the type of person that these types of criminals will go after, because that kind of extraction of large amounts of money fits right into your regular business processes, it’s not going to stand out. Whereas if you ask a hospital to transfer €10m, someone is going to say, “We don’t have €10m!” Different verticals have different challenges – banks, financial institutions, retail. Retail has the point of sale compromises that you need to focus on. We’re seeing compromises across the board in all of those verticals. In some of those areas we see some great information sharing, financial services being a fantastic example. They have a long history of exchanging indicators of compromise, threat intelligence and information between banks and financial institutions. Wouldn’t it be great if representatives from different verticals were able to aggregate data within their industry and come to an industrial sharing group or body, whether formal or informal, because they all had valuable lessons to learn in their own areas, which each of them, and the security industry too, could benefit from

sharing? The more we share, the more secure we are in terms of information about compromise and tools and techniques of attack. Do you think there is a country that is more on top of this? There is certainly more awareness with more developed economies. That’s the only thing that you can say. I think where it’s more interesting to look is where there is more awareness of the criminal potential. The more developed the economy, the more developed the risk management ecosystem. It’s interesting to look at where the expertise is in terms of crime. The business email compromise stuff is largely driven out of west Africa. Similar criminal groups who were behind the 419 scams, the Nigerian emails. That’s why they are very good at the social engineering aspect of it because they are used to dealing with humans and emotions, and not particularly with malware tools and techniques. A lot of the compromising targeted attacktype stuff is driven out of the Ukraine and there is a large pool of very talented people with very limited prospects in terms of earning a good living in legitimate business. The temptation to do it through crime is that much greater. Mobile malware is largely driven out of China for a few reasons: it’s a hugely mobile-focused economy in terms of devices and Google Play store is not accessible in China, so everyone relies on third party app stores, which are breeding grounds for mobile malware. Brazil was traditionally the spiritual home of old school banking malware, so we still see a lot of that coming out of Brazil. That’s a really interesting area to focus on. How can we help the CIS, Russia and all the former Soviet states to make better use of their computer science graduates and skilled coders to build their own digital future and take away the temptation to go into cybercrime? My work with Europol is focused on going after the people who commit crimes to make sure we actually get arrests out of it, rather than just taking away infrastructure. But to nip that in the bud, to go right down to root level, we’ve got to look more at why people get into crime in the first place and what can we do to make that less attractive. Taking away the finance is certainly one great way of making it less attractive – but, we need to increase opportunities to have a legitimate career outside of cybercrime. If there is a skill shortage – which I dispute – but if there is, maybe we need to broaden our horizons in terms of who we are looking at. We should spend more time making that career more accessible. n

You’ve got to make sure that your workforce is empowered, that everyone feels that they have the ability and the right to question an instruction

April 2017 Business & Finance



Cyber Self Defence


f you’ve been attempting to cruise through life with blinkers against threats to data security online, a conversation with Tom Kellermann, CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures, is illuminating. When it comes to cyber security he has worked on protecting some of the world’s most sensitive information, in a previous incarnation as Deputy Chief Information and Security Officer for the World Bank and IMF Treasury Security Team in Washington DC; has advised central banks around the world on technology risk management and stood on Obama’s Commission on Cybersecurity, as Chair of the Threat Working Group and of the International Working Group. Kellermann estimates that only 5% of companies are truly on top of their cyber security, adding: “most of these are in the financial sector and the defence industry.” At the other end of the scale he warns that “manufacturers and healthcare are the most exposed.”

MALWARE ON MOBILES While the thoughts of, for instance, a healthcare provider being hacked are ominous, every business needs to be aware of the everyday risks they are exposed to, even down to something so small as employees using their mobile phones for work. He warns: “Mobile phones do pose a significant risk as they provide a gateway in which cybercriminals can leapfrog into secure corporate networks. “In addition we have seen an explosion of malware for mobile devices this year. Hauntingly, the malware allows for the microphone and camera to be secretly activated when triggered by a calendar alert or specific location.” Kellermann mentions some very real fears and predictions for the future of cyber risk over the coming year, listing: “President Trump’s rhetoric per China will serve to usher in a new era of Chinese hacking; Russia’s cyber attack campaign will increase due to tensions with NATO over the security of the Baltics; AQAP will demonstrate 58

Business & Finance April 2017

Cyber security and cyber risk should be on every business’s radar. Deanna O’Connor spoke to international expert Tom Kellermann in advance of his visit to Dublin for the Zero Day Conference.

Destructive attacks will become the new normal

an advancement in their cyber campaigns; destructive attacks will become the new normal.” When asked what’s keeping him awake at night at the moment, and what should be on corporations’ radars, he says: “The increase of destructive malware and attacks against corporate supply chains coupled with mobile malware is troubling.” However, advances in cybersecurity are being made all the time and he cites: “Deception technology; user entity behaviour analytics and adaptive authentication represent true advances in defence in depth” as the best things happening at the moment. The internet is unavoidable to anyone going about their own personal business, not to mention engaged in business. It isn’t properly policed or regulated, yet we all live in the lawless cyber world. Kellermann concludes: “The internet is a hostile and lawless environment. People do not respect the dangers because it is invisible. Individuals must defend themselves and choose the corporations they do business with wisely. Security should not be seen as an expense but rather a functionality of conducting business in 2017.”

CYBER SELF-DEFENCE TIPS • use multiple passphrases for your accounts; change these every three months and use sentences instead of passwords • update your OS, apps and Adobe every Tuesday evening. • use security software for ALL devices • never use public Wi-Fi • change the password on your home Wi-Fi router. • use Firefox as your browser and cut and paste links in emails into it • turn Bluetooth off • never use your debit card for online purchases, rather use one credit card just for online purchases. Tom Kellermann was in Dublin for the Zero Day conference on cyber security on March 7th 2017. w:

CIO 100


With nearly 20 years experience, Adrian has an impressive track record in technology development across industries including automotive, telecoms and industrial. B-Secur is a start-up company specialising in ECG Biometric Authentication that has won a host of awards including the accolade of Gartner Top 5 Cool Vendors in Human Machine Interaction. Trained in Mentoring, Leadership and Management, Adrian has an impressive track record for getting the best performance out of the people he works with and believes the greatest asset a company has is its people.






Ashling has an established track record implementing state-of-the-art, technology based business applications to facilitate process and cultural re-engineering. With an IT and Finance background, she holds an M.Sc. in Management from Trinity College, Dublin and before joining Ervia worked as an independent consultant specializing in the implementation of financial software systems. Having held several senior leadership and consulting positions in international companies she provides a valuable insight into the key challenges faced by IT leaders today.

Responsible for Application Strategy, Information Security, Software Compliance as Entrerprise Architect & CISO, Bambury previously held the roles of SAP Solution Architect, SAP Deployment Lead and SAP Finance Lead in Kerry Group after joining originally in 1997 as IT Manager, before moving to Kerry Ingredients and Flavours as IT Director. He holds a BA from University College Cork and is a member of the European Technology Leadership Council of Cork’s European Techology Cluster, it@Cork, a leading not-forprofit independent business organisation, representing the interests of the IT industry in Ireland.





Alan is a Co-Founder and the CTO at Boxever, a customer intelligence technology company that helps airlines and travel companies generate more incremental revenue quickly by leveraging data they already have. He is a highly accomplished software technologist, software visionary and entrepreneur with over 10 years experience developing and delivering highly scalable and fault tolerant distributed systems. He is passionate about large scale systems, cloud security and building new architectures to support petabyte-scale data processing. He is a regular speaker at the Dublin Cassandra Meetups.

Anne’s is the Senior IS Leader, responsible for Stryker’s Manufacturing business globally which includes manufacturing plants in Europe, North America, & Asia. Anne has worked with Stryker for 14 years including a four-year assignment in the United States. Anne and her team deliver solutions and services to the business and are currently delivering enterprise programs in Manufacturing Execution Systems & ERP. Anne has prior experience in Software & Services, Semiconductor, and Pharmaceutical having worked with Triangle, Colman ProStrategy & General Semiconductor.







Business & Finance April 2017










A co-founder of one of Ireland’s original breakthrough tech firms, Iona Technologies, Annrai O’Toole is considered a ‘tech godfather’; the middleware company he and his fellow TCD lecturer Chris Horn, helped found over 20 years ago became the fifth-highest flotation on the Nasdaq. In 2009 he founded another company, Cape Clear, a specialist middleware vendor, developed the industry’s leading enterprise service bus—a technology for integrating applications using Web services. This served as the foundation for the Workday Integration Cloud when Workday acquired Cape Clear.

Lowry has been the CIO for the Irish Government since April 2016, tasked with taking forward the Public Service ICT Strategy, which sets out ambitions for developing the use of shared services, digital services and data to better serve the public. Lowry was previously the Director for IT Shared Services and Strategy and Head of the IT Profession within the Northern Ireland Civil Service, where he was involved in the creation of the award-winning IT Assist shared service centre. He is a Fellow of the Irish and British Computer Societies and was chosen as the BCS Northern Ireland IT Professional of the Year 2011.

The Companies Registration Office is the central repository of public statutory information on Irish companies and business names. The CRO operates under the aegis of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Their functions include the incorporation of companies and registration of business names, receipt and registration of postincorporation documents; and enforcement of the Companies Act in relation to filing obligations. making information available to the public. Almost all of the information filed with the CRO is available for public inspection.






Murphy is responsible for all aspects of Infrastructure for Sendmode’s business. This includes the building of a telecommunications platform to manage high volumes transactions of time sensitive nature. The systems touch all aspects from private/public cloud, networking, backups/ recovery, scalability, and intercompany transfer protocols.







As the global director of business intelligence for Tyco O’Callaghan is tasked with transforming the company into a data driven enterprise leveraging best in class IT solutions. Prior to his current role in Tyco he spent 13 years with Flextronics. During his time there he wore many hats, including leading the IT operations group spanning 15 of Flextronics EMEA sites, and initiating and directing a BI enablement team focussed on delivering business insight to the EMEA region. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the it@Cork organisation, an independent business organisation, representing the interests of the IT industry.

Barry Minnock joined Musgrave Group in 2013 and is currently IT director for Musgrave Wholesale Partners (MWP) and Musgrave Northern Ireland (MNI). The role includes IT responsibility for several Musgrave brands, including MarketPlace (ROI & NI), SuperValu (NI), Centra (NI), Daybreak (ROI) and Mace (NI). Before joining Musgrave MarketPlace, Barry worked for more than 15 years in the IT consultancy sector across several countries and industries with Version 1, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Barry holds a primary degree in commerce (management information systems) and a master’s in management science.




Apex is a large global institution that retains a focus on high client service levels delivered locally. Originally established in Bermuda in 2003 by Chairman and Founder, Peter Hughes, Apex now has over 600 staff based in 32 offices across 26 jurisdictions globally.

Brendan is SVP and Chief Information Officer, Europe at Irish Life Group. He was appointed Group CIO of Irish Life and Permanent in 2004 and more recently took on the role of CIO Europe for Canada Life Europe, after Great-West Life acquired Irish Life in 2012. Brendan graduated with a BSc in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin in 1984 and obtained his MBA in Business Administration from University College Dublin in 1995. He began his IT career in the public sector, working for eight years in the Department of Finance.

WINDOWS IS USED BY 91.59% OF DESKTOP USERS WORLDWIDE. MAC OS ACCOUNTS FOR 6.27%, WITH LINUX ON 2.14%.Source: April 2017 Business & Finance


CIO 100







Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland is part of leading global financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, who pride themselves on being at the forefront of financial and technological innovation. Cantor serves more than 7,000 institutional clients around the world, and its affiliates employ over 10,000 people in 22 countries. With three offices in Ireland, in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, they have engaged in stockbroking and servicing private clients and financial advisors in Ireland since 1995. Clune is a graduate of B.Sc in Information Systems and Information Technology and has been working with Cantor since 2012.

Currently IT director in Zurich Life Assurance, Kernan was previously CIO at The Irish Times, from 2009-2015, overseeing huge changes in their digital strategy and publishing. Prior to that she spent two years as IT director for CPL. Previous to this she was at Ryanair during a very formative time for the company. As IT director in Ryanair from 1994-2006, Kernan was in charge of building and developing the company’s essential computing and communications infrastructure as it took its first steps into online booking, with launching in 2000.





Aon plc is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services, with more than 500 offices in 120 countries. Aon leverages sophisticated data analytics, industry knowledge and experience, and their talent pool to create, expand and drive insightful business decisions for their clients as they navigate the complex risk landscape. With Aon since 1998, Lynch oversees systems that include high-speed access to corporate IT systems and data transfer between numerous Aon sites in Europe.

As vice president of IT Client Experience, Chris has responsibility for more than 1,000 global employees speaking 25 languages in 37 different countries; this team provides a IT support to more than 50,000 EMC employees worldwide. Murphy moved up from his previous role of senior director of IT Client Experience at EMC’s Centre of Excellence in Cork, where he oversaw the provision of engineering and research development, customer service, IT and technical support to global EMC offices. Murphy is a native of Cork, and UCC graduate.



Trustev was only founded in 2012 by Chris Kennedy and Pat Phelan, with the aim of eliminating online fraud. Kennedy had been Phelan’s first hire at Cubic Telecoms in 2007, fresh out of his business information systems degree in UCC. He left Cubic Telecoms to work on the algorithim to start Trustev. Trustev’s digital verification technology verifies the identity of online shoppers by generating a digital fingerprint through various social media accounts. Trustev was acquired by consumer credit-rating company TransUnion for for $44 million (€40 million) in 2015, in a deal which saw Kennedy and Phelan remain the leading shareholders, receiving $21 million in cash up front and up to $23 million more if Trustev achieves specified targets through 2018.






Business & Finance April 2017

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CIO 100








Intellicom is a fast-growing telecommunications solutions and service provider delivering on-premise and cloud communications, ISP services, voice termination and contact centre solutions. Intellicom is headquartered in the DCU Innovation Campus in Glasnevin and has a regional office in Birr, working with a development house in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maher’s early interest in Asterisk, the world’s most widely used open-source telephony software, was in 2003, and his experience since then makes him a leading knowledge on this technology in Ireland, and he is highly engaged in the investigation, testing and deployment of new and innovative solutions.

Gartlan was appointed CIO at leading international convenience food manufacturer Greencore plc in May 2010. Colm’s role was focused on transforming IT into a more valued business partner by improving the capability of the IT organization, aligning IT activities with business priorities and leveraging technology more effectively to deliver business process efficiency and value. Prior to joining Greencore, Colm held a number of senior IT management positions with Xerox including CIO of Xerox’s European and Developing Markets businesses. Colm is also chair of the Irish Computer Society’s CIO Advisory Board.





With Prudential since 2003, Harvey was one of the first eight employees of Donegalbased Pramerica, their contact centre and software development division. After a stint in Prudential’s El Paso, Texas operations, Harvey returned to Ireland to head up the 1,500 staff working out of Letterkenny. Originally set up to combat the huge Y2K consultancy fees that Prudential were dealing with, Pramerica has expanded and now encompasses 182 functions including actuarial work, data science and property accounting. Harvey told Business & Finance that he aims to further develop with a move in to the cognitive space.

The experience gift voucher and rewards firm doubled its workforce in Dublin last year, bringing it to over 300 employees. The company operates in 10 countries with 5 well-known brands: Smartbox, Bongo, Buyagift, La Vida Es Bella and Cadeaubox. Basselier is a seasoned web-based technology development executive with experience in large scale business transformation, international projects, launch of start-up business, large/mid cap and small companies and strong management skills. He was previously managing director at I-COM Software from 2000-2014, responsible for development and maintenance of more than 200 e-commerce sites.





The Taxback Group has grown from small beginnings to become a global financial services group with 950 staff worldwide. The Taxback Group is parent to a family of brands which provide finance, tax and travel services. David holds a BSc (Comp) from University of Limerick and has over 19 years’ experience in both in the Management and Development of large and complex Software Projects. David leads the development teams across the group which currently consists of over 85 colleagues including Developers, QA, Business Analysis’ and Project Managers.


April 2017 Business & Finance


CIO 100




David Fox is Head of Bord na Móna’s IT function and is overseeing a complete, multi-year, modernisation of the IT hardware and software platforms necessary to facilitate the future growth and diversification of the business. David joined Bord na Móna in March 2013 and is Head of IT. David has held a number of senior IT roles including CIO at both eircom and at Vodafone Ireland and has also managed IT consultancy engagements for Oracle across Europe and the Middle East. He holds a B.Sc, in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from DCU.

26 DENIS KENNELLY GENERAL MANAGER HYBRID CLOUD, IBM SECURITY SYSTEMS Kennelly has just moved to a new role as General Manager for IBM’s Hybrid Cloud business. Until recently Denis was the VP for Development & Technology at IBM Security Systems, where he helped shape the Intelligent Integrated IBM Security Strategy and the drive to the next era of IBM Security through the introduction of Collaboration, Cloud and Cognitive technolgies. He managed a global team of over 2,000 Security professionals made up of Security Researchers, Product Management, Development and Cloud Operations. He says, “As organizations transition to the Cloud, we see evolution from private data centers to public cloud services for a variety of technical and commercial reasons...The reality is that almost every cloud environment has a connection back to the data center.”




Former Oracle Ireland country manager, O’Kelly is now responsible for Oracle UK, Ireland and Israel and is responsible for driving Oracle’s operations, growth and profitability across these geographies. Dermot joined Oracle in 1997 and prior to undertaking his current role, was Senior Vice President for Alliances & Channels in Oracle Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). As part of this role, Dermot was responsible for Oracle’s indirect business in EMEA and for all elements of the Oracle Partner Network, helping drive the growth and success of Oracle’s partners.






As Director of ICT at Tallaght Hospital David is Member of the Executive Management team, and boasts a demonstrable track record in strategic planning, quality improvement, change management and operational management. His strong influencing, negotiating and management skills have made him an effective member of multidisciplinary teams. His role involves leading the Hospital in planning and implementing enterprise wide information solutions to support and improve patient care, the clinical and business operations and achieve more effective and cost beneficial enterprise-wide ICT operations.

As CTO for Payzone, Byrne is responsible for formulating company IT strategy, aligning IT strategy to business strategy, building IT value propositions for internal use plus product value propositions for client and business development use. He is also responsible for setting and achieving delivery and budgetary targets, initiating change and managing continuous improvements to advance the company’s competitive position, and for managing delivery of 24x7 high availability IT production services within a policy framework, ensuring security, PCI compliance, continuity of operation and auditability of all services.




Business & Finance April 2017







With Trend Micro since 2003, in her current role as VP of European Operations, Dervla is focused on driving operational strategies across multiple revenue generating departments (Operations, Channel, Inside Sales, Customer, Marketing, eCommerce, PreSales Engineers etc). She regularly drives cross-functional and remote groups to enable cohesive behaviours and an integrated business. Mannion is an active leader in corporate strategic planning for both the European Operations Centre and overall business. She is a member of Trend Micro EMEA’s Management Council and a board member of IT@ Cork.

Erik was CIO at eir from August 2015 until mid-March this year. Previously Erik worked at T-Mobile, where he was Regional Vice-President for Process and Systems for Central Europe. Before that he held CIO positions in GTS Central Europe and Vivacom (Bulgaria). He successfully led large transformation and innovation programs in the areas of Customer Care, Business Intelligence, IT Security, CRM, Billing and OSS. As CIO at eir, Erik established various operational models for Service Delivery and Operations, striking a balance between the need for speed to market, overall transformation, and operational excellence.



Enda Kyne is Chief Technology and Operations Officer in FBD Insurance plc. He previously worked with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Pathfinder, Bank of Ireland, Vision Consulting and Cap Gemini in a number of senior roles. He is responsible for all aspects of IT and Back Office Operations, including IT Security and GDPR. He is a member of the FBD Insurance plc Executive Leadership Team. He was also appointed to the e-Health Ireland Committee by the HSE Directorate in 2015.

Fin’s remit at Aviva is to drive their digital agenda by introducing the next generation of Agile based on Flow Principles and to disrupt the insurance business by collaborating with FinTech/InsurTech startups. Prior to Aviva, Fin joined Paddy Power as the Group CIO for Europe where he pioneered DevOps, KanBan, Continuous Delivery and an early variant of Flow. He was CIO at Sabre Holding’s off-shore Global Development Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Whilst working with Sabre, he was the CIO of Travelocity Europe and CTO of He was named in Computing’s Top 100 CIO’s/ CTO’s in UK & Ireland for 2015 and 2016.








FIONA GALLAGHER-PAYET HEAD OF GLOBAL FIELD IT, FACEBOOK Responsible for Regional IT Management, leading team of IT Operations and Business Analysts across APAC, EMEA and Americas to support all Facebook offices outside of HQ, extending IT services & solutions globally. GallagherPayet boasts deep financial expertise, with a consultancy background with a strong emphasis on process driven and project methodology led projects and her CV includes Deep Oracle Functional Analyst, & Project Management: PMP & Prince2 Certified. She is passionate about promoting increased gender diversity in the IT sector and is actively engaged in the community using social media for social good.


April 2017 Business & Finance


CIO 100






Fiona joined AWAS to lead an operational transformation programme, from process definition through to digital enablement. During her career of 25 years, Fiona has worked across multiple industries and disciplines including transformation, M&A, restructuring, PMO, eCommerce, enterprise scale programme management, to name a few. Prior to joining AWAS she held senior management roles at CIT Vendor Finance, Celestica, Motorola and Digital. Fiona holds a B.Comm (Hons) from University College Galway and a Post-Grad Diploma in Computer Science (Hons) from University College Cork.

Günter Bayer is a founding director of both Titan Technology Solutions, founded in 2008 and vCloud founded in 2012. Since 2008 he has been engaged in meeting the growing demand for businesses to develop and implement cloud computing strategies. With over 15 years experience at the cutting edge of information technology, Gunter brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to vCloud’s clients. Günter has built an enviable reputation among cloud computing providers due to his commitment to high standards and excellence in design.




Francis joined DataSolutions in 1991 when the company commenced trading. Today he is the company’s Director of Technology and Strategy and over the last 25 years Francis identified all the world class vendors that Data Solutions bring to the market both in Ireland and the UK. Francis is regarded as the evangelist responsible for bringing Citrix to Ireland in 1995 and building and supporting the successful vendor’s reseller channel. He is a well-respected technologist regularly speaking at various industry events and his opinion is often sought by the national and trade press.





One of Ireland’s leading IT professionals, Gar Murphy has over 30 years’ experience working in the technology industry. As European IT director at Cook Medical, Murphy leads the senior European team across all major countries including Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France, providing software development expertise, infrastructure, support services and project management for the company. A senior IT leader, Murphy is part of the global IT leadership team, advising on and contributing to the company’s global business strategy. He is responsible for planning and formulating the future strategic direction of the company in areas such as digital transformations, big data and IOT. Cook Medical employs over 850 people at its Ireland headquarters in Limerick.




As Director of IT for Laya healthcare, a big part of Brennan’s role is strategic management of the IT team to deliver better business value. Ian’s work focuses on business deliverables for Sales, Claims, financial and administrative departments. Complex IT projects with challenging deadlines are a normal part of his role and project management is a key skill. Prior to joining Laya in 2013 he spent seven years with Bon Secours Health System private hospital group, rising to Group Head of IT. He began his IT career with the Department of Defence at the naval base in Haulbowline.


Business & Finance April 2017







Lennon is a senior IT management specialist with over 15 years experience in transforming IT process landscapes for major national and international business leaders. He previously worked firstly as CIO, then as Group Business Applications Director for Euromedic. His current role at Affidea, a panEuropean diagnostic imaging and cancer care company, encompasses, among other things; IT strategy, transformation, ITIL Policies, infrastructure, security, business applications, risk management, project management, service management, business process and more.

Jim Barrington joined Novartis in 2001 as Chief Information Operations Officer, in a dual role, reporting to both the Corporate CFO and the Pharma CFO. He is also a member of the Pharma Executive Committee. During his career, he has held increasingly senior IT positions with Eli Lilly in Ireland, with Gillette in Ireland, Germany and the UK and with Whirlpool in Italy. Prior to joining Novartis, he was Group CIO of ABB in Switzerland. He holds an MBA from Kingston University. Novartis Ireland Limited is the Irish affiliate of Swiss-based Novartis AG – one of the largest and most widely respected pharmaceutical companies in the world.







Cloud Foundry is an opensource cloud-computing platform originally developed in-house at VMware, now partially owned by Cisco, EMC, VMware and General Electric. In 2015 it was announced that they would expand their presence in Ireland with 130 new jobs in Dublin and Cork. The Dublin team is headed up by Monserrate, with the aim of expanding their presence across EMEA and helping their traditional enterprise customers with the transformation journey to become modern software companies able to compete in a digital world.

John has worked in Revenue’s IT Division for over 25 years and has played a key role in developing the organisation’s ICT capability. Current priorities include improving customer service and channel offerings, modernising the ICT estate to reduce technical debt and utilising analytics to drive decision making and help Revenue become a more insight driven organisation. Revenue is also a key player in ICT in the wider public service and John is keen to contribute to crossgovernment ICT initiatives. As a member of the CIO Council, he has played an active role in the development of the new Government ICT strategy.




Jonathan’s career in insurance software began in 1988 as a mainframe developer for one of Ireland’s largest insurers. He focused on the development of core systems including billing, investments, commission, and policy management. He moved on to client/server technology and led the design of a core policy investment system redevelopment. Jonathan joined FINEOS in 1995 to direct product design, authoring several FINEOS patents. In the early 2000s, he led the strategic redevelopment of the FINEOS product to Java. He has held key positions in the management of application design, technology architecture and product development. As a member of the FINEOS Executive Leadership Team and Market/ Product Strategy Group, Jonathan helps define company and product strategy. He is responsible for the FINEOS Strategic Product Group including Product Management, Sales Consulting and FINEOS R&D programs. Boylan is a member of the Executive Council of the Irish Software Association, an organization working to create a strong software industry in Ireland and to represent the industry to government.


April 2017 Business & Finance


CIO 100










Cronin has over 40 years’ experience in IT. He started his career with IBM in 1974 and spearheaded the launch of the IBM Personal Computer in Ireland in 1980 before moving into a Project Management role. He joined the An Post team in 1992 as the IBM Project Manager responsible for the implementation of the programme to automate the post office network. In 1998 he moved to An Post full time as Managing Director of Post Consult International, an IT subsidiary of An Post and implemented a suite of applications which enabled the delivery of a range of new products and services for the post office network including banking, Billpay and FX.

John’s 23 years of experience in ICT includes 17 with Fujitsu. He sits on the Fujitsu CTO Council and sets the technology strategy for the local Fujitsu organisation. His portfolio of interests at Fujitsu includes real time computing and signalling, high performance computing, smart networks and radio technologies, analytics and organisational performance. John led the design team that delivered the Mobile Virtual Network Enabler on behalf of Telefonica in Ireland which now supports Tesco Mobile, 48Months and giffgaff. John is qualified in Engineering (Electronics), Mathematics and Computer Applications.

New Relic was founded in 2008 with a mission to deliver application performance monitoring (APM) as a purely SaaS product. As the EMEA IT Lead, Crowley supports all of the corporate IT needs for New Relic’s EMEA-based employees and offices. The company allows anyone to contribute code and has previously committed to various projects within the company. He cites one of the highlights of his time in the company was his involvement with the Ducksboard acquisition. Ducksboard is a provider of real-time dashboards for tracking business metrics from a broad set of application sources.



With KPMG since 2001, John previously worked as IT Manager with Motorola BV. He holds a M.Eng.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from NUI Galway. John is responsible for IT support, systems and infrastructure for KPMG’s Irish business and leads the development of IT planning and strategy to support the operation.

50. KARL








CIO, 123.IE

John leads Ryanair’s world-leading digital and technology strategy, at the Ryanair Labs digital innovation hub. Having been appointed to his role in September 2014, John directs his team of 200 in planning and delivering Ryanair’s highly successful digital strategy – with a focus on the planning and delivery of complex technical projects. With over 16 years’ experience in leading companies to digital success, John is best placed to share his ideas and experience on how to implement a cuttingedge digital strategy.

Forte has over 34 years’ experience working in the IT sector, 28 of which have been in the role CIO in the insurance industry. She began her career in the technology sector in 1978 with Andersen Consulting in London. She joined Allianz as CIO in 1997, and manages an inhouse team of around 40 people that handles the application development, change management, PMO, security risk assessment and access management. Forte is a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society. She was also the inaugural president of the Association of Information Managers, which was founded in 2003.

Ryan joined’s executive management team with the remit to establish an industry leading IT organisation and systems delivery capability. The company was successfully acquired by RSA in 2010 and the IT platforms supporting the direct insurance business remain a key part of merged organisation strategy. Ryan built the IT team from the ground up to include IT operations, Security, Quality, Software Development and Program Management. He is currently focused on evolving the online platforms to ensure continued market leadership for direct insurance in Ireland.




CIO of Primark since 2012, Lister previously served as CIO for Specsavers from 2009-2012, during which time he migrated the company’s IT systems from Eastleigh to Southampton and oversaw the establishment of offshore testing and development capabilities. Previous roles include CIO of BUPA and European IT Director, Tesco.



Business & Finance April 2017

CIO 100




Cooney was appointed corporate vice president and chief information officer (CIO) of Xilinx in 2005, the first time the company had chosen an executive from outside of the US for these positions, underlining the significance of their Irish-based operation to its business. Their European HQ in Dublin is the company’s largest facility outside the US. Cooney has been on the board of Xilinx since 2002. Before joining Xilinx in 1995, the 49-year-old worked in various senior positions with Digital Equipment Corporation, better known as Digital, during its time in Galway from 1984 until its closure in 1995.


Liam Molloy is CIO and IT Services Manager at ESB. He has 40 years experience in the electricity and gas industry in Ireland and internationally, managing, inter alia, a range of retail, engineering, energy trading and start-up businesses. Liam established ESB’s retail supply business, Electric Ireland and served as General Manager, Electric Ireland for a number of years. Previous positions in ESB include Managing Director, ESB Independent Energy Ltd. A member of the ICC Digital Economy Commission and the ICS CIO Advisory Board, he has served on a number of ESBI company boards and was IBEC’s representative on the Northern Ireland CBI Council.




Larry Kiernan is EMEA CIO of Metlife and SVP of global technology and operations. The insurance firm serves over 30 countries through various channels. Kiernan previously served as CTO/CIO of Bank of Ireland between 2010 and 2014. Between 1993 and 2003 he occupied a wide range of senior positions at computer giant Dell, most recently vice president of global applications, infrastructure and managed services. Metlife established its Dublin operations in 2002, serving as the functional hub and head office of Metlife Europe. Its new global technology campus in Galway should be at full capacity by 2019.



56. LIAM



DCU BSc graduate Killian O’Connell joined financial services firm Davy in 1995 as software analyst/developer, working up through the IT applications manager (19992012) to become head of information systems in 2012. Before joining the company he was a technical consultant at Procard, and began his career as software analyst/developer at Fintra Associates in 1991. Davy was founded in 1926 and has grown to encompass 600 employees in five business areas: asset management, capital markets, corporate finance, private clients and research. It has five offices including its Dublin HQ.

An Garda Síochána established its office of the executive director of information and communications technology in 2008, bringing the service’s ICT functions into one unit. Its main areas are IT operations and security, IT strategy and planning, and telecommunications. Kidd is a Letterkenny IT MSc graduate and has worked in ICT roles at Honeywell Bull, the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources, and the Department of the Taoiseach, as well as a previous three-year stint at An Garda Síochána between 1997 and 2000.




April 2017 Business & Finance


CIO 100







Margaret Troy is Vice President, Technology, for First Data’s Global Business Solutions division in EMEA. Her role ensures that First Data delivers its strategic focus of helping its clients grow their business. Margaret has responsibility for infrastructure delivery in the region and acts as a Business Partner for delivery of business solutions and new business opportunities. First Data is currently preparing to open a new Research & Development (R&D) Center in Nenagh, Tipperary. The R&D Center will house several hundred highly skilled owner-associates who will be responsible for centralizing work on a variety of First Data’s leading platforms.

Marcus Tesch became group CIO of bank of Ireland earlier this year. He had previously been a partner at consultancy firm Deloitte since 2009, before which he was global head of IT architecture and strategy at banking giant Barclays. He has also orked at DiamondCluster International, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Accenture. Tesch is a University of Illinois and Technical University Munich graduate. Throughout his career he has spent six years apiece in the UK and Switzerland, as well as working in the US, France, Hungary, Australia and Germany. In addition to banking he has worked in the mining and telecoms industries.






Scully has responsibility for delivering technology and data-centric business solutions for the Irish Stock Exchange’s customers covering trading technologies, information products, website and digital commerce. The ISE has over 35,000 securities issued by 4,000 organisations from 85 countries around the world listed on its four markets and is a global leader in the listing of debt and investment funds. The ISE has one the most international shareholder bases in Europe for listed equities and operates world-class accessible trading and posttrading infrastructure which delivers a diverse and connected membership network.

Maurice Hennessy holds the position of Chief Information & Security Operations Officer in daa. Key responsibilities include developing and implementing the Group information technology strategy along with responsibility for all security planning and operations functions for Dublin and Cork Airports. Maurice also heads up the daa transformation programme to step change the way of working and staff engagement in daa. A University of Limerick business graduate, Maurice Hennessy joined Dublin and Cork airport operator daa as group head of financial and business planning in 2007.





MARTIN LEAHY OUTGOING CTO, ABTRAN With Abtran since 2013, Martin was responsible for all of ICT for Ireland’s foremost BPO. Key to his role was the ability to identify and implement the best technologies to support delivery of outsourced services across SAAS, cloud, digital and mobile platforms. He is a mathematical physics graduate of University College Dublin – obtaining a BSc, HDip in Education and a subsequent MSc in Computer Science at UCC. Martin has a rich variety of technology and business experience, having been part of the expansion of Kerry Group in the 1990s before spending 15 years in the pharmaceutical sector with Warner Lambert, Pfizer and Amgen.


Business & Finance April 2017


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CIO 100










McGrath joined UDG Healthcare PLC in may 2015 as Group Head of IT. UDG Healthcare is a global provider of outsourcing services to the pharmaceutical industry. Previously he was appointed CIO for the Irish Government to lead the development of the government ICT strategy, which was a key component of the Irish public sector reform agenda. Prior to this he held the position of Executive VP of IT at Icon PLC, the number four global provider of outsourced drug development services. Prior to joining Icon, he held a number of key senior IT roles in GE Capital and Woodchester Bank, as well as ESB International.

Myra O’Neill joined telecoms firm Vodafone Ireland in 2015. She was previously at Microsoft, where she served as director of business operations and most recently director of customer, partner and field operations for the company’s EMEA operations. Before Microsoft she served in numerous senior roles at Telefónica and O2 Ireland from 2003 to 2013. A University College Cork computer science graduate, O’Neill has also worked at PwC and describes her main expertise as encompassing business/technology strategy development and the execution of large-scale change transformation.

Prior to joining Aryzta as CIO in December 2016, Liston was Global Vice President of ICT at Kerry Group. A graduate of the University of Limerick, he joined the Graduate Programme of Kerry Group in 1989 and worked his way up through a variety of regional and global senior roles in the organisation. Recognised for his strong strategic, planning and organisational skills, he has a proven international track record in delivering business strategy through the implementation of global IT applications and technologies.









Mike Tuohy is chief information security officer and DPO at software-as-aservice provider iCONX in Dublin. He was previously a consultant on network design and implementation at Karachaganak Petroleum and at Tengizchevroil, both in Kazakhstan, and a network engineer for Fujitsu UK and Ireland between 1991 and 1993. He is a DIT graduate of commercial computer programming and software development and has a master’s in IT and business management from NUI Maynooth. He is tasked with securely and reliably delivering the iCONX ASP solution worldwide.

Niall Hodson is COO of EVO Payments International, which he joined in 2014. He was previously VP of change & technology at Worldpay. A TCD management science graduate, he has also served as a senior business analyst at AIB, COO at OmniPay, and director of International Transaction Payment Solutions. Evo Payments International is behind the BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) brand in Ireland, having established a precence in 2014. It is set to add 50 new jobs and open new Irish headquarters as part of an investment of over e9m. EVO employs over 2,000 people worldwide.

Pat Balfe is described as “the rock on which Communicorp Digital” is buit. A University of Liverpool IT master’s graduate, he joined Radio Ireland/Today FM in 1998, becoming director of technical services before joining Communicorp in 2008 under the same role. He has been CTO since 2011. Communicorp is responsible for Spin 1038, Newstalk, 98FM, Capital FM, Heart 96-107 and numerous media outlets in Ireland, the UK and Bulgaria. The group is owned by Denis O’Brien and chaired by Lucy Gaffney. Communicorp is also home to and the Communicorp One sales team.





Niall started his career designing and manufacturing electronic weighing systems with Carlow based company Keenan. He founded Netwatch with David Walsh in 2003, the first company in Europe to combine specialist video processing technologies with satellite communications, to provide preventative and immediate protection solutions.




Niamh has over 15 years’ experience as an information security professional and was the youngest Irish female to qualify as CISSP. As DocuSign EU Information Security Director she manages the development and implementation of a global information security programme across their international offices.


Business & Finance April 2017

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CIO 100



Patrick Sherlock co-founded ecommerce direct-to-consumer platform Luzern with Ken Doyle in 2003, and heads a team that gathers data from the Luzern Channel Optimiser platform to build new automation and optimization and drive revenues for Luzern clients. He has previously worked in senior tech industry management positions in Ireland, Belgium and the US, such as Marconi, FORE Systems and Applied Magnetics. He has studied at Trinity College Dublin and Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education. Luzern counts some of the world’s biggest brands as clients, such as Philips and Unilever.

Paul Conroy is CIO of Mediolanum’s Irish operations, which he joined in 2015. He was previously head of IT and change at, and has also served as IT service delivery manager at RSA and project/ transition/ITSMF manager at HP. He is a DIT computer science and information systems master’s graduate and describes himself as “a commercial minded CIO with experience in the management of third party services to deliver high-level SLA standards in a cost effective way”. Mediolanum Ireland is made up of three companies: Mediolanum Asset Management (MAML), Mediolanum International Funds (MIFL) and Mediolanum International Life (MILL).






Experian CIO Paul Birkin describes himself as “a strategist with a clear commercial acumen who has a clear understanding of the business value of IT and the future directions of the industry.” A Loughborough University graduate, he joined business data firm Experian in 2016. He has also worked in a series of senior roles at EDS, Cisco Systems, Logica, and Capita, as well as serving with the advisory boards of Alumentari and RequirementONE. In addition to strategy, Birkin identifies the delivery of technology-driven global business change as an outcome of his result- and success-oriented approach.




Patrick Condren is the Chief Information Officer and Chief Product Officer at Sysnet Global Solutions, an Irish Cyber Security company with 2.2 million customers around the world. Patrick’s teams are charged with building the best cyber security product offerings for small to medium sized business, and deploying that cyber protection into the customer’s IT networks. Patrick is a graduate of UCD and has worked in senior roles at PWC(UK), IBM(UK), NASA, Pfizer and D&B. Sysnet have recently announce a 500 job expansion of its operations in Atlanta Georgia and is also expanding its Ireland, Poland and India operations.



Paul C Dwyer is CEO of cybersecurity firm Cyber Risk International, president of the ICTTF International Cyber Threat Task Force and co-chairman of the UK NCA National Crime Agency Industry Group. Dwyer has trained with top-level organisations such as the US Secret Service and Scotland Yard, and now advises Fortune 500 companies and military organisations as well as undertaking a prolific media presence and writing his book The Art of Cyber Risk Oversight. Dwyer also founded the Irish Cyber Crime Task Force, and Cyber Risk International operates under four phases: assess, design, transform and sustain.


Business & Finance April 2017

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Paul Hyland is group information governance and security manager at electrical goods firm Glen Dimplex. The company was established as Glen Electric by industry pioneer Martin Naughton in Newry in 1973, becoming a giant in electrical heater manufacturing by absorbing Dimplex in 1977. It expanded further with the acquisition of brands such as Belling and Morphy Richards, and Glen Dimplex Ireland distributes global brands like Braun and Oral-B. The company is now led by Fergal Naughton, with previous CEO Sean O’Driscoll becoming president and Martin Naughton chair of the Shareholder Supervisory Board.

PAUL HOGAN WRIGHT CTO, WARD SOLUTIONS Paul has over 17 years commercial information security experience. Prior to that, he has served as CEO (and founder) of Emissary Technologies which specialised in Web and mobile performance management solutions. He also has served as the technical director with WCL, a leading independent consulting organisation working on business development and building a strong technical consulting team..





Peter Hughes is CIO of new startup Mall Ireland, which provides ecommerce as a service to new and traditional businesses and is based in Donegal. Hughes has also served as IT systems management consultant at UnitedHealth Group, director at Try Us, and network solutions architect at Omagh Business Centre. “It was obvious to me that after nearly 20 years of the Internet that the current solutions weren’t what customers (the businesses in Ireland) wanted. It was based more on what IT/ tech sector was willing to offer,” explained Hughes of his commission-only, which launched in 2015.

79. PHIL





Paul Wright has been CIO at telecoms provider BT Ireland since 2014. He was previously global head of software engineering and centre of excellence site head at the New York Stock Exchange for over two years, prior to which he was senior vice president of global data and operations services technology at Citi. He has also served in senior roles at Pramerica, Bear Stearns and Aviva. BT Ireland cited Wright’s track record in “building and leading global technology programmes re-engineering initiatives and projects to meet the changing needs of the business” and described him as “a senior technology leader” as it announced his appointment.

Phil Miesle is CIO and product owner at Arcovation, which he created “because we believe that IoT has tremendous potential to unlock hidden value in bricks-and-mortar stores”, he has explained. He is also owner/founder of Fort Clever Software and has worked in senior roles at Intel, Quantum Retail Technology, Global Scale Solutions, Oracle Corporation, Retek, ServiceNet and Andersen Consulting. A physics graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, Miesle has worked in enterprise software throughout his entire career, most of it retail-focused, and has a strong understanding of the retail industry.


60% OF IRISH SURVEY RESPONDENTS RECEIVED A PAY RISE LAST YEAR. Source: UXDX Product Design and Development Industry report 2016.

April 2017 Business & Finance


FDI 100



Aramark, a $15b organisation, is headquartered in Philadelphia, US operating in 22 countries around the world. Fischer has worked closely with the broader organisation and business units to develop long term ICT strategies and effective ICT services models in support of the organisational goals. He is a frequent speaker at CIO networking events, on the topics of ‘CIO as the Change Leader’ and ‘Driving Value Through ICT’. He is also an active member of Ibec’s Digital Economic Policy Committee providing industry guidance to the European Commission in particular in relation to GDPR.



82 RICHARD CORBRIDGE CIO, HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE Since December 2014, Richard has been the Chief Information Officer for the HSE in Ireland and Chief Officer for eHealth Ireland. He has implemented a unique identifier for health, fully digitized the referral process, put in place Ireland’s first clinical information officers council, began the first epilepsy genomic sequencing programme globally, started the implementation of a national lab system and a national maternity EHR. He has also managed a reform of the Irish healthcare technology system that has seen a plethora of awards and recognitions for the team. All of this with a budget of just 1.2% of the Irish spend on healthcare. For the last three years Richard has been named in the top ten most influential CIOs in Europe list by CIO magazine. He was listed by Computer Weekly as the rising star of the IT Industry at the end of 2015 and in 2016 he was named ‘Person of the year’ by Ireland’s Tech Excellence magazine. In 2016 he was listed in the top 25 in the global HIT100 list, as well as being listed in the top 100 global influencers for digital health by Hot Topics magazine. Richard was named by the Huffington Post as one of the most ‘Social CIOs’ in the world in 2016.

Rana Mukherji is CIO of Loop 365, and has spent over 12 years designing ways of improving workflow and simplifying GUI design. He has previously worked at Proplyon and Openapp, and was sourced by the state of Indiana as a specialist legislation applications developer in the US. Loop is a secure cloudbased platform that can be accessed via browser or native Android and iOS apps. The company is divided into three units: Loop Platform and Loop Catering, based in Dublin; and Loop Legal, based in Monaghan. The group has partnerships with Visa, Little Dinners and Fileaway and operates a platform-as-aservice (Paas) model.





Richard Harpur has been head of group IT risk management at Kerry-based financial services firm Fexco since 2015. He was previously CIO/ operations director at Aspen Grove for six years, and has also worked in senior positions at Global Currency Exchange, Mindsted Technologies, and a previous stint at Fexco. Among his skills are strategic planning, aligning IT with business goals, information security management, business continuity planning and programme management. Fexco’s No. 1 Currency brand recently launched a prepaid Mastercard travel card with Payment Cloud Technologies.




Ronan McGuinness has been CIO, managing director and global chief information officer of global asset manager Pinebridge Investments since 2012, having joined the firm in 2008. He was previously at insurance giant AIG and has also worked at Lotus Development. McGuinness has undertaken TCD’s MBA programme and also studied at DIT. A member of the senior management team, he reports to the group COO and his role involves driving out costs through operational efficiencies and process reengineering, and delivering practical IT solutions that meet business needs.


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Ronan Murphy has been CEO of Smarttech since founding it in 2003, and is also chairman of the IT@Cork European Technology Cluster as well as a director with the Cork Chamber of Commerce. A business and IT graduate, Murphy has also worked at Worldport and MCI Worldcom. He describes Smarttech as the world’s most sophisticated cybersecurity operation centre and the first facility in Europe to implement IBM Watson in driving operational efficiency. Smarttech offers managed security, penetration testing, incident responce, compliance and governance, and security awareness services.

Sean Convery has been CTO of betting company BoyleSports since late 2015. He previously worked in senior roles at the Viatel and Digiweb group, most recently as projects and systems director (CIO), and has also worked at O2, Applied Networks and Nortel Networks. He is a Queen’s University Belfast electrical and electronic engineering graduate. BoyleSports was founded by John Boyle in the 1980s, and now has over 200 shops in Ireland as well as a range of telephone, mobile and internet betting services available in Ireland, the UK and worldwide. The company is headquartered in Dundalk.

Sharon O’Brien has been CIO at Liberty Insurance Ireland since 2015. She was previously head of change management at Bord Gáis Energy, and has served in senior roles at Aviva and Hibernian. She is a University of Ulster computer science and business graduate. Liberty Insurance is part of the global Liberty Mutual group and has offices in Cavan and Dublin. The global operations employ over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices worldwide. A Fortune 100 firm, it was founded in Boston over a century ago and reported net income of $1bn for 2016.






Shane Loughlin founded SL Controls in 2002 and the company has grown to encompass branch offices in Galway, Limerick, Dublin and Birmingham as well as its HQ in Sligo. Loughlin previously worked at Lotus Automation, Quinn Glass, Intel and Tarkett, as well as lecturing at IT Sligo. A Coventry University graduate, he also has a master’s in engineering from IT Sligo and a PhD from Dublin Institute of Technology. SL Controls offers integration services for industrial automation equipment and control systems in highly regulated environments such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food.

Shaun O’Shea is IT manager of Pure Telecom, which he joined in 2009. He previously served in senior roles at Misys Banking Systems, Cadence Design Systems and Sun Microsystems. He is a UCD electronic engineering graduate. The Citywestheadquartered Irish-owned telecoms company was founded in 2002 and now has over 100 staff in sales, customer care and technical support. Earlier this year it announced 32 jobs in a variety of roles and a e1.8m investment, with the company planning to reach 100,000 customers in the next three years – up from a present 42,500.



Rupert Fuller joined Pioneer Investments in 1995, becoming global information security manager three years ago. He is a Trinity College Dublin graduate of computer engineering and information systems management. Pioneer’s European HQ is in Dublin.




Rory Delahunty is CIO at prominent law firm Ronan Daly Jermyn, which he joined last year. He previously served in senior positions at the Lisheen Mine in Thurles, Co Tipperary, as well as Green Isle Foods and Ulster Bank. He is an IMI/UCC (management practice/business) and University of Limerick (project management) graduate. The firm has offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway and London and employs over 230 people, calling upon 100 lawyers to serve clients in a wide variety of sectors. It recently announced a strategic alliance with Northern Irish law firm John McKee, which has offices in Belfast and London.




Sean Croston is chief operating officer at prominent stockbrokers Goodbody. A DCU mathematics graduate, Croston has experience as head of technology with the long-established company, which has offices in Dublin, London, Cork, Galway and Tralee housing a total of over 300 staff.





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Stephen Reidy is CIO at Three Ireland, which he joined in 2014. He was previously head of strategy and consulting at O2 Ireland for three years before it was acquired by Three’s parent company, and worked in several senior roles at UK telecoms provider Orange between 2002 and 2011. He is a University of Limerick electronics graduate. Reidy describes himself as “a highly motivated, target-driven professional with proven leadership in providing clear and concise vision, strategy and in the end-to-end delivery of solutions and services, supporting and delivering real value to the business”.

Tim started his career with British American Tobacco where he held a number of key positions including Head of IT for Russia. He then spent a number of years with Microsoft, his most recent positions being Global Lead for Site Infrastructure & Services and Head of IT for EMEA. He joined AIB in 2015. He and his team focus on ensuring critical services are delivered to customers every day while continuing the modernisation of these services to meet changing customer needs. Tim holds a Masters in Executive Leadership from Ulster University and is a fellow of the Irish Computer Society.

Tom McKittrick is CIO at OdysseyVC, which he joined in 2015. He was previously sales director at SalesHUB for six years, and key account manager of ProsCon between 2001 and 2005. He is a DCU graduate of analytical science and has a postgraduate diploma in sales management from DIT. OdysseyVC is a progressive technology and professional services company that supplies technology solutions to regulated industries, and is based in Sallins, near Naas. VC stands for validation compliance, and the company offers consultancy services and cloud-based solutions such as its GxP product.






Tom O’Sullivan is deputy CEO of the Irish Computer Society and ICS Skills, having joined in 2004. He was previously product marketing manager at Headway Software, and has also served in senior roles at Cyrano, Scottish Amicable and Sybase Ireland. He is a Griffith College Dublin and DCU graduate. The Irish Computer Society was founded in 1967 as a national body for ICT professionals. ICS Skills is its training and certification body, which implemented the European Computer Driving Licence digital literacy programme. It also promotes projects such as ChooseIT, F1 in Schools, Scratch and Tech Week.

Tony Bolton is CIO global communications, contact centre, mobility and visual technology development and engineering at General Motors, based in Dublin. He previously served as vice president of information technology at HP, where he worked between 2006 and 2012. Prior to joining HP he held several senior roles at Dell. Bolton has a degree in sociology and history and an MSc in internet systems from DCU, a diploma in computer science from DIT, a diploma from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, and a PhD in computer science from the University of South Africa.



Tomás Meehan is the GAA’s first chief information officer. A Galwegian, he is a DCU and TCD graduate, having previously worked for PwC and AIB. He is an All-Ireland Senior Championship winner with Galway and Caltra. Meehan is responsible for the development, implementation and operation of the GAA’s IT strategy.



Steve Kelly is CIO and IT director of Dublin-based RSA Insurance Ireland, with responsibility for IT strategy, service, run, change, business projects and partner management. He has previously served in senior roles in Ireland, the UK and USA with organisations such as Deutsche Bank, TORI Global, HP, TESM and Bank of Ireland, and is a UCD civil engineering graduate. RSA dates its heritage back to 1710 and now employs around 23,000 people, with 17m customers in over 140 countries. In Ireland it operates the brand and is based at its state-of-the-art environmentally responsible headquarters in Dundrum.




Buckley joined Origin Enterprises in 2016 as CIO, having previously held similar roles in UDG Healthcare, Dell and IBM. Buckley is driving an IT and Digital transformation at Origin Enterprises which will maximise the impact of data and digitisation in the agriculture and food industry.




Business & Finance April 2017

Innovation Quality Value A family owned, global provider of veterinary pharmaceuticals enhancing the health of farm and companion animals • Significant investment in R&D • Trusted by animal health professionals worldwide • Committed to being an employer of choice

COMMERCIAL PROFILE | LIVE NATION IRELAND Pictured: Hasan Mutlu, General Manager of Turkish Airlines and Mike Adamson, CEO of Live Nation Ireland

Taking centre stage Live Nation Ireland and Turkish Airlines have announced a new partnership, as the passenger carrier becomes the official airline partner of the 3Arena.


he Live Nation Ireland-owned 3Arena, a 13,000 capacity amphitheatre-style Dublin venue, plays a significant role in the Irish entertainment industry and hosts up to 100 events per year. Since the venue reopened in 2008 following a complete refurbishment, it has welcomed over 5 million visitors through its doors. The new partnership between 3Arena and Turkish Airlines will allow concert-goers to experience the airline brand through a range of experiential activities at 3Arena. Established in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines is a four-star airline with a fleet of 335 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 296 destinations worldwide with 247 international and 49 domestic.

BUILDING AWARENESS Turkish Airlines was named as ‘Europe’s Best Airline’ for the sixth consecutive year at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards and has been operating in Ireland since 2006. Through its partnership with 86

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Live Nation Ireland and 3Arena, Turkish Airlines aims to build awareness of their vast network of worldwide routes. The airline also aims to build awareness of their business class service, which was voted ‘Best Business Class Airline to Europe’ by the Irish Travel Industry Awards 2017. The airline is now entering its 11th year operating in the Irish market and has carried more than 1 million passengers on its Irish routes in that time.

A VIP EXPERIENCE The Turkish Airlines partnership with 3Arena will extend to the 1878: a private members club at 3Arena that offers an annual membership experience that guarantees members tickets for every show, as well as access to the 1878 on every show night for members and guests. This will provide the airline with the opportunity to host its passengers in the club on show nights and provides members of the 1878 with access to rewards and incentives from Turkish Airlines.

PLUSH SURROUNDS The 1878 boasts three separate floors of luxury and comfort, providing the ultimate pre and post-show experience for guests. It is a deluxe and luxurious private members club. Plush, with a décor of rich jewel tones and leather and suede armchairs and sofas, access to the 1878 is via a private entrance to the handsome lounges – all of this just seconds from guaranteed centre-stage seats at show time. Mike Adamson, CEO of Live Nation Ireland, said: “Live Nation Ireland are delighted to welcome Turkish Airlines as our newest partner at 3Arena. This is an exciting new partnership with Turkish Airlines, one we know will enhance 3Arena customer experience and the 1878 member experience. We are very confident that over the next three years, the Turkish Airlines partnership with 3Arena will add value for both of our customer bases.” Hasan Mutlu, General Manager of Turkish Airlines, Ireland, commented: “Turkish Airlines is daring in its strategic sponsorships, which have included the 2016 UEFA European Championships, European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup and the Turkish Airlines Open.” He continued: “Our Irish operation forms a critical part of our business and we see this partnership as an excellent opportunity to enhance our presence in the Irish market by aligning ourselves with 3Arena, the number one music venue in Ireland, as well the 1878, which delivers a first-class music experience providing an excellent fit with our business class service.” n For more information: w: w:



HANGING Deanna O’Connor hangs out at the Cliff at Lyons for a weekend, and finds a relaxation destination close to home.

rior to visiting the Cliff at Lyons for a weekend I had heard of it purely as a wedding venue. It had never really been on my radar as a weekend away destination. There are probably two reasons for this. The main reason was that it was too near Dublin. Getting away always had a strong emphasis on the ‘away’ aspect for me. However, this turned out to be one of the best things about the venue. If you’re based in Dublin and want a quick getaway on a Friday after work without having to book a halfday off to beat the traffic, this is an ideal location; it’s so close you can pop home, grab your bags and still get there in time for dinner (even if Google Maps sends you down the canal tow path for a laugh). The second reason, for me, was that it doesn’t have a spa (it’s due to open in the historic Carriage House building in late 2017). However, presently there are two treatment rooms in which they offer massage and facial treatments using Voya, an Irish seaweed-based range of products. 88

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COSY COTTAGE The accommodation is a mix of hotel rooms and cottages. The cottage styles are traditional, but if it’s a more contemporary chic you’re after, the hotel rooms are decorated in a modern style. So, the estate offers the best of both worlds. We settled in very quickly to our ‘cottage’ – the grandest cottage you’ve ever seen, with marble tiles, wood panelled walls, a giant chandelier and a kitchen bigger than your average city centre apartment (complete with a private terrace overlooking the stream). It would be ideal for a notable birthday or anniversary; to gather a group of friends and host a private dinner, with drinks on the terrace. But the whole place is just made for a very particular type of party: weddings. It’s achingly romantic, and every aspect is photogenic. The fountain, the folly, the lake, the bridge, the mill wheel, the lion statues – take your pick. Then there’s the doves, just hanging out in the courtyard, able to fly freely from their dovecote to wherever they choose to perch. The courtyard

Top: The cosy bar Above: One of the cottages

It’s achingly romantic, and every aspect is photogenic

features an outdoor snug and fire place. Yes, party venue perfection. The bar is pretty impressive, and yet cosy at the same time, with a giant tapestry, roaring fire and Nigel who makes some of the best Negronis I had ever tasted (Nigel then later admitted he’d never made them before).

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS Now, it’s time to talk about the food. This is going to take a while. First, we have breakfast. It is served in the Orangery and it is divine. It begins with a little amuse bouche-esque finely chopped fruit salad in a tiny bowl, with a choice of natural yoghurts. No buffet, no toaster conveyor belt contraptions to wrangle with. Everything is brought to you. It’s is served up in the style of an afternoon tea, with pastries and jams delivered on a silver cake stand. I can’t resist the temptation; after 13 glutenfree months I sneak a bite out of a pain au raisin like a complete maniac, praying that I don’t end up spending the rest of the weekend with my intestines twisted in pâtisserie-induced agony. The breakfast gods are smiling on me. I live to eat another meal... DAY TRIPPING Away from this heady romantic paradise, as we took a little day trip down further into Kildare (realistically we had only strayed about 10 feet outside the Dublin border up until now). My quest for the day was to make up for a school tour I had clearly missed, and visit the National Stud and Japanese Gardens for the first time. Colonel William Hall Walker, who set it up originally before leaving it to the state, was obsessed with horoscopes and kept detailed records of his horses’ star charts – and made the call on which horses to keep based on them. It must have worked, as he was the most successful breeder of his time. Spring is foal season and the best time of year to visit. The Japanese Gardens are also lovely; small but perfectly formed. Planned on a theme of the path through life, a visit definitely requires a sunny day so you can sit for a while and soak up the zen. As the day we visited was anything but sunny, we whizzed around the ‘path through life’ pretty quickly and went to warm up with some retail therapy in Kildare Village outlet just over the road. In my autobiography I shall recall this as ‘the day we ate the most ever’. There was the small matter of a late lunch in L’Officina by Dunne & Crescenzi, with a spot of Prosecco to fuel/take the blame for any irresponsible shopping. My travel partner, of Italian descent, felt right at home because the Italian authenticity went right down to the plates being the same ones as nonna uses back in Italy. Bruschetta and Saltimbocca got the thumbs up from him while I tried to do justice to the delicious risotto with

saffron and Tuscan sausage, and attempted to speed walk it off trying to get around all the shops (great exercise) before we had to hot-foot it back to base camp because there was more eating ahead of us. We weren’t exactly starving at this point, but you’d have to make room for dinner at Lyons.

Top: The photogenic entryway Above: A contemporary styled bedroom

The bar is pretty impressive, and yet cosy at the same time, with a giant tapestry, roaring fire

STAR QUALITY The Orangery restaurant offers a three-course dinner for €55, and let me tell you it’s a bargain. The kitchen is under the direction of Cliff Group executive chef Martijn Kajuiter, he of Michelin stars for the Cliff House in Ardmore fame. Nathan Dimond, a long-time fan of making the most of garden-grown produce, takes charge in the kitchen here. The menu at first seems a bit obtuse, with the ingredients basically bullet flowery descriptions or titles. Go with it though (and remember how irritating pretentiously described menus are). The best way to approach it is just pick the ones you like the sound of and trust in the mastery of this kitchen – they will be given the best treatment and presentation. Everything was stunning, but a special mention has to go to the organic chocolate dessert, which wasn’t even my dessert. Sharing is caring, you know. I’d go back for that alone. We lucked out with the weather, and clear blue skies appeared on the Sunday. We were loathe to drag ourselves away after checkout time, so extended the experience with a walk along the canal, and lunch in the casual dining option The Canal Cafe (everything from chowder to most excellent fresh garden salad to rib eye steak topped with fried egg is on offer here, executed to perfection). And to top off a perfect weekend, the drive home was quick, leaving plenty of time to get boring Sunday life admin and prep for the week out of the way and relax for the evening. Despite being just a stone’s throw from the capital, the peace, quiet and relaxation makes you feel like you are in another world. It’s a genuine shock to the system when you hit the main road and feel like you have come from much farther away; that’s the magic of relaxing. n April 2017 Business & Finance




ODYSSEY Deanna O’Connor enjoys the best hospitality Morocco has to offer.

n a recent trip to Morocco, I visited the two jewels in the crown of Moroccan hospitality. They don’t come with more of a royal endorsement than the first, the Royal Mansour is an exclusive private resort in the heart of Marrakech commissioned six years ago at the behest of King Mohammed VI to celebrate and show off the finest Moroccan artisan work. Set among lush gardens, trees literally heaving with citrus fruit, and dotted with towering palms, the 53 private riads provide the most exclusive hotel experience. Although you stay in your own private villa, ‘room service’ is discreet and timely, as staff dash about a series of underground tunnels on vehicles akin to golf carts – a doorway opens into every floor of the riads, so your every whim can be catered to and it seems like fairies have brought your heart’s desire, as things magically appear with no sound or sight or the delivery person. It truly is a magical experience and like living in a bubble – the lively city throbs outside but you wouldn’t know it. 90

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SOFT LANDING For weary travellers it was the perfect cocoon in which to spend our first night in Morocco after a long day travelling with delayed flights. We were met from our plane by one of the Menara airport fast track assistants, holding up an iPad with my name on it. Ushered away from the rest of our fellow travellers, we were brought through a private immigration channel, from where we could see the queues form from our crowded flight. And before the first of them had passed through we were done, and whisked out of the stunningly designed new airport building – an amazing architectural feat and just a taster of the delights that awaited us in this aesthetically sensational country. The Royal Mansour offer a pick up service, with a plush leather-upholstered Land Rover to bring us the short drive to the hotel. The car was furnished with phone chargers, Moroccan sweets (Moroccan’s are famed for having a sweet tooth), bottles of water and French newspapers. The gates of the hotel are blocked by retractable bollards and a security guard checked the vehicle

Main: The open air courtyard lobby at Royal Mansour Above: The new pool

Set among lush gardens, trees literally heaving with citrus fruit

...the layout in the gardens echoes that of a traditional medina (old town) with narrow paths leading among the buildings... swiftly before they retracted and we advance up the long driveway, delivering us from the normal world outside into this very special place. The impressive exterior was manned by doormen in traditional dress, and we were met by a manager who whisked us directly through the open air courtyard and, bypassing reception, brought us to our riad to show us around and ‘check us in’ (ie take our passports and leave us in peace). Our luggage, of course, went the underground route and silently appeared in our room…the elves, of course.

A HOME FROM HOME The 53 riads are basically vertical suites, and the layout in the gardens echoes that of a traditional medina (old town) with narrow paths leading among the buildings – the map of the property we were given proved useful in finding our bearings heading to the restaurant and pool and back. You enter into a tiled openair courtyard, with elaborately designed wooden doors and a traditional fountain feature. Elaborate is a theme that keeps recurring again and again in Moroccan architecture and interiors – well certainly in the interiors of luxury hotels. Two sets of doors open into the courtyard – glass doors from the lounge and wooden doors towards the kitchenette and stairs up to the bedroom. Above the bedroom (you need to be fit!) is the final floor, a romantic rooftop terrace replete with sunloungers, a small dining table, a traditional-style Moroccan fireplace for cool nights, and a plunge pool for cooling off on hot days. The exteriors are rustic terracotta, while the interior is a sumptuous plethora of every type of plasterwork, silverwork, tiling, marble and plush furnishings. Even the spalshback on the bathroom sink is intricately engraved silver. It is truly a feast for the eyes. POOLSIDE PERFECTION The main body of the hotel is centred on the open air courtyard, over which hangs a huge circle, lanterns suspended from it. There are a variety of small cosy rooms, large function rooms, terraces through which we wandered freely taking in the impressive décor. A particular

Top: The spa atrium Above: Private poolside cabanas

favourite was the snug library, well-stocked with everything from sumptuous coffee table books on diverse subjects from Louis Vuitton, Irish milliner Philip Treacy, to books on Moroccan architecture and cuisine, to the complete works of Stendhal – and TinTin! On site facilities include an indoor pool and extra large hot tub in an orangery and the spa, the entrance to which is truly magical, and worth a look, even if you are not going for a swim or treatment. Standing in the towering white wrought iron atrium is like being inside a giant filigree birdcage. It’s truly fantastical. Outside there is a large pool next to terrace restaurant. Loungers are plentiful and comfortable with huge fluffy towels and cute cushions. While Morocco is ideal for winter sun breaks, the summer sun threatens to be uncomfortably hot and to this end, the seven poolside cabanas look enticing to retreat into.

TAGINES AND TASTE SENSATIONS For breakfast we tried a traditional Moroccan morning feast, comprising a popular soup with lentils and enough spices to be tasty and warming without overpowering. This was followed by baked eggs with meat that was almost like South African biltong – strong, chewy and tasty – served in a mini tagine. Dates and sweet pastries featured too; this almost goes without saying, they really feature a lot! The staff are very friendly and even gathered around one guest to sing her Happy Birthday. Yes, with cake at breakfast. Even though the delicious mint tea is served in glasses little bigger than April 2017 Business & Finance


LIFESTYLE shot glasses, you’d be surprised how many sugar cubes you can fit in them. The best thing to do is just go with it – the food in Morocco is superb, and throughout our trip we decided the best approach was to deny ourselves nothing. It would have been a shame to miss out on any of the excellent cuisine we encountered.

THE GRANDE DAME Known affectionately as the Grande Dame of Marrakech – La Mamounia is steeped in history. It was Winston Churchill’s favourite place in the world, and he moved in every winter, even bringing his own furniture. They had a special bed made for General de Gaulle as he was too tall for the standard size. Since then a host of celebrities have passed through the doors and having had a number of facelifts in her lifetime, the Grande Dame is still looking pretty fine. The first thing that hits you when your enter the dark and atmospheric lobby is the incredible aroma – La Mamounia collaborated with French fragrance house Fragonard to create a bespoke aroma, Les Dattes, based on dates, which is available to buy from the giftshop in candles, home fragrance diffusers and eau de toilette. You are not only cocooned in incredible scent from the moment you walk in the door – you are also cocooned with the best of Moroccan hospitality. Instead of checking in at the front desk, you are seated in one of the lobby’s cosy velvet chairs and welcomed with almond milk and dates, then joined by a receptionist to take care of the check in details while you relax with your refreshments. SUITE DREAMS We stayed in an executive suite, which was made up of a bedroom and sitting room, with adjoining balconies, an en suite as well as a WC, and a walk in wardobe. The décor is elaborate and a paean to traditional carved plasterwork and tiling. The balcony leading from the sitting room has seats, while the adjoining one had sunloungers and both faced the acres of gardens. Although you are moments from the heart of the city, nature crowds in on you – beware of leaving the terrace doors open if you aren’t ready for that…although our flying feathered visitor swooped in and back out so fast it seemed as if he knew his way around. We also noticed a few cats sloping in through the garden doors near the designer boutiques downstairs – a brave move on their part considering dogs are welcome guests at the hotel. 92

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Top: Doormen at La Mamounia Above: The Italian bar

Another decor highlight is the original handpainted ceiling by Jacques Majorelle

DÉCOR DELIGHTS To describe the interiors of La Mamounia with mere words barely does them justice, and the hotel is a favoured spot for fashion shoots and as a film location. Indeed, a French film crew was on site during our stay, stationed in the hotel’s vast and accommodating business centre, and filming interior and exterior scenes as unobtrusively as possible. The tiled courtyards are one highlight of the décor, a favourite backdrop of fashion bloggers and instantly recognisable from their associated Instagram fame. One courtyard leads off reception towards the function and event rooms, while another, out the other side leads towards a variety of high-end gift shops, varying from the hotel’s chicly branded merchandise and fragrances, to bejewelled kaftans and interiors pieces. Through this courtyard, one passes towards the indoor leisure facilities and spa. There is a pool overlooked by a fabulously dramatic daybed throne worthy of Cleopatra, and further on through a tiled passageway is a domed octagonal room featuring a huge hot tub. Downstairs, all of the spa treatment area is painted in the classic Majorelle blue – a vibrant indigo associated with the painter and the colour he painted the exterior of his studio in Jardins Majorelle (a Marrakech tourist must-see, renovated by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge). Another décor highlight is the original handpainted ceiling by Jacques Majorelle, in the Italian bar. Of the hotel’s two bars, this one doesn’t stay open very late, but in the evening is buzzy and elegant – the perfect spot for a

Eat breakfast like a king... A breakfast buffet unlike any other is served from a poolside pavilion

Negroni, if you like your chic Italian cocktails in fittingly fabulous surrounds. The other bar, named after Churchill, is the night owls’ lair, presumably replacing a long-closed nightclub the hotel used to house. Whether Churchill himself was a fan of leopard-print is a question that remains unanswered to me, but either way, it is a major feature of the décor here, and the cocktails are as strong as the style statement. While the hotel bars’ opening hours are not aligned with what we’re used to in Europe, if you’re a night owl there is a vast and brightly lit all-night casino on the property. And, apart from all the classic casino games, featured a very decent singer on stage – although her talent was somewhat wasted on the crowd as the gamblers were all intent on their gaming activities.

THE BREAKFAST CLUB If you live by the expression, ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper’, then La Mamounia’s breakfast feast will cater to the first part (dinner like a pauper is not an option, but we’ll get to that presently). A breakfast buffet unlike any other is served from a poolside pavilion. Every side of the room is lined with heaving stands of delicious food to cater for every possible whim and taste, with everything from lentils to freshly made donuts and chocolate sauce on offer. The centre of the pavilion is piled high with breads and pastries. And if by any chance the selection is not enough for you, there are chefs ready to take your requests for any specifics. If you lack self-control at a buffet, this will test you, and your waistband. Stretchy pants and flowing kaftans are a must; I defy anyone to get out of here with under three return trips. When I visited in early March some mornings were still a little cool for eating out of doors but before the sun burst through, gas heaters were thoughtfully provided. While Le Pavilion de la Piscine serves lunch and Sunday brunch also, there are three other restaurant options at La Mamounia, named for the provenance of their cuisine. While Le Francais and L’Italien sounded tempting, especially with two-star Michelin chef Don Alfonso presiding over the offering in L’Italien, it had to be Le Marocain, set in its own building,

Top: The pool and breakfast pavilion Above: Authentic Moroccan design elements make every room special

with indoor private lounges, alcoves and patio seating. The surroundings are plush and the traditional lute and violin players subtly add ambiance. The menu showcases the finest of Moroccan gastronomy with a contemporary edge, using many fresh ingredients grown in the hotel’s own gardens. Unlike other traditional Moroccan restaurants, wine is on the menu here, and we yet again plumped for a Moroccan gris (midway between a rose and white wine) which perfectly complemented the pastry based starters and seafood mains we chose. The French influence in Morocco is not just prevalent in the use of the language and winemaking expertise, but also in their love of bread. There was a fantastic selection on offer here, and perhaps it was a mistake to take advantage of it. By the end of the meal, my devotion to my delicious rose macaron dessert wavered and failed. It’s not often a dinner bests my ability to finish it, but it’s testament to the deliciousness and generosity of Moroccan cooking that I failed here. The hotel is dotted with artwork, photography and artefacts which celebrate Moroccan culture and history. When I arrived I was told that the thinking behind this was to give guests a flavour of Morocco as many who visit rarely, if ever, leave the hotel. After spending a weekend here, I would happily be one of those people. A couple of cursory essays into the surrounding world to hit the must-see sights of Marrakech left me looking forward to returning to the welcoming cocoon of the Grande Dame’s arms. n April 2017 Business & Finance




The inside track on Ireland’s booming food and beverage industry.

Edited by Colin White

CREAM OF THE CROP The Avondhu Liqueur Company has announced the launch of Cremór Irish Cream Liqueur, an exciting new entry into the international drinks market. Unlike other cream liqueurs, the unique composition of the Irish-made Cremór allows it to easily float on any liquid, hot or cold, that is denser than water. The premium liqueur is made with cream delivered daily from the famed dairy pastures of Cork’s Golden Vale, and locally sourced Irish whiskey. Cremór is stocked in selected SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide, at €19.99, with plans to roll out into the general retail and ontrade in the first half of 2017. There are currently two flavours: The Original, which showcases the classic Irish cream flavours of whiskey and cream, with a hint of white chocolate; and the subtle sweetly-spiced warmth of Gingerbread.

THE DISTILLERS Irish Distillers has announced the reopening of the home of Jameson in Smithfield, Dublin, following a total investment of €11m. The new look facility will support the Irish whiskey tourism strategy target of trebling the number of Irish whiskey tourists visiting Ireland annually, to 1.9 million by 2025. Speaking at the opening of Jameson Distillery Bow St, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: “Each year, over 600,000 tourists pass through Irish whiskey visitor centres to experience first-hand the heritage behind this time-honoured spirit and hear the stories of established and emerging distilleries. He continued: “The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to treble this figure to 1.9 million visitors by 2025 and Jameson Distillery Bow St. will undoubtedly play a central role in delivering on this vision. Smithfield and its wider Dublin environs have a rich history and vibrant cultural scene which will also continue to attract and visitors from near and far.” Ray Dempsey, who has been General Manager at the Jameson brand home in Smithfield since its opening in 1997, added: “We have had the privilege of calling Bow Street home since 1780 and we’re delighted with our new makeover. Visitors can look forward to immersive storytelling where they will be invited to touch, smell and most importantly, taste Jameson in the original Bow Street Distillery building. As Smithfield continues to experience a cultural resurgence, we’re incredibly excited to be part of this thriving community and look forward to being here long into the future.”

REBEL YELL Cork company Rebel Chilli has been selected by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City as its representative at the 2017 National Enterprise Awards on May 25th in the Mansion House, Dublin. Founder of Rebel Chilli, Paul Moore, will be in with a chance of winning one of 12 awards on offer and his share of the €40,000 national prize fund for his company that produces fresh chilli sauce in Cork city. Moore is now selling to 300 stores in Ireland, including 50 Dunnes Stores outlets, Supervalu and Fallon & Byrne, to name but a few, as well as exporting to the UK and Dubai. The National Enterprise Awards recognise and honour the success stories of small businesses and entrepreneurs around Ireland. Rebel Chilli was announced as the LEO Cork City nominee for the awards at a special presentation hosted during Local Enterprise Week. In 2014 Rebel Chilli was awarded a gold Blas na hÉireann Award for ‘Best Sauce’, which boosted sales and also brought an investor on board, and in 2015 Dunne moved Rebel Chilli to a kitchen unit in Farranferris. Having also recently won ‘Best Start Up’ in LEO Cork City’s search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), Dunne will be hiring his first employee in the next few months. He also has plans for Rebel Chilli to expand into the UK market.


Business & Finance April 2017



Carlow Brewing Company has announced their acquisition of Craigies Cider, and will add the Irish craft cider brand to its own portfolio of brands, which includes O’Hara’s Irish craft beers, and Falling Apple Irish craft cider. The sale includes Craigies cider production equipment, which will enable Carlow Brewing Company to bring all cider production in-house to the Bagenalstown-based microbrewery this year, and facilitate support of local apple growers and producers. Commenting on the announcement, Seamus O’Hara, CEO of Carlow Brewing Company, said: “The brewery is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, and we are delighted to start 2017 with this expansion. We launched Falling Apple Cider in 2015, and the goal was to take the cider production in-house. The deal with Craigies has facilitated this objective. It will allow us to expand and innovate our Falling Apple range, and also continue to produce the Craigies cider range to the high standard their many fans expect.” Members of the Craigies team will continue to be involved with the production and promotion of Craigies, lending their expertise and experience. Carlow Brewing Company, which has been in existence for over 20 years, is Ireland’s leading craft beer producer, driven principally by the O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer brand.

Renowned chef Jean-Christophe Novelli has given Belfast diners a flavour of the culinary expertise he’ll be bringing to Belfast when he opens his new signature restaurant in City Quays, the latest development at Belfast Harbour Estate with £250m earmarked for investment across the 20-acre site. This will be the only restaurant the multi-Michelin-starred and AA Rosette award-winning chef will open on the island of Ireland, and will be part of the new £25m Marriott Hotel. Ahead of the restaurant opening next year, Jean-Christophe showcased the food offering he’ll be serving up at the new venture, which will be known as Jean-Christophe Novelli at City Quays, in an event at the historic Harbour Commissioners office. The Marriott Belfast is the city’s newest waterfront hotel development and will feature the 104-seat restaurant, as well as a bar, lounge, gym, meeting rooms and 190 luxury bedrooms. Speaking as he launched the new restaurant plans, Novelli said Belfast and City Quays are perfect for his Ireland debut. “The city has a well-deserved reputation as a must-visit food destination, and I can’t wait to add my expertise to what is an already successful and thriving hospitality industry here.”

FREE TRADE BRIGADE Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food sector, has welcomed the call by 35 associations representing the UK food and drink supply chain for an early agreement on the UK-Ireland trading relationship. FDI Director Paul Kelly commented: “With 40% of total food and drink exports going to the UK, Ireland is four to six times more exposed than any other European country to Brexit. Supply chains in the food sector are deeply integrated between our two countries and the continued, uninterrupted flow of these supply chains are essential to the competitiveness of food and drink businesses on both islands.” “That is why FDI are calling for Brexit negotiations to produce outcomes that support the closest possible economic and trading relationship between the EU and the UK.” A commitment is required by both sides to negotiate an ambitious and balanced agreement that prioritises continued tariff and barrier free trade, long-term growth, investment and stability.

THE THRILL OF THE FAIR The Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair returned for a fifth time to The Convention Centre Dublin in late February, featuring a host of local and international craft beverages as well as local culinary delights. Out of the 370 craft beers competing in The Dublin Craft Beer Cup, it was Saison Witbier from Horizont of Hungary that took home the top prize. The saison wheat beer was an overwhelming favourite with the 28 independent judges. The Classic Pear Cider from McCashin’s Brewery

of New Zealand also struck a chord with judges, particularly its perfect balance of sweetness and acidity and its impressive pear top notes, to win The Dublin Craft Cider Cup. Also worthy of a notable mention is Rye River Brewing, which scooped 16 awards at the fair. Its Gold McGargles Double Bangin’ IPA and the Crafty Brewing Company American Style Pale Wheat Ale both beat off stiff competition from home and abroad to take home ‘Gold’ and ‘Best in Category’. n April 2017 Business & Finance




UPDATE Edited by Ruraidh Conlon O’Reilly

Bite-sized news, views and updates from the global tech industry.

Eye on Samsung South Korean giant Samsung has one of the broadest footprints in consumer electronics today, from flat-screen TVs to fridges and dishwashers. The breadth of its range is nicely illustrated by the opportunity to test some of its latest gadgets, amounting to a state-of-play for Samsung in early 2017. Thankfully we’re talking VR devices and high-tech cameras here, not washing machines. First up is the company’s latest Galaxy A5 smartphone handset. Pitched at the mid-range of the market, in the hand and in intensive day-to-day use it’s hard to distinguish it from its top-dollar equivalent. The specs are there though: 5.2” 1920x1080 display, 16MP camera, octa-core CPU and that modern miracle, the reversible USB type-C connector. Fast and responsive, there is very little it can’t do for business or personal use. For a little more firepower, however, we switch to the Galaxy S7. It looks and feels remarkably similar, but the move is necessary in order to fire up the Gear VR headset. Powered by Oculus, makers of the industryleading Rift, the Gear VR is a pair of goggles that cradles the S7 before one’s eyes and shuts out all other light. The effect is a surprisingly effective virtual reality experience, cleverly executed: virtual rollercoasters cause queasiness, Star Wars escapades fulfil childhood fantasies and Lewis Hamilton laps the Catalunya circuit with you on board. Navigation, via buttons and a touchpad on the side of the headset, is intuitive and the onboard sound


Business & Finance April 2017

sufficient. Drawbacks? It’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for, the amount of content is far from limitless, and the sheer immersion of the experience distracts one from noticing that much of the content is quite pixelated. But it’s an achievement not to be sniffed at, and the technology will only improve in months and years to come. Meanwhile, the Samsung Gear 360 unlocks a whole world of marketing and communications opportunities. Here is a 360° digital camera that captures 180° vertically and horizontally via two lenses. Recording in 25.9MP and 3840x1920, this sci-fi eyeball sits atop a clever tripod and beams back Bluetoothed video that is crystal-clear and easily used. Portable and particularly useful for social media content generation and conferences, a trial run suggests that best results are to be had when it’s positioned at eye-level. It’s a clever and user-friendly addition to a marketer’s toolkit – in a lineup that combines refinement and innovation. n

Fit to sleep Wearables-maker Fitbit has introduced its new Alta HR, dubbed the world’s slimmest continuous heartrate wristband. It comes with Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights functionality that examines heart rate variability to estimate how much time is spent in light, deep and REM sleep. The device is 25% slimmer than the Fitbit Charge and is available for presale, with general release in April.

5MP camera connect to most smartphones, beaming back still and video images. Originally a Kickstarter project, the drone-like gadget is controlled by iOS or Android app and will be available from May.

TV debut for Amazon Alexa

Consumer electronics giant Amazon’s latest Fire TV Stick arrived in early April, promising better performance at a stg£39.99 price point. It now has Alexa Voice Remote, allowing users to control the device through voice commands – searching and typing were major drawbacks of the previous-generation Fire TV Stick, which could be a frustrating user experience when used without a Bluetooth keyboard. The new device is 30% faster, has 8GB storage and 1GB of memory, and again promises full HD and apps such as Netflix.

Kickstarter Roundup Update to create

Early April saw the latest free revision to Windows 10, dubbed the Creators Update. Extensively trialled on the Windows Insider Program, the focus is on 3D, VR and gaming functionality, as well as the usual underthe-bonnet improvements to improve and strengthen the platform. Known to techies as Redstone 2, it’s the latest in an update strategy that will see Windows 10 updated in twiceyearly chunks, rather than introducing a new operating system every few years. The next is speculated to arrive around November.

Jen Carey’s Rampunctious – The Game of Terrible Puns – is a hit on Kickstarter this month, well exceeding its e10,000 target and gaining notice on social media. Elsewhere, Garibaldi, billed as the world’s thinnest denim watch, is firmly oversubscribed with plenty of time left to get on board. In Cork, Circus Factory are raising funds to prepare their new training space and a goal of e3,400 will boost the facility’s heat, insulation and aerial training functionality. n

Selfies take off

The world’s first flying selfie stick has launched, with prices starting from e259. The AirSelfie is a pocket-sized flying camera with a maximum altitude of 66 feet. Its built-in wi-fi and April 2017 Business & Finance



Ireland Day Leadership Breakfast at NYSE A new era of opportunity was the theme for the seventh annual gathering to forge greater business ties between Ireland and the US, hosted by Ireland INC.


reland INC hosted the seventh annual Ireland Day at the New York Stock Exchange, on March 13th, to promote the economic and cultural ties between Ireland and the US. The theme of this year’s Ireland Day focused on the new era of opportunity that awaits the Irish-US business partnership following the economic and political uncertainty of late. Over the last seven years, Ireland INC has promoted increased economic ties between Ireland and the US, and the 2017 Ireland Day Leadership Breakfast represented its highest calibre business

gathering to date. The event featured a series of C-suite international business roundtable discussions and was attended by a unique group of global business and political leaders. Discussions were moderated by John Lee, Executive Director, Goodman Media International and Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Irish Business Organization of New York. The summit hosted more than 100 executives from leading US and Irish corporations including Fortune 500 companies, venture capital firms, entrepreneurial start-ups, policy

Chargé d’affaires Reece Smyth, US Embassy; Paul Reid, Pfizer; Congressman Brendan Boyle; Congressman Richard Neal; Martin D Shanahan, IDA Ireland

Mark Redmond, American Chamber of Commerce Ireland; Shaun Kelly, KPMG; Anne Heraty, CPL/Ibec; Martin Shanahan, IDA; Terence O’Rourke, Enterprise Ireland. 98

Business & Finance April 2017

makers, as well as financial and sciences organisations from the US, Ireland and around the world. Participants and speakers at the Leadership Breakfast event included Paul Marchant (CEO Primark), Congressman Richard Neal, Congressman Brendan Boyle, Anne Heraty (CEO, Cpl and President, Ibec), Martin Shanahan (CEO, IDA Ireland), Terence O’Rourke (Chairman, Enterprise Ireland), Mark Redmond (American Chamber of Commerce Ireland), Thomas Farley (CEO, NYSE) and US Embassy Dublin Chargé d’Affaires Reece Smyth. n

Nicholas Malito, IBO; Bridget O’Brien, O’Brien Pr & Events; John Lee, John Lee Media, Eileen Collins, Collins Network, LLC

John Tuttle, New York Stock Exchange and Ian Hyland, Ireland INC


Guest with Kunal Gulati, TPG Special Situations Partner

Emmanuel Dowdall, IDA; Ian Hyland, Ireland Inc; Martin Shanahan, IDA.

Anne Heraty, CPL; Mary Rodgers, The PorterShed; Margaret Molloy, Siegel + Gale

Congressman Brendan Boyle; Barbara Jones, Consul General; Congressman Richard Neal

Ian Hyland, Ireland Inc and Wilbur Ross, US Secretary of Commerce

Emma Brazil, IDA; Aidan Houlihan, IDA; Brendan Leavy, Queens Chamber of Commerce

Guest with Conor Twomey, First Derivatives; Mark Redmond, American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.

Pat King, Doyle Collection and Paul Marchant, Primark

Cuan Ó Seireadain, Conradh na Gaeilge; Oonagh Desire, Abbey Theatre; Congressman Richard Neal

Guest with Cathal Walsh, Topline Consulting and Laurence O’Toole, O’Toole Transport.

Moderator John Lee being presented with a bottle of Teelings Whiskey, with Ian Hyland

Brian McMahon; Amelia O’Byrne, AL Goodbody NY; Padraig Harris, Willis Towers Watson. April 2017 Business & Finance



FDI 100 launch Christian Kinnear, Managing Director EMEA of HubSpot was honoured at an event to celebrate the top 100 FDI companies in Ireland.


ubSpot’s Christian Kinnear was special honouree at the launch of the Business & Finance FDI 100, an annually updated index highlighting and honouring the decisions of multinationals and their leaders to invest in Ireland. With a spotlight on job creation, innovation, thought leadership and the most vital contributions to the Irish economy, the Business &

Finance FDI 100 represents some of the most extensive profiling of Ireland’s largest multinationals. Managing director EMEA at HubSpot Christian Kinnear was the special honouree on the night held at The Merrion in Dublin, while chief commercial officer at Friends First Life Assurance JP Hughes also addressed the prestigious audience. Overall, 2016 was a record year for

Ian Hyland from Business & Finance, from CPL and Christian Kinnear, Managing Director EMEA at HubSpot and JP Hughes from Friends First

Guest; Peter Power, UNICEF; Margaret Mullet, Irish Haemochromatosis Association.

Jessica Brannigan, Matheson, Commercial Real Estate Associate, Christian Kinnear, Managing Director EMEA at HubSpot with Karen Reynolds, Litigation Partner, Matheson 100

Business & Finance April 2017

FDI in Ireland, as evidenced by the IDA’s results for the 12-month period – which recorded the highest level of employment in its client companies in history, with 199,877 people employed in inward-investment companies. It is also estimated that for every ten jobs created by an FDI company there are seven knock-on jobs created in the wider economy. n

Ian Hyland with Bill Archer, eir.


Hugh McGrath and Xiuyan Hou from First Names with Dennis Barry from Fazzi

Massimo Larni and Pat Reede from United

Declan Lynch, CEO, Elavon and Felicity Smith, Airbnb

Avril Collins from the Blue Book with Kate Ryan from Business & Finance

Brian O’Neill and JP Hughes from Friends FIrst and Noelle Campbell from Business and Finance

John Cunningham and Gavin Mulcahy from Sova Assessment

Gerard Eivers and Gary Murphy from Kellton Tech John Quinn and Jack Butler from MRP and Damien McCann from Viatel

Margaret Mullett, (IHA); Amanda Daly Matheson; Noelle Campbell, Business & Finance

Sarah McHale and Gemma Hurley from Oracle

Declan Bourke, IG; Paddy Brazel, MRP; Niall O’Toole, Business & Finance

Lorraine Hall, Indeed and Noreen D’Arcy from D’Arcy Marketing and PR April 2017 Business & Finance



US Ireland Alliance Oscar Wilde Awards Irish and US stars mingled at the ‘other’ Oscars - the Oscar Wilde Awards in Santa Monica


he US Ireland Alliance hosted their 12th annual Oscar Wilde Awards. Known as the ‘Irish Oscars’, honorees included Outlander star Caitriona Balfe, who was born in Dublin and raised in Monaghan; Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Glen Hansard; American actor Zachary Quinto; Limerick actress Ruth Negga who was nominated for an Oscar this year for her role in Loving; and Canadian-American actor Martin Short. US Ireland Alliance founder Trina Vargo created the event to spark

creative collaborations between the Irish and Americans. The Alliance has an impressive track record on that front, most notably by encouraging director JJ Abrams to film Star Wars in Ireland. The event took place in director JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot studios. Performances by Hansard as well as Irish duo Glenn & Ronan (Glenn Murphy and Ronan Scolard) set the backdrop for the casual outdoor event hosted by the non-profit US-Ireland Alliance. Abrams opened the evening

Zachary Quinto, Caitriona Balfe & Ruth Negga

JJ Abrams, Catherine O’Hara & Martin Short

Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara & Chris Pine

Fioan Doolan & Victor Burke


Business & Finance April 2017

with kind memories of his late friend and former Oscar Wilde honoree, Carrie Fisher. Remarks from the honorees were strung together with quotes from Oscar Wilde and each honoree spoke from the heart about what their Irish ties meant to them in their personal and professional lives. While accepting his award, Glen Hansard led the crowd in an impromptu sing-along of This Land is Your Land. He also had Irish poet Stephen James Smith join him for a recitation of Smith’s poem My Ireland. n

Glen Hansard & Cameron Crowe

Kyle McLachlan & Desiree Gruber

Zachary Quito & Miles McMillan


Cream of the crop Here, we celebrate the determination and innovation of business women in Ireland – those who play an extraordinary role in the success of corporate establishments throughout the island. Bronwyn Brophy, Medtronic Sharon Buckley, Musgraves Rosaleen Burke, Boston Scientific Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown Maeve Carton, CRH Dr Leisha Daly, Janssen Dara Deering, KBC Ireland Helen Dooley, AIB Sonia Flynn, SoundCloud Virginia Fortune, 3Arena Una Fox, The Walt Disney Company Lucy Gaffney, Communicorp Bernadette Gallagher, Bristol Myers Squibb 14. Myra Garrett, William Fry 15. Emer Gilvarry, Mason Hayes & Curran 16. Ellvena Graham, Ulster Bank Group 17. Cathriona Hallahan, Microsoft Ireland 18. Margaret Heffernan, Dunnes Stores 19. Christine Heffernan, Tesco Ireland 20. Anne Heraty, CPL 21. Bríd Horan, ISAX 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37.

22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

Rose Hynes, Origin Enterprises Cathy Kearney, Apple Aisling Keegan, Dell EMC Ireland Caroline Keeling, Keelings Ann Kelleher, Intel Sarah Kent, Kentech Carolan Lennon, open eir Cristina Luminea, Thoughtbox

38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

Suzanne McAuley, Octagon Films Rosheen McGuckian, NTR Regina Moran, Fujitsu Ireland Marie Moynihan, Dell EMC Ireland Barbara Moynihan, OnYourFeet Brenda O’Connell, Twitter Kathryn O’Donoghue, Google Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy Group Anne O’Leary, Vodafone Ireland Julie O’Neill, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Julie O’Neill, permanent tsb Louise Phelan, PayPal Pamela Quinn, Kuehne + Nagel Mary Sheahan, Venn Life Sciences Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland Margot Slattery, Sodexo Gervaise Slowey, Eason and Son Deirdre Somers, Irish Stock Exchange Siobhan Talbot, Glanbia Helen Tynan, Google Iseult Ward, FoodCloud


These boots were made for walking If you have a career-defining presentation coming up, then OnYourFeet is the company to go to.


nYourFeet specialises in helping people to move to the next level to get their message across when presenting internally or in public. The company was founded seven years ago by Barbara Moynihan (pictured). After a career in banking and IT, Barbara began to work with Dale Carnegie Training. She identified a gap in the market and set up OnYourFeet in 2010. Whether it’s a startup pitching

for funding, an internal company presentation for a promotion, or a presentation to a large group at a conference, Barbara has the experience and know-how to help. Based in Dún Laoghaire, OnYourFeet has been steadily growing over the past number of years, with turnover increasing by over 20% in 2016. New business comes from word of mouth, an excellent reputation for delivering results, and a recently revamped website. Work comes from all sectors and includes a blue-chip list of clients in the financial, legal, IT and public sectors. Due to the volume of work, Barbara expanded her team to add two excellent professionals in 2015, one with a strong background in the communications industry and the other coming from the health sector. A new market has developed well over the past 18 months in one-to-

one coaching and training of C-suite executives. Barbara has helped several CEOs, CFOs and senior directors with vital business presentations, giving them that extra edge. This is an area that gives immense satisfaction for Barbara, as the feedback after each big event is invariably excellent. An accomplished public speaker herself, Barbara recently did a TEDx talk in Dublin, which received an excellent response. She also has a very successful career as an MC, taking centre stage at many public events over the past few years. It is this variety of work, her love of people, and the enormous satisfaction of helping people ‘be themselves’ when they get up on their feet to present, that makes Barbara believe that she has the dream job. n For more information: w: April 2017 Business & Finance



Measured monetisation Importers and exporters need smarter international payment solutions to drive competitiveness.


mporting and exporting goods or services is necessary on the island of Ireland to truly scale a business. Hand-in-hand with this should be a smart solution to access your global receipts faster and cheaper, in addition to paying your overseas suppliers in the most cost effective way. Sinead Fitzmaurice, Co-Founder of TransferMate and CFO of The Taxback Group, lends her insight into how a second look at the way organisations send and receive international payments is a must. Smarter payment solutions are not just for importers; exporters need to examine how they can benefit from a host of clever transfer options also. “Exporters and importers are being hit by a seemingly daily barrage of international shocks that translate into huge risk for those that have not taken action. In addition, they navigate multiple banks across the globe when sending or collecting monies. Examining how you make and receive international payments will have an immediate impact on your bottom line and that of your customers,” explains Fitzmaurice. For those importing and exporting, the implications of all the recent political posturing bring real monetary threats to 104

Business & Finance April 2017

their bottom line. TransferMate has become the trusted payments supplier for thousands of companies, from global payroll providers, international universities and major corporations worldwide, as well as being appointed as the official payments partner of West Ham United FC. The company’s mantra of ‘smarter payment solutions’ is founded upon a proprietary, closed-loop platform delivering highly secure control over the complete payments process. By offering far-reaching international payment services for both sending and receiving international transfers across more than 50 countries, TransferMate is disrupting the global payments landscape. The cleverness of its payment models has established TransferMate as one of the very few companies offering a directly controlled, globally regulated solution that drives down the costs faced by companies importing and exporting internationally. “Through our strategic partnerships with the world’s leading accounting software packages, coupled with our global payment licenses and the ownership of our payment platform, we control the entire transactional process,” says Fitzmaurice.

ACCLAIM AND TRANSPARENCY TransferMate’s global network of payment licences, which includes US state-wide regulation, is something that has only been achieved by very few in the rapidly developing fintech sector. “Our payments model is a genuine point of differentiation for our corporate clients,” Fitzmaurice adds. “The company has established a reputation that has received international acclaim from leading organisations, including Deloitte, The London Institute of Banking & Finance, Ernst & Young and PwC.” TransferMate’s dynamic online payments solutions automatically invite customers to pay invoices via the online secure platform – resulting in faster cash flow outcomes and complete transparency for all parties. Commenting on the value of having TransferMate as a Global Payments Partner, Andy Mollet, Finance Director, West Ham United FC, states: “TransferMate give us a flexible, fast and efficient means of carrying out our foreign transactions. We always expect the most competitive rates and timely payments, and TransferMate have delivered these to us whenever we have needed them.” He continues: “Their systems are robust and effective and we have been pleased with their efficiency and flexibility. As a major Premier League club with growing global transaction requirements, we continue to rely on TransferMate for their support, reliable market intelligence and competitive rates at all times.” As a leader of global payment solutions, TransferMate has developed a range of services to meet the exacting needs of its global client base. The company understands that each business has specific requirements and faces its own range of different challenges. n For more information: w: t: +353 1 635 3700

Sinead Fitzmaurice, Co-Founder, TransferMate







TECHNOLOGY | 13.2.17



NGINX announced an expanded international presence and new headquarters for EMEA in Cork, planning to create over 100 jobs in its Cork office over the next three years in specialties including sales, marketing, finance, business development, software architecture, engineering, and research and development.

MTI Global Services is to establish its European HQ in Drogheda, creating 150 jobs over the course of the next three years, with recruitment already underway for a variety of technology-based roles.


The world’s largest jobs site plans to double Irish workforce over the next two years in its Dublin EMEA headquarters, with positions in sales, client services, HR, business development, marketing, finance, strategy and operations.








MEDIA | 22.2.17


TECHNOLOGY | 23.2.17

The scheduled Q4 reopening of the luxury hotel, after extensive refurbishment, will see 300 new direct jobs at the resort, from senior leadership roles to operational team members.

TECHNOLOGY | 22.3.17 The client lifecycle management software solutions provider announced 200 high value new jobs coming on stream due to rapid global expansion, with demand driven by regulatory changes and compliance in banking.

TOURISM | 27.3.17


PRESSREADER The Vancouver-headquartered media company will create 65 jobs in R&D, multilingual business development, sales and marketing, management and administration.

TOURISM | 6.3.17


RETAIL | 20.2.17 Topaz and McDonalds to create 230 new jobs though the opening of two new motorway service areas in Carlow and Fermoy, with an additional 100 jobs during the construction phase of the development of the sites.

Irish transport and delivery company Deadline Group, specialists for the legal, medical, construction and engineering sectors, is to create 80 new permanent jobs over the next two years at its Dublin HQ.


TECHNOLOGY | 17.2.17 Ireland was selected as the location for Microsoft’s new EMEA Inside Sales Centre with the immediate creation of 500 new roles, and a further 100 new roles are being added across its existing operations.









The historic hotel, immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses, will be redeveloped as part of a new global design-led hotel brand, creating in the region of 100 new jobs in Dublin 1.

RETAIL | 11.4.17



Ricoh is to create 110 new jobs at its new Irish headquarters in Swords. The roles will be in technical engineering, software solutions, business development and operations management.

Grafton Merchanting ROI, owner of the Chadwicks and Heiton Buckley brands, will create 170 jobs over the next two years to facilitate expansion of its business.

FAST FACT: Ireland’s unemployment rate now stands at 6.4% April 2017 Business & Finance