100 Women in Finance – Renewable Power as an Asset Class – Investing in a Sustainable future

The Panel was delighted to attend and be part of the organising committee for 100Women in Finance first educational event in Dublin last night.

The 100 Women in Finance – Renewable Power as an Asset Class – Investing in a Sustainable Future event sponsored by BlackRock was held at the BlackRock offices in Dublin 4 on Thursday 26th October.

The event covered topics such as investment in infrastructure, energy assets and the future of renewable power. The panel moderator was Maria Ging (BlackRock) and speakers included Teresa O’Flynn (BlackRock), Alison Manley, (Goodbody Fund Management Ltd) and Paul O’Donnell (Greencoat Capital).

We’re looking forward to the next event.

Please contact us if you’re interested in becoming a member of this network.

Present from The Panel was Anne Keys (Managing Partner & 100Women in Finance committee member) and Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR). 


The Panel attends The Gloss Magazine – Look the Business event

It was our pleasure to attend and host a number of tables at this year’s Gloss Magazine – Look the Business, fashion & beauty event which took place on Tuesday, October 24that the RDS, Dublin.

As always, the event was superbly organised, with the range of designers featured in the fashion show proving to be a huge hit.

Key speaker was Anne O’Leary (CEO, Vodafone) and special guests Sally O’Sullivan (Editor, Publisher & Media Owner) and Richard E. Grant (Actor & perfume brand founder).

The fashion show was moderated by Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (Academic & Broadcaster) and ended of the evening on a fashionable high.

Present from The Panel was Anne Keys (Managing Partner), Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR), Louise O’Leary (Senior Recruitment Manager, Banking & Treasury), Shauna Fox (Consultant, Legal & HR), Aoife Kelly (Consultant, Accountancy) and Grace Leonard (Consultant, IT & Business Change).

Images courtesy of


Images below via The Panel


The Mustard Seed Communities 5th Annual Luncheon

On Friday October 20th The Panel attended the Mustard Seed Ireland’s 5th Annual lunch at the Mansion House.

Attendees were treated to a lively panel discussion moderated by Joanne Cantwell and featured Paul Byrne (journalist), Pádraic Joyce (former Galway footballer) and Eoin Reddan (Leinster & Ireland scrum half) on the topic of “Life after retirement from sport”.

Also performing were Seán Costello and Frank Naughton (Duo Vocis) while comedian Barry Murphy aka Gunther played a blinder where his boisterous performance raised over €10,000 in the auction alone.

The event helped raise funds for a range of charitable causes under the Mustard Seed Communities umbrella, with special emphasis on the care of abandoned and disabled children in Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Zimbabwe.

Representing The Panel at this event was Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR) and Alan Bluett (Partner, Banking & Treasury).


The Panel is on LinkedIn Top 25 Most Socially Engaged List 2017


The Panel is delighted to announce that we have been named, out of 60,000 companies, to be on LinkedIn’s Top 25 Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agency List 2017 – for a 2nd year running! Landing in 2nd spot in Ireland and 19th place in EMEA!

We would like to iterate how much we value our connections and followers on LinkedIn and want to thank our clients, candidates and employees for following, liking, commenting and sharing our content. Thank you!

We would like to congratulate all our fellow winners, well done and we hope to maintain our engagement for years’ to come.

The Panel is featured in the “Specialist Boutique – EMEA” category which means agencies with 0 – 49 employees in the Europe, Middle East & Africa region.

Click to access full list Top 25 Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agencies – Specialist Boutique 2017.

So how do LinkedIn calculate the rankings?

Looking at extensive algorithms and data collected, LinkedIn take into account:

  • Content Marketing
  • Social Reach & Social Engagement
  • Social Recruiting

They do this by investigating thousands of data points, over the past 12 months (1st September 2016 until 31st August 2017), for more than 60,000 Search and Staffing companies listed on LinkedIn.

Deeper measurements include areas such as:

  • Employee Engagement
  • Employment brand and content marketing power of search and staffing firms on LinkedIn
  • Agency’s content efforts measured by members’ engagement with that content
  • Social Recruiting. How effective the agency’s consultants are at establishing a coherent brand, finding relevant contacts and building relationships with them
  • Social Reach & Social Engagement. Includes views, job applications, Company page follows and Career page research. 

The Panel attends the launch of Boston College Ireland Business Council

On Wednesday 18th October, The Panel attended the official launch of the Boston College Ireland Business Council at the Merrion Hotel, Dublin.

The event was organised by Ireland Gateway to Europe.

The panel discussion at the event featured Siobhan Talbot (Glanbia), Willie Walsh (IAG) and Paul Coulson (Ardagh Group). Also in attendance were Jim Kelliher (Council Advisor) and Robert Mauro (Executive Director of Global Leadership Institute at Boston College).

We would like to congratulate the organisers on the event and wish the business council all the very best!

Representing The Panel at the event was Paul McArdle (Managing Partner) and Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR).


Calcutta Run 2017 – the official cheque handover ceremony

As sponsors of the Law Society’s Calcutta Run, The Panel was delighted to attend the official  “cheque handover ceremony” today, Wednesday 18th October, at Maples & Calder in Dublin.

The ceremony was presided over by Stuart Gilhooly (President of the Law Society of Ireland).

The total amount raised from the event was an impressive €220,000, this was divided equally between the two charities of choice; the Peter McVerry Trust (€110k)and The HOPE Foundation (€110k). Receiving the cheques on behalf of the charities were Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, and Maureen Forrest, CEO of The Hope Foundation.

Present from The Panel was Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR).

If you or your firm are interested in taking part in 2018 and want more details on the event/fundraising ideas, please contact Hilary Kavanagh, Event Coordinator and Promoter,

Left: Stuart Gilhooly (President of the Law Society of Ireland) Right: Nicholas Butcher (Managing Partner, Maples & Calder)
Left: Pat Doyle (CEO the Peter McVerry Trust) Right: Maureen Forrest (CEO of The Hope Foundation)

Pat Doyle  (CEO the Peter McVerry Trust) receiving cheque from Nicholas Butcher (Managing Partner, Maples & Calder)

Maureen Forrest (CEO of The Hope Foundation) receiving cheque from Nicholas Butcher (Managing Partner, Maples & Calder) 


SPOTLIGHT: Coman Brady from iQ Financial

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Coman Brady, Director


Company formed in:


Elevator pitch:

We are Financial Planners who create lifelong Financial Plans for Senior Managers, Business Owners & Company Directors. Plans are completed using the most up to date financial planning software that allow us to help clients plan their financial lives, maximise the value of their assets and ensure that they have enough money to fulfil their dreams.

Who would benefit from your service/product?

Senior Managers, Business Owners & Company Directors

Biggest achievement in the last 12 months:

Transition from mainstream/old fashioned Financial Advisors/Brokers to Financial Planners.

Plans for the next 12 months:

Grow our business through targeted marketing to attract high value clients. Design and implement a detailed end to end process to dictate every aspect of how we operate our business.

Biggest challenge to your business:

Public mistrust of Financial Services Businesses particularly banks (this is also one of our biggest opportunities).

Best advice you can give other business owners:

Without a clear vision and plan it’s impossible to fulfil your potential. Cashflow management is vital.

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

Give tax relief on fees paid to Certified Financial Planner professionals to encourage as many individuals as possible to avail of professional financial planning.

Reasons to be cheerful:

Our economy is powering ahead and there are lots of opportunities for progressive businesses.

t: +353 (0)86 6091106 | e: [email protected] | |


The Panel attends the 100 Women in Finance Gala in London, with guest speaker HRH Prince Harry

The Panel was delighted to be a part of the 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner in London on Wednesday 11th October. The event took place at the beautiful Victoria & Albert Museum and provided a great opportunity for the committee members of the Dublin location to meet members from across the globe.

Speaking at the event was HRH Prince Harry, Patron of the 100 Women in Finance’s UK Philanthropic initiatives and charity WellChild. Prince Harry spoke of the importance of the charity to children in need of specific hospital treatments and thanked the organisers for their continued support.

Representing The Panel on the evening was Sarah Kelly, Partner. Sarah joined a number of the members from both the Dublin and Paris committees. Also present from the Dublin location were Carol Widger, Maples & Calder; Emma Conaty, Maples & Calder; Vanora Madigan, DMS; Siobhan Moloney, DMS; Andrea Kelly, PwC; Aoife O’Connor, PwC;  Lorena Dunne, William Fry; Ciara McGuinness, Soros Quantum;  Joanna Thompson de Colognes, Tembo Associates and Hannah Rossiter, Duff and Phelps were representing the Paris location.

To find out more about click on the following links: 100 Women in Finance and the 100 Women in Finance – Dublin location.


GUEST BLOG: 5 Essential body language tips for the interviewer


“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” 

– Peter F. Drucker –

Over 60% of the electrical activity of the brain involves vision, yet many of us are prone to what psychologists refer to as ‘inattentional blindness’. Our bodies reveal a great deal about us even before we speak. Learning to accurately read body language offers us an advantage in communicating and building relationships with others.

When conducting interviews it helps to be able to see beyond what is written on the CV or list of qualifications and accomplishments. As we have learned to our cost in recent years what is written on paper may bear little resemblance to how the individual will actually perform in the real everyday world of a business environment.

There is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation around the topic of body language. Very few single gestures have one definitive meaning. As a rule it is better when we learn to observe and read clusters of movements.

Here though are 5 tips which are well worth knowing because they provide a great deal of insight into the personality and behaviour style of the interviewee.

  1. Pay attention to the position of their eyebrows when you are speaking. If their eyebrows move down close to the eyes while you are speaking it is an indication of impatience. Rather than listening to you they are eagerly awaiting their turn to speak. In doing so they are likely to miss out on nuances as well as potential key pieces of information. If this pattern is repeated throughout the interview we can be sure it is already an established pattern and does not bode well for building relationships or consensus.
  2. This tip requires you to be especially observant as the movement is quick and momentary. If you observe the lips on either side turning up briefly while you are speaking it is an indication of contempt. This is the only micro-expression which is unilateral.
  3. If at all possible keep the interviewees’ feet in view. Should the feet turn towards each other or move together suddenly you have hit a ‘hot spot’. Note the topic under discussion and allow the interview to proceed. When it has moved onto a relatively innocuous topic return to the ‘hot spot’ and ask questions around it. Pursue any hint of evasion until satisfied.
  4. It is also advisable to observe the posture of the interviewee(s) in the waiting room. Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy has studied and written extensively – you can also view her talk on TED – on the subject of High and Low Power poses. In general anyone sitting leaning forward or with a ‘closed-in’ posture is likely to be less confident and less energetic in general. Conversely those with a more expansive posture are likely to be more confident and expressive. You may need to be more challenging in your questioning to determine if that confidence is justified.
  5. Handshakes can also be revealing. The ‘wet fish’ handshake is often derided as indicating a weak personality. In reality it is more likely to mean the individual is very detail rather than people oriented. The vigorous handshake which seems to last forever is a sign of a people person who loves to get to know others. The steady handshake which waits for you to let go is associated with the conscientious type who likes to support others. The bone-crusher is a sign of one who likes to dominate.

A little practice of these tips will help ensure you choose the best candidate for your organization. 

About Joseph

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also available for group presentations, private functions and conferences. 

t: +353 (0)87 2461853 | e: [email protected] | 


GUEST BLOG: The increasing emphasis on “Corporate Culture”

There is increased focus on the role of the company’s culture in influencing the behaviours and attitudes of its employees at all levels. This has been evident in Ireland, for example, in the recent establishment of a Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, and of the Central Bank in its overall regulation of banks and other financial services. There has been extensive criticism of the Garda Siochana for its unacceptable culture which is said to be non-transparent and closed, as a result of serious issues related to whistleblowing. The focus on culture by the Central Bank is a result of the financial crisis, and of research by various bodies including the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The various reviews of the financial crisis suggested there were corporate cultural problems related to risk management assessment, groupthink, and intolerance within banks of contrarian perspectives on issues facing the banks. But the issue of culture is not just confined to these two sectors. At a wider industry level, the recent issues about software systems being installed in cars so as to hide environmental emission levels has caused serious concern for the motor industry about corporate culture practices.

There’s nothing new about corporate culture issues. They have been around for a very long time internationally, with Enron in the US being frequently quoted as an example of a company that had deficient culture despite having a glowing and much-praised Code of Practice.

Regulation and consumers: Regulators and consumers are increasingly frustrated with the role of corporate cultures and indeed with the old adage of “Let the buyer beware” or Caveat emptor”. Why should a buyer have to beware? Why shouldn’t a buyer be able to rely on the company supplying a given product or service? It all comes down to the simple word “Trust”, and sadly, there have been many instances in the last couple of decades, where organisations, charities and companies perceived to be pillars of society, have not demonstrated why they should be trusted. Trust has to be earned and justified by every organisation.

Codes of Practice and culture: A Code of Practice, however beautifully written and declaring commitment to various ideals of good practice (don’t mind “Best” practice), is no substitute for a demonstrated practical commitment to how a company acts in practice. Culture is about what we do, not simply about what we say we will do. That can be difficult in a big organisation which may have many different locations, different subsidiary companies, operate in different places, have diverse product or service offerings, have diverse managements. An organisation in such a situation may in fact have an overall desired culture but there may still be various individual cultures within it that are unique to particular locations or divisions or teams or groups. In theory, desired overall culture is not hard to specify. But culture isn’t always what the top level of an organisation might say it should be. Different informal interest groups can share “understandings” of issues on the basis that they want to control some aspects of practice. Culture isn’t easy to implement because it is fundamentally a people issue, and people can have “ways” of doing things – hence the notion of there being “the way we do things around here”. Culture has to be pro-actively managed and explained and taught. It needs people at all levels within an organisation to do that. It needs authoritative champions, ambassadors, promoters – at all levels, not just at top management. But top management must constantly assert its commitment to that and that it won’t tolerate bad or unacceptable formal or informal cultures. But to do that, it needs eyes and ears at all levels, and to go beyond a glossy code.

“Culture” is about values, attitudes, behaviours, making choices and making decisions – and having clear information for doing all this, including contrarian opinions. Why would a contrarian make a contrary view? Encourage contrarians to present and justify their contrarian perspective or insights, in the interest of making the organisation or company better.

About Ed McDonald

Ed McDonald, Lecturer at the Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) & Independent Consultant, Marketing, Advertising, Branding, Corporate Governance, Corporate Responsibility, and Ethics.  

Up to his retirement three years ago, was Chief Executive of the Association of Advertisers in Ireland and a Director of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland, and deeply involved with various media groups such as the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the JNRS and the JNLR.  He had previously been Chief Executive of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, prior to which he had been Chief Executive of The Henry Street Mary Street Shopping Centre Ltd., a public-private partnership aimed at upgrading that part of Dublin city centre. Before that, he worked with Gunne Estate Agents, responsible for its marketing development and general management, and worked with IDA Ireland for almost 20 years in a variety of activities, including a spell promoting Ireland while based in the USA.

He has always been keenly interested in behaviour and ethical practices, reflected in him graduating in 2015 with a Masters degree in Ethics and Corporate Responsibility from Dublin City University. He wrote his Masters degree on applying ethical theories to the Irish banking crisis and how a greater focus on practical ethics might have guided the banks. He holds a Masters in Business Studies degree (wrote his thesis on Branding) and a BA in Economics and Philosophy, as well as the Diploma in Arbitration Law from UCD, and the Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance. He is a Fellow of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI) and of the Marketing institute of Ireland.

Ed continues a number of part-time teaching and consulting roles. He is a Lecturer at the Institute of Technology Tallaght in Marketing, Advertising, Corporate Governance and Ethics. He also acts as Compliance Adviser for The European Group of Valuers Association (TEGoVA) in Ireland through the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, and he is a member of the Institute of Banking and a Fellow of the ACOI where he is a member of its Ethics Committee.

t: +353 (0)86 6042456 | e: [email protected] |