100 Women in Finance announces new global location in Dublin

The Panel was delighted to be a part of the committee involved with the organisation and set up of the 100 Women in Finance, Dublin location. The official launch took part on the 24th May 2017 at the National Gallery of Ireland.

With over 220 guests, the turnout on the night was indicative of the huge interest in this global network in Ireland. Key note speakers at the event were Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance and Carol Widger, Chair of the Dublin location and Partner at Maples and Calder. Amanda and Carol outlined the background of the organisation and the plans for the Dublin location. Key note speaker on behalf of the National Gallery of Ireland was Kathryn Milligan, Curator. She spoke about the current exhibition, The Art of Margaret Clarke: An Independent Spirit and the work of the gallery. In attendance was Eoghan Murphy, Minister of State for Financial Services, eGov & Procurement.

The establishment of the Dublin location is a great accomplishment and welcomed feature to the Irish financial services market, offering a platform for female professionals, as well as extensive global networking opportunities for members.

100 Women in Finance is a global network of over 15k+ professionals within the finance and investment industries worldwide and currently exists in 21 locations, making the launch of the Dublin chapter its 22nd globally. Founded in 2001 by Co-founders Carol Kim, Sarah Dyer and Dana Hall, 100 Women in Finance now celebrates over 15 years of empowering female professionals across the world. To find more on 100 Women in Finance visit the 100 Women in Finance website

To receive invitations to upcoming local and global events, register as a member. Please contact the Dublin committee on [email protected] or log onto the website to complete the membership application form.

The next Dublin event, date to be confirmed, is being sponsored by BlackRock Asset Management and we look forward to seeing you there!

You can also find 100 Women in Finance on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Featured on the introduction image is: Back: Lorena Dunne (Associate, William Fry), Ciara McGuinness, Emma Conaty (Head of Global Registration Services, Maples and Calder) Joanna Thompson de Colonges (Chair of 100Women in Finance Paris Location), Samantha Fletcher-Watts (Regional Head of Compliance, DMS) and Anne Keys (Managing Partner, The Panel). Front: Amanda Pullinger (CEO 100 Women in Finance), Carol Widger (Chair of 100 Women in Finance, Ireland & Partner, Maples and Calder) and Andrea Kelly (Partner, PWC).

All images courtesy of Maples and Calder / PwC


The Panel sponsors the 2017 Irish Funds Global Funds Conference

This year, the Irish Funds Annual Global Funds Conference took place on Thursday 25th May in the Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin 4.

It turned out to be a great event opened up by Tara Doyle, Chairperson, Irish Funds which was followed by a government address by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD.

The Panel was delighted to sponsor the first coffee break of the day, after the “Business Leaders” panel and it was great to speak to so many past and present clients, and many new contacts also.

The conference explored a number of hot topics within the industry, such as securities lending, real assets, Brexit, regulations and China. In the afternoon the conference saw three separate breakout sessions; distribution, diversity and FinTech & millennials, all which were very interesting.

The closing remarks by Pat Lardner, Chief Executive, Irish Funds called for adaptability and collaboration and finished with the words that Ireland is open for business and ready for Brexit.

Representing The Panel at the event was Anne Keys (Managing Partner), Alan Bluett (Partner, Banking & Treasury), Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR), Fergal Keys (Partner, IT & Business Change) and Liam Murphy (Recruitment Manager, Funds & Asset Management).

To find out more about Irish Funds visit their website.


Calcutta Run 2017

On Saturday 20th May, The Panel joined over 1,300 participants at Blackhall Place for the annual Calcutta Run, the legal fundraiser organised by the Law Society of Ireland. We were delighted to once again sponsor the event.

Inspiring everyone during the warm up was MC Gavin Duffy, and the wonderfully energetic team from 1escape Health Club in Smithfield.

Together with thousands of others participants, our enthusiastic team consisted of Kevin (00:24:09), Ailbhe (00:25:24), Hugh (00:26:10), Shauna (00:33:57) and Joey (00:33:57) who all put in a great effort. Well done to Team Panel!

Calcutta Run 2017 saw people run, walk and for the very first time take on the cycle challenge (80km) in aid of the two very worthy charities; the Peter McVerry Trust and The Hope Foundation.

Congratulations to the organisers the Law Society of Ireland and the event manager Hilary Kavanagh on another brilliant event.

Our photographer on the day was Sarah Kelly, thank you for some great shots!

To view images from the day, see below. 

CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, Pat Doyle
CEO of The HOPE Foundation, Maureen Forrest 

Did you take part in the Calcutta Run 2017 and want to check out your finish time? Click here.


The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Law

Though still in the early stages, artificial intelligence (AI) is making a noticeable impact within several professions including accountancy, management consultancies and of course, the legal profession. 

“For years the idea of artificial intelligence has been banded around in the legal and accountancy firm communities. However, now it is here, it is real.”

Mike Platt INSIDE Public Accounting

Some of the larger, global law firms are investing heavily in AI. Slaughter and May have gone a step further and recently took a stake in Luminance, a due diligence artificial intelligence firm.    

In 2016 BakerHostetler, a large U.S. law firm employed ROSS, an AI computer powered by IBM’s Watson technology.

“ROSS is a tool to help improve our work processes, reduce costs, and ultimately generate better results for our clients.” Steve Kestner, Chairman, BakerHostetler

For some it’s good news: AI will give fee-earning lawyers the opportunity to focus on more complex, high-value work. AI systems will do the work that humans have always done, but will deliver the results faster and more accurately. AI can be used to automate the drafting of certain types of documents, dramatically reducing the time it takes a lawyer to produce these.  In the case of litigation, the technology can be used to identify relevant key words and clusters, again reducing the time spent on discovery projects.  What we are likely to see in coming years is an increasing number of legal technologists, data analysts, and AI experts recruited by the law firms.

For others, however, the fear is AI will have a negative impact on jobs numbers in the legal profession: Deloitte estimates that 114,000 jobs in the legal sector could be redundant by 2020 in England and Wales.

Interested in hearing more about Artificial Intelligence in the legal sector?  Have a look at this clever infographic that was put together by Law in Order.

Sarah Kelly is an Executive Recruiter and Partner at The Panel Search & Selection (Legal Division) [email protected] +353 (0)1 637 7071


SPOTLIGHT: Kate Colleary from FRONTIER Privacy

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Kate Colleary, Director & Co-founder 

Company formed in:


Elevator pitch:

Any business that collects, holds or processes data – whether it is client data, marketing lists, end user data or employee data needs to understand its data protection obligations and take steps to move towards compliance. A new EU Regulation – the GDPR will come into effect in May 2018 and businesses that do not comply with it face significant fines.

We provide a complete data protection project-based solution to help clients move towards compliance.

Using a bespoke process, we carry out a high-level review of our clients’ current data protection status and we then work on a project basis to move towards compliance. We identify the gaps through a gap analysis review and traffic light report and work with clients to fill those gaps – drafting policies, contracts and providing training.

Our process is clear, transparent and painless. We help our clients along every step of the road to compliance. 

Who would benefit from your service/product?

Any business that collects, holds or processes personal data -whether it is client data, end user data or employee data.

From widget manufacturers to pharmacies, shops to social media networks – every business that holds personal data will be subject to this regulation.

The GDPR provides for significant fines and allows for litigation for breach of its provisions. Businesses now only have 11 months to prepare. Preparations may involve changing processes and IT systems, drafting notifications and policies, negotiating third party contracts and hiring and training a data protection officer. There is a huge amount to do in a short period of time. Best to start now!

To find out more about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Act and how you can best ensure that your company is ready, read our article HERE.

Biggest achievement in the last 12 months:

Setting up Frontier Privacy including creating the best team in the market to work with us, developing technology to assist our process and raising awareness of the GDPR.

Myself and my co-founder, Aoife Sexton, are lawyers who have worked in large corporate law firms for over 20 years. Adopting a more entrepreneurial mindset, looking for ways to deliver true value to clients and packing away our grey suits has been a challenge but we have enjoyed it. 

Plans for the next 12 months:

The next 12 months are crucial for businesses preparing for GDPR. We are growing our client base, actively recruiting and in high growth mode for the next 12 months – we’ll have to cancel our holidays!

Biggest challenge to your business:

The lack of awareness in the business community about how GDPR is going to affect every business. We are doing everything in our power to get that message out.

As we grow, we anticipate difficulties in resourcing top talent. To offset this, we are recruiting now and rigorously training our team.

Best advice you can give other business owners:

Dare to be different. Look for opportunities to disrupt existing markets (and of course, get ready for the GDPR!).

My father in law who was a true entrepreneur, used to live by the following excerpt from Robert Frost’s poem and I’ve adopted it also:

“Two roads divered in a wood, and I -,

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

If I was Minister for Finance, the first thing I’d do is:

Provide more support for entrepreneurs -not just via equity investments in start-ups but by delivering meaningful tax breaks to help businesses scale and grow.

Reasons to be cheerful:

I absolutely love my chosen field of work. I feel very lucky to work with a great team of people who are experts in their field. My children are also a constant source of cheerfulness and fun. Also, John Oliver and Saturday Night Live sketches help bring cheerfulness to an otherwise dismal time in the US. 

t: +353 (0)1 6392935 | e: [email protected] | |


GUEST BLOG: I’m Networking, What Next?

I was recently speaking with a good friend of mine about networking. We were talking about the differences between good and bad networking. She asked me if I could pick out one of the biggest mistakes that leads to bad or poor results from networking. My answer was easy. The thing that delivers the worst return on your time invested is not taking the next step after all your networking effort and that is what this blog is all about. 

You’ve finally realised the importance and benefit of networking. You may be new to a geographical area or starting in a new industry. You need to go out and network so that people know you along with your product or service. You join groups, you attend meetings and events. You start to get noticed around. Your collection of business cards along with your connections on LinkedIn is growing and growing. Networking is great isn’t it? Only problem is that it’s taking up a lot of your time and money to attend all of the meet-ups and you’re not seeing any return. 

The difference between good and bad networking is those that take the next step. The most important part of the networking cycle is the follow up. Reaching out to those connections and getting to know them outside of the networking environment. You’ve found them pleasant, interesting and down the line there may be a mutually financial benefit to working together. This will take time and following up with these contacts will be the difference between lots of contacts and lots of contracts. 

In conversation with my friend, she was struggling taking this next step. How would she do it? Will it be obvious that’s she’s following up? All of these thoughts are swirling around her head. Don’t overthink it. Find their business card and make the call. Should you call everyone? No, you would be full time meeting people for coffees. I’ve talked previously on how to categorise those new contacts in a previous blog.

Don’t, please don’t send an email. With all the training sessions and conferences I speak at, I always ask the audience if they’d like more emails. Nobody has ever said yes. 

We get so many emails, a quick call to say it was lovely meeting them and you’d like to find out more about what they do. Would it suit to meet up for a coffee? See the phrasing, it’s all about them and who doesn’t love taking about themselves? They may then ask where. It can be a neutral venue or their place of business. Sometimes a tour of their offices can highlight some of their services that may not come up in conversation. 

This is where you put your great questioning and listening skills into action. Remember those open ended questions and remember the ratio of 2:1, listen twice as much as you talk. In a previous blog I’ve talked about this.

This is the start of the journey to build a strong relationship with the other person. Finding out more about their plans, their challenges and also what would help their business. If you can help them along the way they will think of you when the opportunity arises. It will take time but the fruits of your labour will come to fruition. 

My final tip would be to send a hand written thank you card. You’ll be remembered and in an ever increasing busy business environment, being remembered is very important. This is also not a one-time only event. Make it a regular occurrence. Every few months, touch base, have a catch up. Like any relationship it will take work and like I always say, it’s not net-sit, it’s not net-eat its network. For anything in life, you need to put the work in to get the best results.

About Derek Reilly

Derek Reilly is a recognised expert in the areas of face to face and online networking. He previously worked with BNI (Business Network International) for nearly 10 years and has trained thousands of businesses on the power of networking. Derek is a regular guest speaker at conferences and company in-house trainings. He is proud to have spoken and trained on 3 continents (Europe, America and Asia). His progression within his own networks is testament to his knowledge of networking.

t: +353 (0)86 683 9709  | e: [email protected] | | LinkedIn |


GUEST BLOG: Employment Injunctions Update

The Court of Appeal published its decision last month in the case of Brennan v Irish Pride Bakeries (In Receivership).  The Court upheld the High Court’s decision to grant Mr. Brennan an injunction application which rendered void the decision of the Receiver of Irish Pride Bakeries to dismiss Mr. Brennan.  Does this mark a turning point in the Courts’ general attitude to employment injunction applications?

Prior to the Brennan case, the High Court had appeared reluctant to grant employment injunctions explaining that the test for an injunction required “at least a strong case” that the employee was likely to succeed at trial and noting that the Court would only intervene in an incomplete disciplinary process if there was a “clear case” of unfairness that could not be remedied.

In fact the Court of Appeal reiterated the ‘strong case’ test in its decision in the Brennan case.  It is the view of this writer that there has been no material change in the Courts’ attitude to employment injunction applications. 

The error highlight by the Court of Appeal in the decision to dismiss Mr. Brennan was that the Receiver refused to pay Mr. Brennan his 3-month contractual notice period.  The Receiver argued that the refusal to pay was because he could not treat Mr. Brennan more beneficially than other creditors of Irish Pride Bakeries.  The Court of Appeal did not accept this as permitting the Receiver to breach the employment contract and, therefore, a strong case that Mr. Brennan would be likely to succeed at trial had been made.

The upshot is that employers must strictly comply with the terms of the employment contract and, also, fair and proper procedures when seeking to dismiss an employee.  Otherwise the risk of a successful employment injunction application arises. 

This article is intended to provide only general information for the clients and professional contacts of Maples and Calder. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render legal advice

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: 3 Productivity Mistakes too many Executives make

Productivity is the essence of every business, it’s the difference between success and failure, the contract between stress and calm and the decider of profit or loss. So why is it that we pay so little attention to it? Why do we keep making the same productivity mistakes and expect positive results?

Time and time again we see the same errors creating stress for the individual and costing organisations millions. Simple things like disorganisation and lack of planning cause executives to waste hours daily searching for documents and reacting to work that comes their way because they never took the time to decide what is important to them. One of the chief offenders is the lack of a personal system, a personal workflow system can help prioritise and get more done.

Mistake 1: Failure to Plan

Most of the executives I meet don’t have a system by which they plan their day and their workload. They start the day reacting to emails and other people’s priorities instead of starting with a plan. A plan that they have devised based on their own priorities. Starting the day in email is a poor way to start a productive day. Starting the day with a schedule of work based on your personal priorities is the ideal way to begin. When we suggest this to managers or executives we work with, a lot will respond with the argument that their work is too volatile, too dependent on their clients’ wants and their team’s needs. This may be the case but it doesn’t stop you from having a plan. Every sports team spends time creating a plan before they go out on the pitch, this plan will never materialise in the format it was created but it will give the team a guide, something to fall back on when things go astray. Your plan is your guiding star. 

Having a plan will help you:

  • To judge your own workload and make decisions based on capacity
  • Ensure your important work gets done first
  • To see the difference between a fickle request and a genuine requirement.
  • Will help you to protect your time and your work life balance
  • Be more effective and get more done

Start with a long term plan, breaking it down into quarters, months and weeks. Doing this will help you to stay on track and monitor if your tasks are aligned with your goals.

Mistake 2: Overusing Email

Email is a fantastic mode of communication but it is an antiquated one. It’s relied on for far too many types of communication. We use email to plan meetings, to discuss work in progress and to create long term goals. It’s time we looked at other means of communication and decided what’s best for the company and the team in which we are working.

There are many great team tools on the market, programmes designed to help you manage your projects and work in progress. Programmes such as Asana, Teamwork and Trello will help you to keep on top of the work that you have to do while keeping all communications and conversation to the app itself. This ensures that your inbox is not cluttered with conversations and different versions of files being sent back and forth. Do some research and invest in a team tool to clear out your inbox and help you work more effectively with your team mates. 

You will also hugely benefit from following the inbox zero technique, making sure you delete, archive, defer and plan all the emails that are in your inbox. Touch every email once and decide what needs to be done with it.

Mistake 3: Bringing your Work Home

While there are times when we have to work long hours to get reports completed, proposals submitted and plans made it is not a practice that should be encouraged.

Consistently bringing your work home is not an advisable practice and will not make a productivity ninja. Overwork takes its toll on your body and your mind and results in a reduced quality of work. You will find that your concentration suffers and it takes longer to do simple tasks. When you are overworked you are less likely to be creative and come up with new plans or ideas. 

Bringing work home can also damage family relationships and add to your stress levels. Try and avoid this practice as much as possible in order to give your mind time to unwind. Steven Covey called it sharpening the saw, you won’t be able to cut down a tree if the saw is blunt. Lack of relaxation and renewal will blunt your saw. While sometimes it will be necessary to work those longer hours because your job or business depends on it, remember that in the long term it is not sustainable.

About Margaret Considine & Ciara Conlon

Margaret Considine is CEO of EQuita Consulting. 

Ciara Conlon is Head of Operations of the EQuita Group, an international keynote speaker and author of Productivity for Dummies. Ciara will be speaking at the Small Firms Association Conference on the 24th of May on the topic of Productive Teams.

‪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]   | |


GUEST BLOG: Financial Planning – What should I be doing?

Financial Planning is one of those things that people know they should do but often wonder why.

In many cases this is because the process is made too complicated and opaque or the goals are too vague for an individual to properly take ownership of their own financial plan.

This has led to many people being ill-prepared financially for the various milestones they will meet over the years.

Financial planning is a process which assists individuals in closing the gap between the life they have now and the life they want in the future.  Ideally it’s the process of uncovering what a client wants to do or achieve financially, for themselves and their family, and then ensuring that they and their family enjoy the life that they want to live.

We apply a structured six stage financial planning process works by taking a holistic approach to a client’s needs and circumstances and helping them to meet their life goals and priorities.

Initial meeting

It starts with an initial meeting where the financial planning team gets to know the client and their overriding financial goals and objectives. We try to get an understanding of our client’s desired lifestyle for the future.


We also go through a comprehensive information gathering session which includes all sources of income, debts, investments, pensions, protection benefits, employee benefits, family circumstances, health background and so on.

Analysis and evaluation

The information from the discovery session is used to compile statements of current net worth detailing the client’s assets and liabilities; an income and expenditure account containing an analysis of their current financial situation as well as estimating future income and expenditure needs.

Detailed recommendations

We present our financial planning recommendations to the client based on their specific needs and objectives and the analysis conducted. We utilise lifetime cash flow forecasts, availing of the latest technology to illustrate a current cash flow position including all expenses and taxes due, along with long term forecasts right up to pension age and beyond.

We also prepare detailed “what if” scenarios at this stage which cover both short and long term eventualities such as early retirement, family holidays, sending children to college, gifting money to loved ones or making charitable donations. These assist clients to understand the implications of future financial decisions and steps to be taken now, to cater for various scenarios should they arise.

Protection planning forms part of the process and we show the impact of death or illness on clients and their families. We also carry out an estate planning exercise to illustrate the potential tax liability when an estate is passed on and devise strategies to maximise tax efficiencies.

We illustrate the level of return required from investments to reach the client’s goals and objectives. This is followed by a planning session where, based on the various scenarios modelled, we agree on the optimum financial plan for the client.


At this point we work with clients to select the most efficient options to implement their individual financial plan whether this be reducing investment risk within portfolios, increasing savings or pension contributions, establishing gifting programmes for family.

Ongoing review & planning

Financial planning is not a one-time exercise. Our lives are subject to constant change and it is of utmost importance that plans are reviewed at least annually to allow for changing circumstances and external factors. We work with clients not just to monitor progress but also to provide coaching and support to help them achieve their goals and their desired lifestyle.

Ultimately, we help our clients to understand how much they will need to fund the lifestyle they want for the future and put the necessary structures and plan in place to help them achieve this.

[Original article published in the Invesco – Pensions Review 2017, April 2017]

About Miċeál Gunning

Miċeál has been with Invesco since 2000 and has over 14 years experience in the Pension and Investment industry. Prior to joining Invesco Miceal worked with Norwich Union, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland. 

t: +353 (0)1 294 7600 | e: [email protected] |



The Panel attends the IDA – Ireland. Right Time Right Place, London

On Wednesday 10th May, The Panel participated in the IDA Ireland, “Ireland. Right Place Right Time” event. The event took place at the impressive Landing Forty Two, Leadenhall Building in central London.

With close to 250 attendees from the Financial Services, Legal, Accountancy, Tech, Bio-Pharma and Med Tech sectors, the evening was a great success – promoting Ireland as destination of choice for business.

There were two panel discussions, followed by an evening of networking.

The Panel were delighted to attend the event. Representing us were Anne Keys (Managing Partner) and Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR).


Opening remarks: Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland

Moderator: Joe Lynam (Irish Journalist and Broadcaster BBC)

Panel discussion 1:

  • Ann Nolan, Second Secretary General at the Department of Finance
  • Gerry Cross, CBI, Director of Policy & Risk
  • Dale Sunderland, Deputy Commissioner at Office of the Data Protection Commissioner

Panel discussion 2:

  • Anne Heraty, MD, CPL
  • James O’Connor, CEO, Mircosoft & President American Chamber of Commerce
  • Manish Vekeria, MD, Credit Suisse
  • Lisa Harrington, Chief Customer Officer, BT Group

Also view IDA Ireland’s short video highlighting why Ireland is the Right Place at the Right Time for your company to invest in.