The Law Society of Ireland’s Strictly Come Dancing Charity Fundraiser 2018

Last week, Wednesday 21st January, The Panel was delighted to sponsor and attend the annual Law Society of Ireland’s “Strictly Come Dancing” event at the Ballsbridge Hotel.

Winners on the night were Laura Croke and Denis Wickstone, congratulations!

The Panel would like to also congratulate the organisers on a great night and a well organised event. All funds raised on the night went to the Capuchin Day Centre and The Hope Foundation.

Representing The Panel on the night was Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR) and Shauna Fox (Senior Recruitment Consultant, Legal & HR), Louise O’Leary (Senior Recruitment Manager, Banking & Treasury),  Anastasia Myachina (Recruitment Consultant, Financial Services & Insurance) and Ailbhe Lynch (Recruitment Consultant, Financial Services).



Airline Economics Growth Frontiers Conference 2018 – key takeaways

On January, 23rd and 24th, The Panel attended the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers Conference at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Our Aviation & Leasing Manager Richie Goggin was there, here is his summary from the event.

Global Risks in 2018

Peter Morris, Chief Economist from Flight Ascend Consultancy spoke about global risks in 2018.

During this presentation the following was noted:

  • Overall OECD lead indicators suggest stability and a slight improvement in the Aviation market in 2017/2018
  • People are spending on experiences rather than goods and that is contributing to passenger growth numbers
  • Passenger growth numbers are expected to slow in 2018
  • Slight concern about oil price increases in 2H17 and increasing environmental concerns
  • Political risk was a hot topic in Aviation and there were increased concerns about natural disasters and cyber-attacks

Keynote Speaker – Air Lease Corporation

John L Plueger, CEO of Air Lease Corporation, was the keynote speaker on Day 1 and he was very positive about the aircraft leasing market for the future.

Key points:

  • Major economies are experiencing dynamic growth – China & India experienced 6.8% & 6.3% growth respectively
  • The main drivers of air traffic are affordability of air travel, increased consumer spending and emerging “middle class” economies
  • 160 million people a year will join the middle class by 2030 and this will have a huge impact on future growth in passenger traffic
  • Highly favourable trends for sector – passenger traffic increased by 6% in 2018, Global GDP by 3.7% and global airline profitability was 38.4 billion USD
  • Interest rates were expected to be c. 2.9% at the end of 2018 – still very low
  • Oil price is projected at 60-70 USD a barrel
  • The GE business review and growth of Chinese lessors will be big in 2018
  • Aircraft Leasing is vital to the stability of aviation market and economy – as evidenced by redistribution of Monarch / Air Berlins assets post – insolvency
  • Aircraft Leasing acts as buffer for airline industry, aids production stability and are introduces Investors by providing good returns and attracting added capital

Q&A with Aengus Kelly, CEO, AerCap

Tom Woods (Partner in KPMG) held a Q&A with AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly and the discussion was centred on KPMG & Airline Economics recently published report “Navigating the Cycle”.

Link to full report below:

Key points:

  • Parts of the world can expect a slow-down but if lessors are well funded they can navigate market cyclicity
  • There is a huge demand in the APAC region at present particularly in the “New” and “Mid Life Markets”
  • European carriers (BA in particular) are extending the life of 747s
  • In the Far East / China there is a strong demand for new aircraft
  • The strengthening of the Euro currency (c. 15%) has shielded against increased fuel prices
  • There is an extremely robust demand for Boeing 767s and AirBus 330s
  • The most versatile family group of planes are those that retain their residual value
  • Lessors should buy assets for a developed user base
  • Wide-body market presented a significant opportunity and would be in huge demand if it was the right widebody plane

Lessor CEO Panel

This discussion opened by asking if it was a dangerous time for operating leases and how did each company manage risk?

  • Fred Browne of Aergo Capital said you had to consider the different cost of funds and respective I.R hurdles
  • It is acceptable to take more credit risk as long as they generated the I.Rs desired
  • The key is differentiation from your competitors and then sticking to your niche
  • David Waldron of BOC Aviation said that companies should pursue a business that suits their capital model, find a value proposition for customers and just say no to risky propositions
  • Peter Chang of CDB Aviation said they are an “all-weather” customer focused lessor. They are a full service operator for their customers and do not “cherry pick” assets
  • It was also noted that because of the low IR environment the market is flooded with capital and a desire to acquire assets
  • Lessors must navigate the waters carefully, discipline is key and they need to have a sense of where they are in the cycle

The “narrow-body” v “wide-body” debate.

  • Consensus was that there was a general confidence in placing narrow-body planes as they are less bespoke than wide-body
  • Should invest in wide-body where you have the customers lined up for them
  • Need to analyse wide-body on a long term basis as it is a cash generative investment /a lumpy asset – some felt that you need to specialise to be in that particular market

Chinese Market

  • On the topic of the growth of the Chinese leasing market the panel said that there will still be a lot of new entrants to the market, it will be tougher to compete with higher pressure on yield and that dynamic won’t change soon

GECAS – Hold, Sold, Listed?

  • The future of GE assets was the closing topic of discussion – the consensus was that the portfolio of assets was too large to be sold wholesale.
  • That the likelihood was a partial sale in blocks and the retention of part of the portfolio particularly engine assets

Talent / Recruitment

In the aforementioned KPMG / Airline Economics report (Lessor CEOs wish list) AerCap, CDB and SMBC highlighted the need for investment in training to attract and retain talent in the sector.

Despite Aircraft Leasing now being recognised as a mainstream sector, there are still skills shortages and companies need to invest in education and training staff to remain competitive.

The Panel work with the leading lessors in Dublin and strive to attract the best talent and offer a “best in class” recruitment service for our clients.

Peter Morris, Chief Economist of Ascend talking airline economics
Peter Morris
Keynote speaker John L Plueger, CEO, AirLease Corp.
Q&A with Aengus Kelly (Director, AerCap Holdings) by Tom Woods (Partner) in KPMG.
Airline CFO discussions on 2018 deliveries.
Keynote speaker Gerry Laderman – SVP Finance of United.
Lessor Panel Discussion



The Panel secures CEO for World’s first Whiskey Investment Fund

The Panel is delighted to announce the successful placement of the new CEO of the world’s first Whiskey Investment Fund, The Single Malt Fund, due to set up their European HQ in Dublin in the coming months.

This highly niche investment fund is fully approved by the Swedish financial supervisory authority as an alternative investment fund and offers a unique opportunity for whiskey connoisseurs to invest in the rare and limited editions of its kind.

The Panel would like to welcome The Single Malt Fund to Dublin and wish them all the best for the future! Anyone with an interest investing should read the following article published on BossHunting: “World’s first Whisky Investment Fund is able to pay off big time” and to visit The Single Malt homepage to register their interest.


The Panel sponsors the Law Society of Ireland’s Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Over the last few years the Law Society of Ireland has organised an annual fundraising dancing venture strictly for solicitors and barristers, raising much needed funds for the Capuchin Day Centre and The Hope Foundation.

The Panel is delighted to sponsor the event this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing the dancers in action this week.

This dancing extravaganza takes places on Wednesday 24th January in the Ballsbridge Hotel.

Attending the event from The Panel will be Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR) and Shauna Fox (Senior Recruitment Consultant, Legal & HR), Louise O’Leary (Senior Recruitment Manager, Banking & Treasury),  Anastasia Myachina (Recruitment Consultant, Financial Services & Insurance) and Ailbhe Lynch (Recruitment Consultant, Financial Services).

All the very best to all the dancers on the night!



In the footsteps of Giants – The Art O’Neill Challenge 2018

On January 6th, 1592 Art O’Neill, his brother Henry, and Red Hugh O’Donnell made a bid for freedom from Dublin Castle. It was the middle of winter and Ireland was held fast in its icy clutches but they hoped to reach the relative safety of the remote Glenmalure Valley 53km away.

Ill equipped and underfed they were the only prisoners ever to successfully escape captivity from Dublin Castle but it was an ill-fated journey with Art O’Neill dying from exposure only miles from his goal.

To commemorate their great strength of spirit the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team each year allow 200 hardy souls make their own journey from Dublin Castle to Glenmalure – this is 53 km and 4,700 feet of elevation gain, starting at 1am. The 2018 event left Dublin Castle last Friday 12th January and The Panel’s very own Alan Bluett  successfully completed the Art O’Neill 2018 challenge (30k on road/ 23k off road) in an impressive 12:36:59 time! The conditions this year were testing with driving rain for 12 hours, a 30km southern winds in our faces and some hairy river crossings.

A big thank you to the fantastic women and men of the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team who got everyone home safely and well done Alan!

Click to view Alan’s short video of the Art O’Neill Challenge.



Adminovate 2018 – The Funds Conference to kick of the year

On Wednesday 10th January our Funds & Investment Management team attended the #Adminovate18 Funds Conference at Trinity College.

This inagural one-day funds conference featured a wide range of funds administration, fintech startups and industry experts, dwellving into the changes which face the industry; informative and thought provoking.

Keynote speakers and panel discussions covered topics such as; Automation, Talent, Regtech, Blockchain & DTL, RPA, ML, AI and of course Brexit.

As charity patrons of basis.point we were delighted to find out that they were one of the chosen charitable beneficiaries of the event.

Congratulations to the organisers on a very well structured and stand out event and we wish you all the best in organising future events.

Representing The Panel at Adminovate was Anne Keys (Managing Partner), Liam Murphy (Senior Recruitment Manager, Funds) and Conor O’Reilly (Senior Consultant, Funds).

Left to right: Liam Murphy, Conor O’Reilly and Anne Keys (Managing Partner).

Fergal Brophy

Panel discussion: “The Future of Work”



The Panel to attend the inaugural Adminovate Funds Industry Conference

Kicking off our 2018 event calendar, we look forward to attending the Adminovate Conference at Trinity College on Wednesday 10th January.

This inaugural conference aimed at the Funds Industry, will see speakers from Ireland, Sweden, the UK, France, Luxembourg and the US come together to shed light on the people, the technology and the innovations facing the industry in 2018.

With 300+ registered attendees and over 27 speakers lined up we are certain it will be a great day and we will make sure to tell you how we got on in the coming days. In the meantime keep an eye on our SM channels (LinkedIn and Twitter) for instant updates.

Representing The Panel at this event is Anne Keys (Partner, Funds & Investment Management), Liam Murphy (Senior Recruitment Manager, Funds) and Conor O’Reilly (Senior Recruitment Consultant, Funds).


7 Summits – Aconcagua Prep 6: Final preparations, as Aconcagua calls

Good Monday afternoon to you,

As I write my final blog before I depart for Argentina and Aconcagua next Saturday afternoon, my mind marvels at how fast time has gone by since being confirmed on the expedition.

All the early morning runs, the bike rides, the gym sessions, the treks, the self-discipline and of course the most enjoyable days, the rest days! The work has been done. The sessions are nearly over.

Last week’s sessions were as intense as usual but not as long – runs were reduced to 5 kilometres and gyms sessions reduced to 20 minutes. This week will be similar but absolute care of injury is primary with more rest than usual.

Other preparations this week will be sobering and reflective as always ahead of a big expedition and a mountain that is the highest outside of the Himalaya. I sort and file all my personal details, checking and re-checking my mountain and climbing gear and ordering/buying anything that isn’t 100%. When I have everything together it’s a matter of packing and weighing, re-packing and weighing until I am happy with what I have and make the flight weight allowance. Below are examples of the gear that is required for an expedition like this.

Left: Mount Everest 2014 – Gear Check  Right: Aconcagua 2018 – Gear Check

The climbing itinerary is packed and will be tough but I know I’ve done all the hard physical work (resting heart beat 42 bpm) and I am as fit as I can be. I’ve also taken much time to mentally prepare and am as strong and as positive as ever. 

Thanks again to my sponsors, my supporters and of course my mental health charity, GROW, with whom I’ve been working with for many years now raising mental health awareness and funds for the work they do and the much needed help they willingly offer.

If you’d like to donate please click the link: Donate to Derek Mahon 7 Summit Challenge Charitable Fund

So God, Mountain God and Mother Nature willing I hope to summit around the 29th of January. I will have access to Wi-Fi at Base Camp – Plaza de Mulas – and will be able to post and blog from there, so keep an eye on The Panel website and social media channels for updates on the journey. Thanks again for all the good wishes. My next blog will be from the mountain!

Take Care and Keep Your Dreams Alive!



7 Summits – Aconcagua Prep 5: Training and Diet

Good Tuesday morning to you,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

With less than two weeks to my departure for Aconcagua this is the most nervous and exciting time for me. I’m nervous of catching the annual flu, nervous of injury, nervous of catching any bugs and nervous of air traffic controller strikes. I am however most excited about the adventure that lies ahead; the new gear have been ordered, I’m checking and re-checking the required gear list, and packing and re-packing. I usually pack and repack at least six times!

Thankfully this year, training has been kind to me and no serious injuries have been picked up. Having ended another very satisfying competitive triathlon, adventure racing, running, and sportive season there was no down time at all.

After summiting Kilimanjaro successfully in August, I almost immediately began to prepare for my next climb – the 4th of my 7 Summit Challenge – Aconcagua.

Concentration switched to specific strengthening, conditioning and stamina training while also continuing with my normal protein, carb and moderate caloric low fat diet.

Having more or less finalised expedition details and dates in October my training schedule was increased from one to two sessions daily, 6 days a week. My initial early morning session was either a 10km run or a 30km bike ride. My afternoon/evening session concentrated on strength circuits; burpees, sit-ups, press-ups, weights, TRX, spinning etc. which lasted anything from 45 to 75 minutes.

I can now no longer pool swim as the chlorine affects my sinuses and I try and get to the mountains as much as is possible – no better training for the mountains as being in the mountains!

A healthy diet combined with such a relentless regime is very important. I have found that a high protein and carb diet suits me and my recovery best with care, not too many calories and no bad fats! I take Optimum Nutritionals product from Amino’s, Protein/Recovery Powers and Bars. Optimum Nutritionals have been a stalwart sponsor of mine since 2014 – thank you Team ON!

Hydration is paramount, as is sleep. I am an 8 hour sleeper and while I do enjoy the earlier start to accommodate my training and I’m not a great serial TV watcher I’d be heading to bed around 9pm! 

Left: LoughKey Triathlon (Swim) Right: Quest Killarney Adventure 73km Race
Early morning training session

I’m already looking forward to my down time after summiting; no training, no food or drinks restrictions, and rest when I return in early February.

Take Care and Keep Your Dreams Alive!