Aconcagua Prep 1: setting out my goals

Derek Mahon is a Senior Qualified Financial Planner with Tara Financial Partners in Dublin and The Panel sponsored mountaineer and endurance athlete. Derek came to us a number of years ago when he had a vision to climb the 7 Summits / 7 Continents to highlight mental health and the importance of support to those suffering with mental illness. Derek partners with GROW – World Community Mental Health Movement on this and we are only to delighted to support the great work that they do.

Having already “summited” Mount Everest, Mount Blanc, Elbrus and Kilimanjaro Derek now has his sight on summiting  Aconcagua in Argentina this coming January 2018. This blog section will follow his training and his journey to the top.

Good luck Derek!

Happy Monday to you, 

The last few weeks have been anxious and tense. I’ve been busy training and preparing for my next climb which was originally scheduled for December, then January and possibly February. I was conscious that with plans still not finalised, not to over train. But knowing from other climbing buddies of mine, January is the best time to climb Aconcagua. With that opinion and advice in mind I stepped up my training a month ago to two sessions daily with either a rest day on Sunday or Monday. Mondays are always good and always reminds me of the Boomtown Rats #1 single ‘’Tell me Why I don’t like Mondays’’ … I love Mondays and always have, but it’s sometimes a relief not to have to get up and pound the roadways, enthuse over another solo spin session, push weights, count those press-ups I do on a basketball, and push myself beyond that 3rd minute plank! But all is worth it as my fitness levels push higher and higher (pardon the pun) and resting heart rate edges lower. Last reading was 42 BPM with the General Average by age 61-77 BPM!

But the wait is over. Aconcagua is on for a January 21st start! All 6,962 meters of it !! Very excited!!

Aconcagua standing at 6,962 meters is the second highest mountain after Mount Everest in the 7Summits series, as above. It has like all of these ‘’big’’ mountain risks, demands, altitude, weather unpredictability, deaths and success. So this is another big big mountain and challenge, and one to be properly respected and prepared for, as I meticulously do for all my mountain challenges.

Having climbed the summit of Mount Everest in May 2014 I know what the demands are, the sacrifices to be made, the calculated risks to be taken, the mental strength required to keeping focused, determined and strong but of course the sober truth that ‘’The summit is optional – Staying alive is mandatory’’.

Over the coming weeks prior to my departure for Aconcagua I will share with you my previous climbs and photos and videos of such, my training program, and some insights, views, disciplines and life rules that drive me.

Till then, take care, stay safe and keep your dreams alive!


Image source: Wikipedia

100 Women in Finance Fireside Chat with Marie O’Connor

Anne Keys (Managing Partner, The Panel & 100Women committee member) along with her colleagues Sarah Kelly ( Partner) and Louise O’Leary ( Senior Manager) were delighted to attend  the 100 Women in Finance festive season kick-off event on Thursday 23rd November – a Fireside Chat with Marie O’Connor (retired PwC Audit Partner).

In the intimate setting of William Fry’s offices in Grand Canal Square, Marie reflected on her career journey at PwC and how in over 40 years in business she has seen the Irish asset management industry evolve to where it is today.

Marie also spoke about women in financial services, their role in future industry change, the positive, the negatives and the areas she feels require the most development. Her advice on how best to network were greatly received by the audience!

Our congratulations to Lorena Dunne and Dan Morrissey of William Fry, and to all the committee members especially Ciara McGuinness and Vanora Madigan who organised this highly inspiring networking event.

All images courtesy of 100 Women in Finance.



Paul McArdle of The Panel shaves his head in aid of the Irish Cancer Society

On Thursday 23rd November, our Managing Partner Paul and his friend Brian Sheridan took to the stage at Slattery’s Pub in Dublin 4 to have their heads shaved by Ian (the barber from Adams Hairdresssing in Baggot Street).

The initiative came about when their close friend Kathryn Heslin was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have her head shaved. Paul and Brian thought it would be a good idea to follow suit and raise much needed funds for a very worthy cause – the Irish Cancer Society.

Last night, after raising more than €27,000, the shearing took place. Please see photos below (if you dare…).


You can still donate, by clicking on the following link:


The Corporate Treasury & Cash Management Conference

On Wednesday 15th November, we were delighted to attend the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers (IACT)Corporate Treasury & Cash Management Conference at Croke Park, Dublin.

The event, which was officially opened by the President of IACT, Lorcan Travers and chaired by Current Affairs Broadcaster George Lee, covered topics such as;

  • The current economic cycle
  • Political & economic landscapes (the Eurozone, Brexit & the US)
  • Market disruptions
  • Debt capital markets
  • Cybercrime / cyber security
  • Cash management
  • EIB funding opportunities for corporates

The day also offered individual group discussions/huddles allowing for attendees to discuss and share experience in smaller groups.

At the end of the conference attendees were invited to a networking reception and the opportunity to tour the stadium.

Representing The Panel at the conference was Alan Bluett (Partner, Banking & Treasury) and Louise O’Leary (Senior Recruitment Manager, Banking & Treasury).


The Panel attends the PRMIA EMEA Risk Leader Summit in London

The Panel was delighted to attend the PRMIA EMEA Risk Leader Summit in London on November 13th–14th at the News Corp Building.

With up to 19 speakers over this 2-day event attendees were treated to a number of highly informative and insightful panel discussions and personal observations into the current state of risk within Europe and beyond. There were also a number of peer-lead discussions and the opportunity to engage and network with other industry attendees.

Keynote speaker on Day 1: Christine Palmer (CRO, Aldermore)

Keynote speaker on Day 2: Dr Marcus Chromik (Member of the Board of Managing Directors at Commerzbank AG)

Topics covered included: Future trends, Culture & Conduct, Technology and Cyber Security, Demographics & Sustainability and Diversity & Developing Talent.

Representing The Panel, and PRMIA Ireland, at this event was Alan Bluett (Partner, Banking & Treasury and Deputy Regional Director PRMIA Ireland)


Kraig Conrad (CEO, PRMIA) and Justin MacCarthy (Global Chairman, PRMIA) officially opened the EMEA Risk Leader Summit. Also in picture  Kathryn Kerle.
“On the Horizon”: Barbara Frohn (Director of Risk, FCA), Pierpaolo Montana (CRO, Mediobanca),  Chris Sparks (CRO, Atom Bank. Moderator Sven Ludvig.
“Culture & Conduct”: Alison Cottrell (BSB), Birgit Dietl-Benzin (UBS), and Jo Paisley. Moderator Kathryn Kerle.
“Technology & Cyber-security”: Bruce Fletcher (CRO, HSBC), Kanwardeep Ahluwalia (CRO, EMEA Bank of America Merrill Lynch), Tony Leighton (RBS) and Andrew Curry (Head of Operational Rish, Atom Bank). Moderator Sven Ludwig.
“Risk Leader – Now What?”: Tom Wilson (Allianz), Terri Duhon (NED, Morgan Stanley) and Raj Singh (Standard Life Aberdeen). Moderator Robert Iommazzo.
“Demographics & Sustainability”: Tony Rooke (CDP), Tom Wilson (Allianz), John Scott (Zurich), and Raj Singh (Standard Life Aberdeen). Moderator Sven Ludvig. 


“Diversity & Developing Talent”: Cosimo Pacciani (European Stability Mechanism – The ESM approach to work), Lesley Jones (N Brown, Close Brothers), Roger Hoehfurtner (Unicredit), Emma Hawkins-Haile (Hawkins-Haile). Moderator: Kathryn Kerle.
Keynote speaker: Dr Marcus Chromik (Member of the Board of Managing Directors at Commerzbank AG).
“Cyber Security”: Jessica Douglas (IBM), moderator Mara Lemos Stein (The Wall Street Journal) and Stuart McKenzie (Mandiant).



The Panel attends the LinkedIn Top 25 Most Socially Engaged Award Event in London

On Tuesday 7th November, The Panel was delighted to fly over to London and attend the LinkedIn “Talent Intel Summit” and the “Top 25 Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agency Award event” at Tobacco Dock.

The event, which celebrated all those agencies that made it on to this year’s list across EMEA was a great opportunity to celebrate with fellow industry winners and of course collect the trophy.

Melissa Furze (Senior Manager of Insights, EMEA at LinkedIn) spoke about what it takes to get your recruitment business on the list, the analytics and the algorithmic calculations behind the scenes. Later in the evening, LinkedIn provided lots of musical entertainment, food, refreshments and time for networking.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our LinkedIn Account Manager Martha Brady for taking such good care of us during the event.

Representing The Panel was Mal Convery (Head of Marketing & Social Media).

Here is a short video on our journey to the event: The Panel attends the LinkedIn Top 25 Most Socially Engaged Awards event 2017


The Panel features in Sunday Business Post – Aviation, Leasing & Finance – A special 5 page report

On Sunday, November 12th, our colleague and “The Panel” Senior Recruitment Manager Richie Goggin featured in the Sunday Business Post – Aviation, Leasing & Finance – A special 5 page report
To download the articleSunday Business Post – Aviation, Leasing & Finance special report 12.11.17
Attracting top talent holds key to success in Irish aviation
One of the benefits of a post-Brexit world is the migration of skilled staff and jobs from Britain to Ireland, according to Richard Goggin, senior recruitment manager with The Panel.
“The local market is very competitive, so the influx of additional experienced professionals is welcome given the positive outlook for the aviation industry in Ireland,” said Goggin.
“Nine of the top ten lessors and half of the world’s fleet are managed here. Recently, we have seen substantial inward investment, particularly from Chinese lessors.”
Goggin said high personal tax rates and increasing rents on the local market posed a threat, in contrast to the new tax incentive strategies in Singapore and Hong Kong that have been designed to attract highly skilled aviation industry professionals. 
“Ireland, however, remains the undisputed market leader in the sector, with an unrivalled talent pool, the requisite legal and tax expertise and a favourable corporate tax rate,” he said.
“With the aviation sector in Ireland worth more than €4 billion and employing 40,000 staff, there are specific educational and commercial strategies across the industry to help keep the market and its people on a growth trajectory. 
“Ireland needs to ensure that we retain highly skilled and highly educated pool of aviation leasing professionals that can service this buoyant and ever-dynamic sector.”
Goggin said many of the leading institutions had developed and rolled out specific industry courses, including the Diploma in Aviation at the Law Society; the MSC Aviation Finance at UCD Smurfit Business School; the BBS in Aviation Management at IT Carlow; and the Diploma in Aviation Finance at UL.
“The knock-on effect of these courses, from diploma level right up to Master’s degree, means that we have developed an unrivalled talent pool of aviation leasing professionals across the finance, legal, compliance and technical areas,” said Goggin.
“From a commercial perspective, the IDA is ensuring that aircraft leasing is one of its main investment priorities, with a particular emphasis on the Chinese market,” he said.
Passenger demand is expected to double in the next 20 years. “According to Boeing, year on year growth for the last five years has averaged 6.2 percent, and this is largely attributed to emerging economies and the reduced cost of air fares, especially in Asia. Airports will have to make a significant infrastructural investment to facilitate this growth,” said Goggin.
“There is demand for skills at all levels, with the most sought-after professional skillsets in the area of finance, accountancy, risk, legal, IT, project management and technical,” he said.
“Roles include pricing managers, financial analysts, risk managers, transactional lawyers, VP technical, contracts managers, and heads of IT and technology, there is increased competition between all the lessors to source the best people in the market. This can have a knock-on effect on salary levels across the industry.”
Goggin said that law firms, in particular, could find themselves under pressure to retain their aviation leasing specialists, with many of the lessors attracting private practice lawyers to move to in-house legal counsel positions.
“Given the longevity of the industry here, Ireland has created a melting pot of talent that is highly skilled, diverse and multicultural. The industry offers well-remunerated, interesting and challenging career choices, attracting top talent from across the globe and creating a world leading hub for aviation, “said Goggin.


Our Managing Partner Paul McArdle is shaving his head for the Irish Cancer Society

Click to donate on behalf of Blade Runner 2017

Our Managing Partner Paul is raising money for the Irish Cancer Society, after one of his close friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. As part of the treatment process, his friend has had to shave her head and in support Paul is following suit with one of his friends, Brian Sheridan! 

The shaving of his head will follow a Blade Runner theme. This ‘Blade Runner’ event will take place in Slattery’s Pub on Bath Avenue, Dublin 4, at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 23rd; anyone nearby on the night is very welcome to witness the live shearing.

In return, Paul and The Panel team would be very grateful if you would kindly sponsor him and this worthy charitable organisation.

Please follow this link and all monies raised will be given to the Irish Cancer Society.



The Panel to exhibit at the 6th IIBN “Connectivity” Global Conference, November 3rd

We look forward to attending and exhibiting at the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) 6th Annual Global Conference in Dublin on Friday, November 3rd 2017.

Catering for a global network of senior Irish business leaders and entrepreneurs this event offers participants a great opportunity to network and take part in a variety of forums related to a changing political landscape & market place, both in Ireland and globally.

The Panel is delighted to exhibit at the event and to take part. If you are attending please come and say hello!

Representing The Panel at the event will be Anne Keys (Managing Partner), Richie Goggin (Senior Recruitment Manager), Louise O’Leary (Senior Recruitment Manager), Liam Murphy (Senior Recruitment Manager) and Shauna Fox (Senior Recruitment Consultant).