Governance Ireland 2024

Governance Ireland 2024 – Sustainability at the heart of governance


Speakers

Niall Breslin, Inspiring mental health advocate & public speaker

Niall Breslin, Inspiring mental health advocate & public speaker

Niall Breslin believes in the innate human capacity to heal, recover and transform. As a life transformation expert, he has devoted his life to helping people reach their true unlimited potential.

Currently undertaking his PhD, Niall holds an MSc in mindfulness based interventions, bachelor’s degrees in economics and sociology, a higher certificate in performance psychology and is an honorary fellow of both the Royal College of Surgeons and of IADT as well as a winner of the prestigious UCD Alumni award for social sciences. He is also a former professional athlete, representing Ireland and Leinster in Rugby, and an Ironman triathlete.

As a keynote speaker, consultant and leadership coach, Niall has worked closely with global leaders and organisations across a vast array of industries all around the world. He has consulted with the Irish and EU governments on health policy and worked closely with professional athletes across a variety of sports as well as world class entertainers. His ability to communicate with vital authenticity, inspiring candidness and deep expert knowledge and experience in a number of fields, has further contributed to his standing as a key figure in the evolving conversation about the human condition.
Niall’s commitment to sharing his pioneering work is inspiring a paradigm shift in the public perception and narrative around emotional well being and human potential.

Founded and hosted by Niall Breslin, the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning “Where Is My Mind” podcast, is an immersive exploration into how we can better look after our heads and hearts in the chaos of the modern world. Niall engages in naturally vulnerable, investigative and generative conversations with philosophers, thought leaders, academics, scientists and musicians including Deepak Chopra, Moby, Edith Eger, Adam Clayton (U2) and many others. ‘Where Is My Mind’ regularly features in the UK and Ireland’s top podcast charts and it was the winner in the most creative podcast category at the British Podcast Awards. Niall’s other podcast “Wake Up Wind Down” is a twice-daily guided reflection and meditation to start and end your day. As part of Spotify’s ‘Your Daily Wellness’ playlist, the podcast reached and actively supported hundreds of thousands of global listeners during the pandemic, reaching number one in Spotify’s US health and fitness charts. It was also nominated for British podcast of the year in 2021 & 2022 and indeed won Irish daily podcast of the year in 2022.

Niall’s passion and drive for de-stigmatising mental health, particularly amongst young people, propelled him to co-found the award-winning mental health charity “A Lust for Life”. Through their school's programme they are teaching young people to be effective guardians of their own minds and have, to date, reached over 45,000 students nationwide with the aim of being in every primary school by 2023 and embedded in the educational curriculum by 2024.

In addition to writing his award winning memoir “Me and My Mate Jeffrey” Niall has also authored a best-selling children’s book series “Magic Moments” which further promotes and educates children on mindfulness, emotions and mental health.

Niall is also a multi-platinum award-winning musician and producer. Lead singer and songwriter for “The Blizzards”, 3 time winner as a coach on “The Voice of Ireland” and also worked as a producer and songwriter for Simon Fueller’s “19 entertainment”.

Nadine Conlon, President, Irish Region, The Chartered Governance Institute

Nadine Conlon, President, Irish Region, The Chartered Governance Institute

Nadine Conlon was appointed Company Secretary of FBD Group in October 2021. As Company Secretary, Nadine is responsible for advising the Board, through the Chairperson, on all corporate governance and company secretarial matters. Nadine joined FBD from Bank of America Europe DAC, where she worked for 3 years as Senior Vice President/Director in the Legal team. Prior to this Nadine worked in various company secretariat roles for Permanent TSB plc and Mediolanum.

Nadine is a Fellow of the ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland, she is also President of the Institute in Ireland. Nadine holds an LLB (Hons) in Irish Law from the University of Nottingham-Trent, a Masters in Management and Corporate Governance from Ulster University and a Post-Graduate Diploma from the Kemmy Business School (University of Limerick) in Management Practice.

Paul Egan SC, Of Counsel, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

Paul Egan SC, Of Counsel, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

Paul is a leading practitioner in and speaker and author on corporate and securities law.  He is author of Irish Securities Law (Bloomsbury, 2021) and his firm Mason Hayes & Curran’s EU Securities Laws (2022)). He was appointed Senior Counsel by the Government of Ireland in 2020, the first occasion the title was conferred on solicitors.

A former Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department, a former member of the Irish Takeover Panel, a former member of the Irish Stock Exchange’s regulatory committees, Paul now chairs the statutory Company Law Review Group (CLRG), the body responsible for advising the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment on corporate law. It was the CLRG which designed the Covid-related provisions for the Companies Act during lockdown, as well as the new SCARP corporate rescue procedure.

Paul specializes in complex corporate transactions, governance and regulatory matters, most frequently for listed and pre-IPO companies. He is lead and conflicts adviser on company and securities law for several listed companies and major shareholders in such companies.  Recent transactions have included a disposal by a listed company of its principal business and distribution of proceeds to shareholders and a placing by a growing AIM- listed company to fund an overseas acquisition.

He has recently taken a particular interest in the interaction between privacy law and corporate transparency, and has written and spoken on this issue in Ireland and abroad.

Laura Higgins, Founder & Director, the CoSec Coach

Laura Higgins, Founder & Director, the CoSec Coach

Laura is a Chartered Secretary and Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland. Laura has gained over 20 years’ experience of operating in a variety of Company Secretary roles for FTSE100 and FTSE250 organisations. Her most recent role was Group Company Secretary at Elementis plc (FTSE250). During her career, Laura has gained a wealth of experience in the boardroom and has served as a trusted advisor to boards and executive management teams. She has experience of leadership roles in high profile corporate transactions, risk management, insurance, sustainability and diversity & inclusion. She has been recognised as a Governance HOT100 winner (Board influencer category) and is an active mentor for the Women’s Chartered Governance Association.

Her real passion is to develop high performance company secretarial and governance teams. Laura is founder of The CoSec Coach, a coaching and consultancy business which aims to advance the impact and value of the governance profession by accelerating team expertise and finding practical solutions to overcome challenge.

In addition to the coaching programmes, The CoSec Coach also offers bespoke training, team away days and workshops, project support, consultancy and effectiveness reviews. Laura is also founder and director of The CoSec Recruitment Company, a specialist recruitment agency for company secretaries and governance professionals.

Dr. Colin Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Allied Irish Bank

Dr. Colin Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Allied Irish Bank

Colin Hunt was appointed Chief Executive Officer of AIB and an Executive Director on the AIB Board in March 2019.  He joined AIB in August 2016 as Managing Director, Wholesale, Institutional & Corporate Banking Division.

Prior to joining AIB, he was Managing Director at Macquarie Capital where he led the development of its business in Ireland.  Previously, he was a Special Policy Adviser at the Departments of Transport and Finance, Research Director and Chief Economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers, Head of Trading Research and Senior Economist at Bank of Ireland Group Treasury and a country risk analyst at NatWest.

He has a PhD in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin and degrees in Commerce & Economics from University College, Cork. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Aer Lingus Group plc from 2008 to 2014. Colin is a Board member of Ibec, The Ireland Funds, Ireland Chapter, and was President 2021/2022 of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland.

John MacNamara, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Bord na Móna

John MacNamara, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Bord na Móna

John MacNamara is currently leading Bord na Móna’s Corporate Sustainability team, as the company transitions from a fossil fuel company to becoming a provider of Climate Solutions across low carbon renewable energy, the circular economy and land use management/eco-system services. John is developing and co-ordinating the implementation of Bord na Móna’s new Sustainability strategy.  Within the organisation, John is ensuring that this Sustainability strategy is woven, not just into the operating plans for each of the company’s Business Units, but also into the company’s day to day activities and overall governance framework.  Externally, John is working with stakeholders and financiers, to respectively, increase transparency and the efficacy of the company’s value chain and detailing opportunities and projects that are attractive for the deployment of sustainable funds.

One of John’s immediate and ongoing tasks is preparing the company for reporting and disclosure obligations arising from the recently introduced Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the Taxonomy Regulation. 

He holds a PhD in Chemistry, an LLB in Irish Law, and a diploma in Corporate Finance.  John is company secretary for the Electricity Association of Ireland; was previously chair of Wind Energy Ireland’s (WEI) Markets Committee and is currently a member of the Brussels based Eurelectric‘s Sustainable Finance Working Group.  John was formerly employed with the EPA as a senior scientist, as well as holding positions in the private environmental sector and latterly in Bord na Móna’s Renewable Energy division as head of regulatory and commercial affairs.

Dr. David McFadden, Legal Advisor, Companies Registration Office

Dr. David McFadden, Legal Advisor, Companies Registration Office

David is a solicitor with almost 30 years of professional practice. He trained and worked in private practice before joining the Chief State Solicitor’s Office in 1997, working in the Criminal Division of that office. A short stint in the Revenue Solicitor’s Office specialising in prosecutorial work was followed by over 14 years as the solicitor and legal advisor to the Competition Authority.

Whilst working at the Competition Authority, David personally lead the investigation into the Heating Oil Cartel. As lead investigator, David was responsible for planning the investigation, conducting searches of business premises, interviewing witnesses and suspects and gave evidence before two jury trials. This case resulted in the conviction on indictment of 18 companies and individuals for their part in a price fixing conspiracy. These were the first such convictions by jury trial in either Ireland or Europe.

David has a Ph.D. in law from Trinity College and has published widely on legal subjects, including two books on Competition Law. David joined the Companies Registration Office in early 2015 in the run up to the commencement of the Companies Act 2014.

Elaine Nolan, Assistant Registrar, The Register of Beneficial Ownership

Elaine Nolan, Assistant Registrar, The Register of Beneficial Ownership

Elaine Nolan has an extensive career in the civil service including Revenue and OPW. She joined the RBO in 2018 and was involved from the start of the RBO register. Elaine was appointed to Assistant Registrar of the RBO in October 2022.

Mairead O'Connor, Skills Development Senior Manager, The Wheel

Mairead O'Connor, Skills Development Senior Manager, The Wheel

Mairead manages the skills development team at The Wheel, Ireland’s national association of charities, community organisations and social enterprises. The skills team coordinates The Wheel's varied capacity-building activities. These include an extensive training and events calendar, various skills-building projects & initiatives and The Wheel's engagement with the national skills agenda and stakeholders.

Mairead also works with various stakeholders across the sector, national policy-makers and the education and training sector to ensure that nonprofit organisations of all types, and those that work for them, are well served by the state's skills development infrastructure.

Aedin O'Leary, Independent Non-Executive Director, Investment & ESG Consultant

Aedin O'Leary, Independent Non-Executive Director, Investment & ESG Consultant

Aedin serves on the boards of TG4, Charities Institute Ireland, The Irish Youth Foundation, Haven Green Investment Management and ASK Investment ICAV. She is also the Co-Founder and Director of The Green Team Network (a collaborative forum for the Irish Funds industry to play its part in tackling climate change). Aedin is Chair the ESG Working Group at the Irish Fund Directors Association and member of the Central Bank of Ireland’s Climate Risk & Sustainable Finance forum, where representatives from banking, investment, insurance and other sectors of the financial services industry sit together to build a shared approach in understanding and managing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change.

Further to the above, Aedin is an ESG / sustainability practitioner and advocate. She Provides ESG training for boards, senior management and staff, creates courses and is a guest lecturer (Instititute of Banking, Institute of Directors, Insurance Institute Ireland). Aedin is a Frequent moderator & panellist (e.g. Business Post ESG Summit, Chartered Governance Institute, UCITs & AIFMD Conference, 100 Women in Finance, Law Society of Ireland, GRC World Forum ESG Conferences); and has written a number of Articles / Opinion pieces (“ESG Digest”, Institute of Directors).

Jillian O’Sullivan, Partner – Corporate Compliance, Grant Thornton

Jillian O’Sullivan, Partner – Corporate Compliance, Grant Thornton

Jillian is a partner in Grant Thornton, as part of her role she leads the Company Secretarial offering for Grant Thornton Ireland, one of the leading professional services firms in Ireland.

Jillian is a fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland and also chairs the company secretarial practice committee and a member of the Governance and Nomination Committee. Jillian holds diplomas in Commercial law and Corporate Governance from the Law Society of Ireland together with a Diploma in Taxation from the Irish Institute of Tax.

Maureen O’Sullivan, Registrar, Companies Registration Office

Maureen O’Sullivan, Registrar, Companies Registration Office

Maureen O’Sullivan was appointed to the roles of Registrar of Companies and Registrar of Friendly Societies in March 2015.

Ms O’Sullivan joined the Department of Industry & Commerce in 1991 has served in the Department of the Taoiseach, the Competition Authority and the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment. She served in the Companies Registration Office and the company law area earlier in her career and subsequently in a number of senior roles in the Industrial Relations, Labour Market Policy, Human Resources and Workplace Relations areas.

Since her appointment as Registrar of Companies and Registrar of Friendly Societies, Maureen has overseen the implementation of the Companies Act 2014, the introduction of mandatory electronic filing and implementation of a new modern IT platform for the Companies Registration Office and the Registry of Friendly Societies. 

Maureen was appointed as the new Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Co-Operatives in July 2019 and oversaw the opening of Register for filing on 29th July 2019.

Ms O’Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Business Studies degree, Certificates in Public Management and Public Sector Human Resources and a Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance. She has been a Board Member of the European Business Registers Association since June 2021.

Ann Shiels, Founder, FinLexSus

Ann Shiels, Founder, FinLexSus

Ann Shiels established FinLexSus in January 2022, a sustainable finance regulatory business, working with regulated fund management companies and asset managers to upskill on, understand and implement EU sustainable finance regulatory requirements. Ann worked in the Irish funds and regulated financial services industry for over 20 years, mainly as a qualified solicitor in a large Irish corporate practice. Ann holds a certificate in Sustainable Finance from the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability leadership, is a Green Team Network executive member and is a Certified Investment Fund Director (CIFD).

Ann has lectured in sustainable finance at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Institute of Bankers in Ireland. She contributed the Ireland jurisdiction section in the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative and Climate Governance Initiative’s Primer on Climate Change: Directors' Duties and Disclosure Obligations.  Ann has co-designed the content of and delivered a professional diploma in sustainable finance for compliance professionals, the first of its kind globally.

Jennifer Sundberg, co-CEO, Board Intelligence

Jennifer is co-CEO of Board Intelligence, the mission-led technology firm she co-founded in 2009 to transform boards and leadership teams into a powerful driver of performance and a force for good.

Jennifer began her career in strategy consulting and is a serial entrepreneur, having founded her first business in her early 20s. She holds an MA from Cambridge University and The Judge Business School. Jennifer is a regular speaker at conferences and events, and previously held a regular column with Management Today. She has played a vocal role in shaping governance best practice in the UK and internationally, and has won numerous awards including EY London Entrepreneur of the Year, LDC’s ‘Ones to Watch’, which celebrates the leaders of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses, and The Times Young Business Woman of the Year.

Together with co-CEO Pippa Begg, Jennifer is the author of ‘Collective Intelligence: How to build a business that’s smarter than you’. Described as "an essential guide" by New York Times bestselling author Daniel H. Pink, the book has also been featured in the Financial Times.

Date:

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Location:

Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin

CPD:

6 hours

Price:

Non-members €449.00
Professional subscribers €449.00
Members €399.00
Student €225.00

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