Irish Director Spring 2015

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Irish Director Irish Director



Well-being from the top down driving performance



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| LEADERSHIP | CSR | INNOVATION | MOTORING | LAW 13/03/2015 10/03/2015 09:06 18:16

Letterfrom fromthe theeditor editor Letter


Welcome to the autumn issue of Irish Director. Welcome to the spring issue of Irish Director. In our director profile we talk to In our director profile, we hear from RTÉ philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman, who dragon Peter Casey, who discusses a range has contributed so much to Ireland over the of topics, including his own journey as an last 25 years in a wide range of areas, including entrepreneur, some of the lessons he has peace, arts and education. In our One to Watch learned along the way and his plans to enter section, we look at the story so far for Athlonepolitics. based OxyMem, a UCD spin-out that is winning Aviation leasing is the subject of our sector accolades for its breakthrough wastewater profile and we look at factors that have made treatment technology. Ireland so successful in this area, current trends We’re also launching our new ‘Future possible barriers to success Business’ series with a lookand at the concept of business agilityininthe reacting Inchanging our Future Business section, we examine wellness in the context of customer needs. leadership and organisational performance. The role of the chairperson comes under the microscope in our Keeping with section. that theme, our 12-month campaign continues with Boardroom We also look at howCSR organisations can make themselves a focus on the workplace, whistleblowing ready. looking at the business benefits of employee engagement. And we continue our 12-month CSR campaign with a look at the complex Thanks ever to the IoD members and whofrom havesupply contributed area ofas the marketplace, which takes in others everything chainstheir to timecustomer and shared their expertise andquality. insights. We welcome feedback and relations and product suggestions Thankstoas ever to the IoD members and others who have contributed their time and shared their expertise and insights. We welcome feedback and Grainne Rotheryto suggestions Editor, Irish Director Grainne Rothery Editor, Irish Director

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Editor: Grainne Rothery BOSTON Editor: Grainne Rothery WASHINGTON D.C. Production editor: Karina Corbett LOS ANGELES Production editor: Karina Corbett NEW YORK Designer: Keith Wealleans HOUSTON Designer: Keith Wealleans WASHINGTON D.C. Client services: Sharon Bolger, LOS ANGELES For all advertising and marketing queries, ph: +353 1 625 1422, email: HOUSTON contact Sam Hobbs on ph: +353 1 625 1425 or email: For all advertising and marketing queries, contact Sam Hobbs on ph: +353 1 625 1425 Irish Director is published by Business & Leadership Ltd or email: Ph: +353 1 625 1400 Email: Irish Director is published by Business & Leadership Ltd Address: Office 4, 6 Main St, Dundrum, Dublin 14. Ph: +353 1 625 1400 © Business and Leadership Ltd 2015 Email: Address: Top Floor, Block 43B, Yeats Way, Park West Business Park, Nangor Road, Dublin 12 ISSN: 1649-3621 © Business and Leadership Ltd 2014
































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/TurkishAirlines /TurkishAirlines / 01 525 18 49 /TurkishAirlines Voted Europe's Best Airline at the 2014 / 01 525 18 49 Skytrax Passengers Choice Awards Voted Europe's Best Airline at the 2014

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Irish Director The Official Magazine Of The Institute of Directors In Ireland


NEWS FROM THE IOD 4 A word from the Institute’s CEO Maura Quinn

IoD MEMBER PROFILE 52 Roisin Cahill, chief operations officer at IT Force

UP FRONT News, tips and culture

SPECIAL REPORT 55 Corporate social responsibility and the workplace


VIEW FROM ABOVE 12 Irish management leaders offer words of wisdom DIRECTOR PROFILE 16 Peter Casey on business, politics, giving back and Dragon’s Den ONE TO WATCH 20 BioCore – making the most of waste BOARDROOM 24 The role of the board committees

SENIOR APPOINTMENTS 68 Who’s moving where in Irish senior management MOTORING 72 Test driving the Audi A3 Saloon PERSONAL PICKS 76 Daniel Ramamoorty, CEO and cofounder, Treehouse and Emma Colleary, founder, Serendipity Kids

WHAT’S ON 80 Cultural calendar dates for the LEGAL 28 What directors need to know about spring the Companies Act 2014 NETWORKING 82 News and photos from the IoD DOING BUSINESS IN .. 32 Looking at the business and export Spring Lunch opportunities in United Arab Emirates


SECTOR PROFILE 38 Why Ireland continues to be the global hub for aviation leasing FUTURE BUSINESS 44 Employee wellness is an increasingly important area for business

WEBSITE for further information

SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscriptions, please contact +353 1 625 1422

Business & Leadership would like to thank the patrons of Irish Director magazine – Merc Partners and Vodafone –­for their support

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Time to prepare for the Companies Act The Companies Act 2014, which was signed into law in December last, is the largest piece of legislation in the history of the State. It introduces significant reforms to company law in Ireland, affecting every Irish company, its directors and shareholders. In a recent survey conducted with IoD members, 89pc of directors signalled some level of awareness as to how the Companies Act 2014 will affect them or their company, 60pc of those surveyed said they are currently unprepared for the commencement of the legislation, which is expected in June 2015. While there is still time to prepare, with an expected transition period of up to 18 months from commencement, the new Companies Act will affect every company in Ireland and the onus is on all company directors to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the significant impending reforms. The Act aims to make it easier to operate a company in Ireland and there are a number of key points directors need to consider when positioning for change in the months ahead: Company structure Companies must decide on the type of company to which they want to migrate within the transition period and shareholders and lenders will need to be consulted. The existing private company limited by shares will default to a company limited by shares (LTD) unless it converts or re-registers as another company type within the transition period. Constitution of the company Directors will need to review the existing company documentation to ensure that it is fit for purpose. Some company types may have a single constitutional document, combining the memorandum and articles of association. Fifty-one percent of directors surveyed said the introduction of this one document constitution will make it easier to operate a company in Ireland.

Directors’ fiduciary duties The Act, for the first time in Irish law, will codify the fiduciary duties of directors of companies registered in Ireland. Seventy percent of IoD members surveyed welcome the codification of directors’ duties into law, agreeing that it will have a positive impact on operating a company in Ireland and will make the law more transparent and accessible.


Appointing a company secretary It is the responsibility of the directors to ensure that the person or company appointed as company secretary has the necessary skills to carry out the functions of the role and the company secretary will be obliged to sign a declaration acknowledging this. While an LTD may have a single director, it must also have a company secretary. Compliance statements and audit committees The requirement to produce a compliance statement applies to directors of plcs and it also applies to directors of various other company types, depending on the balance sheet total and turnover in respect of the relevant financial year. The directors of a large company also have to form an audit committee, with at least one independent non-executive director with accounting or auditing skills, or state in the annual directors’ report why they have not established an audit committee. Director training The onus is on all company directors to ensure that they are up to date with changes and reforms in the legislation. There is much to consider in the coming months in relation to the points outlined above, which are far from exhaustive, and the extensive range of reforms contained within the Companies Act 2014. To enable our members to prepare, the IoD is working together with McCann FitzGerald on a series of activities and resource material relating to the legislation, which includes a roadshow of events, monthly bulletins and updating both the Directors’ Handbook and the Handbook for Directors of Regulated Financial Services Companies in Ireland to take account of the new legislation. Further information is available on

Maura Quinn Chief executive, Institute of Directors in Ireland



For information on upcoming events please contact Sharon Kirwan on 01 411 0010 or visit


23 April Venue:

12 May


19 May


WORKSHOP ON FINANCE FOR NON-FINANCIAL DIRECTORS Irish Management Institute, Sandyford Road, Dublin 16


WORKSHOP ON LEADERSHIP FOR DIRECTORS Irish Management Institute, Sandyford Road, Dublin 16



WORKSHOP ON CRISIS MANAGEMENT FOR DIRECTORS AND THE BOARD Irish Management Institute, Sandyford Road, Dublin 16






For information on upcoming workshops please contact Sheila Byrne on 01 411 0010 or visit

> NOT YET A MEMBER? To learn about your role and responsibilities as a director and to develop your professional skills, knowledge and expertise, why not join over 2,200 fellow directors who are already members of the IoD in Ireland. Call us today on 01 411 0010 or visit

Irish Director Spring 2015

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up front Sean Lynch, Adventure Capital (2014), projected colour image, courtesy of the artist, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin and Ireland at Venice. Credit: Sean Lynch, Ronchini Gallery, London, 3–27 June 2015, | Ireland at Venice, Venice Biennale, 9 May–22 November 2015,

ADVENTURE: CAPITAL SET FOR VENICE Sean Lynch is representing Ireland at the Venice Art Biennale 2015 with Adventure: Capital, which traces a journey from myth to minimalism around Ireland and Britain. The project combines sculptural, video and archival elements and, according to Lynch, is his most ambitious to date. It brings together Greek river gods, public art at regional airports, quarries and the art of stone carving, an abandoned sculpture in Cork, and a traffic roundabout “on a storytelling journey that unravels notions of value and the flow of capital through an anthropological lens”. “I’m interested in developing representations of idiosyncratic moments of the past, instances mostly eradicated from popular consciousness that yet exist through a disparate series of objects, events and narratives swaying between the anecdotal and objective-informative,” Lynch has said. “I’d consider my task to track down and investigate what this material, often sidelined by the progress of history, might mean as an alternative when presented within today’s neoliberal cultural hegemony.” From North Kerry, Lynch is a graduate and lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT.He lives in Askeaton, Limerick and London. The 56th Venice Biennale takes place from 9 May to 22 November.

Five companies from Ireland make European Business Awards finals

Five companies from Ireland – Dawn Meats, EPS Group, Morgan McKinley, PayPal and Version 1 – have been announced as finalists and Ruban d’Honneur recipients in the 2014/15 European Business Awards. In total 110 Ruban d’Honneur recipients across Europe were chosen from 709 national champions by a panel of judges consisting of European business and political leaders, academics and entrepreneurs. Now in its eighth year, the European Business Awards, sponsored by RSM, has engaged with over 24,000 businesses from 33 European countries this year.

Sean Lynch, Adventure Capital, ratio-3-2, courtesy of the artist, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin and Ireland at Venice. Credit: Sean Lynch, Ronchini Gallery, London, 3–27 June 2015, | Ireland at Venice, Venice Biennale, 9 May–22 November 2015,


Congratulations to IoD members Bernadette Coyne, John P O’Connor and Pat McGrath, who all recently received chartered director accreditation. Coyne is the managing director of Coyne Research, which she set up in January 2012 and has grown to employ 14 staff with a turnover of around €2m. O’Connor is chief executive of Tynagh Energy, Ireland’s first independent electricity generator, which owns a 400 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Galway, together with a commercial operation based in Dublin. McGrath is director and former CEO of PM Group. He is also on the board of the IMI and currently chairs the IMI Council.

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Ireland picked

as inaugural focus country for London Festival of Architecture Ireland has been selected by the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) as the inaugural focus country for its month-long celebration of architectural experimentation, thinking and practice in June. LFA 2015 will be the first outing of New Horizon, a series of presentations of the work of 10 emerging Irish practices. New Horizon forms part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), a year-long initiative backed by the Irish Government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally. Selected by curators Raymund Ryan and Nathalie Weadick, each of the 10 practices is allocated to one of the three global cities. Their challenge is to represent key aspects of their work in a setting or installation specific to their site and host city. The venues for London are Kings Cross and the Design Museum and the five emerging practices being presented by ID2015 are Emmett Scanlon, Clancy Moore, Taka, Steve Larkin and Hall McKnight. “We are extremely honoured that Ireland has been selected as the inaugural focus country for London Festival of Architecture and we look forward to working with the festival team in promoting Irish businesses working in the architecture and built environment space as one of the highlights of the ID2015 programme,” said Laura Magahy, executive chair of ID2015. Following London Festival of Architecture, New Horizon will travel to the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Hong Kong/ Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture.

One in 10 small firms planning to open new premises this year

While small firms generally are optimistic about the year ahead, with one in 10 planning to open new premises, companies with five staff and under are less optimistic, according to a new study. The inaugural Magnet Regional Business Barometer (MRBB) carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of cloud telecoms provider Magnet found that 55pc of firms of fewer than five employees are confident about the year ahead, compared to 70pc of larger SMEs. SME decision-makers are much more positive than the general public, with 75pc of SMEs saying the economy is improving, while just 55pc of the general public feel this is the case. The survey reveals that businesses in the mid-west – Limerick, Clare, North Tipperary – are most confident about the future, followed by those in Dublin, at 73pc and 67pc respectively.


Brand champion: founders of Boutique Bake

Catherine Buggy and Suzanne Lynch Boutique Bake was set up by best friends Catherine Buggy and Suzanne Lynch in a small cottage in Donnybrook, Dublin with the aim of creating a baking mix brand that’s fun, hassle free, Irish, delicious and free from artificial flavours, additives and preservatives. How important is a marketing strategy now to a brand – more or less so than before? We feel, more so now than ever before, that having a clearly defined strategic marketing campaign, centred on building a trusted brand is the key to building a business that will thrive. Reason being, there are so many similar products available to consumers these days and it’s essential that you stand out and develop your own brand identity which creates a unique perception in the customer’s mind when they interact with your products. In terms of your own brand, what marketing strategies will you be adopting for the rest of this year and beyond? The focus of our brand is to inspire people to be as passionate about baking as we are and at the same time taking the hassle out of it. We want our marketing campaigns to focus on this philosophy. The Boutique Bake brand is very much a personal brand, and we plan on focusing on this throughout 2015. We have a food blog and we really want to grow this throughout the year and continue to reach our customers through this means. What would be your own marketing philosophy? To definitely always keep in mind who exactly your customer is, where they are and tailor your content towards them. It’s also really important to tell your story, and communicate the passion behind your range of products and services. This is an extract from a Q&A article that first appeared on - http://www.businessandleadership. com/marketing/item/49433. Spring 2015 Irish Director

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UCC RANKED SECOND IN FOR GREEN UNIVERSITIES WORLDWIDE University College Cork (UCC) has been ranked second in the world overall for the second consecutive year in the Universitas Indonesia (UI) Greenmetric World University Ranking. UCC was also placed second in the ‘Urban’ campus setting category. Now in its fifth year, the UI Greenmetric World University ranking compares the efforts of universities in their campus sustainability and environment friendly university management, with 360 universities from 62 countries ranked this time around. University of Limerick was placed 11th, while Dublin City University (53), Trinity College Dublin (104) and Dublin Institute of Technology (193) were also ranked. The results are generated from information provided by universities online. This year the information is organised under six main categories, including green statistics (15pc weighting), energy

and climate change (21pc), waste management (18pc), water usage (10pc), transportation (18pc), and education (18pc).

University College Cork

IRISH-HEADQUARTERED ACCENTURE AND SHIRE MAKE TOP 100 SUSTAINABLE CORPORATIONS LIST Biotechnology company Biogen Idec has been named the most sustainable corporation in the world in 2015, while Irish headquartered Accenture and Shire are included among this year’s top 100 sustainability performers. The 2015 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (Global 100) Index, compiled by Toronto-based media and investment advisory company Corporate Knights, includes the top overall sustainability performers in their respective industrial sectors, selected from a starting base of 4,609 listed companies with a market capitalisation of more than US$2bn. The Global 100 is determined using 12 quantitative sustainability indicators, including the amount of revenue companies generate per unit of energy consumed, the ratio of CEO to average worker pay and lost time injury rate. “The Global 100 represent the corporate trailblazers who are forging new ways to make more with less, while raising the bar on good governance and social responsibility,” said Toby Heaps, CEO

of Corporate Knights. According to Corporate Knights, one of this year’s most encouraging findings is the rapid uptake among firms to pay their executives to deliver on sustainability targets. In 2015, 85pc of the Global 100 firms are providing a monetary bonus to executives who achieve sustainability targets. For instance, Philips Electronics and Schneider Electric link their executives’ bonuses to achieving carbon emissions reductions. The Global 100 index (which is equally weighted) commenced on February 1, 2005. From inception to December 31, 2014, it delivered a total return of 90.76pc, compared to 96.98pc for its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index. Corporate Knights said this is the first year-end that the Global 100 Index has fallen behind its benchmark, largely due to the rising US dollar, as 81pc of Global 100 constituents trade in nonUS denominated currencies, compared with around 50pc for the MSCI ACWI.

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You have never faced tougher stakeholder demands. You are expected to work in new ways to overcome seemingly impossible challenges and at the same time respond to fresh opportunities. During these times, your business relies on you to provide clarity, direction and above all leadership. This year’s event integrates the latest and most relevant business research to address these current challenges managers should be aware of.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW: UCD Alumni €245, Non Alumni €295, Special Team Offer – 5 tickets for the price of 4.

To reserve your place visit or call (01) 716 8050

Spring 2015 Irish Director

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Change leaders: Mairead Healy and Future Voices Future Voices is an award-winning youth empowerment programme working with young people from disadvantaged schools in the years leading up to their Leaving Cert. Social entrepreneur Mairead Healy founded Future Voices in 2012. As her team prepared to launch a new Youth:Elect programme in March that will coach young people to stand in general elections, Healy explained what motivates her to advocate on behalf of young people. What is the mission of Future Voices? Young people growing up in some of the most deprived and marginalised communities in Ireland often struggle to reach their potential. At Future Voices, we want to give them a voice and an opportunity to build up their self-esteem. How does it work? We hand select the DEIS schools with the lowest test scores and percentages going on to college, and we work with these students to give them a new sense of confidence, so that they might become leaders in their communities. The programme is currently built around a three-year model, so the three years of secondary school leading up to the Leaving Cert. The Flagship project is about building up the students’ confidence through workshops and coaching sessions to build their skills – we cover everything from research, public speaking and presentations. Following this, the Step Up to the Mark programme is really about them taking charge, becoming advocates for their communities by learning about the legislation that affects them. Step Up includes a central project piece – for example, this year our students are organising a TEDx conference. Throughout the three-year programme, students are paired with mentors who are working in the fields of law, policy or the Government. They also have interactions with high level influencers in Ireland through our workshops and events. The reason for this is twofold: we engage the high level mentors in order to give the students a realistic shot at actually achieving their goals and being able to flourish – because the reality is that students have better chances in the job market if they have access to the right networks. But it’s not just about changing the mindsets of our students – it’s about inspiring the leaders and mentors as well. It’s about them thinking twice next time they’re going to hire someone or help someone on their way. We can’t break down old, elite and exclusive networks, but what we can do is create new ones that will be more accessible and inclusive. This is an extract from an article in the Change Leaders series, a collaboration between Ashoka Ireland and –


MD MAKES TOP 50 LGBT EXECUTIVES FOR 2015 LIST Margot Slattery, managing director, Sodexo Ireland is number 10 on the Out at Work list of Top 50 LGBT Executives for 2015, who were commended for their active role in making a difference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in business. Slattery is a member of Sodexo’s global LGBT network leadership team, which has been influential in promoting and championing LGBT equality across the world. She also chairs the UK and Ireland sexual orientation workstream, part of Sodexo’s diversity approach. Outside Sodexo, Slattery was elected to the board of Glen (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) and has participated in panel discussions with them in relation to the introduction of a workplace charter that is focusing on how LGBT diversity helps drive business excellence. In October 2014, she was named among the top 100 business leaders by Outstanding, a not-for-profit professional network for LGBT executives and their allies, published in association with the Financial Times. Chief executive of HSBC UK Antonio Simoes topped the list, followed by vice-president and MD at IBM Claudia Brind-Woody at No 2 and chief creative and chief executive officer of Burberry Christopher Bailey in third place.

Ireland ninth in Europe for digital performance and connectivity Ireland has been ranked ninth of the 28 EU member states in the European Commission’s latest Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). With an overall score of 0.52, Ireland is above the EU average of 0.47. Its performance has improved slightly on 2014 when it ranked 11th and had an overall score of 0.49, ahead of the EU average of 0.44. The index reveals that over the last year, take-up of fast broadband in Ireland has increased considerably (subscriptions up from 30pc to 40pc), while use of internet services has also increased, with 71pc now using video on demand, 63pc using social networking, 62pc having used online shopping, 60pc using online banking and 56pc of internet users using eGovernment actively. According to the European Commission, however, more progress is needed in Ireland on increasing digital skills – only 53pc of the population have sufficient digital skills to operate effectively online, down from 56pc in 2012 – and the number of skilled ICT professionals in the economy (around half of enterprises trying to employ ICT specialists report difficulties doing so), as well as in the integration of digital technologies by enterprises.

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NOT A WISH. A PROMISE. For more than 150 years, a very special passion has driven the people of MSD. A leading global healthcare company, we have a longstanding presence in and commitment to Ireland and aspire to be the best human and animal healthcare company in the country. Our goal is to develop medicines, vaccines and animal health innovations that will improve the lives of millions. We employ over 2,000 people across eight businesses in Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Tipperary and Wicklow, including manufacturing sites, global financial services and commercial operations. A member of Guaranteed Irish, we are proud to be one of Ireland’s leading exporters, manufacturing and packaging many of our leading products in Ireland for the world’s markets. See all we’re doing at


Copyright © 2015 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., One Merck Drive, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey 08889, USA. All Rights Reserved. CARD-1088502-0008

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of internationalisation for business growth

With over 90pc of future global economic growth expected to take place outside of Europe over the next year, there is a pressing need for indigenous Irish companies to avail of new as well as existing trade and investment opportunities to ensure maximum growth and the continued recovery of the Irish economy. Growth in the Republic of Ireland remains heavily dependent on exports and although many Irish companies are built to export, particularly within the technology and agri-food sectors, many of our traditional industries see internationalisation as an evolutionary step. Export growth is forecast to slow from 9.7pc in 2014 to 3.9pc in 2015 with many of Ireland’s traditional export markets – such as the UK, the eurozone and North America – suffering prolonged economic difficulty over recent years. Despite this, the combined growth rates of major Asian economies such as India, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as China, still offer scale and long-term growth potential for our ambitious exports. While many of the non-Bric rapid growth economies are worth a long-term investment, they’re only part of the picture. Although rapid growth markets are picking up output share, developed markets are still major drivers of world economic activity and, in 2013 alone, exports to the US from Enterprise Ireland client companies totalled €1.8bn. Leading companies are adopting a multi-market approach and, to create a well rounded portfolio, investors will need to diversify their bets to include several mature markets, which are making a comeback in certain areas and sectors. Many governments in emerging and rapid growth markets are negotiating away decades of trade barriers and market distortions in pursuit of larger markets, lower prices and entrepreneurial opportunity. At the same time, they are putting in place the infrastructure to help goods cross borders and reach, or arrive from, far flung continents. The recent US decision to lift the ban on the Irish beef imports along with the 2013 announcement to lift the ban on beef exports to Japan are recent examples of the considerable opportunities that such trade deals can offer Irish companies in terms of scaling into significant markets and boosting Ireland’s international reputation as a high quality producer. In addition to the commercial issues facing businesses as they expand internationally, there is a myriad of tax opportunities and challenges to be addressed. Many countries offer tax incentives to businesses setting up operations; however companies used to a low corporate tax rate in Ireland and a customs duty free trading bloc in the EU, face doing business in countries where the rate can exceed 40pc, like the US, and real costs through import duties, not to mention an incremental compliance burden. The companies that will ride the next wave of economic growth will be those with global aspirations and fine-tuned expansion strategies. Recognising the importance of internationally active

KEVIN MCLOUGHLIN is EY head of tax and partner lead for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

SMEs in driving growth within regional, national and global economies, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme has kept internationalisation at the top of the agenda for the entrepreneurs within our community, who together employ 152,250 people and generate a turnover of €16.6bn. Through our global network of entrepreneurs and initiatives like our annual international CEO Retreat, we hope to continue to provide Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with the tools, insights and networks to build robust growth strategies and expand their footprints beyond Irish shores.

‘The companies that will ride the next wave of economic growth will be those with global aspirations and fine-tuned expansion strategies’

Irish Director Spring 2015

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CSR and effective networking Engaging with a non-profit organisation as part of your corporate social responsibility policy is a commitment of resources, time and energy and is not to be taken lightly. The right partnership, however, can be extremely rewarding both at a personal level and right across your organisation. I got involved with Enactus Ireland because of my genuine interest in innovation and entrepreneurship, and my strong belief in the importance of developing Ireland’s future leaders. Enactus Ireland enables third-level students to create and implement social entrepreneurial projects, which positively impact on their local communities. By applying the powers of business and academic learning to social issues, Enactus students are changing the lives of others and developing essential leadership, interpersonal and practical skills necessary for the workplace.

GARY OWENS is a non-executive director of Enactus Ireland and managing director of Employee Benefits Ltd with Willis Ireland.

Now in its fourth year of operation in Ireland, the organisation has grown to include eight of Ireland’s leading higher educational institutions to participate in the Enactus programme. Enactus Ireland is one of 36 countries that are part of the Enactus global network. Each year, Enactus Ireland holds a national competition that showcases the students’ social entrepreneurial projects and adds a competitive element to the programme. Every year, the national champion team goes on to represent Ireland at the prestigious Enactus World Cup. Enactus University College Dublin achieved fourth place at the 2014 event, in Beijing China, with its project Generation Accommodation. Enactus Ireland has a tangible value proposition, which is something my company has benefited from greatly as a partner over the past year. We are certainly contributing to our communities and developing future talent. We are also meeting the next generation of real employable leadership talent – driven, creative and motivated. Our employees, who mentor and train the individual teams, hone their own leadership and developmental skills. From a very practical perspective, being involved with an organisation that attracts many of Ireland’s leading corporates as its fellow patrons is a sound business decision for us. From my involvement with Enactus, I have further developed my own personal network of contacts across business and academia. Being involved in the professional running of the organisation allows me contribute significantly without a burden being imposed on my own time. I also act as a champion to encourage other companies to come on board with Enactus. With our success at last year’s Enactus World Cup, we have a real opportunity to progress and enable many more students across Ireland access our programme. To do this, we need companies from a range of different sectors to get involved with the programme, as well as buy-in from all Irish academic institutions.

‘From my involvement with Enactus, I have further developed my own personal network of contacts across business and academia’ Spring 2015 Irish Director

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NIAMH NÍ BHÉARA is managing director for the UK and Ireland at international recruitment consultancy Logistics Executive.

The importance of great communication skills for leaders Many a business problem can be unravelled or averted when a leader has the opportunity to speak directly to staff or colleagues – whether it’s a team meeting or at a company conference. When communicating, the best leaders tell a clear and compelling story, they bring the audience with them on a journey, they stir up passion and, most importantly, they motivate people to act. I wholly support the thinking of Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist for Canva and former chief evangelist for Apple, when he said of communication: “The goal is to provide inspiring information that moves people to action.” My top five tips for great leadership communications are: Think before you act – speaking well isn’t just about projecting your voice, the same way as writing well isn’t just about choosing

impressive words. It’s about really thinking about your audience beforehand and preparing well. Talk to your colleagues and listen carefully to their answers. Put yourself in their shoes – what issues are resonating with them right now? Understanding your audience’s motivation is just as important as your own motivation when it comes to getting your message across. Watch your language – one of the most important techniques in effective communication is choosing your language carefully – whether that is speaking or writing. Think about what you’re going to say and how it might be interpreted by others. Understand the power of using familiar terminology and language to build a connection with your audience. Use references and descriptions to help your audience see the picture that you are creating. Remember that, like all good stories, your communication needs a start, middle and end – allow your language to shape that path. Believe – not all leaders are natural communicators, but if they can clearly explain what they’ve done, what they’re doing and what they are going to do, and then get on and do it, they are well on the way to success. When leaders truly believe in what they are saying it is so obvious when they’re speaking – not just by the words they use but through body language too. Natural orators and leaders don’t need to think about body language; when someone truly believes what they are saying, all of their behaviours align. Have a common purpose – inspirational leaders unite an audience with a clear, common purpose. Communicating well is so much more than delivering information – it enables a leader to provide direction, empower people and encourage a sense of connected intention. Encapsulate this common purpose in a clear statement, explain it well and make sure it’s a common thread in everything you say and do. Consistency in your message will encourage trust and respect. Build rapport – great communicators are able to find common ground and build rapport with any audience. They do this by making individuals (in any audience size) feel there is a direct connection. As a leader, you can change the direction of your business by using that connection to make people believe in themselves. People who are motivated and inspired will overcome the obstacles, defy the odds and accomplish more.









‘Communicating well is so much more than delivering information – it enables a leader to provide direction, empower people and encourage a sense of connected intention’

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director profile



Known in Ireland as an investor on RTÉ TV series Dragons’ Den, Peter Casey is currently phasing out his day-to-day involvement in his company Claddagh Resources and plans to enter Irish politics, writes Sorcha Corcoran


erry-born Peter Casey is basing himself in Ireland after 30 years of operating businesses in the US and Australia, although he says he doesn’t see it as “coming back” as he has been travelling to Ireland at least once a month for quite a while. Known to the general public here as an investor on RTÉ TV series Dragons’ Den, he is currently phasing out his day-to-day involvement in Claddagh Resources, the executive search company officially opened by Mary Harney 15 years ago in Co Donegal, although he will continue to be executive chairman. “One of the challenges facing every small business owner is thinking that it won’t survive without you. I tried to set up the company so that it is not dependent on ‘Peter Casey’. The management team in both Ireland and North America is very strong, having worked alongside me for 12 years. Some of our employees have worked with Claddagh Resources for 20 years. Over a period of time, I will be less and less involved on a day-to-day basis,” he says. Still headquartered in Lisfannon, Co Donegal, Claddagh Resources also has a US headquarters in Norcross, Georgia and operates in five continents. It has delivered executive search and recruiting outsourcing solutions to many Fortune 100 companies, including Coca-Cola, SAP, Oracle, IBM and EY. Casey has been living in Atlanta, Georgia since the mid-1990s and is settling back in Ireland mainly because of “the Mammy factor”, he says. “I only have one passport and am proud of it – although it is true that Ireland has a lot of advantages from a business point of

view in terms of the tax regime, availability of graduates and the fact that it is a springboard into Europe.” He wants to enter Irish politics, as it is something he says he always wanted to do and feels strongly that there should be more input from business generally in terms of how the country is run. “I think I have a lot to offer having dealt with international businesses for the past 30 years. I understand how to make hard decisions and solve problems and have a good understanding of the Irish position around the world,” he explains – keeping quiet for the moment on whether he intends to join a political party or put himself forward as an independent candidate. Having grown up in the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, Casey says he wasn’t a very good student at school and got lessons to be a heavy goods vehicle driver “to do anything other than college”. His mother Patsy Casey who was a teacher persuaded him to do otherwise and he ended up studying economics and philosophy at Aston University in Birmingham. He was recently selected as one of its top 50 alumni and invited to give a talk on entrepreneurship to students to mark the university’s 50th anniversary. “Everybody needs to understand nowadays that you’re more likely to get employed if you have certification in something that businesses need. You need to be in tune with what businesses are looking for. I never saw a businessman during my time in college come in and give a talk. At the beginning of my lecture I asked the 150 students to put their hands up if they’d like to run their own

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‘One of the challenges facing every small business owner is thinking that it won’t survive without you’

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company – all of them did and at the end of the lecture there were 30 incubator businesses queuing to ask my advice,” says Casey. Claddagh Resources’ origins date back to 1985 in Australia when Casey decided to go it alone aged 26 further to working for Xerox, rising through its European structure and being ranked in the top 5pc of sales people for the organisation in Australia. “I called the company The Trinity Group as I wanted it to identify with the Irish business community in Australia. It did well and I sold it and wanted to set it up again in Atlanta, but realised I couldn’t call it Trinity because this had religious associations for the people there, so I came up with the name Claddagh and set up operations there in 1996,” he explains.

CEO insight Dealing with CEOs and finding them over the years has given him an insight that very few people get, he reflects. “I have learned why it is that some CEOs become hugely successful very quickly and saw what they did right. This goes back to the early days when I was responsible for appointing an MD for Australia for Oracle. “One of our largest clients, the Tata Group, completely changed its entire business model over a 10-year period. Tata Consulting Services was at the bottom of the consulting food chain and wanted to move all the way up. It was fascinating to watch how they went about executing the business model, part of which was to set up centres of excellence.” Tata Sons was founded in 1868 in India by Jamsetji Tata who Casey describes as his hero. He was the son of the first businessman in what was otherwise a family of Zoroastrian Parsi priests who had the vision of establishing a company that would exist to finance and initiate projects to improve the lives of the people of India. Today the Tata Group employs nearly half a million people, and earns annual revenues of US$100bn. It reported a profit of US$6.23bn in 2011–12, and controls assets valued at US$77.7bn. Consisting of more than 130 companies, 32 of which are traded on stock exchanges, 65pc of Tata is owned by philanthropic trusts and the organisation is one of the biggest charities in the world. Despite describing himself as an “unapologetic capitalist”, Casey was so enamoured with what the Tata Group has achieved and its philanthropic ethos that he wrote a book about it, The World’s Greatest Company, which was published last year. Former SDLP leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient John Hume said of the book: “Peter Casey’s account of Tata provides a fascinating study of how a clear ethical code can ensure that business serves the needs of communities rather than communities serving the needs of business.” Tata’s ethics have impacted Casey’s own approach when it comes to ‘giving back’ as a business. “After 9/11, Claddagh was helping to support an orphanage in Africa for children with Aids when all our big clients stopped hiring. This was partly because they had all spent their money prior to Y2K and tech spending went on a three to four-year cycle. We started losing a lot of money and had to make significant cutbacks in the firm. My accountant said to me

he assumed we wouldn’t make a donation to the orphanage that year but I said we would. The following week we took on two major assignments.” Tata became a Claddagh Resources client in the 1990s, Casey recalls. “We were one of the largest recruiters for EY at the time placing partners all around the US and expanded this into Latin America, hiring over 300 people in Mexico. Then Gabriel Rozman told me he was stepping down as director of global strategic ventures and acquisitions at EY and was joining Tata as head of Latin America. He called on Claddagh to hire leaders for the Indiabased firm after that in Europe and North America.” With an office in Dublin, Tata is considering setting up a centre of excellence in Ireland focused on massively open online courses (MOOCs), of which Casey is a passionate advocate. “MOOCs are like the Wikipedia for education and will do for education accessibility what iTunes did for music. There is currently a five-year gap between what businesses need and universities deliver. Pioneered in Ireland, MOOCs are rapidly gaining popularity in the US and cover a massive range of topics that immediately address current urgent business needs, such as the latest in predictive analytics,” he says. Casey personally invited all the heads of universities in Ireland to an event in the Shelbourne in Dublin last October to allow the current Tata CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran to present his vision for MOOCs here. “I believe this is an unmissable opportunity for Ireland to lead the world in online learning,” he contends.

Claddagh RIVS Not willing to reveal specific financials about Claddagh Resources – except to say that he was able to put his five children through private school – Casey is setting up a spin-off now in Ireland called Claddagh RIVS, which is focused on a recorded interview video system. “It allows companies to send video clips explaining about jobs on offer and for prospective candidates to go online and answer three or four questions on video and submit this. The technology was developed years ago but the files were huge and data compression wasn’t available at the time. Also people weren’t comfortable yet with the notion of webcams and speaking into a screen,” he says. “Innovators spend all their time and money educating a market, imitators nip in and take advantage and idiots jump in too late. I have been an innovator in the past and I lost a lot of money. This time I’ve decided to be an imitator by partnering with another company, RIVS, to tap into the opportunity. We have exclusivity for the service in Ireland, the UK and India and it is already being used within Tata. Our plan is to expand it and target Fortune 100 companies.” The money that Casey lost was as a result in investing in the property market in Australia as well as a company called Sky Dome in 1993 which produced a tubular lighting product. “The product was hugely successful in Australia and we didn’t have anything like it in Europe. It was very successful initially. We got the product manufactured in Ireland and England and assembled in Derry and distributed it to Australia and the US. But then we got hit by a cease-

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‘Everybody needs to understand nowadays that you’re more likely to get employed if you have certification in something that businesses need’

and-desist case.” This experience taught Casey one of the most important lessons of his career, he says. “A lot of businesses don’t understand exposure to downsides. We got hit by a law suit and didn’t have adequate insurance against it. When you go into an investment, it is not about the initial amount you put in, but when you get sucked into having to put more and more in you need to define what failure is – decide when the dog is not going to hunt. “Everybody does wonderful projections for the years ahead, but don’t say ‘this is the line in the sand when the business has to be buried if it hasn’t achieved its targets’. I say to enterprises starting out that they should always define when they should pull out and always leave a bit of gas in the tank to start again. I didn’t do that. I didn’t go bankrupt but I did run up €75,000 in credit card bills. Fortunately I started Claddagh when I did and it turned profitable within six months. To understand your exposure to risk, you have

to look at the worst case scenarios that could happen, double your cost base and half your revenues – and in the US take out legal insurance.” Casey has made a commitment to get more involved in mentoring this year, providing advice online and in other ways. He made eight investments in emerging companies while on Dragons’ Den, four of which are “alive and well” and which he mentors. He gave one of them, David Monson, founder of Monson Jewellery in Co Kerry, an extra investment afterwards as he sees him as “a young man trying really hard”. So after all of this business experience and looking ahead to a possible career in politics, what kind of leader would he say he is? Casey replies: “There are two types of leader in my view – autocratic and democratic – and I recently asked one of my team which one I was. He said the latter. When you own the company you have to make the decisions at the end of the day, but a good leader listens.”

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one to watch

Headquartered in Bray, Co Wicklow and with a facility in Suffolk in the UK, BioCore’s main areas of focus are renewable energy, R&D and sludge management. Grainne Rothery reports



£15m ‘green gas’ facility opened recently near the market town of Beccles in Suffolk is on its way to fuelling up to 7,000 households in the area with sustainable gas made from locally grown break crops. The anaerobic digestion plant, which is connected into the UK National Grid’s gas network, was built and continues to be operated by Bray, Co Wicklowheadquartered BioCore Environmental. Up and running since the beginning of February 2015, the facility is BioCore’s first ‘gas to grid’ project and the first of five planned in the UK over the next few years. BioCore also plans to build and has all the permissions in place for its first Irish green gas project in Co Roscommon. An Enterprise Ireland company, BioCore was set up in 2010 by Wayne Byrne, Peter Carey, Declan Murray and Evan Dolan who all have backgrounds in the waste, energy, renewables and clean technology sectors. Byrne and his former management team, including Murray and Dolan, had disposed of Manvik – a distributor of waste collection vehicles and related plant – in September 2009. At the time, Manvik had over 80 staff, operated in Ireland and the UK and had turned over more than €40m. BioCore’s initial focus was wastewater treatment, but, according to managing director Carey, has since evolved into three key areas: renewable energy, sludge management and R&D. On the R&D side, the company was involved in the early stages with multi-award winning developer of breakthrough wastewater aeration technology OxyMem. “The OxyMem technology was developed at UCD over the last 10 years,” says Carey. “BioCore was an early seed investor (5pc holding) and helped with the earlystage validation of the technology for landfill leachate treatment, something we continue to have a partnership with both UCD and OxyMem today. “In fact, BioCore has just finished building a €400,000 Enterprise

Ireland-backed treatment project in South Dublin County Council’s landfill Arthurstown, which utilises OxyMem technology in conjunction with a novel annoxic nitrogen removal technology,” says Carey. “We would hope to have that solution operating by mid-year with a plan then to roll it out in Ireland and the UK during the second half of the year. “It’s an exciting project in that there’s a massive market for this in Ireland and the UK,” he says. “Leachate is a big problem. In Ireland and the UK there’s no real solution yet and we have developed a solution. “This liquid all goes to wastewater treatment plants currently so there’s a lot of pressure on them. Our solution will allow it to be treated on-site at landfill and that will remove the pressure from wastewater treatment plants. “The European landfill leachate market is worth over €17bn and we hope to have an offering at the end of this year which will treat leachate for less than €10 per m3. The market rate for disposal is €25–35 per m3.”

Renewable energy Elsewhere, Carey describes the Suffolk facility as “major in terms of providing renewable energy, energy security and meeting carbon reduction targets”. The company started planning work on the project in 2011 and Carey had raised the necessary funding towards the end of that year. “It was June 2013 when we started building it so there was a long lead-in time to get there.” The plant generates bio-methane through a process that involves the feedstock being broken down in huge tanks by anaerobic digestion. The gas is then extracted and cleaned up and either used for electricity or for gas to grid. “We produce both and the electricity is sufficient to power the plant, with any excess being exported to the electric grid,” explains

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‘Leachate is a big problem. In Ireland and the UK there’s no real solution yet and we have developed a solution’

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‘We’re hopeful that the tariffs in Ireland will be changed and that we’ll be able to roll out similar type plants here as in the UK’

Peter Carey, managing director, BioCore

Carey. “The main function then is to produce clean gas to go into the grid. That gas allows us to provide energy for around 7,000 homes in the winter and, in the summer, when heat demand isn’t as high, up to 120,000 homes.” At the time of the project’s delivery in February, Richard Court, head of stakeholder delivery at National Grid, said: “Biogas, made from crops and other biomass, can make a significant contribution to keeping energy supplies secure, affordable and green. We’re committed to working with customers like BioCore to connect their projects to our gas network and ensure we can all benefit from alternative forms of energy like this.” According to Carey, the investment involved in delivering the other planned UK projects will probably be lower than the £15m spent on the Suffolk facility. “We probably won’t go the same scale because of a change in tariffs. But it’ll be the same in terms of structure – gas to grid. That’s the target market we’re looking at. We believe putting biogas into the grid is the best use you can make of biogas.” He won’t specify when the Suffolk facility will deliver return on investment, apart from the fact that it will take “a long time”. “What I will say is that there’s government backing for the next 20 years for that project. We’re tied into tariffs for the next 20 years which are guaranteed.” While there are plans for a green gas project in Roscommon, the company will be focusing on the UK market for renewable energy development. “In Ireland we don’t have a tariff for gas to grid so we couldn’t actually do the project we’ve just delivered,” Carey explains. “The one we’ve got permission for in Roscommon would involve converting green gas to electricity. The tariffs in Ireland just

aren’t as strong as they are in the UK. So obviously it makes sense to do projects in the UK before in Ireland. We’re hopeful that the tariffs in Ireland will be changed and that we’ll be able to roll out similar type plants here as in the UK.” The feedstock used to create the biogas is site specific and can actually complement the company’s other area of focus. “The plant in Suffolk uses energy crops and bi-products, but we also look at organic waste material. It depends on what is available in the particular area and the site. If we’re looking at a project where the might be a waste stream available then we would build out a project on organic waste. “In Suffolk, it’s a farming area so it was perfect for the plant we just built. They needed rotation crops and this provides an alternative market for the farmers in the area. In addition to that, the digestive from the process is a rich fertiliser which goes back onto the land again and replaces artificial fertilisers.”

Sludge management The third area, sludge management, is another one that the company believes has considerable potential in the long term. “This is a big area where there’ll be more regulation. That’s why we entered the market when we did.” Services in this division include biosolids management and sludge dewatering. Carey notes that the anaerobic digestion and sludge sides of the business can feed into each other. A lot of current sludge treatment does not involve energy extraction. “While it’s not that much, the energy still hasn’t been used. Anaerobic digestion is a treatment method and it also extracts the energy from the sludge. We’re managing quite a significant amount of sludge in Ireland and we’re looking to build on that going forward.” BioCore currently has 13 staff, including four full-time people in the plant in Suffolk and this is expected to increase as the company rolls out various projects. Turnover was over €1m in 2014 and Carey expects this to increase “significantly” by the end of this year as a result of the Suffolk project delivery. As regards moving into international markets, Carey believes the leachate management treatment solution offers significant potential. “Given the fact that there’s no sustainable solution in Ireland and the UK suggests that there are no viable solutions internationally. We believe we have a sustainable cost effective solution. “There’s a big enough market for us in Ireland and the UK to be dealing with for the moment. But after that we’ll look at where we can go with it.”

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COMMITTEE While board committees are set up to focus on specific issues and to advise and make recommendations, ultimate responsibility still lies with all board members


oard committees are set up to focus on particular areas – for example, audit, risk or nominations – in more detail than would be possible during the course of regular board meetings. Essentially, they are created by the board and remain under its control. A company’s articles of association will usually empower the board to establish various committees. It will also normally specify the make-up of those committees, how often they meet and how they do so – for example, in person or online. Each committee’s status and functions should be clearly defined in its terms of reference. Maura Quinn, chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, stresses the fact that while committees are tasked with certain functions, the board ultimately has responsibility and authority for all areas. “And that’s really important,” she says.“Directors may think that the board can delegate full responsibility for an issue to a committee and therefore the board doesn’t need to concern itself with it. That is not the case – ultimate responsibility lies with the board as a whole.”

The audit committee Most organisations will have an audit committee, which is charged with providing a link between the auditor and the board, independent

of the company’s executives. Because the executive is normally responsible for the accounting rules and procedures that are the subject of the audit, it is good practice for the committee to be made up of independent non-executive directors. In this case, members of management would usually be invited to attend the meetings but would not be members of the committee. “If an auditor feels there’s something not quite correct or has an issue of concern, they need to be in a position to raise that with the audit committee independent of the executive,” says Quinn. “When executive members are not part of the committee structure, they can be asked to step out of the room. The auditor can then discuss areas of concern which they may not want to disclose in front of the executives.” The audit committee normally meets the auditors when the annual accounts have been prepared to go through the detail and discuss issues and areas of concern. “It’s a very frank and detailed exchange that allows the committee to really question and raise any issues of concern with the auditors and then go back to the main board with a full report,” Quinn says. “After that, the committee would normally recommend to the board that, for example, the audited accounts would be approved and adopted. Again, the full board has ultimate responsibility for that.” In the case of regulated entities, the Central Bank has stipulated

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‘Whether boards have dedicated risk committees or not really depends on the complexity of the business’

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‘You should have competent people on the audit committee who understand how to read accounts and how to interpret financial information’ that the chair of the audit committee should be an independent non-executive director. In addition, the audit committee as a whole must have relevant financial experience and at least one member should have an appropriate qualification, such as accountancy. “You should have competent people on the audit committee who understand how to read accounts and how to interpret financial information,” Quinn notes. That said, it’s important to have a mix, she says. “Someone who’s not an accountant may ask very searching and incisive questions on an audit committee, maybe around underlying trends or risk, for example.”

The risk committee While risk is often included in the remit of the audit committee, Quinn believes it’s an area that warrants a greater focus on many boards. “Risk is something that is an issue for all businesses,” she says. “Very often people – particularly in small companies – are so involved in running the day-to-day operations that they do not focus enough on risks to their business. They may not realise, for example, that a large proportion of their turnover is coming from one particular customer. What happens if something happens to that customer? Another area that can cause huge damage to a company is the whole issue of reputational risk. “Whether boards have dedicated risk committees or not really depends on the complexity of the business,” says Quinn. “It’s about being risk aware and not risk averse. That’s a parlance thing but that’s what it is about. If you know what your risks are you can manage them. If you’ve no sense of what they are and you’ve never focused on them, then it’s very difficult to have a strategy in place to deal with those risks.” The Central Bank stipulates that risk committees in regulated entities should have at least three members, the majority of them non-executives or independent non-executives or a combination of both. They should also have relevant risk experience.

Remuneration committee Coming up with appropriate remuneration packages for executives can be one of the most contentious issues faced by boards. It’s vital that decisions about remuneration, benefits and bonuses are taken by people who don’t stand to benefit directly from them. “If you’re an executive, you shouldn’t be on the remuneration committee,” says Quinn. “The committee has to be independent of the executive.” In addition, the chairman of the board should not chair the remuneration committee, she says. “He or she can sit on it, but

should not chair it. That is to create a distance between the chair and perhaps the chief executive or senior management. “Obviously rewarding executives appropriately requires informed judgement. It’s the job of the remuneration committee to come up with the appropriate structure, but most importantly, the committee needs to seek appropriate advice. What you don’t want is a culture that focuses only on the bottom line in the short term and doesn’t take a long term view of the future of the company.” Committees need to have a thorough understanding of their company and the forces shaping directors’ remuneration. Key factors in decision-making include the size of the business, its performance record and prospects, the sector in which it operates, cash flow and debt levels, international norms where the company has overseas directors, and key performance measures. Under the Central Bank code, high impact institutions, such as the pillar banks and major insurance companies, are required to have a remuneration committee.


Nomination committee The poor relation – and I say this very deliberately – is the nominations committee,” Quinn says. “I think over the last number of years, we’ve seen – in some cases from a regulatory compliance point of view – an increased focus on audit and on risk, but we haven’t seen an increased focus on the nominations committee. “Most companies need to have a well functioning nominations committee. And it is not something that should be only put into play when there’s a vacancy on the board. The nominations committee should be continuously looking at the composition of the board, identifying when there is likely to be vacancies on the board, and potentially identifying people who may fill those vacancies in advance. It should be looking at the skills that may be needed around the table as well as the dynamics and ensuring that the board works well together. It should also be trying to anticipate what skills might be needed as the business of the company changes.” Having an audit committee is the minimum requirement for most organisations. “The larger or more sophisticated an organisation is, the more likely it will be to have more complex structures or a greater number of committees in place,” Quinn says. Directors will typically sit on a number of different committees where they are set up. And there is an expectation that if you’re on a board, you’re willing to serve on committees. “Directors will normally be asked to sit on committees where the chair feels they have a particular expertise or skill and will add value,” Quinn says. “It’s an additional onus and obligation in the sense that it’s more work. In large companies that will be recognised by an additional payment on top of a non-executive fee.”

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Patrick Farrell, Head of Private Banking

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By delivering the highest level of day-to-day banking and the most advanced digital banking service, we can provide the premier banking experience for our clients. Our goal is to help them to meet their life objectives, giving them the support and advice they need to plan their financial futures. We place the client’s long-term interests at the heart of the banking relationship, and are proactive in delivering solutions that will serve their needs and the needs of their family members through all life stages.” We would be delighted to discuss how our new AIB Private Banking services can benefit you. Typically our clients have an annual salary or income which exceeds €250,000. If this applies to you, talk to us about a better banking service which is tailored for you. To find out more about AIB Private Banking, contact Patrick Farrell: Telephone 01-6417634 or email Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

10/03/2015 17:43



Act of LAW

With the Companies Act 2014 signed into law and expected to come into effect in June, Paul Heffernan and Peter Osborne provide an overview of the new legislation and explore its implications for directors


very director should become familiar with the Companies Act 2014, which is expected to come into effect on 1 June 2015. The new Act consolidates the previous Companies Acts into a single statute and introduces significant reforms to Irish company law.

Company types The Act provides for new types of company, into one of which every existing company migrates on commencement of the Act (except for existing private limited companies, which will have 18 months to migrate). The principal types are: • A private company limited by shares (LTD) • A designated activity company (DAC) (a company with restricted objects) • A company limited by guarantee not having a share capital (CLG) The Act also provides for unlimited companies and continues to recognise the PLC The just-enacted Irish Collective Asset-Management Vehicles Act 2015 may in practice overtake the Act’s provisions relating to investment companies.

Constitution and governance The Act: • Requires an LTD to have a single constitutional document • Permits an LTD to have a maximum of 149 members • Permits an LTD to have a single director (but it must have a separate secretary) • Permits a company of any type to be incorporated with a single member (a company other than an LTD will continue to require at least two directors) • Subject to conditions, permits every LTD (and any other type of company that has a single member) to adopt written procedures in place of an AGM • Prohibits an LTD from having an objects clause, so that an LTD has the same unqualified legal capacity to do anything that a natural (ie a human) person may lawfully do. Every other type of company must have an objects clause, although the restrictive rules on the legal capacity of a company are eased • Prohibits an LTD from offering equity or debt securities to the

public • Subject to conditions, permits the members of an LTD to adopt majority written resolutions (both ordinary (>50pc of the total voting rights) and special (>75pc of the total voting rights) • No longer obliges the company secretary to ensure the company’s compliance with the Act (although the directors must ensure that the company secretary has the skills or resources necessary to discharge his or her statutory and other duties)

Organisation and procedures The Act: • Abandons the concept of a ‘place of business’ and provides only for the EU-mandated concept of a ‘branch’ of a nonIrish company in the State • Introduces complex new definitions of ‘parent’ and ‘subsidiary’ company (definitions in existing documents based on the previous Companies Acts might not be affected) • Introduces new procedures for the merger and division (within Ireland) of companies of most varieties (not merely where there is a cross-border merger) • Introduces a written ‘summary approval procedure’ for directors and/ or members, not requiring any court order, to approve certain transactions with a director, a reduction in capital, a member’s voluntary winding up or the use of pre-acquisition profits • Relaxes the prohibition on giving financial assistance for the acquisition of a company’s own shares • Introduces a new alternative procedure for pre-registering a charge that a company might create over any of its assets, with implications for the priority that the lender would subsequently have

Accounts and finance The Act: • Makes few substantive substance to the law on company financial statements • Relaxes the rules on share premium, including by permitting merger accounting rules in some situations and (subject to conditions) permitting a company to use as its realised profits the pre-acquisition profits of a subsidiary • Expands the entitlement of (a) a small company and (b)

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‘Every director should become familiar with the Companies Act 2014, which is expected to come into effect on 1 June 2015’

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‘The Act imposes many obligations on a director, such as to ensure that the company keeps adequate financial records’ a dormant company to avail of an audit exemption • Disapplies the statutory rules on distributions in the case of an unlimited company

Key implications for a director The directors of a company, who continue to be appointed by the members, remain responsible for the management of the company’s business, in accordance with resolutions of the members in general meeting, the company’s constitution, the Act and general law. Like previous law, the Act does not recognise any distinction between executive directors and non-executive directors. A person is a director of a company whether appointed as such formally or if the person merely ‘occupies the position of director’, even though not appointed formally.

enforceability of any contract. The Act permits a director who has been appointed by the company’s parent entity (a ‘nominee director’) to have regard to the interests of the appointing parent, so long as to do so is not inconsistent with the interests of the company on the board of which the director is serving.

Directors’ compliance statements The Act requires that the directors of every PLC (other than an investment company), and of an LTD, a DAC or a CLG the balance sheet of which exceeds €12.5m and the turnover of which exceeds €25m, must prepare a compliance policy statement (and update it at least annually), or explain why they have not done so. Unlimited companies are not subject to this requirement.

General duties of a director

Directors’ report

A director continues to have many statutory duties and responsibilities, not merely under the Act (for exmaple, health and safety, data protection, waste management and employment law). The Act continues to recognise that it is the duty of each director to ensure that the relevant company complies with the Act: every director is required to make a statement to this effect, and in respect of compliance with all other legal obligations, when taking office. The Act imposes many obligations on a director, such as to ensure that the company keeps adequate financial records.

Unless a company avails of the audit exemption, its directors must confirm formally that the directors have made themselves and the auditors aware of all relevant audit information.

Fiduciary duties of a director

Registers and transparency

The Act codifies the ‘fiduciary duties’ of a director, which are based on trust and confidence. Broadly they are: • To act in good faith in what the director considers to be the interests of the company • To act honestly and responsibly in relation to the conduct of the affairs of the company • To act in accordance with the company’s constitution and exercise the director’s powers only for the purposes allowed by law • Subject to conditions, not to use the company’s property, information or opportunities for his or her own benefit, or that of anyone else • Subject to exceptions, not to restrict the director’s power to exercise an independent judgement • Subject to conditions, to avoid any conflict between the director’s duties to the company and the director’s other (including personal) interests • To exercise the care, skill and diligence that would be exercised in the same circumstances by a reasonable person having the knowledge and experience (a) that may reasonably be expected of a person in the same position as the director and (b) that the director in fact has • To have regard to the interests of the company’s employees in general and its members Breach of any of these fiduciary duties may entail personal liability by the director to the company (including a duty to account to the company for any profit arising from a conflict of interest that has not been permitted or excused) but does not of itself affect the

A company continues to be obliged (and a director must assist the company) to maintain various registers including a register of the directors and secretary and of directors’ declared interests (such as in respect of contracts or proposed contracts of the company). A director need not disclose certain interests of that director or of a connected person in the company’s shares, including those that in aggregate, do not represent more than one per cent in nominal value of the company’s issued share capital. It will be possible to withhold the usual residential address of a director or secretary from the public register in the Companies Registration Office if publication of the information would create a security risk.

Audit committee The directors of certain ‘large companies’ (of any type) (see above in respect of compliance statements) have to either form an audit committee or state in their annual statutory directors’ report that they have not done so and explain why not.

Transactions with the company Special restrictions continue to apply to a director who enters into certain transactions with the company. These are additional to the director’s fiduciary duties (above) but may, in limited circumstances and subject to strict controls, permit a director to (for example) receive loans and ‘quasi-loans’ from the company. Important presumptions (to the disadvantage of the director) can apply to a loan between a director and the company unless the loan is documented clearly. Paul Heffernan is corporate partner at McCann FitzGerald and Peter Osborne is consultant at McCann FitzGerald. Various briefings on the Act are available on

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doing business in ...

Direct route to landscape of

INVESTMENT Massive investments are being made in the United Arab Emirates, which throw up opportunities for Irish companies with strong value propositions in lots of sectors, writes Sorcha Corcoran


rish company involvement in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region dates back to the mid-1980s, but in the past six years or so interest has grown particularly strongly in this dynamic part of the world to the point that twoway trade between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) now stands at around €1bn a year – most of which is exports, according to Sean Davis, regional director – Middle East, North Africa at Enterprise Ireland. The GCC is a regional inter-governmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Established in 1971 following the departure of the British, UAE is a federation of seven emirates – Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah,

and Umm al-Quwain. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language, although English is widely used side by side, so language is not an issue for Irish companies keen to do business there. Davis says one of the game changers from Irish companies’ perspective as to why UAE became an attractive market is that there are now 28 direct flights a week from Dublin – Emirates has daily flights between Dubai and Dublin while Etihad runs 14 flights a week from Dublin to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. “The ability to connect to places with one flight is always a factor for Irish companies entering the European and US markets. Irish company CEOs have said to me directly that if it wasn’t for the connectivity to UAE that now exists they wouldn’t have targeted the market,” Davis notes.

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‘The nature of how people like to do business in UAE is through close and trusted relationships built up over time. This means either frequent visits by the business owner or having in-market representation’


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doing business in ...

William Johnson (left) and Helen Johnson (right) of client company Amray with Minister Ged Nash and Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland

Aviation potential From a sector perspective, aviation is one of several that hold potential for Irish companies because of the massive investment being made by airlines and airports. Davis says though that investment is across the board sector-wise in UAE and there is an appetite for ‘best in class’ with any new builds – an environment that Irish companies tend to do well in. “Last year Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways invested US$180bn between them on aircraft. These airlines are among the fastest growing in the world and Emirates is the largest passenger carrier in the world. There are opportunities for Irish companies on the maintenance side, the cabin amenities area, materials used in aircraft and entertainment.” Irish transportation interior textile manufacturer Botany Weaving already has Emirates as a client. “Goods and services to aircraft and airports are going to grow enormously over the next decade,” Davis continues. “For example, a new 165 million a year passenger airport has been fully commissioned ahead of World Expo 2020 which is being held in Dubai. A conference site, theme parks and 100 hotels are also being built.” Irish companies are already recognising the possibilities this major development – Dubai World Central – represents. One is Dublin-headquartered document and media storage company Glenbeigh Records Management, which opened a 70,000 sq ft facility there 12 months ago. According to Davis, there are currently around 300 Irish companies exporting to the GCC, 70 of which have operations in UAE, typically sales and marketing and in some cases research. Around 75pc of exports to the GCC go to UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In January, 22 Irish companies took part in a trade mission to

coincide with healthcare conference and trade show Arab Health in Dubai, which is attended by healthcare industry representatives from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US. Led by Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash, the trip included visits to Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the companies had around 200 meetings between them over four days. “The first year we ran the trade mission to Arab Health [2014] 11 companies took part and we were struggling trying to sell the opportunity of healthcare in the Middle East. Now it is resonating much more strongly with Irish companies. This year we doubled our floor space and were in a part of the hall with really good footfall, so we had a lot of traction around the stand,” says Davis. “There are big advantages to having a minister in town. It allows companies to put a line in the sand in terms of closing deals.” During the trade mission Oneview Healthcare announced it had won a contract with Mediclinic City Hospital and Mediclinic Welcare Hospital in Dubai. Having agreed the deal in principle a year ago, implementation of the Oneview Solution across 390 devices at 334 beds in the two Dubai hospitals was expected to be completed by March this year. A number of Irish companies are making their mark in the healthcare space now in UAE due to their persistence, patience and/or local representation, according to Davis. He cites hypo-allergenic pillow maker Gabriel Scientific, which has started to close deals with various distributors around the region over the past 12 months. The most significant of these was a US$3m deal with Dubai bedding manufacturer Intercoil International. “Gabriel Scientific hit the market at a time when infection control was very topical,” Davis notes. “The nature of how people like to do business in UAE is through close and trusted relationships built up over time. This means

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‘The Middle East creates its own atmosphere, and one of the key things for us at Enterprise Ireland is to demystify the region’

Al Maktoum International Airport

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Food and drink exports on the rise Sixteen Irish companies were in Dubai in February for Gulfood, the world’s largest food and hospitality trade show. This year was the 20th anniversary of the five-day event, which hosted almost 5,000 exhibitors, including buyers, government ministers, industry experts and policymakers. “The value of markets for Irish food and drink exports outside of the EU cannot be overstated, accounting as they did for almost one third of our food and drink exports last year,” said Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia, speaking before the event. “The Middle East region is particularly important and 2014 was another successful year with €237m in annualised sales. Our plan is to grow this figure substantially to exceed €500m in exports to the region by 2020.” Irish food and drink exports to the GCC region increased by 28pc in value terms in 2014 to exceed €177m. The region has great potential for growth, according to Michael Hussey, regional manager for Bord Bia. “Food security is a major concern for the Gulf states and Ireland as a country that exports 90pc of its food and drink production is well placed to sustainably supply a region that imports 90pc of its food requirements. “Retail outlets are our primary focus for exports at present but foodservice is showing promise particularly in high-end establishments such as five-star hotels and restaurants where people are willing to pay more if suppliers have a positive story to tell, and we do with our Origin Green programme.” Four of the 16 Irish exhibitors were at Gulfood for the first time this year: Good4U (superfood), National Organic (innovative organic products), Paganini (Italian style icecream) and Chia Bia (health foods based on the chia seed). The other participants were: Ashbourne Meat Processors, Butlers Chocolates, Dairygold, Dawn Farm Foods, Donald Russell International TA John Stone, Glanbia Ireland Ltd, Glenstall Foods Ltd, Green Isle Foods, Irish Dairy Board, Pan Euro Foods, Keogh’s Farm and The Jelly Bean Factory.

either frequent visits by the business owner or having in-market representation.”

Technology trend Another enticing sector for innovative Irish companies is information and communications technology as the UAE population are massive consumers of data and technology generally. “The level of smartphone ownership is remarkable – almost everybody has two phones. With the massive consumption of data and technology come monetisation and a huge focus on telecoms regulation in order to secure data. Cultural sensitivities are dominant and people in the authorities are particularly alert to offensive material,” says Davis. “The Middle East creates its own atmosphere, and one of the key

things for us at Enterprise Ireland is to demystify the region. If you look at the telcos there, you quickly start to realise they have the same issues as any European or US carrier would. “People are working with the latest models, disposable income is very high; they are fast technology adopters and there is a large churn in terms of getting new devices. There is no doubt Irish companies experience a business culture shift, but the opportunities are the same.” When it comes to the challenges of doing business in UAE, these are mainly around the fact that the process of due diligence companies go through feels like an unnatural one, he continues. “Business people in UAE like to spend time drinking tea and getting to know you, just talking about anything and everything. This can feel like a waste of time in a western context, but it is essential in UAE. An Irish company owner can feel like they walked away from a meeting having achieved nothing, whereas their counterpart saw it as great. “I myself went to a meeting at a security authority trying to get its representatives to travel to Ireland to meet their Irish counterparts. The meeting lasted 45 minutes, 40 minutes of which was taken up with talking about Manchester United. “An important thing to realise too is that business people in UAE don’t want to ever lose face, so they can often nod a lot in meetings and not ask questions. When making a presentation it is alright to check along the way if any clarification is needed. It is also important to recognise who the most senior person in the room is. “Business people in UAE won’t be rushed into anything, but once a deal is done, everything happens fast.”

UAE – facts and figures GDP: €361bn (2012) Natural resources: Oil and gas Population: 8.19 million, 16.5pc nationals (est 2010 – National Bureau of Statistics, UAE) Capital: Abu Dhabi Largest city: Dubai Weekend: Friday and Saturday Official language: Arabic Other languages: English, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu Sectors with strongest demand and opportunity include: Construction services; materials and supplies; defence – aerospace; energy – alternative energy; professional services; select tourism products/services including highend hotel brands; healthcare and education services and products; creative arts and media Time: GMT +4 (daylight saving time +3) International dialling code: +971 Internet domain: ae Establishing a local presence: Typically companies in Gulf countries must be 51pc owned by citizens of that country. The exception is in free zones in the UAE where 100pc foreign ownership is permitted Sources: Embassy of the UAE in Ireland, Enterprise Ireland

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commercial profile

Turkish Airlines’ Corporate Club – Where Business Meets Benefits Bernard McCarthy The Turkish Corporate Club has been designed with two goals in mind: To offer your company an easy and streamlined method to reduce travel costs and, in addition, to offer your company’s business travelers perks to make their travels as comfortable as possible. The Turkish Corporate Club has been designed with two goals in mind: To offer your company an easy and streamlined method to reduce travel costs and, in addition, to offer your company’s business travelers perks to make their travels as comfortable as possible. As a member of the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club, your company will save money each time it books its employees on Turkish Airlines from the origin where the country program is administered, to any of our international destinations using our special Corporate Club fares for Business, Comfort or Economy Class. This benefit is available to all members regardless of the number of tickets purchased each year. Most Corporate Club fares allow your staff members to rebook or reroute without incurring any penalties. All they have to do is pay the fare difference, if any. Since business plans can change quickly, this is a valuable benefit that can save your company a lot of money and, at the time, give your company the freedom it requires to respond quickly to the ever-changing business world. Your employees will enjoy generous baggage allowance, even when they are traveling in Economy class. With this very generous baggage allowance, your employees can not only take more business material with them but they can also do a little shopping at their destination to celebrate a successful business deal. As the holder of one of the Turkish Corporate Club Cards, your

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10/03/2015 17:58


sector profile

Soaring heights

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sector profile


‘Tony Ryan provided great training for people and after the collapse of GPA these people moved into other organisations or set up their own leasing operations. And they stayed in Ireland’

At the forefront of aviation leasing since GPA was set up in Limerick 40 years ago, Ireland’s dominance in the sector looks set to continue. Grainne Rothery reports


reland’s position as the global capital of the aviation leasing sector is clearly illustrated by the fact that around 50pc of the world’s leased aircraft, or 4,000 planes, are currently managed from this country. Fourteen of the top 15 aircraft leasing companies in the world, meanwhile, have operations in Ireland. The legacy of Tony Ryan’s Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) remains a significant factor in Ireland’s ongoing success in the industry.

“GPA was one of the first two aircraft leasing companies ever established, the other being ILFC in the West Coast of the US, which AerCap bought last year [for approximately €26bn (including debt), creating the second biggest aircraft leasing company in the world],” says Tom Woods, head of aviation finance at KPMG. “The AerCap entity that bought ILFC is the original GPA – it’s just been renamed. “Tony Ryan provided great training for people and after the collapse of GPA these people moved into other organisations or set up their own leasing operations. And they stayed in Ireland.”

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sector profile

“Pretty much 90pc of the people you meet in the sector will have GPA on their CV in one way, shape or form,” adds Ronan Doyle, a partner in PwC. “So it’s dominated by Irish folk. Even when you look at some of the aircraft lessors who aren’t based in Ireland right now, there’s generally an Irish person somewhere in the chain.” Over the last 40 years, Ireland has also developed a strong support infrastructure across a range of disciplines – everything from legal to engineering and aircraft maintenance to retrofitting – in what is a highly specialised industry. “As a lessor coming in, not only do you have the people who are prepared to do the investment, you have got a conurbation of all the various specialist advisors,” Doyle says. Another important point in Ireland’s favour is its double taxation agreements with 72 countries. “None of the competitor jurisdictions have even a fraction of that in place,” says Doyle. “Virtually everywhere you want to lease to in the world, you can either do it directly from Ireland or at one hop.” As a result, all of the biggest lessors have some kind of presence in Ireland and most have substantial operations here.

Growth forecast The sector is experiencing strong growth and all the signs are that this will continue over the next few years. “Developing economies are building airports, there’s a growing world population and an increasing middle class population,” Woods says. “That translates into more air travel, which drives a need for more aircraft.”

According to Woods, Irish-based lessors currently have at least US$60bn in orders placed with Boeing and Airbus. Meanwhile, the financing requirement for new aircraft each year for the next 10 years is expected to be at least US$110bn a year, he says. Around 20,000 aircraft are in operation today and Woods believes this figure is likely to reach 40,000 over the next 20 years. Boeing is forecasting strong demand for new commercial airlines in 2015, resulting in about US$124bn in deliveries across the industry, double the amount from 2010. While the company is expecting that growth to moderate over the next few years, it’s still predicting that annual airplane delivery finance requirements will be around US$156bn in 2019. According to the company, lessors will support around 40pc of all deliveries this year and around 50pc by 2020.

Funding trends A growing source of funding for lessors is the capital markets. According to Boeing, over the past three years leasing companies have shifted the bulk of their leverage from commercial bank debt to more efficient capital markets funding. The company estimates that the capital markets funded around 32pc of lessors’ financing in 2012 and that this will increase to 53pc in 2015. According to the company, “this expanded capital market liquidity is attracting new institutional investors and stimulating interest in the creation and evolution of aircraft portfolio securitisation structures”. The sector is particularly attractive to investors looking at a long-

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sector profile

‘Virtually everywhere you want to lease to in the world, you can either do it directly from Ireland or at one hop’ term investment with a predictable return and relatively low credit risk, such as life insurance companies and pension funds, says Doyle. “It’s a commodity type asset so, if one particular lessor gives back the aircraft, it’s reasonably easy to place it in another,” he says. “Secondly, you’re dealing with a credit risk of a BA or a Lufthansa, so reasonable quality creditors that absolutely need to use the asset or else they basically don’t have a business.” There is also considerable interest from investors in East and Southeast Asia. “People are looking to get into this area because it is a reasonably high yielding asset compared to what else is currently out there. So, a number of Chinese state owned or privately owned banks are looking to do more internationally. Here in Ireland, for example, ICBC (Industrial Commercial Bank of China), Bank of Communications and Cheung Kong have recently made significant announcements in the aircraft leasing space.” Boeing and Airbus have forecast that over the next 20 years, 30,000 new aircraft will be put into service. According to Doyle, around 70pc of the aircraft going to North America will be used to replace old aircraft. In Europe, he says, there’s a fairly even split between replacement and building out capacity. In the Far East, however, around 75pc of new aircraft orders will be used to build incremental capacity. Chinese airlines, for example, are projected to need 6,000 new planes over the next 20 years, at a cost of US$780bn. “That is the massive growth market and it’s probably the reason why Chinese and Japanese banks are looking to get involved. They see huge growth potential in their domestic markets.” Another development in the sector has been a diversification in investment by lessors in recent years, says Woods. “Most of the lessors have tended to focus on narrow body aircraft – the 737 and the A320 families, which are the workhorses of the industry,” he says. “They present the greatest opportunity to remarket from one airline to another. So that’s tended to be focus for lessors. “But over the last number of years, we’ve seen lessors move into the wide body market – the twin aisles, the A330s, 787s and 777s. Intrepid Aviation, for example, is almost exclusively a wide body lessor. The bigger lessors have now an increasing percentage of their portfolio as twin aisle aircraft. Amedeo, which is also based in Ireland, exclusively focuses on leasing the A380, the double decker aircraft. Lessors are also focusing on different points in the economic life of aircraft whether new, mid-life or end of life. So we’re seeing more of a focus being placed by lessors in particular

parts of the market now. There’s a very broad spectrum in which lessors now will play.”

Irish prospects Looking to the future, Ireland is likely to face increasing competition to maintain its position as a leader in aviation leasing. “It’s a fairly mobile industry.” says Woods. “One thing we’re at risk of is the income tax rates being prohibitively high, which could move people to other jurisdictions. Some positive changes were introduced last year that will certainly improve the attractiveness of Ireland from a personal tax perspective but there is more to do.If you have the key decision-makers located in Ireland, everything else will follow. “We have a very good treaty network and we’re continually building that out. And there are very positive developments on the financing side in terms of fully adopting the Cape Town Convention. UCD is also establishing a school of aviation. I think all of these things help with Ireland’s stickiness. It is clear that Ireland continues to make changes to enhance the attractiveness of the country and I believe that these enhancements will create an even brighter future for this industry here.”

The figures ■ An Irish leased aircraft takes off every two seconds ■ Fourteen of the top 15 lessors based in Ireland: AerCap, Aircastle, Avolon, AWAS, BBAM, BOC Aviation, CIT Aerospace, Gecas, Hong Kong Aviation Capital, Macquarie, MCAP (Mitsubishi Capital), Orix Aviation Systems, SMBC, Standard Chartered (Pembroke)

■ 1,200 people employed in the aviation leasing sector in Ireland ■ More than US$120bn worth of aviation assets managed from Ireland ■ US$124bn in aircraft deliveries across the industry in 2015 Source: IDA Ireland, Boeing

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Future business in association with Vodafone


THE FUTURE There is a renewed focus on wellness among Irish business leaders as the economy recovers – both for themselves as individuals and their employees, writes Sorcha Corcoran

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he concept of investing in workforce well-being in order to maximise business performance is nothing new, dating back to at least the 1950s and Chicago factory the Hawthorne Works where experiments showed that higher levels of light improved employee productivity – the so-called ‘Hawthorne effect’. Numerous studies since have shown that investing in a good working environment and wellness programmes make good business sense, however it’s something that has been forgotten of late, according to Prof Jeremy Bray of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the US, who will be a speaker at Ireland’s first ever Workplace Wellbeing Day event in Croke Park coming up on 27 March.

Having done research on the economic benefits of workplace well-being for the past 20 years, Bray says he is always struck by the dichotomy that exists between wellness programme advocates and employers in terms of what they see as compelling evidence. “Businesses tend to be focused on return on investment, which is in fact always very good when it comes to wellness programmes – some recent metaanalysis has shown this to be 3:1 [€3 back for every €1 invested]. This makes advocates wonder why workplaces don’t do more in the area because those that improve workforce conditions tend to be more financially viable,” he says. “In the US, disease management programmes are gaining ground largely because of the central role

‘As companies navigate the objective of retaining and motivating employees while managing rising costs, they need to determine the benefits that have the most impact for employees’

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Future business in association with Vodafone

that employers play in health insurance provision and their aim to reduce healthcare costs. In Ireland this is not as salient and there is more of a focus on workplace wellness programmes. These have been proven to result in reduced absenteeism, improved worker satisfaction and better employee retention. The costs associated with these areas can be quite dramatic. “On top of this workplace wellness programmes tend to result in improvements in productivity. For example, they curb ‘presenteeism’, where employees show up and are not completely engaged or as productive as they would otherwise be.” He adds that research has confirmed that family-friendly workplaces tend to be more profitable in general and indeed some studies have shown some beneficial effects on a company’s share

price when businesses have family-friendly policies. In his speech at the event for Workplace Wellbeing Day, Bray will present evidence on the economic benefits of workplace wellness programmes, including cost, cost-effectiveness and return on investment. His session will include a discussion of research gaps that may prevent the wider adoption of workplace wellness programmes by industry. PwC’s 2015 Reward Trend Snapshot Survey published on 3 March indicates a renewed focus on wellness initiatives in Ireland – 49pc of respondents confirmed that their organisations operate a health and wellness programme while 14pc are planning to enhance their health and wellness programmes in 2015. Louise O’Reilly, manager, PwC Reward Advisory Services, said:

The Thinkwell studio at Vodafone Ireland is an example of how employers in Ireland are investing in wellness

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47 “As companies navigate the objective of retaining and motivating employees while managing rising costs, they need to determine the benefits that have the most impact for employees. “There is an increasing trend where analytics are impacting benefit planning. Using analytics, an organisation can establish the value employees assign to various benefits. And once companies understand what their employees value, they can tailor their packages appropriately.” The reaction of employers to Workplace Wellbeing Day so far would seem to back up the PwC findings. Companies of all sizes have signed up to participate, including Aramark, Bank of Ireland, Fenero Contractor Solutions, Teleflex, Dunboyne Castle Hotel; ESB, Nestle Ireland and Wyeth Nutritionals. Those involved will host special events and promotions for their staff on the day as well as highlighting existing initiatives available to them in the workplace. Workplace Wellbeing Day 2015 is an expansion of the existing workplace well-being programme that Food and Drinks Industry Ireland currently supports through the Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF). Research has been released ahead of the day, which reveals that

65pc of employees recognise the need to consume healthier food and drinks but only 15pc said their employers provided healthy food choices in canteens or vending machines. Commissioned by the NHF, the nationwide survey shows only one-third of employees take the recommended weekly level of exercise for a healthy lifestyle while four in 10 office bound workers say they are not physically active at all during their working day. One-fifth of inactive workers cite the overall lack of facilities with 11pc highlighting the lack of shower facilities. NHF chairman Prof Niall Moyna, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, said: “Ireland’s workplaces are essential to encouraging healthier lifestyles amongst adults given the considerable amount of time people spend there. “With 11 million days lost through absenteeism every year at a cost €1.5bn, workplace well-being is in everyone’s interest. Simply encouraging staff to take 15 minutes exercise, for example, throughout their working day would go a long way towards the 150 minutes moderate exercise that’s recommended weekly. “This could involve staff taking the stairs rather than the lift or identifying routes of various distances around the vicinity of the workplace for lunchtime walks or runs.”

Motivational shift emerging among employees A quarter of employees in a survey are more

“The top motivating factor for employees is job satisfaction, ie to be

motivated now than

valued and to value your work. Over a number of years job security was

they were this time last

higher on the scale of needs because of pay cuts and the recession. As

year, although 64pc of

the economy improves, people are focusing more on financial benefits

respondents believe

and being rewarded in a way they deserve for the job they’re doing.

their leadership and management teams aren’t doing enough to motivate staff. The main reasons for the higher levels of motivation are change in job,

Keith McCarthy, director, human resource and organisational development consulting, Mazars

outside their role, rather than the role itself.

“The recruitment market is a lot more buoyant and if people aren’t getting the reward they feel is equitable they will look elsewhere.” McCarthy said one of the interesting aspects of this year’s survey is to look at what is demotivating for employees now. The top three factors are lack of praise, demotivating management style and not dealing with the unsatisfactory performance of others. “These things have a significant impact on the levels of motivation

role, salary; an improved

amongst the workforce and how happy people are. I don’t believe that

outlook in the economy; or

business leaders fully understand the impact of this – having met with

being part of a growing

SME managing directors recently.

business, according to

“They have come through a difficult time period and are relieved

the survey launched by

about how things have picked up and excited about new plans. When

professional services firm

I ask whether their team is just as excited, they don’t know. They as-

Mazars in February.

sume they are. But they could be wondering about how the new plans

Work-life balance is considered more important this year than it was last year, with 44pc of respondents citing this as a key motivational factor, up from 26pc in the previous year. Keith McCarthy, director, human resource and organisational development consulting, Mazars, said this represents a market that is

will affect how they do things and may not be as enthusiastic. “SME leaders are often focused on business results and keeping the business afloat and moving, not realising they’re bringing the workforce with them. With this in mind, well-being, performance management, recognition and reward are critical now.”

beginning to stabilise, allowing employees to regain focus on priorities

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Future business in association with Vodafone Patrick Coveney, chief executive, Greencore



The Pendulum Summit at the beginning of the year hosted a range of speakers who emphasised the link between business success and well-being peakers at the Pendulum Summit sponsored by Vodafone Ireland at the end of January lent weight to the argument that business success is linked to prioritising and promoting well-being – both for the individual leader and as part of an organisation’s culture. Deepak Chopra, who is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and mindfulness in business, told the 1,800 delegates at The Convention Centre Dublin that the importance of mental well-being in the workplace cannot be overstated. He said businesses wouldn’t maximise on economic recovery without making the health and well-being of their workforce a priority. Chief executive of food company Greencore Patrick Coveney started his speech by saying that he held a “massive belief” in spending time for yourself as a business leader. He described how his family was important and supportive of the amount of travel associated with the job, and that he feels it matters to stay fit and healthy in order to have the energy and resilience to deal with things as they come up. “You have to be gritty and resilient but in a way that doesn’t put people off. Most of the people who I consider to be effective leaders are not only effective at work but have a very good balance to their life,” he said.


An Oxford graduate, Coveney worked for McKinsey for 10 years before joining Greencore as chief financial officer in 2005 and went on to become CEO in 2007. One of the greatest challenges for the company since Coveney joined has been a significant shift in the focus of its business following the EU’s reform of its policies on sugar, which until 2005 had been the company’s biggest earner. With Coveney at the helm, Greencore has transformed into a business strongly focused on convenience food and employing 12,000 people internationally. At the Pendulum Summit, Coveney spoke of his personal journey with the business and how he dealt with various issues – for example, three months into the CEO role, Greencore unearthed a significant level of deliberate financial misstatement in one of its smaller businesses, a mineral water company in Scotland. Describing it as one of the most stressful times in his career, Coveney found a way to deal with this methodically and came through it. “Undoubtedly, while I wouldn’t have wished that particular experience on anyone, the business and I were much better for having been through that,” he said. “Businesses and individuals overestimate what they can do in three years but underestimate what can be done in 10.”

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VIEW Director of human resources Rachel Mooney shares Vodafone Ireland’s strategic approach to workplace wellness


s a high performing organisation in a fast moving industry Vodafone Ireland has to be responsive and agile at all times and this filters down and touches every employee. To deliver on its strategies, the company must ensure that its people are well and are taking care of themselves and they feel supported in doing this, according to Vodafone Ireland director of human resources Rachel Mooney. “There is limited downtime for people these days, which means we’re ‘on’ a lot the time. As an organisation, we need to think about how to make sure our employees thrive in that kind of fullon environment,” she says. “Wellness is a big part of that. We acknowledge that people bring their whole selves to work and realise that they might have all the right skills and capabilities but if they’re physically tired or emotionally strained, this will impact who they are in work. The whole work-life-personal-professional area has become very blurred now. That is why Vodafone Ireland has invested in wellness.” There has been a gym and healthy food service on site at Vodafone Ireland’s offices in Leopardstown, Dublin for some time and last year management decided to upgrade its wellness facilities further. “We saw an opportunity to do something broader and meet a number of needs apart from just physical fitness and nutrition. A unique aspect of the approach was that we asked all employees if they would be interested in volunteering to be ‘well-being ambassadors’,” Mooney explains. “A number of passionate individuals were appointed as these well-being ambassadors. They underwent training and workshops, engaged with employees at all levels in various formats to ensure wellness was on the agenda and ensured colleagues have somewhere to go if they have questions or concerns.” The well-being ambassadors chose to focus on the area of

Rachel Mooney, Vodafone’s director of human resources

mental fitness as part of an overall wellness agenda. Well-being ambassador Carol Wallace says: “We did a survey and over 70pc of respondents wanted to learn and understand more about improving mental fitness or agility. This helped us shape activities that would be of most benefit.” A ‘Thinkwell’ studio in the Dublin office was created and the ambassadors identified what kind of services and classes would be delivered there. Mindfulness has become very popular, along with treatments such as reflexology, Mooney points out. Vodafone Ireland has set the target of 80pc of its 1,200 employees in Dublin to have engaged with the wellness agenda in some way this year. “As an employee the wellness centre can also come to you. This can mean, for example, a team on an off-site day starting a session with a mindfulness hour or management bringing visualisation techniques into quarterly updates. If you can embed this type of thing into day-to-day activities it really gets traction,” says Mooney. Aside from the wellness centre itself, Vodafone Ireland’s general layout and culture lend themselves to fostering employee well-being. “We operate hot desking so people can sit anywhere in the building and have cut down the number of meeting rooms so people can come together quickly in touchdown areas. Work is driven by establishing goals and whether you’ve delivered on them, rather than being seen in the office at 9am. There is a library where phone use is prohibited so employees that really need to focus can get some silence.” As with any other initiative within an organisation the tone from the top is critical in terms of making it flourish, notes Mooney. Vodafone Ireland sponsors the Dublin City Triathalon and CEO Anne O’Leary takes part along with around 100 employees each year. “Our CEO has strong values around wellness and is very much into keeping fit and giving herself time to recoup. It’s not about just talking the talk but walking the walk and giving our employees more opportunities to invest in wellness for themselves.”

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Future business in association with Vodafone



The academic and business worlds are colliding when it comes to understanding what makes leaders both happy and successful


reat leaders spend a disproportionate amount of time playing to their strengths and living their passions and tend not to believe that the best way to progress is by focusing on eliminating their weaknesses. This is one of the key findings from research carried out over a two-year period by co-founders of leadership development programme Potentialife – Angus Ridgway and Tal Ben-Shahar. It represents the ‘S’ (strengths) in their ‘Sharp’ leadership concept, the others being ‘health’, ‘absorption’, ‘relationships’ and ‘purpose’. Ridgway and Ben-Shahar met by chance four years ago and realised after their first discussion that while they came from very different worlds, they were both talking about the same thing – what it is to live a happy and successful life, according to Ridgway. As a former senior partner of 20 years at McKinsey & Co, Ridgway spent 10 of these as head of the leadership development function, most recently for the global group of 1,500 partners. Ben-Shahar, on the other hand, was a Harvard academic who had spent years studying the science of happy, successful people. “Tal and I realised that in this modern, disaggregated world we were two sides of the same coin and there was an opportunity to do something together,” Ridgway explains. “When you look at organisations and the way our society and workplaces are evolving, everybody really needs to be a leader. There is so much space for expression and no time to redefine roles as things change. Those organisations that embrace this space and set their people on fire to take initiative – they’re the winners. Those that take a more controlled view should perhaps rethink their model.” Ridgway and Ben-Sharar’s research, which formed the premise of their Potentialife programme, focused on the measurable behaviours that are common to great leaders – rather than trying to define what leadership is.

Each category of Sharp has a well-being component to it, which seems to suggest a correlation between high performance and individuals looking after their physical and mental health. This is particularly obvious with the ‘h’ of Sharp, which encompasses health, energy and stress management. “Great leaders are always energetic people. They manage for energy purposes, not just time. This means weeding out things that deplete energy and focusing on the things that restore energy and aid recovery. Exercise, nutrition and sleep are massively important in this respect,” says Ridgway. In his own life Ridgway found a way that he could better manage his weekly calendar for energy: “When making trips to mainland Europe I used to have to get up at 5am to make the 7am flight to get there by 9am, and would feel tired during the day. I found that taking a later flight meant I could meet my team in the evenings having slept well. Overall my performance transformed.” Turning to the ‘a’ of Sharp, ‘absorption’, this refers to being mindfully engaged in what you’re doing and using techniques to reduce the amount of time spent in a state of mindlessness. According to Potentialife’s research, because great leaders excel at this they believe it is possible to create the conditions for their own peak performance, and don’t assume that peak performance is rare and exogenous. “All of us spend vast swathes of our lives in a state of mindlessness, half in and half out, not focused fully on any one thing. Good leaders know how to bring their attention to the task at hand and deal with disruption. They get a multiplier effect from doing individual things right. Taking this further, the duality of leading oneself and others in an absorbed way, using active listening and being totally present with other people is a true motivator,” Ridgway contends. Tied in with this point is the ‘r’ of Sharp, ‘relationships’, which is about the fact that great leaders spend more of their time in authentic and positive interactions. They understand that being ‘true to yourself’ and positive – as well as empowering others to be the same – are the differentiators

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‘When you look at organisations and the way our society and workplaces are evolving, everybody really needs to be a leader’

Potentialife co-founders Tal Ben-Shahar and Angus Ridgway

for our modern networked world more than power and control. “We all operate in networks which stay with us beyond our power base. In order to differentiate themselves as leaders, people need to project both authenticity and positivity into their interactions and practise these skills to shift the balance. Being positive while not being authentic is to be a people pleaser while being authentic and negative can only achieve short-term results. Being both authentic and positive means that people will stick with you.”

Lastly, the ‘p’ of Sharp, ‘purpose’, is about asking yourself as a leader why you get up in the morning and go to work, Ridgway explains. “Great leaders understand that it’s fulfilment that leads to success not success that brings fulfilment. As a result, they set goals that make it possible to live life fully in the present, and are able to frame their day-to-day activities to fill them with meaning.”

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IoD member profile

FORCE OF WILL Roisin Cahill is director and chief operations officer at IT Force. She has been a member of the IoD since 2009

Can you tell us about your current role and what it involves? My current role is director and chief operations officer at IT Force, an indigenous Irish ICT company. IT Force provides a full range of ICT services with expertise across the board, from desktop and server estates to networks and telephony. Our success is built on a deep knowledge and understanding of infrastructure services. We believe in a partner relationship and work hard to make sure we understand our client needs. My responsibilities include strategy formation and execution, managing company operations and delivery, change management, human capital management, and customer care. What about any non-executive roles? I currently act as chair/director on a pro-bono basis for an inner city childcare centre that provides quality, affordable childcare for parents returning to work, education or training. I actively participate in all aspects of the board’s remit, including strategic planning and outlook, governance, fundraising, HR and ongoing operations. Can you highlight some milestones in your career and why they were significant? In my career, I have been fortunate to have worked in both large corporate and SME environments. My industry experience is quite varied and has included banking, software and ICT. Within these companies, I have had the opportunity to change positions many times with roles varying from project and team management to operations and human capital management. As I progressed through the various roles and changed track, I supplemented my knowledge by completing certifications ranging from diplomas in project management and employment law to an MBA and, most recently, the IoD certificate and diploma in company direction. What do you think are the main attributes/skills that have helped you to get to where you are? I like to multitask and I am a lateral thinker. I like change and am adaptable, flexible, competitive and not afraid of hard work. I try to act with integrity and to do the right thing. I have a genuine interest in developing others and always try to treat people fairly. How important is ongoing education? I am an advocate of life-long learning. I consider education to be an enabler and have completed various degrees, diplomas and professional certifications to keep my knowledge current and to broaden my horizons. I subscribe to the notion of the learning organisation and, as an employer, I facilitate staff members’ continual learning and actively

encourage everyone to keep their skills updated, whether through attending courses and seminars, completing certifications or simply reading to keep their knowledge current and relevant. As IT Force is a tech company, we must keep astride with what it happening in the industry. This enables us to tailor our services and offerings to meet clients’ needs and to anticipate their future needs. Can you define your leadership style? I try to have an open and participative leadership style. In the past number of years as IT Force has grown, we have built a capable team on whom we rely to persevere with the company strategy and make suggestions for improvement. I believe in hiring the best available talent, setting goals and objectives and allowing everyone the space and latitude to excel. What have been your biggest lessons in business? Every now and again, you get lucky – everything goes your way. Most of the time however, you have to make it happen. Hard work reaps rewards. It’s important to give customers what they need, not what you want to give them. Relentless communication pays dividends. Who or what are your main influences? I admire those who persevere even when the situation is bleak; people who can work out alternatives and options and make a decision even in adverse circumstances. What is your philosophy in business? I think that it’s important to have an understanding of who you are and where you are. Setting and aligning team and company goals is a powerful tool to focus attention on where you would like to be. It’s always valuable to look both internally and externally for alternative and different perspectives that will enable learning and growth while, at the same time, ensure that competitive advantage is maintained. What are your interests outside of work? I have three active school children who keep me busy. I also enjoy horse racing, rugby and socialising. Do you have plans for the future you’d like to share? I enjoy all aspects of business and of my role at IT Force. I feel that I have the scope and competence to contribute as a non-executive director to the strategy, growth and operations of another business and would welcome this sort of interest in the future.

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IoD member profile


‘I believe in hiring the best available talent, setting goals and objectives and allowing everyone the space and latitude to excel’

Autumn Spring2014 2015 Irish Director

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patron news

MERC Partners research shows

83pc of Irish executives fear consequences of UK exit from EU

Ruth Curran, managing partner, MERC Partners A comprehensive study of almost 350 senior Irish executives indicates that 83pc feel there would be negative consequences for the Irish economy if the UK exits the EU. Thirty-six percent of respondents believe this is likely to happen over the next five years. The Executive Expectations Report was carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of MERC Partners, Ireland’s leading executive search firm. “Our Executive Expectations Survey 2015 is our fourth annual survey of senior executives and sets out detailed insights into the experiences of Irish executives over the past 12 months and their expectations for the coming year. Across virtually all the sentiment levels assessed, the reaction was more positive than last year,” said Ruth Curran, managing partner of MERC Partners. Half of the survey respondents believe that SMEs in Ireland would suffer most as a result of the UK exiting the EU, with a further 20pc feeling the agriculture sector would be hardest hit. On a potentially positive note, two-thirds of respondents (66pc) believe Ireland would become a more attractive investment location for multinationals if the UK leaves. “While senior executive sentiment is clearly rising as the recovery continues, there is recognition that there is still a distance to go with 35pc of respondents still believing that the turnaround of the economy is less than half way there,” concluded Curran.

Vodafone Ireland announces IT communications partnership with Ryanair Vodafone Ireland has announced details of its partnership with Ryanair to provide 95pc of the carrier’s telecoms, machine to machine (M2M) and communications needs. The agreement will facilitate Ryanair’s teams with up to the minute information, improving the overall customer experience within the John Hurley, chief technology airline. The partnership officer, Ryanair with Anne signifies Vodafone’s Sheehan, enterprise director, increased capabilities Vodafone Ireland to provide large scale business with a full complement of communications and IT solutions. Vodafone will support ticketing, check in, ground crews, in flight crews and pilots with telephony, fixed line and mobile 3G and 4G functionality across Ryanair’s 189 locations in Europe and North Africa. “This business partnership is one of the most significant for Vodafone Ireland to date, demonstrating our total communications capabilities by providing complete end-to-end solutions tailored to Ryanair’s requirements across 189 locations in Europe,” said Vodafone Ireland enterprise director Anne Sheehan. “Ryanair is a company that is driving innovative technology solutions in the airline industry and Vodafone is delighted to partner with the airline to drive this evolution.” Ryanair’s chief technology officer John Hurley added: “Over the last 30 years, Ryanair has revolutionised and democratised air travel for European citizens, growing to become Europe’s largest airline with the widest route network, connecting 189 destinations in 30 countries, through more than 1,600 routes – and all at the lowest fares. As part of our ‘Always Getting Better’ improvement programme, we’re continuing to enhance the Ryanair experience for our 90 million customers annually. This partnership will provide us with the technical support to allow us to make these improvements quickly and seamlessly, including the introduction of paperless cockpits and a swifter inflight sales system.” Part of the initiative is the introduction of the electronic flight bag that will remove paper from the cockpit, which is fundamental to Ryanair’s strategy. In addition, Vodafone will support the on board electronic point of sale (EPOS) devices used for in flight credit card sales. From April 2015 Ryanair crew will be issued with 8,000 new handheld devices with M2M connectivity, which will create a secure managed connection to sync data with credit card companies when the plane lands. Vodafone M2M connects previously isolated machines or devices to the internet, delivering new functionality and enhanced services without the need for human intervention. In 2014 Vodafone was named global M2M leader by Machina Research, for the third year in a row. For more information visit

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In association with

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Brought to you by

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CSR campaign


Workplace wellness Our focus in the fourth of our CSR series is on workplace. As always you can view additional content at sustainability. For any business its most significant asset is its people. In this report we hear from John Ryan, CEO of Great Places to Work in Ireland and Fergal O’Byrne, head of business excellence at NSAI Certification on the business benefits of placing good workplace practice at the heart of your organisation. It’s no secret that employees who are engaged and motivated are happier in their work and perform better. Business leaders have worked hard to create a culture of trust where employees feel valued and listened to. Alan Cox gives us an insight into the workplace culture at Core Media, which has led to it winning best SME workplace for two years running. From MSD we hear about the ongoing work of the Change Team – placing employees at the heart of the business and improving business culture. And from Friends First we are given an insight into ‘Friends in the Workplace’, one of the company’s four central CSR themes. Thanks to our campaign partners for their support and for sharing their stories – creating workplaces they and their employees can be truly proud of. In our next CSR report we talk to business leaders on enviroment – creating the future we want. We’d love to hear from you on workplace and enviroment – contact details are below.

Sam Hobbs Managing director Business & Leadership Ph: +353 1 625 1425 Email: Irish Director is published by Business & Leadership Ltd Ph: +353 1 625 1400 Email: Address: Office 4, 6 Main St, Dundrum, Dublin 14 © Business and Leadership Ltd 2015

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NSAI’s Fergal O’Byrne on achieving Excellence Through People Putting CSR strategy at the heart of the workplace At Core Media, the focus is on communication and improvement Best practice and trends in employee engagement

MSD’s goal to find ways of supporting employees to make a difference Friends First’s staff focused approach to CSR Irish Director Special Report: CSR workplace

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CSR campaign



EXAMPLES As attracting and retaining the brightest and the best becomes increasingly important in coming years, the Excellence Through People framework may become a defining factor for organisations

et up originally by Fás in 1996, the Excellence Through People (ETP) scheme was transferred to the NSAI in 2011. The system provides a business improvement model aimed at helping organisations enhance performance and realise their business strategies through the development of their people. The focus of the scheme, which is open to entities of all sizes, is to get organisations to look at their people as a key source of competitive advantage. The model is designed to help organisations achieve business improvement by putting the right human resource systems in place to maximise employee contribution; aligning people practices with the wider goals; and maximising the investment in HR management. When it took on the initiative, NSAI reworked it to strip it down and make it as close as possible to the international and industrial standards it normally deals with, says Fergal O’Byrne, head of business excellence, NSAI Certification. O’Byrne notes also that 80pc of the work Fás did around ETP involved preparing companies for it, while 20pc was the audit process. “We only do the last bit,” he says. “Now, if someone wants to go for ETP, they have to get a consultant themselves or put a team in place in-house.” Around 100 individual workplaces are currently registered with ETP, including Sodexo Ireland, Barrettstown Gang Camp Fund, Allianz Worldwide Care, Dublin Simon Community, Laya Healthcare and a number of Government bodies. Each site must be successfully audited on an annual basis to retain registration. According to O’Byrne, ETP remains quite different to NSAI’s other standards. “Everything else we do is driven by market requirements,” he explains. “If you’re supplying services or making widgets for a customer, they may stipulate that you have ISO 9000. So normally the market or the regulator drives it. ETP is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘have to have’.” Companies tend to be quite enthusiastic about the scheme as


a result. That said, meeting its requirements – 42 criteria covering everything from having a documented business plan with measurable goals and objectives to managers being able to describe their responsibilities for the health, safety and well-being of staff – is a hugely time consuming and detailed process. “When we’re doing the audits we’ll look at the evidence the company has demonstrated for particular requirements,” says O’Byrne. “Then we’ll go off and we’ll test it and we’ll typically interview 15pc of the staff.” Recent research carried out by NSAI found that companies going for quality or environmental standards typically need around six months from making the initial decision to being ready for audit. “With ETP it takes at least twice that. There’s more work involved in getting all the different bits and pieces in place.” The scheme is all about giving structure to staff engagement initiatives, says O’Byrne. “It’s about involving and energising your staff. When you talk to CEOs and management, they’ll often say their employees are very motivated. People often think they genuinely are doing a great job. But how can they prove it? What ETP does is give a structure. “ETP also allows people to understand what their organisation is about and what their contribution is. People often don’t feel any great connection between what they do to and what the organisation is. It’s trying to link people in so they know what their specific contribution is to the organisation.” While many of the registered companies are firm advocates of the scheme, NSAI has yet to carry out its own research into its business benefits. According to O’Byrne, ETP is unlikely to become marketplace driven. “I doubt it will ever be a contractual requirement. But the leading edge companies that need the brightest and best will use it together with other activities. It will be a tool they will use internally as a framework and externally as an advertising pull to help them get the staff they want.”

‘ETP also allows people to understand what their organisation is about and what their contribution is. People often don’t feel any great connection between what they do and what the organisation is‘ Special Report: CSR workplace Irish Director

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CSR campaign


Having a CSR strategy at the heart of the workplace has never been more important, according to chief executive of Great Place to Work in Ireland John Ryan. Sorcha Corcoran reports


trend has taken hold in Finland and Norway to have ‘meetings on the move’ where people go out in the sparse daylight and walk and talk while having discussions and it seems to be coming our way, according to John Ryan, chief executive of Great Place to Work in Ireland. It’s the type of behaviour that reflects how far workplaces in Ireland have come in terms of improving conditions and ways of working for their staff, he says. “I called managing director of Laya Healthcare Donal Clancy recently to ask could I call into him on my way to another meeting and walk and talk when we met. Some of the most important people in history have done this – it allows you to be more open to new ideas. It is such a simple thing, but reflective of how business leaders have evolved in Ireland.” Employing 485 people, Laya Healthcare has been on the Best Workplaces list for three years now and this year achieved 10th place in the large business category. Robert Levering, co-founder of Great Place to Work, defined a great place to work as “one in which you trust the people you work for, have pride in what you do and enjoy the people you work with.” The Great Place to Work approach involves nine practice areas where leaders and managers create an environment of trust. These are inspiring, speaking, listening, thanking, developing, caring, hiring, celebrating and sharing. Ryan says the practice areas of ‘caring’, which refers to how well employers look after their staff, and ‘sharing’, which is mainly about communication, are probably most relevant in relation to CSR. “It is now unusual not to be doing something in this space. Rather than being progressive, it’s the norm. When we see companies that aren’t involved in workplace CSR, they are generally behind in a lot

John Ryan, chief executive , Great Place to Work in Ireland of things,” he notes. “The jobs market is changing radically and there is a war for talent in certain industries – so many companies are looking for the same skill sets. Companies have to find ways to differentiate themselves. “All of the research shows that simply focusing on salary is a waste of time. To a point this is fine but really it’s a company’s culture, mission and a sense of purpose that employees value more as people spend most of their life in work.

‘Work-life balance has become more about blending rather than balancing’

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‘When we see companies that aren’t involved in workplace CSR, they are generally behind in a lot of things’ “How people feel about what they do as well as the people they’re working with and led by is critically important to how they are mentally and how well they will perform.” One way companies in Ireland are embracing this premise is in how they have physically changed their workplaces in terms of design to encourage interaction and collaboration. “Organisations have been reworked to build areas where everybody wants to come together with comfortable seating, appealing colours and plenty of light. This brings people from different parts of the business together and is important in terms of driving innovation as people start to understand issues other departments face,” says Ryan. An example of this contemporary workplace design is enterprise software and services company SAP’s App Haus in Citywest in Dublin, which aims to offer developers a completely flexible space – staff can move their desks anywhere they like, bring sofas and screens into meetings and draw on the windows if they feel like it. SAP came seventh on this year’s Best Workplaces list in the large business category. It has been on the list for four years and employs 1,392 people here. Employee engagement through volunteering has become quite commonplace in Ireland now, in large as well as smaller businesses, but Ryan has observed a trend towards involving employees considerably more in the decision-making process in this area. “In a lot of places, employees can pitch for their favourite charity. Such inclusion means they feel ownership of the process. It is part of a more strategic approach generally to CSR, with companies thinking harder about which organisations fit best with theirs – it’s no longer about just taking a photo of staff painting a picket fence. “We are noticing a real commitment from companies in this area now – for instance entering into five-year programmes and involving the whole organisation. This then feeds directly into the corporate brand making it more attractive to jobseekers. He adds: “There is a much more strategic approach to the volunteering itself too. Instead of purely involving generic time, it has become more about providing skills – for example, employees at internet security firm McAfee in Cork going into schools to teach children about internet safety.” Volunteering can be another way for people from different functions within an organisation to connect, who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to, according to Ryan. He points out that 10 people who didn’t know each other at EMC in Co Cork were teamed up to volunteer at a homeless shelter recently, which brought them closer and gave them an understanding of different roles within the organisation. Contributing in ways such as this enhances employees’ work-life balance, the perception of which has changed in recent years. How people spend their time and the results they achieve rather than the number of hours they’re present in the workplace has become more important as technological advances have meant people can work from home or when on the move. “Work-life balance has become more about blending rather than balancing. The danger is that employees could become

overwhelmed because of the ability to be always reached and to carry out tasks. But companies are starting to acknowledge this and do something about it,” says Ryan. A&L Goodbody does some really good work around this area, he reckons. “They have one of the toughest jobs trying to make worklife balance happen because of the traditional notion in law that to reach partner level you have to forget the rest of your life. “They follow the same principles used by the Irish Institute of Sport – that in order to perform to your best you must rest and recuperate. This means that in the long term you’ll perform much better and go further.”

Best Workplaces in Ireland 2015 SMALL (20–100 employees) n n n n n n n n n n

Promed Kantar Worldpanel 3M Ireland Cadence Design Systems (Ireland) JLL Hilti (Fastening Systems) PEI Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals Qualtrics Collins McNichols

MEDIUM (101–300 employees) n n n n n n n n n n

Core Media Globoforce Investec Ireland Workday Morgan McKinley Irish Stock Exchange Kuehne+Nagel Bayer MasterCard Ireland Bright Horizons Family Solutions

LARGE n n n n n n n n n n

Genzyme Ireland Intel Security PepsiCo Ireland EMC Version 1 Diageo Ireland SAP Vodafone Ireland eBay Inc LayaHealthcare

Source: Great Place to Work Ireland

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Engaging for


Alan Cox, CEO, Core Media

Core Media has topped the Great Place to Work list in the medium-sized workplaces category for the last two years and it has an aspiration to keep on improving


ore Media has topped the Great Place to Work list in the medium-sized workplaces category for the last two years. Its CEO Alan Cox, meanwhile, was named the Most Trusted Leader in 2013. According to Cox, the company culture’s is informed by three key values, namely action, curiosity and togetherness. “Togetherness is about supporting each other and the community in which we are based,” he says. “That’s really important because we have a group of 10 companies in Core Media and even though each company operates on its own, we have this overarching culture which I think makes everybody feel that they’re part of a big group.” The group, which employs around 200 people and has doubled in size over the last five years, is located in three buildings within a few hundred metres of each other around the South Docks in Dublin 2. “That allows us to come together when we need to. Once a month, everyone gets together for a team meeting where we share news and information.” To create a strong working environment and culture, it’s important to listen to and engage with everybody who works in the business, Cox says. “Communication for me is all about listening, not talking. I think we listen and we also then try to involve people in the future of the company.” The company has a representative group of employees that makes a formal presentation to management at least once a year on areas where it feels improvements could be made. “Together we work on which of those are feasible and actionable and then we action them. “Trying to improve every year is essential to an organisation if it wants to be a good place to work. And you can never just say that you’ve achieved that position. You’ve got to try to improve.” Core Media engaged with the Great Place to Work Institute for the first time five years ago. “We embarked on our first survey of our

employees and our first scores weren’t great in some cases. But it gave us great information and knowledge and then we knew what we needed to do to become a better place to work.” Achieving a better work-life balance has been a big focus. “The most significant attempt we’ve made to try to address that – and I don’t think we’ll ever completely address it – is remote working. We got rid of all the desktop computers and gave everybody a laptop. And we also got rid of all the phones off the desks and built the telecoms into the laptop so people have an earpiece. We also gave everybody a ‘red box’, which you put into your broadband at home and that opens up all of our apps and files and folders. So, if people want to work remotely they can do so as effectively as if they’re in the office. And we don’t put any rules around it. I think that’s helped a little bit to try to alleviate some of the stress that comes with trying to balance those two things.” Another initiative has been a ban on emails in the evenings. “That came from one of the suggestions from the representative group. Some people work on in the evening and go to clear their desk by sending off loads of emails not for a second expecting anybody to respond to them that night. But people would see their email pinging late at night and those little pings were little pings of stress. It didn’t matter that they didn’t have to do anything about it, they would know that they had received an email and in some cases they would read it and it would bring their head back into the office.” Cox is convinced of the business benefits of being a better place to work. “If people feel supported in the work environment and feel happier in that environment, of course they’re going to be more productive and creative. Technology has infiltrated our lives and I think how we manage our working environment is becoming more and more important.”

‘Communication for me is all about listening, not talking. I think we listen and we also then try to involve people in the future of the company’ Irish Director Special Report: CSR workplace

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IRELAND’S FIRST WORK-LIFE CAMPUS LAUNCHED employees and their visitors. Over 3,200 people are currently employed at Central Park and this is to increase to 4,000 by the end of the year, according to landlord Green Reit. Companies with bases in Central Park include Vodafone, Ulster Bank, Merrill Lynch Bank of America, Leaseplan, Salesforce, RGA Insurance, Tullow Oil and VW Bank. The complex also houses 340 residents in 272 apartments and this is also expected to grow to 700 by the middle of 2016. “We have designed full programmes which operate under the three tenets of Live, Work and Grow,” said Central Park marketing director Viv Gaine. “Our goal is to create a world-class environment Central Park, Leopardstown which will connect the people who live and work there to each other. “We’re taking every opportunity to socialise all groups in Central Park by offering an extensive range Ireland’s first work-life campus was launched at Central Park, of events ranging from personal and professional development Leopardstown in Dublin in February. and inter-company challenges, as well as health, fitness and The aim of the new campus is to create a community that well-being activities. balances lifestyle, work, home and the environment. “It’s about building a community and creating more than just a Weekly farmers markets and an app with a concierge service, as well as a continuous programme of activities under the banner place to live or work. “We have laid the groundwork for the organic growth of of Live Work Grow, are at the heart of a community of up to 8,000 a community here at Central Park. We have seen the same potential employees and residents at Central Park. model work fantastically in the UK, and are confident that in five All members of the community have access to the Building years we will be seen as the people who mastered the work, Link app, designed to enable them to integrate daily tasks, life balancing act,” said Steven Fagan, associate director asset including dry cleaning, ordering food, running errands and services for managing agent CBRE. prescription collection services. The app has a portfolio of complimentary and optional fee-based services for tenants,

OVER HALF OF IRELAND’S WORKFORCE CLOSER TO BURNING OUT – REGUS Over half of Ireland’s workforce (54pc) say they’re closer to burning out than they were five years ago, according to a Regus report. The poll of business people across Ireland shows that the top triggers of workplace stress are lack of exercise, unreliable IT and job insecurity. Many workers believe one way of easing the tension is a break from the main office – at least some of the time – 85pc of respondents found a change of scenery such as working from another location to be a good stress reliever.

Seven in 10 respondents believe workers that have this flexibility are happier and of those that have, 73pc say they’re more content now they work outside the main office some of the time. Similarly, freelance workers also tend to be more relaxed according to the research. Two-thirds of those questioned say that they think freelance workers, with their freedom to change location and set their own hours, are less stressed than regular staff.

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NEW INDEX AIMS TO FIND BEST PLACES TO WORK FOR LGBT PEOPLE Glen, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) has launched the Workplace Equality Index to find Ireland’s best places to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. “The Workplace Equality Index will push top performing employers in Ireland to new heights,” said Davin Roche, director of workplace diversity, Glen. “The index will also provide a framework for employers tackling issues like harassment and homophobic bullying in the workplace.” Research commissioned by Glen found 30pc of lesbian, gay and bisexual employees were harassed at work and over 10pc quit a job because of discrimination. This research also found that employees

who were ‘out’ at work were more committed to their employer than employees who were not out and reported a better working relationship with colleagues. Speaking at the launch, Peter O’Neill, managing director, IBM Ireland said his company wholeheartedly endorses the value of the index. “It allows participating organisations to get an independent assessment of their LGBT diversity policies and practices,” he said. “It provides us with an incentive to improve and demonstrates that diversity is vital to our success.” Entry to the index is free and open to all employers. The winners will be announced on 22 September.

HALF OF IRISH COMPANIES CONSIDER STRESS AND MENTAL HEALTH IN WORKPLACE TO BE HIGH PRIORITY – AWARE (31pc) than mental health, with only 18pc of companies being New research from Aware shows that half of Irish businesses approached about a personal mental health issue. consider stress and mental health a priority in their workplace, yet 84pc do not have a wellness policy or wellness programme in place. Aware is urging companies to prioritise mental health and wellness in the workplace in 2015. The mental health charity runs a series of Wellness@ Work education and training programmes for employees and managers, which are now available nationwide.

 The research from Aware also revealed that management in one in 10 companies are currently concerned about the mental health of a work colleague. Business owners also said employees are far more likely to open up about workDominic Layden, CEO, Aware (right) with Pat Campion, country manager for Lundbeck related (55pc), financial (48pc) Ireland Ltd, which is supporting the Wellness@Work initiative or physical health issues

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STRONG LINK BETWEEN WORK RELATIONSHIPS AND QUALITY OF LIFE – SURVEY A survey of 600 Irish employees has found that 84pc believe their work relationships are important to their quality of life and only 7pc say they have no colleagues they consider to be real friends. Globoforce’s 2014 Ireland Workforce Mood Tracker indicates that organisations that encourage and foster friendships among their workforce will benefit from higher employee retention rates. Nearly half (47pc) of those surveyed intend staying in their current employment as long as possible with 16pc actively looking for employment elsewhere. According to the research, 89pc of Irish employees would work harder if their efforts were recognised and appreciated by management but only 36pc of companies offer a programme for employee recognition. A significant 79pc of Irish workers would like milestones that include a retrospective of achievements and would make their work experience feel more meaningful. Derek Irvine, vice-president of customer consulting and strategy at Globoforce, said this year’s survey shows that organisations would “benefit greatly” from celebrating their employees’ dedication to the company, as well as the strong bonds people form while at work. “Adding a social element to recognition encourages interaction and friendships amongst colleagues. It deepens friendships, bonds people together, and provides the foundations for building trust and stronger relationships. The end result is increased engagement and a stronger company culture.”


NEARLY HALF OF FEMALE MILLENNIALS BELIEVE THEY CAN REACH THE TOP IN THE COMPANIES – PWC REPORT A new PwC report – The female millennial: A new era of talent – reveals that nearly half (48pc) of Irish female millennials (women born 1980-1995) believe they can reach the very top levels with their current employer, higher than the global experience (45pc). Millennial women in Ireland are more likely to be the primary earner (30pc) when in a dual career couple compared to their global counterparts (24pc). An overwhelming majority (88pc) of Irish female millennials in a dual career couple earn equal to or more than their partner or spouse (global: 66pc). 
 When it comes to diversity, 88pc of Irish female millennials seek out employers with a strong record on diversity, equality and inclusion (global: 86pc). However, while they say employers talk about diversity, almost three-quarters (74pc) do not feel opportunities are really equal for all (global: 71pc). Susan Kilty, people partner, PwC Ireland said: “Our research shows that when it comes to the female millennial, we really are talking about a new era of female talent. Female millennials are more highly educated and are entering the workforce in larger numbers than any of their previous generations. But, this is not the only thing that has changed. They also enter the workforce with a different career mindset.” 

 “Our research also dispels some significant myths, for example that women leave work to have families,” said Dublin-based Aoife Flood of PwC’s global diversity and inclusion programme and lead author of the report. “Irish millennial women ranked a lack of career progression opportunities as the most common reason for leaving a former employer. Employers must commit to inclusive cultures and talent strategies that lean into the confidence and ambition of the female millennial from day one of their career.”

TECHNOLOGY MAKING WORK-LIFE BALANCE HARDER TO ACHIEVE – SURVEY The 1930 prediction by economist John Maynard Keynes that modern technology would give workers more leisure time appears to have been disproved by a survey by Irish firm Fastnet Recruitment. Some 81pc of employers and 68pc of employees surveyed admitted to finding it difficult to achieve work-life balance as a result of communications technology. Of 450 employees surveyed, 60pc access and respond to emails outside office hours, while more than half of respondents access emails when on annual leave. From the employer perspective, 61pc expected their staff to check emails outside office hours, although 82pc of employers surveyed don’t expect employees to access emails when on annual leave. “Our survey shows that the increasing use of smartphones

means that people are constantly connected, whether in or out of the office and indeed outside office hours,” said Niamh O’Driscoll, managing director of Fastnet Recruitment & Search. “This 24/7 accessibility means that many of us feel obliged to respond to emails and calls outside of work hours.” The majority of employees surveyed (81pc) think remote email access has contributed to longer working hours. In France, trade unions have recently imposed restrictions on French employers requiring ‘disconnection of communication tools’ for contract workers in the hi-tech and consulting sectors. However, Irish workers and employers were not in favour of such measures, with over half of employers (51pc) and almost two-thirds (75pc) of employees in the survey stating their objection to any similar restrictions in Ireland. Special Report: CSR workplace Irish Director

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STRATEGIC direction

Employing over 2,000 people in Ireland, an ongoing goal within MSD is to find different ways of supporting its people to make a difference


D of Human Health at MSD in Ireland Brian Longstreet was once told by a mentor he had in the early part of his career that “culture eats strategy for lunch” and it’s something that he continues to believe in as a leader today. “The adage meant that you can have the best strategies in the world and a really good business plan, but if you don’t have engaged, motivated employees you won’t accomplish much,” he explains. “Having a strong developmental structure is critical to our employees and our business at MSD. Our biggest asset is our people, not the machinery or the strategies. It’s about how our people can help us to make a difference through being engaged and motivated.” A global leader in healthcare, MSD employs over 2,000 people at six separate sites in Ireland, encompassing manufacturing, shared business services, sales and marketing facilities. MSD’s health solutions include the development, production and distribution of prescription medicines, vaccines and biologic therapies as well as animal health products. Playing an active part in Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector for over 50 years, many of MSD’s leading products globally are made or packaged in Ireland. Longstreet says the large manufacturing presence in this country influences the strong culture driven by employees being motivated by the fact that they are involved in making medicines, which ultimately help patients around the world. “This is a rallying cry for everyone working for MSD in Ireland. I have worked for the organisation in both the US and UK and I have never seen this as palpable as it is here in Ireland,” he notes. With this in mind, an ongoing goal within MSD is to find different ways of supporting its people to make a difference and of engaging teams in the development and implementation of strategies that meet business objectives.

MD of Human Health at MSD in Ireland Brian Longstreet At MSD Human Health this has meant the establishment of two initiatives in particular – the Change Team and the Evolve to Succeed (E2S) project. Started around five years ago, the Change Team is a group of people drawn from all levels of the organisation who act as the “eyes and ears” of the entire employee base, feeding back to the management team what they hear from employees on a regular basis. “The feedback helps us to be in tune with everything that’s happening and shows us where we can make changes. It can cover anything from the desire to have a flexible working environment to different aspects of the benefits package – essentially the things

‘The Change Team has really fed into our culture over time. Culture is not something you can build over night’ Irish Director Special Report: CSR workplace

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understands the totality of what we’re trying to do. “We also have strong internal communications channels between the different areas of our business to support an open sharing of information with all our people.” “This approach allows us to highlight important developments that can be very motivating. For example, our Carlow site recently got US Federal Drugs Authority approval for the liquid formulation of one of our cancer treatments, which is manufactured at Brinny (Co Cork) for the rest of the world. “We were able to tell everyone via the webinar that clinical trials for the liquid formulation are taking place in Ireland.” Another web-based initiative at MSD will be the launch of a new human resources (HR) portal in April, which will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for employees in terms of their development, performance, and any support requirements they have of the HR function. Liam Murray, head of HR for MSD in Ireland, MSD lab in Ballydine, Co Tipperary explains: “We are moving towards a self-service HR model, where employees can get information at their fingertips as and when they need it. We’re all about creating that keep employees awake at night,” says Longstreet. An example of this process in action is sales reps telling the a learning environment and building talent is one of our leadership Change Team they needed to be more connected and efficient, for behaviours. The new HR portal will allow employees to access all the great tools we have. example through using an app on their mobile devices. “For example, any employee can go online and self assess their MSD Human Health worked with the corporate IT department to develop a solution introduced six months ago, which means sales own proficiency and identify what it takes to move to another role reps can do all their expense reports through their smartphone or in terms of competencies. As MSD has six locations in Ireland, it provides a good landscape for people to move around and develop in iPad. They have become more efficient as a result. “The Change Team has really fed into our culture over time. different areas of the business.” MSD operates a number of cross-Ireland project teams that Culture is not something you can build over night. It takes years. To really build that engaged and trusting culture from a leadership allow employees to pick up experience in another plant without perspective, you need to delegate and put your trust in people,” says having to up sticks and relocate. People can also go on temporary assignments to other locations including to international locations Longstreet. to gain exposure to different areas of the business and leverage the full potential of the global reach of MSD. Murray notes that four Strategic road map Established in mid-2013, E2S aims to determine MSD Human plant managers in other parts of the world originally came from Irish MSD plants. Health’s strategic road map over a three to five-year period. The overall approach to career development is to upscale people “All levels of the company through work streams led by individuals are involved in E2S to determine what our priorities should be. This so they are well rounded and more marketable within MSD or bottom up approach is helping us to develop to be sustainable in the outside the organisation if they are applying for another job. “Our attitude is that if someone leaves MSD, chances are we may get long term,” says Longstreet. “Our marketplace is evolving rapidly and we want to stay ahead them back,” says Longstreet. Murray says when it comes to development the underlying of where it could evolve to. For example, we have new customers now because of the formation of hospital groups – previously every ownership of the learning by the employee is a prerequisite. “A key ingredient in everyday work behaviours which ensures hospital was autonomous. Now there are six hospital groups. “E2S has really helped everyone to understand such changes that continuous development really happens is that our managers and the direction we’re going in. One of the four strategic priorities are highly trained in coaching. This creates a sense of safety, resulting from E2S is to build a dynamic, resilient and flexible which allows employees to open up and feel secure in stretching culture. Our people need to understand that change is going to themselves. “There is constant two-way dialogue occurring in the plants every happen and be able to react to that. Regarding Longstreet’s own leadership style, he says he has an day. Our way of working is that the person who owns the problem is best placed to come up with the solution as opposed to being “open door” approach and is a big advocate of communication. “We produce monthly webinars for the entire organisation in directed.” Ireland covering various aspects of the business so that everyone Special Report: CSR workplace Irish Director

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A staff-driven


Brian O’Neill, strategic marketing manager, Friends First outlines the workplace aspects of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy


ithin Friends First, CSR is not a single function or department: it is a philosophy integrated into all aspects of the business. Introduced post-financial crisis, the company’s new and integrated CSR strategy is key to rebuilding

its business. To improve co-ordination and communication of its activities, the company has organised CSR under four central themes: ‘Friends in the Workplace’; ‘Friends in the Community’; ‘Friends in the Environment’; and ‘Friends in the Marketplace’. Friends First views its staff as vital to the success of each of the four elements of the strategy. We are a service business so our staff are essentially our products and service. The strategy as well as the ideas and activities carried out in its delivery are in fact driven largely by staff. This is in recognition of the fact that CSR is a key component in giving people a sense of affiliation and commitment to and engagement with a company. The Friends in the Workplace programme is all about how the company manages and develops its staff. The working environment supports the delivery of company goals and individual development. There are individual development plans for each member of staff and an annual employment survey has been put in place by Achmea, Friends First’s parent company in the Netherlands. The feedback from these is actively reviewed and acted upon. Staff development and training is a focal point in the company with a very active in-house training department. In 2014, there were almost 5,000 training hours delivered, which is an average of nearly 20 per staff member. This is in addition to access to a wide range of

Staff raised funds for the nominated charities by participating in various sports events external training and education resources. Friends First is fully supportive of staff members’ continuing education and 2014 saw 52 exams passed by staff which included qualified financial advisor (QFA), graduate diplomas, pensions, accounting, actuarial among other industry qualifications. Achmea also hosts a number of development programmes,

‘Friends First views its staff as vital to the success of each of the four elements of the strategy. We are a service business so our staff are essentially our products and service’ Irish Director Special Report: CSR workplace

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A number of staff travelled to Uganda to work with the Lessons for Life charity which are run for management across its international operations in conjunction with leading international business schools and comprising a combination of residential and distance learning modules.

Communication is key Friends First believes that communication is key within any business. To have fully engaged staff it is important that they are aware of the goals, plans and activities across the company and how performance is doing against targets. Along with standard team meetings, a comprehensive internal communication plan is also in place which includes quarterly business updates to staff from the CEO, a staff newsletter and use of the corporate intranet to provide a continuous stream of information on the business and working environment. Staff well-being is also very important to Friends First and one of the initiatives that was widely participated in during 2014 was the ‘Step It Up’ programme which encouraged staff to become more active in a fun (and slightly competitive!) way. This was one of the elements of Health and Wellness Month for staff during the month of September last year. Other activities during the month included heart and cholesterol screening on site for Laya members, lunchtime talks by a number of speakers including Karl Henry, Operation Transformation fitness expert and a mindfulness taster session. Friends First also has a very active sports and social programme for staff which offers a host of different activities from sports to quizzes. All staff in Friends First are actively encouraged to become involved in the Friends in the Community programme. To demonstrate how the company delivers on its social responsibility aims, this programme uses its resources to support the local community including local charities, community projects and schools.

There are a number of different elements to the community strategy. The charity programme focuses on four charities Friends First supports which were nominated and voted on by staff – the Irish Cancer Society, Barnardos, LauraLynn and Lessons for Life. Not only do staff get involved with fundraising for these charities through events such as the Women’s Mini Marathon but also by working with them. In 2014, a group of staff travelled to Uganda to work with the Lessons for Life charity. Staff raised over €60,000 in 2014 for charity which was in turn matched by the company. The schools programme allows staff to share their expertise as part of a number of initiatives with local schools and groups. These include involvement in the Time to Read initiative to assist junior school children in a local school to enhance their reading skills, as well as the Skills at Work initiative where pupils at a local secondary school spend time in the company to get a glimpse of real working life.

Fundraising initiatives – all funds raised by staff were doubled by Friends First Special Report: CSR workplace Irish Director

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senior appointments

in association with

Changing places Stephen Kavanagh, CEO, Aer Lingus

over 26 years. Pat Byrne, chairman, Cityjet

Stephen Kavanagh Aer Lingus has appointed its chief strategy and planning officer Stephen Kavanagh as chief executive officer (CEO). Kavanagh, who has been with the airline since 1988, took over the role from Christoph Mueller on 1 March 2015. A UCD graduate, Kavanagh has had a range of roles in the airline’s operational and commercial departments. He was appointed as an executive in 2006 and was part of the initial public offering team that brought Aer Lingus to market in that year. He was chief commercial officer from 2009 and led improvements in retail and revenue management, partner and network development. Andrew Sheen, managing director, Irish Ferries Irish Continental Group (ICG) has appointed Andrew Sheen managing director of its Irish Ferries division. Sheen will take on the new role from the beginning of April, reporting to ICG’s CEO Eamonn Rothwell. Operations director at the company since 2012, Sheen has been involved in shipping for

CityJet’s founder Pat Byrne has rejoined the airline’s board as chairman. Byrne founded the regional airline in 1993 and was its chief executive for seven years until the carrier was sold to Air France. Last April, Intro Aviation GmbH completed its acquisition of CityJet from Air France through an Irish holding company. Byrne has taken over as chairman from Peter Oncken, who remains on the board. Prof Peter Clinch, chair, National Competitiveness Council UCD academic Prof Peter Clinch has been appointed chair of the National Competitiveness Council. Clinch, who has been a member of the council since 2013, replaces Dr Don Thornhill who has completed his term of office. Prof Clinch holds the Jean Monnet Chair of European Economic Integration and is also UCD Professor of Public Policy. He has BA, MA and PhD degrees in economics, a diploma in environmental impact assessment and is a graduate of the advanced management programme at Harvard Business School. He has held visiting positions or has been an invited speaker at the University of California Berkeley and San Diego, University of Southern California, and the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has advised or worked on behalf of the World Bank, OECD, and several national governments.

Eamonn Sinnott, president, American Chamber Of Commerce Intel’s Eamonn Sinnott has been appointed president of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland for 2015. Sinnott is a vice-president of Intel Corporation and the company’s general manager in Ireland. He joined Intel in 1991 and has held multiple positions within the technology and manufacturing group, which included several multi-year assignments to Intel locations in the United States. Sinnott graduated with a BSc MA in 1986 from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA in 2000 from UCD. Olwen Dawe, president, Network Ireland Founder and CEO of consulting firm Irish Business Intelligence

Olwen Dawe has been appointed as president of Network Ireland. A member of Network Ireland since 2007, Dawe is a strategy and communications advisor, working predominantly in the economic development sector. She is also a member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland and the Sage Business Expert panel. Alan Brown, managing director, Ireland



Alan Brown has been appointed as managing director of Xerox subsidiary IBS in Ireland, reporting to Diego Hervas. Before joining IBS, Brown held a number of senior positions in the telecommunications industry, most recently as deputy CEO and business director, Telefónica O2 Ireland.

Olwen Dawe

Irish Director Spring 2015

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senior appointments

in association with

Patricia King, general secretary, Irish Congress Of Trade Unions (Ictu) Patricia King has been appointed general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu). She’s the first woman to take the position. She has a full-time official with Siptu for the last 25 years and became the first woman to serve as a national officer of the union when she was appointed vice-president in May 2010. King was a lead negotiator in both the Croke Park and Haddington Road agreements and is a member of the national oversight body tasked with implementation of the latter agreement. She played a leading role in the Irish Ferries dispute in 2005/6 and in subsequent negotiations that saw an overhaul of employment rights law and the establishment of the National Employment Rights Authority. Currently serving on the boards of Pobal and the Dublin Airport Authority, King was recently appointed to the board of the Apprenticeship Council. Sean Hogan, James Martin, Celine Fitzgerald and Peter Cross, board members, Ervia Four new board members are joining the board of Irish Water’s parent company Ervia – formerly Bord Gáis Eireann – for a five-year period. Sean Hogan has been chairman of Northern Irish Water in March 2011 and his term expires in March 2015. James Martin is co-founder and chief executive officer of Limerick-based AMCS Group, a supplier of enterprise resource planning software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and resource industry. Before that he held a number

of technical and management positions at Analog Devices for 10 years. Celine Fitzgerald has over 30 years’ experience in customer service. She has worked in the telecommunications sector in Eircell and Vodafone, leading the delivery of customer relationship programmes. Between 2007 and 2012 she was CEO of Rigney Dolphin, a business process management company that worked with clients to manage, maintain and grow their customer relationships. She has operated her own management consultancy and also has experience in the NGO sector. She serves on the board of the VHI. Peter Cross, meanwhile, has his own strategic corporate finance advisory business in Dublin (Trasna Consulting) and has been the chair of the HSE’s audit committee since January 2014. He was previously chief financial officer of Eircom (between July 2007 and December 2010). Before that he worked in the UK with BT Group (as CFO of BT Openreach, group director of corporate finance and as trustee of the BT Pension Scheme), and held corporate finance positions with Morgan Stanley and Barings. He qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen in Dublin.

Barry Devereux corporate finance transactions, including extensive experience of Irish privatisations. He has wide-ranging domestic and international transactional experience, gained over 25 years in Dublin, London and Singapore. Jonathon Lowey, chairman, Federation Of International Banks In Ireland The chief financial officer at JP Morgan Ireland Jonathon Lowey

Barry Devereux, chairman, Mccann Fitzgerald McCann FitzGerald’s current head of corporate finance group Barry Devereux is to take over as chairman from 1 May 2015. Devereux will succeed John Cronin, who has led the firm since May 2008 and will return to full-time client work. Devereux has particular expertise in M&A and


has been appointed chairman of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) for a two-year term. Lowey was educated at Blackrock College, has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from UCD and a diploma in accounting from University of Ulster. He is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and has over 20 years of experience in banking, asset management, the funds industry and auditing. Prior to his appointment as CFO of JP Morgan Ireland, he held various senior roles in banking, asset management and auditing in Ireland and Luxembourg with JP Morgan, Flemings, Deloitte and Grant Thornton. Aidan O’Driscoll, secretary general, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Jonathon Lowey

Aidan O’Driscoll has been appointed secretary general of the Department of Agriculture, Spring 2015 Irish Director

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senior appointments

Food and the Marine. O’Driscoll replaces Tom Moran who has completed 10 years in the position. In his most recent role as assistant secretary in the Department, O’Driscoll had responsibility for EU affairs, economics and climate change, and successfully steered the 2013 CAP negotiations. Fiona Muldoon, group finance director, FBD Holdings FBD Holdings has appointed Fiona Muldoon as group finance director. Muldoon was director of credit institutions and insurance supervision at the Central Bank of Ireland. Before the Central Bank, chartered account Muldoon was with NYSE-listed property and casualty insurance firm XL Group for 17 years holding a number of senior roles in Ireland, London and Bermuda, including two years as group treasurer until July 2010. Prof Tiziana Margaria, professor of software systems at the University Of Limerick Prof Tiziana Margaria has been appointed professor of software systems at the University of Limerick and a principal investigator of Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre. She was previously professor of service and software engineering at the University of Potsdam in Germany and is a former head of the Institute of Informatics. Prof Margaria is currently vice-president of the European Association of Software Science and Technology (EASST) and president of FMICS (the European research consortium for informatics and mathematics working group on formal methods for industrial critical systems).

in association with

Richard Corbridge, chief information officer, Hse Richard Corbridge has been named as the first chief information officer for the HSE. Making the appointment, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said it was the first step in overhauling the health service’s technological capacity. Corbridge’s role will include chief officer for eHealth Ireland, the Government strategy that aims to use ICT to improve patient care and the overall health service. Corbridge has worked in health care informatics in the UK for the last 17 years. Most recently he was CIO for the UK’s National Institute for Health Research. He was named in the top 15 CIOs in the UK in 2014 by CIO magazine and listed as one of the top innovators in healthcare by the Health Service Journal for 2014. Feargal O’Rourke, Senior Partner, PwC

companies, mostly concentrated on the US West Coast, where the firm has developed a successful practice. He also advises some of Ireland’s leading public companies. A partner since 1996, O’Rourke is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, an associate of the Irish Tax Institute and a graduate of University College Dublin. Niall Cody, chairman, Commissioners

Ryanair has appointed Carol Anne O’Neill as its new head of sales and marketing. O’Neill joined the airline from Falcon/ Thomson, where she was head of Ireland. She has 28 years of experience in the travel industry, having previously worked for XL Airways and Wings Abroad. In her new role, she will oversee Ryanair’s sales and marketing team and activities across 30 countries in Europe and North Africa.


Niall Cody has taken over as chairman of the Revenue Commissioners. Cody was made a revenue commissioner in 2012 and has had responsibility at board level for Revenue’s tax policy and legislation divisions as well as its large cases and the Collector General divisions.

Carol Anne O’Neill, head of sales and marketing, Ryanair

Hazel Chu, head of corporate and trade communications, Diageo Diageo has appointed Hazel Chu as head of corporate and trade communications. In this role, Chu is responsible for Diageo’s overall reputation, crisis management, corporate and brand communications. She has over 15 years of industry experience with specific expertise around reputation management and building agile communication strategies.

Feargal O’Rourke

Feargal O’Rourke has been elected to take over from Rónán Murphy as PwC’s new senior partner in the Irish practice for a four-year term from 1 July 2015. O’Rourke has served on the PwC leadership team and has been head of the firm’s tax practice for the last four years. He has worked extensively with technology and multinational

Carol Anne O’Neill

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senior appointments

in association with

Before Diageo, she held senior positions in semi-state and non-profit organisations, including Forfás, Bord Bia and MS Ireland, working in New York, China and Australia. She is currently a board member of VSO Ireland and a speaker at industry events. She graduated from Kings Inn’s with a barrister at law degree and subsequently received a fellowship to complete an MSc in marketing practice from UCD Smurfit Business School. Kevin Neary, director, Trulife

Ledwidge has been with ICG since 2006 and has held various financial positions within the group, first as group risk accountant followed by his appointment as Irish Ferries financial controller. In 2013, he was appointed Irish Ferries finance director. Before joining ICG, he worked for Deloitte.


Kevin Neary has been appointed as a non-executive director at Trulife. Neary is on the board of the Institute of Directors and chairman/investor of Fantom, chairman of Charles J Johnston & Sons and executive chairman/investor in PennyOwl Corporation. He is also mentor/ coach for various companies and individuals. He was the founding partner and managing director of GameStop Group Ltd. He was also the early stage investor in and mentor to Demonware Software and Jolt Online Games. David Ledwidge, chief financial officer, Continental Group


Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) has appointed David Ledwidge as chief financial officer.

at Mondeléz International, Inc. He was with Kraft in roles across a range of businesses and corporate functions from 1988 to November 2013. His last role at the company was senior vice-president, corporate finance, leading multiple functions, including treasury, tax, accounting, external financial reporting, enterprise risk management and corporate planning and analysis. Kehoe has a master of business studies degree in finance from University College Dublin and a BComm from University College Galway.


John Corr, commercial distribution director, Friends First John Corr has been appointed commercial distribution director at Friends First with overall responsibility for the account management team within the commercial division. Corr has over 26 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Having joined the division in 2006, he most recently led the development and rollout of the company’s foresight programme.

David Ledwidge

James Kehoe, chief financial officer, Kraft Foods Group Kraft Foods Group has appointed James Kehoe as chief financial officer and an executive vice-president. Kehoe rejoins the company from Gildan Activewear Inc, where he was most recently executive vicepresident and chief financial and administrative officer. Before that, he was senior vicepresident of operating excellence

John Corr

Spring 2015 Irish Director

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‘I have test driven numerous cars over the last few years and it has been a while since I have been in one that felt so pleasant to drive’

Irish Director Spring 2015

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The Audi

EFFECT Justin Delaney gets to spend some time with the seductive A3 Saloon


murky day greets us at Luttrellstown Castle as we enter the grounds of this historic venue, but today is not about the stunning backdrop but more the impressive line-up of Audi A3 Sportbacks parked outside. After a 30-minute briefing on the new Sportback and what we can expect I take the keys to a 2.0 TDI 150BHP S-Line manual. With a short suggested test drive outlined on a map in the passenger seat I choose to ignore the planned route and take on my own test drive, which incorporates the twisty roads of Mount Joseph, out through Lucan, on to the N4 for some motorway driving, a quick stop off at Weston Airport for a coffee and back

to Luttrellstown to return the keys. So, what do you get in the new A3 Sportback and is it any better than its predecessor? The answer to the latter in a nutshell is yes. The new Sportback starts off at €29,300 which is just €1,000 more expensive than the hatch version. Engine and horsepower offerings are plentiful also with a choice between the 122BHP 1.2TFSI, 180BHP 1.8 TFSI, 105BHP 1.6TDI or the 150BHP 2.0TDI S-Line that we have on test. Later in the year a fifth engine will become available and make the A3 even cheaper. This will be a 105BHP 1.2TFSI with an on the road starting price of just €27,750. All engines have been reworked for fuel efficiency, lower emissions, more power and the 2.0

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TDI powered Sportback I am driving will save you a further 10pc achieving 4.2 litres per 100 kilometers on the combined cycle. The S-Line exterior package makes the premium compact car look even more aggressive. The single-frame grille is painted in gloss black and honeycomb grilles with fog lights fill the large air intakes. The roof spoiler has been lengthened further and the bumpers are sharper with the honeycomb effect up front and a platinum grey diffuser to the rear. Peering out below are chrome-plated tailpipes.

Through the twisty stuff the car feels planted, sharp and precise thanks to better weight distribution. The engine has been slightly tilted backward and the axel shifted forward by 40mm. Small tweaks but they make a big difference! On the safety front the A3 Sportback scored a maximum 5 stars in the Euro-NCAP test which adds peace of mind. To sum up the A3 Sportback it’s not difficult to see why it won so many awards. It’s well engineered, a delight to drive and definitely our favourite car in this sector.

Interior Inside, the cabin has been re-worked to make it a much nicer place to be with leather trimmed S-Line seats, cruise control, park assist, fog lights, an interior lighting package, front armrest, Audi Music Interface, colour driver information system and electric heated mirrors. The good news is that when you turn the key, out pops a 5.8-inch screen, which acts as your MMI control centre. All A3 Sportsbacks feature the MMI system as standard and can be upgraded to MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. For those not familiar with MMI it’s basically a single interface that controls a variety of devices and functions of the car, eliminating the need for a vast array of buttons and dials that featured on older models. So how does the A3 drive? Phenomenal is the only word. I have test driven numerous cars over the last few years and it has been a while since I have been in one that felt so pleasant to drive. The difference in power from various 1.2 to 1.8 litre diesel cars I have recently driven is night and day. You really feel all 320Nm of torque from low down in the rev-band and it storms to 100km/h in 8.7 seconds, which honestly feels a lot faster behind the wheel.

Irish specification Engine size

2.0 TDI

Fuel type




Torque Acceleration (0–100km/h) Top speed Consumption (combined) CO2 emissions Road tax Base price Price as tested

320Nm 8.7 seconds 216km/h 4.2L/100km 108g/km Band A3 €190 €29,300 €38,000 (approx)

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Introducing your new business partner.

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personal picks



West Cork, brunch in Ranelagh’s Cinnamon, Etihad Airlines and Peter Thiel’s Zero to One are among Daniel Ramamoorthy’s top picks Daniel Ramamoorthy is CEO and co-founder of Treehouse,

My favourite international destination has to be… Morocco. Where else will you find kite surfing, skiing and camel rides in the desert all in the same country? Plus the food is incredible!

a community of entrepreneurs, innovators, thinkers and doers. Treehouse oper-

And my favourite international hotel is… Taj Hotel chain is unbelievable.

ates a dynamic office space in the heart of Dublin, runs classes and workshops and

The best way to travel is… Etihad Airlines. Love their planes and their airport hub.

hosts start-up events aimed at unifying and impacting the Irish start-up ecosystem.

The technology I always pack is… My Acer laptop and my Samsung Galaxy.

Outside of Treehouse, Ramamoorthy is also a Government advisor, investment consultant, guest lecturer, radio presenter and recording artist. He joined the IoD in December 2014.

The best place for a business lunch is… KC Peaches if you can handle jostling at the hot food and salad bars. Otherwise, fantastic sandwiches for the more timid in spirit. The energy is contagious! And the best place for brunch is… Cinnamon in Ranelagh, especially their poached egg and salmon option.

For me, the best place to unwind is… Summer house in Gorey, Wexford. Walking distance from the coastline and incredible views of horses in the paddock. My cultural highlight of the last year was… Discovery Gospel Choir’s concert at Christ Church Cathedral. And the cultural event I’m most looking forward to in 2015 will be… In June, I’m performing with the Discovery Gospel Choir who are producing a series of innovative events around Ireland titled ‘Juneteenth’, combining music, drama, dance and state-of-the-artdata visualisation to tell the story of the 150th anniversary of the

My favourite café is… Third Space, Smithfield, a community space and café. Besides excellent coffee, their ethics and values are the most attractive thing. Where else will you find lawyers, teachers, businessmen, students and the homeless sharing the same space? The best place for a weekend break in Ireland is… Anywhere in West Cork, hands down the most beautiful place in the world. And for an Irish holiday it has to be… Fishing in Connemara. My favourite Irish hotel is… The Westin – The Atrium is my oasis in Dublin.

The Atrium in The Westin Hotel

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personal picks


Gougane Barra Lake in Cork

‘My cultural highlight of the last year was Discovery Gospel Choir’s concert at Christ Church Cathedral’

KC Peaches on Nassau St in Dublin

Camel trekking in Morocco

liberation of slaves in America and the end of the US Civil War. The best venue for music and theatre is… The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (awful name though). My top business book is… Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Every entrepreneur’s and start-up’s favourite book – and for good reason as well. And my favourite non-business book is… Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – really challenges the world’s notions on success, charisma and leadership. Right now I’m reading… The Bible. Incredible business principles in there!

Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur in India

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personal picks



Barcelona, Wimbledon, The Merrion Hotel and Angela Lansbury are just a few of Emma Colleary’s favourite things Emma Colleary opened Serendipitykids in 2005 selling children’s clothes. Today she has three stores in Blackrock, Ranelagh and Rathgar as well as an online store She has been a member of the IoD since November 2014.

The best place for a business lunch is… Pearl Brasserie. But the best place for brunch is… Odessa. And my favourite restaurant is… Saba – great food and the best Tom Collins. My favourite bar is… The Cellar Bar at The Merrion Hotel. The best place for a weekend break in Ireland is… The Monart Spa. For an Irish holiday, I want to be in… Donegal My favourite Irish hotel is… The Merrion Hotel.

The Cellar Bar in Dublin’s The Merrion Hotel The technology I always pack is… My iPhone with the charger! For me, the best place to unwind is… At home. My cultural highlight of the last year was… Seeing Angela Lansbury in the West End in Blithe Spirit (my favourite actress from the Eighties from Murder, She Wrote!). The cultural event I’m most looking forward to in 2015 has to be… Culture Night when Dublin stays open for the night.

My favourite city break destination has to be… Barcelona. And my favourite international destination is… Miami. When it comes to international hotels… I prefer boutique hotels over hotel chains every time. The best way to travel is… Comfortably.

Pearl Brasserie in Dublin

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personal picks


Miami in Florida

My favourite sporting moment was…

The kitchen in Saba in Dublin My favourite sporting event was... Attending Wimbledon for the first time, when I watched Andy Murray get defeated on Centre Court. And the sporting event I’m looking forward to over the next year is… Wimbledon. The best venue for music and theatre is… Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. My top business book is… The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield. My favourite non-business book and what I’m reading right now is… Life Lessons from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.

Odessa in Dublin

‘My favourite sporting moment was attending Wimbledon for the first time, when I watched Andy Murray get defeated on Centre Court’ Spring 2015 Irish Director

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Nik Purdy painting a WB Yeats mural in Sligo (photo by Steve Rogers)

LITERATURE Yeats2015 This year Ireland celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prize-winning poet William Butler Yeats. Yeats2015 presents a local, national and international series of exhibitions, performances, educational events, festivals, concerts, readings, talks and screenings. Cultural events centred on Sligo, Galway, Dublin, London and in counties across Ireland are echoed in a diverse international programme. Highlights include Yeats 150: The Harp Festival of Moons. As it is a blue moon year, with 13 full moons instead of 12, there will be 13 events in 2015. These will take place in locations mentioned in the poet’s work or connected to his life in some way. Growing Moon will take place on 4 April in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin while Bright Moon, hosted by Coillte, will take place on 4 May 2015 in Slish Wood, overlooking the Lake Isle of Innishfree, Sligo.

Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival is moving to the earlier start of 18 March this year, returning to the dates of the Poetry Now Festival, which celebrates its 20th year in 2015. This is the also the first festival to use the now fully operational dlr LexIcon. As in previous years, the festival events will also take place in the Pavilion Theatre Dún Laoghaire, the Mill Theatre Dundrum and the Maritime Museum and County Hall. Confirmed visiting authors include Sheila Hancock, Paul Durcan, Andrew O’Hagan, Francesca Simon, Frank Cottrell Boyce and David Almond. Also confirmed are bestselling thriller writers SJ Watson and Paula Hawkins and Britain’s most successful ghost writer Andrew Crofts. Special events include dramatic readings of James Joyce and Flann O’Brien. Special events celebrating the 20th anniversary of Poetry Now will be hosted throughout the festival.

subsequently gained recognition as a classic of realism, 19th century theatre and world drama. O’Rowe is to bring his unique linguistic style to this new adaptation, which is directed by the award-winning Annabelle Comyn. It will run from 10 April–16 May (previews are on 10–14 April).



Hedda Gabler Henrik Ibsen’s play is coming to the Abbey stage in a new version by Mark O’Rowe. The title character Hedda, who will be played by Catherine Walker, is considered one of the great dramatic roles in theatre, and portrayals have been known to vary widely. The play was published in 1890, premiered in 1891 in Germany and has

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival Established in 2003, the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) returns to Dublin this spring for a programme stretching over 11 days. Russell Crowe has been announced as special guest while highlights include the Irish premiere of Mary McGuckian’s Eileen Gray biopic The Price of Desire and award–winning actor-

Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare’s tragedy of teenage passions and civil strife comes to the Gate Theatre stage this spring. Directed by Wayne Jordan, Lauren Coe and Fra Fee take on the title roles of the lovers who, from two rival families, turn their back on their parent’s ancient feud and embark on an intense and secret affair that ignites within them a depth of feeling that explodes in some of the fieriest writing about love in the history of the stage. Previews are from 26 March and it opens on 31 March.

Orla Brady as Eileen Gray in The Price of Desire. Copyright Julian Lennon 2014. All rights reserved

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and cultural institutions to ‘Go Green’ with outdoor lighting, for the duration of the festival, which takes place from 14–17 March.

Gerda Frömel, Spear, 1973, Steel on marble. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art director Alan Rickman’s period drama A Little Chaos will also have its Irish premiere at the event, featuring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci and Rickman himself. Actress Kim Cattrall will also be in attendance for an exclusive screening of her new Sky Arts TV show, a black comedy entitled Sensitive Skin. For 2015 the JDIFF is also welcoming the Oscar-nominated Sir David Hare, one of Britain’s most distinguished contemporary screenwriters and playwrights, as part of its Screenwriting Focus strand. The 13th JDIFF takes place from 19–29 March 2015. St Patrick’s Festival An annual event since 1996, St Patrick’s Festival sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts a showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background. The 2015 event will feature music and street performances, boat races, comedy, the Irish Beer & Whiskey Festival and the ‘Greening the City’ initiative, which launched in 2011 and asks businesses, landmark buildings, entertainment venues

Galway Food Festival The fourth annual Galway Food Festival will take place over the Easter bank holiday weekend, from 2 to 6 April. The event features five days of open air markets, food trails and more. This year’s festival will see the return of the festival food village at Spanish Arch; the Galway, Moycullen and Woodquay Country Markets and a packed programme of talks, tours, tastings, demonstrations and workshops involving over 100 restaurants, food outlets and food producers located across the city and county. Plans for 2015 include an extended food trail, a new location for the cooking demonstrations and an expansion of the programme of food tours. A seaside foraging trip will be on hand for those interested in ‘digging for their dinner’.



Lifelogging: Do You Count? This Science Gallery Dublin exhibition looks at the latest trends, extremes and realities of self-tracking and invites visitors to explore one of the remaining frontiers of data science: themselves. It examines the different technologies, opinions and research questions that are emerging as lifelogging moves from early-adopter to the everyday. Part of the Lab in the Gallery series, Lifelogging reveals the people behind in-depth data gathering, how we are increasingly engaged in it. Highlights include ‘Images of the artifact used by the main hand’ by Alberto Frigo, an artist who has photographed every single object his right hand has touched since 24 September 2003. The exhibition is open until 17 April. The Untold Want Taking its title from the Walt Whitman poem Leaves of Grass, this exhibition examines notions of immensity, nature, mortality and freedom. It includes work by Irish and international artists such as Agnes Martin, Robert Gober, William McKeown, Vivienne Dick, Vija Celmins, Mary McIntyre, Félix González-Torres and Andrew Vickery. This group exhibition has been curated by RHA director Patrick T Murphy and Caroline Hancock, curator of the William McKeown Foundation. The selection aims to create a stimulating relational environment between the chosen works in the gallery spaces. The Untold Want takes place in the RHA Gallery until 26 April.

Gerda Frömel A well regarded artist during her lifetime, Gerda Frömel’s work is no longer well known and has not been on exhibition since a 1976 retrospective at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin the year after her death. This exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art seeks to bring new work to light and to reinstate Frömel as a modern Irish master. Frömel first exhibited in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1957, an association that continued till 1975. She exhibited at several other exhibitions during her career, including the Dawson Gallery and the 1970 Oireachtas Art Exhibition. She took several commissions, including the well known piece ‘Sails’ for PJ Carroll and Son, Dundalk, (now Dundalk Institute of Technology) and also worked in stained glass for churches in Ireland and Germany. The Robert Gober, Untitled, 1997, cast plastic, painted exhibition opens on 9 April and bronze, paper, silver-plated steel, wood, edition runs until 5 July. of two with one AP, 43.8 x 33 x 33cm, photography

Erma Estwick, image courtesy of the artist Spring 2015 Irish Director

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IoD Spring Lunch Minister for Health Leo Varadkar was the guest of honour at the Institute of Directors’ Spring Lunch on Friday, 27 February 2015. Held in the InterContinental Dublin, the lunch was attended by 450 business leaders and sponsored by Dublin Airport. The Minister spoke of the importance of political stability to the economy. “What we need to be worried about is not the results of the Election, but what happens next,” he warned. “It is the instability of the political visions being presented that is the real danger, because this is what offers the greatest threat to our economic recovery and to our political security.”

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar

Alan Fleming, Fortress Credit Investments and Jimmy Murphy, Grant Thornton

Ann Marie O’Grady, Leopardstown Park Hospital and Sharon Morrow, Laura Lynn

John Kiernan, Quintiles Ireland with Austin McCabe, Universal Display Ireland

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Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport; Minister Leo Varadkar; Liam Daniel, IoD president; and Maura Quinn, IoD chief executive

Mark O’Donnell and Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Amrop

Jim Smith and Sinead Brady, Dell; and Finian Nally, E-MIT

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD with Paula King, Kingstown College Spring 2015 Irish Director

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John Brennan, Loretta O’Byrne and Andrew Baker, Dublin Airport

Rob Stark and Traolach Collins, Ericsson

Eileen O’Gorman, Gleeson McGrath Baldwin; Anthony Collins, Eugene F Collins; and Geraldine Clarke, Gleeson McGrath Baldwin

John O’Connell, Trident Consulting and Rob Cahill, Bank of America

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Page 77

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Application form for membership There are two categories of membership of the IoD – Full and Associate. Both can avail of all membership benefits and attend all IoD events. Full Member: A person must be a director of a corporation for a minimum of three years or a partner, senior executive or officer of an entity, with three years’ experience as a member of the body that is responsible for the strategic business direction of that entity. The company must be solvent and in existence for at least three years and have a minimum annual turnover or budget of €300,000.

Associate Member: A person must be a director, partner, senior executive or officer of an entity or a sole trader for a minimum period of one year or who reports to a member of the body that is responsible for the strategic business direction of that entity and is interested in the promotion and advancement of good corporate governance.

Please indicate the category you are applying for: Full � Associate � 1. PERSONAL DETAILS OF THE APPLICANT (Please attach your business card if possible)



DOB ____________________________________________________


Work Email ______________________________________________

Business Name____________________________________________

Personal Email ____________________________________________

Business Address


Mobile __________________________________________________




Home Address ____________________________________________

Business Phone __________________________________________


Number of years served as a Director __________________________

Company Type (ie plc, Ltd) __________________________________


Company Sector __________________________________________

Job Title

I hereby apply for membership of the Institute of Directors in Ireland and agree to be bound by its Memorandum and Articles of Association. I also confirm that: • • •

I do not have any unspent criminal convictions (other than for traffic offences). I have not been restricted from acting as a company director, under s150 of the Companies Act 1990, or disqualified from acting as a company director under s160 Companies Act 1990, as amended or equivalent legislation in other jurisdictions. I have read and understood the code of conduct expected as a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland. The code can be viewed at or emailed to you on request.

2. COST OF IOD IRELAND MEMBERSHIP: � Registration fee (payable in the first year only) €200

Annual subscription €295

Total Cost of New Membership €495

3. PAYMENT DETAILS Payment is accepted by cheque made out to: The Institute of Directors in Ireland, or by credit/debit card (see below) Cardholder’s Name: ______________________________________ Amount: €______________

� Visa � MasterCard � Laser (We cannot accept American Express) Card no: ���� ���� ���� ���� ��� Expiry date: ��/��

I am paying by

Signature: ____________________________________________________________ All information provided is treated with the strictest confidence. If you have any queries, please phone us on 01 4110010.

Please return your completed form by fax to 01 4110090 or post to: Institute of Directors in Ireland, Europa House, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2

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ISSUE 35 • SPRING 2015

13/03/2015 09:06

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