Gerry Collins, Co-Chair, IIBN & Partner, Wingrave Yeats
Gerry is a senior partner in Wingrave Yeats, an award winning accountancy and business advisory firm. Wingrave Yeats prides itself on being a very different accounting firm, set up by the two founding partners after they had spent over 10 years working in industry. This commercial focus is central to what makes the firm different.
Gerry heads up the outsourcing arm geared to help overseas owned businesses get established in the UK.
Gerry qualified in Dublin having gained experience in the corporate recovery and taxation departments of Robson Rhodes associate office. Gerry went on to spend 10 years working with BDO gaining further experience in the audit and more recently the business advisory departments. Gerry specialises in providing outsourced financial solutions to a wide range of clients including subsidiaries of multinational organisations. Clients include some household names, financial service businesses including hedge funds and property funds. Gerry is also the firm’s financial services specialist. Gerry holds a BComm degree from University College Galway, is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and is a member of the Securities Institute.
Ross Finegan, Co-Chair, IIBN & Partner, Lonsdale Capital
Ross is a Founder Partner of Lonsdale Capital Partners, a UK based private equity firm focusing on businesses worth between £10m and £50m. Lonsdale partners with management teams and vendors to grow businesses to the next stage/level, and has a particular focus on proven, cash generating businesses in growing sectors. Prior to Lonsdale Capital, Ross was a director of JPMorgan Partners, the private equity arm of JPMorgan, where he completed many deals over a wide variety of sectors. Prior to JPMP, Ross worked for the Corporate Finance arm of Deloitte in London advising on management buy-outs. Ross is a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Chartered Accountants and has a BComm degree from University College, Dublin.
Andy Rogers, KSG KMCO PDSA, Principal, Roger Associates Ltd.
Recipient of one of the first ever Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award presented in Dublin by The President, Michael D Higgins at Aras an Uactharain on 15th November 2012. Also recipient of the Knight of St Gregory (KSG). This latest award was granted by Pope Francis recognising his work for the Church in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics and his long-standing involvement in the educational and voluntary sectors in Britain.
Andy Rogers is Chairman of The European Marketing Group and principal of Rogers Associates Ltd, a consultancy providing both strategic advice and mentoring support at board level to many European companies. He is an Associate Director of Elior UK.
Andy worked for Bank of Ireland for years, a career equally divided between Ireland and the UK, and was a Director of many Bank subsidiaries and an executive of Bank of Ireland UK.
He was a member of the Foundation Board of IMD, Lausanne until last year; is Chairman of The London Committee of Help the Aged; Chairman of the Development Committee at UK registered Irish Charity icap; a director of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland; a Council Member of The Ireland Fund of Great Britain; a Patron of SafeStart; a member of the London 2012 Forum and many other organisations. He holds a first class honours degree in Business Studies and a Masters degree from Trinity College Dublin and in recent years attended the Managing Corporate Resources (MCR) programme at IMD, Lausanne. Andy is married with three daughters and enjoys all sports, especially golf and tennis.
Fionuala Pender, Executive Director, IIBN
Prior to joining IIBN in September 2007, Fionuala was the Executive Director of the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE UK), a global not for profit networking organisation which spans 45 cities in 11 countries. Fionuala headed up two TiE offices in London and Manchester and worked closely with the Board to help drive strategy. During her 4 years with TiE, Fionuala delivered a technology focused tour in India which showcased over 100 technology start up companies in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. In the UK, Fionuala saw the group triple in membership and corporate sponsorship was gained from 4 key industry sectors. Fionuala also helped to build and deliver a mentoring programme to the growing membership who required business guidance and advice.
Fionuala has also worked for Lehman Brothers Investment Bank within its IBD Technology division. Fionuala is a graduate from the London School of Economics, and her first job after graduating was for a London based charity which focused on alleviating poverty in the UK working closely with the European Union.
Sinead Crowley, Executive Director, IIBN
Sinead joined IIBN in 2011 and shares the Executive Director role at IIBN with Fionuala Pender.
Prior to moving to the UK Sinead worked as a Projects Manager with the South West Regional Authority in Ireland for almost 15 years on EU and Nationally funded programmes & projects related to regional and socio-economic development. Areas of expertise include strategic planning, socio-economic development, cross sector partnership development, innovation and knowledge based economy, collaborative environments, broadband and the information society, edemocracy, egovernment and distance learning at regional, national and pan-EU levels.
Sinead has a Joint Honours Arts Graduate of UCC and Post Graduate Diploma in Law from College of Commerce Rathmines.
When not working at IIBN Sinead helps with fundraising, events and strategic planning at UK registered Irish Charity icap.
Jonathan Grey, Owner, Ovation Incentives
A native of Cork city, Jonathan Grey is heavily involved in the online gift voucher and corporate business incentive markets in Europe and currently runs Ovation Incentives, an award winning developer and integrator of corporate incentive, rewards and motivation systems. His company is currently ranked among the Sunday Times FastTrack 100 – the list of fastest growing, privately owned technology companies in Britain.
A former chairman of IIBN London, Jonathan is currently Vice President of his industry body – Incentive Marketing Association Europe. Previously, he founded and directed GreatDaysOut.ie, an Irish gift experience company, until its sale in February 2009. Prior to starting his own businesses in 1999, Jonathan Grey was a public relations and online marketing specialist practising in San Francisco and London for Information Technology companies specialising in technologies surrounding payment systems, encryption and smart cards.
Graduating from University in 1993, Jonathan holds an honours bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from University College Cork, Ireland. He also holds a post graduate diploma in Public Relations from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.
Stephen O’Connor, Chairman, The Underwriting Exchange
Stephen O’Connor is the Executive Chairman of the Underwriting Exchange Limited, with offices in London and Dublin. The Underwriting Exchange was established in 2007 to primarily specialise in servicing the London Market for Irish Brokers. The team at The Underwriting Exchange have ambitions to develop the business in a number of areas.
Stephen was educated at St Gerrard’s School, Bray, Co. Wicklow and Trinity College Dublin and completed his education in 1985. Prior to moving to London he travelled to Australia before starting his career as a Trainee Lloyds Broker, at the age of 20. In 1993, in association with Chris McHale, he formed Connor, Hale, Kerslake Ltd., which was sold ten years later in 2003. Stephen remained with the company for a further three years, after taking a year out, he was involved in the purchase of a dormant Lloyds Brokers, which was the beginning of his current venture the Underwriting Exchange Limited.
Stephen splits his time between London and Dublin and his main passion in life other than his family and business are horses. He has a number of successful race horses and an investment with a couple of very good Show Jumpers with Cian O’Connor, one of which ‘Complete’ was the reserve horse for the Irish Individual for the Beijing Games. In addition to The Underwriting Exchange, Stephen has a number of business interests and Directorships.
Liz Shanahan, Global Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences at FTI Strategic Communications, based in London
Liz is a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences. Liz has nearly two decades of experience in healthcare communications and is recognised as one of the sector’s leading counsels, advising many of the world’s most significant healthcare companies and providers. Liz’s boardroom to brand expertise covers reputation management, brand communications, medical education, CSR, issues management and public affairs and policy. Liz has been responsible for numerous global programs and worked with clients from Pfizer to Actellion, the UK NHS to the World Health Organisation.
As Global Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Liz works closely with the regional heads and FTI Strategic Communication’s heads of Healthcare & Life Sciences in individual countries. Her focus is leveraging new opportunities across the group, developing FTI Strategic Consulting’s health and life science’s offerings in new global markets and identifying ways of adding value for existing clients.
Liz has exceptional knowledge and a deep understanding of healthcare providers, pharmaceutical & health technology companies, from the biggest multi-national to the smallest start-up.
Prior to joining FTI Strategic Communications, Liz had established Santé Communications, one of the first specialist health PR consultancies. In 2007, Liz joined FTI Strategic Communications. Liz began her career at Merck &Co Inc and then worked for a number of agencies specialising in healthcare, including Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Ketchum PR, where she managed the European Healthcare Unit.
Liz is a Bachelor in Computer Science and Maths from University College Cork in Ireland.
Liz is a board member of the Irish International Business Network, a network of international Irish entrepreneurs and a member of the Global Irish Network, UK based Irish leaders in business, which is advising the Irish Government and state agencies during Irelands’ economic crisis.
Alan Gleeson, Head of Sales and Marketing, Keelvar
Alan Gleeson is the Head of Sales and Marketing, for Keelvar, an innovative VC backed procurement software company. Keelvar’s clever procurement software helps public sector bodies procure goods and services more efficiently than traditional methods (e.g. cost savings in the region of 5% -15% of total spend are typical).
Alan previously worked as Managing Director of Palo Alto Software, makers of the market leading business planning software Liveplan.com. Prior to that, he worked for a number of years at Barclays Plc, having joined their graduate programme in 1998 direct from university.
Alan has an MSc from University College, Cork, and and MBA from University of Oxford.
Pól has significant experience in international business including trade development, strategy, innovation and business development. He has worked across multiple sectors with leading global brands as well as with Governmental organisations in several countries.
He is a member of the Advisory Board at the University of Bradford School of Management, one of the longest established university-based business schools in Britain.
Pól was appointed to the Irish Government’s Export Trade Council in 2011, established to strengthen cooperation and coordination across all key Government Departments and State Agencies involved in promotion and development of Irish trade and exports.
Pól’s earlier roles include Strategic Projects Manager for Northern Europe at BP Lubricants, and responsibility for Xerox Corporation’s corporate venture fund in the UK. In this role he was responsible for the creation of new technology businesses based on intellectual property emanating from Xerox’s global research operations including Grenoble (France), Cambridge (UK) and PARC (US). Prior to Xerox, Pól headed up the European consulting business at a US strategy consulting firm whose clients consisted the major global technology vendors. He is a former Director of the American Field Service (AFS) in the UK.
Pól holds US and Japanese patents relating to the consumption of digital content. He graduated from Bradford University School of Management with an MBA in International Business.
Damon Oldcorn, Founder, WildIrish Guy Ltd.
Damon Oldcorn throughout the 80s had an outstanding corporate career dominating the sales teams at International Telephone &Telegraph Inc & Standard Telephone & Cables PLC. As Head of Sales and Marketing he launched Chernikeeff Telecommunications and constructed turnarounds at both Norbain Electronics PLC and Tandon UK PLC in the personal computer markets as the Sales and Marketing director. When he returned from Hong Kong where he was involved in the consultative restructuring of the retail subsidiaries of Hutchison Whampoa he completed a Masters Degree in International Business awarded by Bristol University. Over those years (91/92) which included extensive study periods at Harvard/MIT/UC Berkeley he was inspired by the entrepreneurial culture on the West Coast to found a number of technology companies. Interim Edge the UK’s first virtual management company focused on the technology markets. PhoneMe.com where he dominated the global Web Call Back market and created a successful exit in Silicon Valley. NicheGnat that championed web conferencing in Europe and Zebtab (ManUtd desktop) that created the first aggregated widget platform internationally for sports and news media. He handles a number of wide ranging roles through his company WildIrishGuy Ltd. He is currently on the advisory boards of WDSi, Omnisoft Services, Warman Media and Ultragistics to help them accelerate their business growth and market penetration. He also finds time to support the Bulldog Trust and the Irish International Business Network where he is one of the founding directors. Damon is based at his Private Members Club at 8, Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5BY. He sees the club as a way to help young companies bridge the gap between innovation and execution at an affordable cost in Central London. As an experienced founder/entrepreneur in emerging technology himself (Silicon Valley 1987) he understands the journey and is well known for the time he spends connecting and advising founders.
Aoife O’Sullivan, Partner, Kennedys
Aoife O’Sullivan is a partner in Kennedys Law Firm in London. She has extensive experience in corporate, asset finance and commercial law. Before joining Kennedys, Aoife was a partner in Gates and Partners,and a senior associate at Clifford Chance LLP in London in their corporate finance department. She then joined a leading offshore firm in the Cayman Islands where she advised on structuring and implementing local and international securitisations, asset financings, mutual fund and unit trust schemes, and assisted in establishing complex corporate structures with worldwide tax effective outcomes. Aoife provides advice on all aspects of private equity including transactional MBO’s, venture capital investments, start-ups, early stage financings, strategic minority interests, restructurings, exit strategies, debt finance and fund establishment and structuring. Aoife also advises clients in aircraft finance and regulatory issues including acquisitions and disposals, financings, airline start-ups, licensing applications and ancillary issues. She has written many articles and spoken publicly on corporate and private jets in the UK and Europe.
Conor Foley, IIBN Founder
Conor Foley founded IIBN in London in May 2007. He continues to take an active interest in all three chapters as he divides his time between New York, London and Dublin.
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