The Irish Funds 4th Annual UK Symposium – Summary

The Panel was delighted to attend The Irish Funds 4th Annual UK Symposium in London on Friday 25th December.

This one day event highlighted many areas of interest to the Irish & UK Funds industry in the current market and with a host of industry professionals speaking at the event was a great insight to an array of hot topics.

Such as:

  • Ireland as a solution to the Brexit challenge
  • European Regulators Update
  • PRIIPs Update
  • ETF Presentations
  • European ETF Markets – Robust in the face of Crisis, Panel Discussion
  • Funding the Next Generation: A review of millennials’ knowledge and habits towards funds, insights into trends and requirements and critical success factors for capturing tomorrow’s market
  • AIFM, UCITS Man Co and MiFID: Structures and authorisation options in Ireland post Brexit

Keynote address of the day was made by Minister of State (Financial Services, eGovernment & Public Procedure), Eoghan Murphy.

The event which was well attended with around 650 participants and offered some great networking opportunities and a chance to listen to both UK and Irish based businesses.

Present from The Panel was Kevin Adam (Recruitment Consultant, Funds) and Grace Leonard (Recruitment Consultant, IT & Business Change).

We would like to thank the Irish Funds organisers for a successful conference and a well-run event.

Eoghan Murphy [Image source/credit: @IRLDeptFinance]



The Panel to attend The Irish Funds 4th Annual UK Symposium


On Friday 25th November, The Panel will fly over to London to attend The Irish Funds 4th Annual UK Symposium. Representing our firm at the event will be Kevin Adam (Recruitment Consultant, Funds) and Grace Leonard (Recruitment Consultant, IT & Business Change).

The UK Symposium, which is taking place at the ETC Venues, London will see around 600+ industry professionals gather to discuss current issues and the role of Ireland in it.

Speakers include:

Alan O’Sullivan – Brown Brothers Harriman

Amanda Young – Standard Life

Anthony King – Pine Bridge

Cillian Leonowicz – Deloitte

Dan Kingsbury – Pioneer Investments

Eoghan Murphy TD

Funmi Ogunleye – State Street

Gayle Bowen – Walkers

Gráinne McEvoy – Central Bank of Ireland

Guy Sears – The Investment Association

Jeremy Bezant – Nueberger Berman

John Donohoe – Carne Global Financial Services

John Whelan – A&L Goodbody

Juergen Blumberg – Source

Kieran Fox – Irish Funds

Laura Morrison – BATS Global

Mark Fitzgerald – Vanguard

Nitesh Patel – J.P. Morgan

Nizam Hamid – WisdomTree

Pat Lardner – Irish Funds

Patricia Taylor – William Fry

Philip Lovegrove – Matheson

Richard Stobo – ESMA

Sander van Nugteren – EMEA iShares Capital Markets Group

Slawomir Rzeszotko – Jane Street

Vincent Coyne – William Fry


For a full daily agenda, click HERE.

The Panel will be Tweeting from the event so in order to keep up with the days event, please follow us on:


PRMIA event – 17th November – Headwinds to Banking

On Thursday 17th November PRMIA Ireland held its final event of 2016 and in attendance from The Panel was Alan Bluett (Deputy Regional Director PRMIA Ireland).

The well attended event was introduced by Monika Smatralova (Regional Director PRMIA Ireland) and Key Note speaker was Kevin McConnell CFA – Principal, Martello Capital Management. Kevin spoke extensively on the facing the banking community in Europe and beyond. Kevin’s talk was insightful, thoughtful and frightening in equal measures!  In those immortal words, the future of banking in Europe can be summed up as follows “A lot done, a lot more to do!”

The talk was followed by a Q&A session officiated by Monika Smatralova (Regional Director PRMIA Ireland) and on the panel for the Q&A were:

  • Kevin McConnell CFA – Principal, Martello Capital Management
  • Nick Alabaster – Senior Associate, Numerix
  • Laure Darleguy – Financial Engineer, Numerix
  • Kieran Walsh – Bank Consultant

The Q&A was followed by a reception afterwards to allow for networking.

Special thanks to Numerix for kindly hosting the event.


GUEST BLOG: Redundancy: Hitting the Compensation Jackpot

It is not often that a claimant gets the maximum award of 2 years’ remuneration in an unfair dismissal claim.  In the case of Fergus Lally v Kylemore Abbey & Gardens Ltd, the claimant was awarded 2 years’ salary (€76,000), apparently being the maximum award of 2 years’ remuneration (there was no mention in the judgment of any other elements of remuneration).

While a claimant has a duty to mitigate his own loss, the Adjudication Officer and Labour Court can award such amount as they consider just and equitable, subject to the maximum 2 years’ remuneration.

In practice, it was thought that the facts of a case would have to be extremely unfair on the claimant before the maximum award would be attained.  In this case there appears to have been a genuine redundancy of the claimant’s unique position in the company.  However, the EAT found the redundancy to amount to an unfair dismissal because of the failings in the procedure followed.

The judgment criticised the fact that the claimant had been assured of his security of employment some 2 months prior to the redundancy; he was called to a redundancy meeting without being told what it was about and without being told of his right to bring a companion to the meeting; he was told of the decision to make him redundant without the opportunity to make representations on his own behalf; and there was no right of appeal. 

This case is another warning, if one was needed, of the financial risk to companies who do not follow a proper redundancy procedure.  The amount of the award of compensation will have raised eyebrows, but the reality is that the employment rights bodies have the ability to make such high awards if they consider it ‘just and equitable’.

About James

James Scanlon is Head of Employment Law at Maples and Calder’s Dublin office and was assisted by Sinéad Egan, Associate. Should you have any queries on this or any employment matter please contact James or your usual Maples contact.

t: +353 (0)1 619 2061 | e: [email protected] | |


GUEST BLOG: The Science and Art of Persuasion

When the world has turned on its axis with Brexit and the election of  Donald Trump – is an understanding of the science and art of persuasion in behavioural economics important in a business context?

Persuasion is a life skill and life is one long series of influencing. It is a contact sport and rules apply. Knowing the rules can be a huge advantage. Persuasion is easy to succumb to and too valuable to take for granted. Just look at the US election. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t need or use persuasion. Yet most of us have left a room having lost an argument that we felt we should have won, why? Because we don’t always use the tools of persuasion at our disposal, or we over rely on the ones we are good at whether they fit the situation or not. Persuasion is socially constructed – it depends on who is ‘present’.

We all need to continually develop our Persuasive Repertoire. The good news is that persuasion is a skill that can be learned. And, as most skills, one that has to be developed. Our efforts can be improved upon to become a discipline. [Habits are mindless activities, Disciplines are mindful activities]. So practice does make perfect and if you accept that more can be achieved by working with people than against them, then read on because if you want people to meet your goals, you have to figure out how to meet their needs and persuasion is one of the most effective methods of doing that.

What you focus on grows so focus on practical tips and I guarantee that you will become more effective at your efforts to be persuasive. We all know that it is important to get the basics right including demonstrating confidence, optimism and authenticity – however they have to be believable in the minds and eyes of the audience. This means that you have to be prepared for who your audience is and what they want to hear – it’s not about what you want to say but what they need to hear to either capitalise on an opportunity or solve a pain-point. So pay attention to your audience and build a persuasive argument that they can connect to, mind and body.

Once you have the basics then focus on Sharpening the tools in Your Tool Box. There are two dominant styles of persuasion – both important and both necessary. What is important is that you are comfortable using both and that you select the right style for the right context. 

  1. Persuasive Reasoning: relies on logic, evidence, and proof. You debate against the other side based on the evidence or fact and he who is the most convincing wins. Gain sells but pain sells more – think Clinton and Trump. This is in use every day in all of our organisations in every conversation.
  2. Charismatic Persuasion: relies on emotion and or faith. You need this when you have no evidence and can’t prove your argument – i.e. selling a concept or an idea for the future. Equally you need it in high emotion situations or ‘points of principle’. Did you ever have a client reject an offer though you know it’s a good one and all your efforts to convince him or her of that have failed? Often that is because it is not the merits of the case that counts, it’s how they feel about how they were treated in it and logic is not the answer, you need to understand [not empathise] with how they feel about it.

Robert Cialdini used fifty years of social science research to determine the six Universal principles of Persuasion – Want an interesting challenge try find a shopping channel advert without all 6?

  1. Reciprocity: Give first to get! People repay in kind. When you walk into a room, your first question is not who can help me here, but who can I genuinely advantage by my assistance and in doing so create indebtedness that you can call on like a marker. Give first to get. [by the way this is not a good negotiation strategy but a great influencing one].
  2. Liking: We like people who like us, we like people who do/behave like us and we like people who say that they like us because we are all susceptible to a little bit of praise. It’s not just the turkey at Christmas that needs a bit of basting.  Did you ever find yourself settling for praise instead of a promotion or a part of a bonus –even though you know you want the bonus or pay rise. Remember while it is easier to persuade people to your opinion if they like you, life is not a personality contest, so remember, “if you like everyone, you have no taste and if everyone likes you, you have no character” – it is okay to have taste and character. 
  3. Social Proof: What is everyone else doing? If in doubt humans often look to see what similar others are doing. Advertisers use this effectively to pull us to answer their call to action – with ‘If operators are busy please call back’, V’s operators are waiting please call now. Think of the imagery.,
  4. Consistency: Get people to commit to you, verbally or preferably in writing. Psychologically people are less likely to throw stones at glasshouses they are standing in. Simply – don’t state or tell if you want commitment, ask instead. Don’t say call if you need to cancel the meeting, instead say, will you please call if you need to cancel the meeting and if they say ‘yes’, they are more likely to turn up for the meeting. Why because most people feel compelled to comply with their commitments in order to be considered consistent and to uphold their concept of themselves. 
  5. Authority: In the western world, if an expert says it, it must be true. Know what makes you a credible authority on your arguments. Don’t be afraid to claim your credibility, your audience doesn’t have a crystal ball.   
  6. Scarcity: If I can’t have it I want it. If you deny it to me, I will fight for it. We all seem to want what we can have less of – the one top job. 

Know the basics, know the two styles of persuasion combine the six principles for maximum effect. Good luck and remember you leave a little bit of you in everything you do, so interact with intent, the right intent.


Margaret Considine is CEO of EQuita Consulting. 

‪EQuita Consulting are global experts in delivering Executive Education, Strategic Consulting and Workplace solutions. With specialist expertise in Commercial Negotiation, Mediation, Conflict & Dispute Resolution, Bullying & Harassment Investigations and Personal Productivity. ‬‬

t: +353 (0)1 293 4741 | e: [email protected]   | |


SPOTLIGHT: Ciaran Black and David O’Leary from BMI Lab

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ciaran Black and David O’Leary, Partners at BMI Lab.

Company formed in:


Elevator Pitch:

We help you unlock powerful new growth through innovation and digital strategy.

Who would benefit from your service/product?

Companies who want a structured approach to innovation; that is, they want to create new growth “on purpose” rather than hope “ad hoc” efforts will somehow pay off.

Biggest achievement in the last 12 months:

Appointed by Enterprise Ireland to deliver business model innovation workshops on their renowned International Selling Programme. A huge endorsement of our approach and the value that can be captured through innovative business models.

Plans for the next 12 months:

Having just launched this year, we will continue to develop our business in Ireland whilst building our footprint in UK.

Biggest challenge to your business:

Our biggest challenge is to overcome the natural reluctance of organisations to try something new; to get beyond the inertia that makes companies believe that “business as usual” is a safe course of (in)action, when the reality is that it increases the risk to the future of your business.

Best advice you can give other business owners:

As we’ve seen recently, the world is increasingly unpredictable. To cope, organisations must de-risk the future by creating and experimenting with multiple opportunities in order to select the ones that really work. The new management science of innovation provides the tools to do this in a cost effective and disciplined way.

If we were Minister for Finance, the first thing we’d do would be to:

Invite the Trumps to comb-over for tea!

Reasons to be cheerful:

Sport is showing us that, when Ireland sets our sights high and backs it up with the right approach and determination, we can take on the best in the world and win!

Ciaran Black: +353 (0)86 834 0690 | e: [email protected] | |

David O’Leary: +353 (0)87 203 8148  | e: [email protected] | |


The Corporate Treasury & Cash Management Conference 2016

On Wednesday 16th November, Alan Bluett (Partner) attended the IACT (Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers) Corporate Treasury & Cash Management Conference at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4. Alan was delighted to represent The Panel at this annual event as we are Patrons of the IACT.

The event was aimed at both local and international corporate professionals to explore the ongoing changes within Corporate Treasury and what challenges the sector is facing in the post-Brexit, post-Trump markets.

With over 20 Top guest speakers, the day was filled with some highly insightful and interesting talks and plenty of time to network.

Ronan Doyle, President IACT, opened the conference and introduced the Conference Chairman, George Lee (Economist RTE).

Speakers then appeared in the following order:


David Stubbs, Global Market Strategist, JP Morgan Asset Management


Patrick Lenain, Assistant Director, OECD & Yosuke Jin, Economist for Ireland Desk, OECD


Phil John, EMEA Treasury Director, Mars Inc (Netherlands)


Sir Richard Shirreff, KCB, CBE, Former 4 Star Strategic Commander, NATO & Mike Dolan, Markets Editor (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Reuters News.


Pieter Burger, Partner, Financial Services Tax, Deloitte


Gerry Cross, Director of Policy & Risk, Central Bank of Ireland


Keith Fingleton, Chief Technology Advisor, Financial Services, IDA Ireland


Paul C Dwyer, President, International Cyber Threat Task Force (ICTTF)


James Allan, Head of Corporate Banking FX, Barclays Corporate & International


Lorraine Hughes, Assistant Treasurer, Experian Group Treasury


Ulrik Ross, Global Head of Public Sector & Sustainable Financing, HSBC Bank plc


Lorcan Travers, Senior Manager Investment & Treasury, Johnson & Johnson European Treasury Company

Barry Dempsey, Group Treasury Manager, Coillte Teo

Katherine O’Brien, Vice President Treasury, AWAS

Noel Brady, Head of Treasury, Greencore Group plc

Fiona O’Leary, Head of IT and In-House Bank Processes, Pfizer Dublin Treasury Centre


Tracy Piggot, Former Jockey, TV Broadcaster and Entreprenur

The event was closed by Ronan Doyle, President of IACT.

We would like to thank Ronan Doyle and his hard-working IACT Committee for running another successful conference and also special thanks to Marie Griffin (MD Summit Focus) and her team for a totally seamless and well-run event.

Ronan Doyle, President IACT, opening the 2016 Annual IACT Conference.
George Lee, Chairman for the Conference.
David Stubbs, Global Market Strategist, JP Morgan Asset Management, gives a global markets overview.
Patrick Lenain, Assistant Director OECD, discusses Ireland’s economic landscape.
Phil John, EMEA Treasury Director at Mars, gives his Treasurers wish list for the future.
Mike Dolan, Reuters Markets Editor, discusses Changing Policitcal & Security Landscape.
Pieter Burger, Tax Partner Deloitte, speaks about European Union Tax Rates.
Gerry Cross, Director of Policy & Risk at the Central Bank of Ireland, speaks about European regulations.
Keith Fingleton, Chief Technology Officer IDA, discusses the Fintech Revolution.
Keith Fingleton, Modern day Maslows Hierarchy of Needs!
Paul Dwyer, President International Cyber Threat Task Force, talks about Cyber Crime.
James Allan, Head of Corporate Banking FX Barclays Bank, talks about “Going Cashless”.
Lorraine Hughes, Assistant Treasurer of Experian, talks about the selection and implementation of a new cash management system.



Take away from the PRMIA EMEA Risk Leaders Summit, London

As the Deputy-Regional Director of the PRMIA Committee for Ireland, Alan Bluett (Partner, The Panel) travelled to London on Thursday 3rd November to attend the 2-day PRMIA EMEA Risk Leaders’ Summit.

The event was attended by CRO’s and Risk Leaders from throughout EMEA and gave participants the opportunity to network and discuss topics of relevance within the financial services industry today.


The event was opened up by Oscar McCarthy and Robert McWilliam (PRMIA Regional Directors), who welcomed PRMIA CEO, Kraig Conrad and PRMIA Chairman Justin McCarthy to officially welcome participants to the event. This was followed by a brief talk by Will Wilkinson, CEO of WSJ Pro and sponsors of the summit.

Keynote speaker David Coleman (MD of Risk Management at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) reflected on the risk profession as a whole and entertained the audience with a rather interesting quiz!

The first panel discussion of the day “Business Model and Profitability”, introduced on stage; David Suetens (International CRO at State Street) and Brandon Davies (Board Risk Specialist at Gatehouse Bank).  Their topic covered the impact of negative interest rates and failing market liquidity.

Lunch on Day 1 was a novel occasion as each table was invited to discuss some aspect of the one topic on everyone’s mind, Brexit. This resulted in some fairly heated and animated discussions, with each table having a moderator to facilitate the discussions.

After the lunch break, the second panel discussionOn the Horizon: Technology”, brought up challenges facing the FinTech industry and how Cybercrime threatens the stability of organisations. Speakers were Alan Smith (Global Head of Risk Strategy & Senior Executive Officer of Group Risk, HSBC) and Raj Singh (Group Executive and CRO, Standard Life).

The third panel of the day, “On the Horizon, Climate Change and Demographics”, included discussions on a variety of topics dealing with the shifts of demographics, the end of oil, and the growth in savings and alternative assets. The panel introduced four speakers; Dan Globerson (Head of Risk Solutions, RBS), Bruce Fletcher (CRO, Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Holdings PLC), Michael Mainelli (Z/Yen Chairman & Professor at Gresham College) and Oscar McCarthy.

The final speaker of the day was General Sir Simon Mayall (retired, Senior Advisor, Greenhill) speaking about “Geopolitical Risk”; EU (in)stability, EU-Russia relations, and the USA-China tension throughout the Pacific region. This talk was enthralling, varied, animated and gave plenty of food for thought on the future of Europe as we know it.

Daily take away by Alan Bluett:

“Hope Clinton wins in the US and re-establishes the US as a world power to be reckoned with, hope the UK follows a soft-Brexit, hope that the European Economy does not become another Japan and finally I met a participant who took up his option to take an  Irish Passport as a direct result of Brexit!”

Oscar McCarthy and Robert McWilliam (PRMIA Regional Directors)
Kraig Conrad (PRMIA CEO), Oscar McCarthy and Justin McCarthy (PRMIA Chairman)
Keynote speaker David Coleman (MD of Risk Management at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)
David Suetens (International CRO at State Street) and Brandon Davies (Board Risk Specialist at Gatehouse Bank)
Alan Smith (Global Head of Risk Strategy & Senior Executive Officer of Group Risk, HSBC) and Raj Singh (Group Executive and CRO, Standard Life)
Dan Globerson (Head of Risk Solutions, RBS), Bruce Fletcher (CRO, Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Holdings PLC) and Michael Mainelli (Z/Yen Chairman & Professor at Gresham College)
General Sir Simon Mayall (retired, Senior Advisor, Greenhill)


Day two of this summit focused on the role of leadership whilst building a loyal team within the organisation.

The first panel of the day “Culture, Conduct and Corporate Values” was held by Beat Hodel (Head of Group Risk Controlling (CRO), Raiffeisen Group), Kevin O’Rourke (MD & CRO, Mizuho Bank (Europe) and Board Member, Mizuho Bank Netherlands) and Joris Luyendijk (Author of Swimming with Sharks My Journey into the World of the Bankers).

This panel was followed by the “CRO Diversity and Inclusion” panel discussion with Petra van Hoeken (CRO Rabobank), Roger Hoefuetner (CRO UniCredit) and Kathryn Kerle (Head of Enterprise Risk Reporting, RBS).  They spoke about ways to make better decisions through the elimination of biases.

After the initial break of the day and following the two concurrent breakout stream workshops, participants were treated to a “Lunch with the WSJ Newsroom: Managing Risks During Times of Disruptions”.  It would see Mara Lemos Stein (The Wall Street Journal) interview Bart Van Ark (Chief Economist of The Conference Board) on current topics currently in the news.

The concluding panel discussion of the day and the summit as such, was the “Developing Talent” discussion. It covered essential pointers on how not only attracting talent, but how to retain them and develop their skills in order to keep them long term.  Speakers: David Coleman (EBRD), Colin Lawrence (Parker Fitzgerald), Stephen Groarke (Permanent TSB) and Keith Waitt (PRMIA).

Daily take away by Alan Bluett:

As Petra van Hoeken would say: Just do it….”

The Panel would like to congratulate the organisers on an excellent event.

Beat Hodel (Head of Group Risk Controlling (CRO), Raiffeisen Group), Kevin O’Rourke (MD & CRO, Mizuho Bank (Europe) and Board Member, Mizuho Bank Netherlands) and Joris Luyendijk (Author of Swimming with Sharks My Journey into the World of the Bankers)
Petra van Hoeken (CRO Rabobank), Roger Hoefuetner (CRO UniCredit) and Kathryn Kerle (Head of Enterprise Risk Reporting, RBS)
Mara Lemos Stein (The Wall Street Journal) interviewing Bart Van Ark (Chief Economist of The Conference Board)
David Coleman (EBRD), Colin Lawrence (Parker Fitzgerald), Stephen Groarke (Permanent TSB) and Keith Waitt (PRMIA)



The Panel to attend the PRMIA EMEA Risk Leader Summit in London

The Professional Risk Managers International Association (“PRMIA”) is holding their inaugural EMEA Risk Leader Summit from 3rd to 4th November 2016 in London and Alan Bluett (Partner The Panel) will be in attendance.

The Summit has been organised by the local PRMIA Chapters in Europe, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, and will be attended by Risk Professional from around the globe. Ireland’s very own Stephen Groarke (CRO – Permanent TSB) will be one of the speakers at the event, as will Justin McCarthy (Chairman of the Global Board of PRMIA). Alan Bluett, as Co-Regional Director of the Irish Chapter of PRMIA, will be flying the flag for the Irish Chapter.

To view the full programme click on the image below or download it in the “Resource” section on the right handside of this screen.