Speakers

Danny McCoy
Danny McCoy CEO, Ibec

“In creating a big vision for either a society or a business, people have to see their role and contribution as both valued and realisable.”CEO (2009 to date). President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Engineers, member of the Export Trade Council and the OECD-BIAC working group on Corporate Taxation. Extensive academic career, including positions at DCU, University College London, University of Oxford and TCD.

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Julie Sweet
Julie Sweet Chief Executive Officer, Accenture

Julie Sweet is chief executive officer of Accenture.
Prior to becoming CEO in September 2019, Julie served as chief executive officer of Accenture’s business in North America. Before that, she was Accenture’s general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer.

Julie serves on the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees, the Board of the Business Roundtable, for which she chairs the Technology Committee, and the boards of Catalyst, the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities – Bridges from School to Work.

Julie joined Accenture in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.



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Paul Polman
Paul Polman Co-Founder and Chair of IMAGINE

Paul Polman is Co-founder and Chair of IMAGINE, a social venture which mobilises business leaders around tackling climate change and global inequality. Paul is the Honorary Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, Chair of The B Team and Saïd Business School and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact. A leading proponent that business should be a force for good, he has been described by the Financial Times as "a standout CEO of the past decade”.

As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), he demonstrated that a long-term, multi-stakeholder model goes hand-in-hand with excellent financial performance. Paul was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel which developed the Sustainable Development Goals, and as an active SDG Advocate he continues to work with global organisations and across industry to push the 2030 development agenda.’

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Christa Davies 
Christa Davies  CFO & Executive Vice President of Global Finance, Aon 

Christa Davies serves as Executive Vice President, Global Finance, and Chief Financial Officer for Aon plc. She joined Aon in November 2007 as Executive Vice President, Global Finance, and became Chief Financial Officer in March 2008.In her role as CFO, Christa oversees Aon’s global financial operations. She has helped manage the firm’s two largest mergers: Benfield Group in 2008 and Hewitt Associates in 2010, as well as the relocation of Aon’s headquarters to London in 2012.Before joining Aon, Christa worked for Microsoft from 2002 to 2007 and held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, including her last role as Chief Financial Officer of the Platform and Services Division, the largest and most profitable division within the company.Christa is a graduate in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Queensland in Australia, and as a Fulbright Scholar, earned her M.B.A. from Harvard University.

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Matthew Harrington
Matthew Harrington Global President & COO Elderman

Matthew Harrington is the Global President and Chief Operating Officer at Edelman, an industry-leading communications firm that partners with businesses and organisations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.In concert with his oversight of global operations, Matthew advises leaders of some of the world’s largest and most complex companies on corporate positioning, reputation management, crisis communications, merger and acquisition, and IPOs. His articles on trust and executive leadership have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Fortune and other leading business publications. Matthew is a graduate of Denison University, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. He is an advisory member of the Marketing 50 and serves on the boards of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Classic Stage Company, and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication’s Board of Advisors.

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Imelda Hurley
Imelda Hurley CEO, Coillte

Imelda Hurley was appointed CEO of Coillte in November 2019. With over one million acres under management, Coillte is Ireland’s largest forester and provider of outdoor recreation space. It also enables approximately one-third of Ireland’s wind-energy, processes forestry by-products and undertakes nature rehabilitation projects of scale. Imelda also serves as a Non-Executive Director at Total Produce Plc and as a Board Member at IBEC.

She has extensive executive and non-executive experience in public company, state owned, private equity and venture capital backed businesses and has gained that experience in multiple geographies including Ireland, UK, Eastern Europe, Hong Kong and China. Her previous roles include Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer at Origin Enterprises plc, Chief Financial Officer & Head of Sustainability at PCH International, Group Finance Director at Greencore Group plc, Non-Executive Director of Valeo Foods and Board Member at Ervia.

Imelda is a Chartered Accountant and an alumna of Harvard Business School.

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Alastair Blair
Alastair Blair Ibec President and Country Managing Director, Accenture in Ireland

Alastair Blair is country managing director for Accenture in Ireland. A senior managing director in the company, he also sits on the UK and Ireland Leadership Team. In his role, Alastair has overall responsibility for the growth and success of Accenture’s business in Ireland. Accenture has been operating in Ireland for over 50 years and is a major local employer with approximately 4,500 people serving clients across multiple industries. Ireland is home to The Dock, Accenture’s flagship R&D and Global Innovation Centre based in Dublin, as well as Accenture’s Corporate Services Hub which services the firm’s internal operations globally.

Alastair joined Accenture in 1987 and, during his career, has held a number of senior roles with a particular focus on the financial services sector. He has extensive knowledge of business strategy and driving organisational change through innovation and agility and has worked with many major organisations in the UK, Ireland and the Middle East & Europe on a broad range of strategic and innovation led change initiatives.

Alastair serves as President of IBEC, a role he took up in September 2020. He is a board member of Business to Arts and chairs the Agri-Food Inclusion and Diversity Council. Alastair previously chaired the Worker of the Future Leaders Group for Business in the Community Ireland – a group which Accenture continues to actively support. He is committed to leveraging Accenture’s capabilities & skills to have a positive impact on the broader economy in Ireland. He is passionate about Ireland’s talent agenda and in particular ensuring the country’s youth are well equipped and digital ready for future jobs through a highly adaptable education system.

Alastair is a strong believer in the value of inclusion and diversity and in driving a culture of equality, where a person can bring their whole self into the workplace. He is instrumental in driving Accenture’s goal of a 50:50 gender balanced workforce by 2025.

Alastair is also sponsor of Accenture’s Corporate Citizenship programme, which he drives with great passion given the vital nature of this area which is increasingly front and centre for Accenture and its clients. Accenture is proud to have received Business in the Community’s Business Working Responsibly mark for the 4th time in 2019 underscoring our commitment to sustainability to our employees, clients and suppliers.

Alastair holds a degree in Electronic Engineering from Trinity College

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Karina Litvack
Karina Litvack Non-Executive Director, Eni, and Founder, Chapter Zero

Karina serves on the boards of Italian Oil & Gas major Eni S.p.A., where she chairs the Sustainability & Scenarios Committee, and serves on the Remuneration Committee; Viridor Waste Management Limited, a KKR portfolio company, where she chairs the Board Sustainability Committee; the CFA Institute, home of the professional qualification for investment management professionals; and Business for Social Responsibility, a consultant specialising in sustainable business practice.

She is an Executive Board Director of Chapter Zero, and serves on the Senior Advisory Panel of oil & mining consultant Critical Resource and the Advisory Council of Transparency International UK. Previously, Karina had a 25-year career in Finance, latterly running the Governance and Sustainable Investment activities of UK asset manager F&C Investments.

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Leisha Daly 
Leisha Daly  Senior Director Government Affairs, Supply Chain EMEA, J & J

Leisha Daly is Senior Director for Government Affairs & Policy for J&J Supply
Chain in EMEA and for J&J Campus Ireland, a role she assumed in September
2018.  For the previous 10 years, Leisha was Country Director of Janssen, the pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson.

Leisha started her 20-year career at J&J as Head of Medical Affairs at Janssen,
and led in several senior positions in medical, sales and marketing management.
 In her role as Country Director, Leisha successfully led Janssen through the economic downturn to become the fastest growing pharmaceutical company and the 5th largest pharmaceutical company in Ireland.

Leisha served as President of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) from
2014-2016. In this role, she led industry talks with the State, and secured a
pivotal four-year Framework Supply Agreement that offers stability in the
supply of medicines to Irish patients and their treating clinicians. She is a
member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland and chairs
their Sustainability Taskforce.  She is also a member of the board of Business in The Community Ireland and a member of the Institute of Directors.  Leisha is a
member of Ibec’s National Council & chairs Ibec’s Energy & Climate
Committee.

Leisha is Chairman of the J&J Campus Ireland group, an entity which seeks to combine
the strengths and expertise of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.  A strong advocate for the empowerment and advancement of women in the workforce, Leisha is the J&J WiSTEM2D Ireland Programme Sponsor.  This is a significant collaborative education programme in partnership with the University of Limerick & UCC, that supports and encourages women to pursue educational opportunities in STEM subjects.  Leisha
is also a member of the Advisory Council of Balance for Better Business.

She was recognised as one of the Top 25 most powerful businesswomen in Ireland by
the Women’s Executive Network in 2016 and in 2018 was recognised by the IMI
with a Life Fellowship Award for her contribution to Irish Management.

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Alistair Phillips-Davies
Alistair Phillips-Davies CEO, SSE plc

Alistair has been with SSE since 1997 and possesses a detailed knowledge of each business area having held a variety of senior roles within the Company. Prior to joining the Board in 2002 as Energy Supply Director, Alistair was Director of Corporate Finance and Business Development. In 2010, he became Generation and Supply Director, before Deputy Chief Executive in 2012, then Chief Executive in 2013.

Alistair’s career progression has supported the development of sound leadership skills and a considered and strategic approach to business deliberations. He has a detailed understanding of the energy markets in Great Britain and Ireland, including the trends and factors which can have a material impact on the operating context, such as the political and regulatory environment. He also holds a broad knowledge of markets across Europe as former Vice President of Eurelectric.

Through regular and proactive engagement, he understands stakeholder views and concerns, and continues to provide focus to people development and efficient operations in order to develop SSE’s capabilities for future growth.

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Éamon Ó Cuív
Éamon Ó Cuív Partner - Finance, McCann FitzGerald

Éamon Ó Cuív, Partner at McCann FitzGerald, advises clients on a wide range of financing transactions including corporate lending, debt capital markets and structured finance. Éamon has been involved in many of the key green and sustainable finance initiatives in Ireland over the past number of years, including advising the National Treasury Management Agency on the landmark issuance of Ireland’s first sovereign green bond in 2018.

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Katherine White
Katherine White Chief Talent Officer, Spencer Stuart

Katherine White is the Chief Talent Officer of Spencer Stuart and has served on the firm’s global leadership team for the last 7 years. She has overall responsibility for leading the firm’s people functions, including recruitment, engagement and development. Like many People/HR leaders she has been at the heart of the firm’s work this past year to adapt and meet the needs of the team as the firm has navigated the pandemic.

Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Katherine spent 12 years with Boston Consulting Group, starting on the consulting team and went on to join the firm’s People Team, serving as people lead for Western Europe and South America. Earlier in her career, Katherine worked for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Chicago and worked primarily with food retail clients.

She earned her MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with high honours and has a degree in engineering from Magdalene College, Cambridge, as well as a diploma in organisational behaviour from Birkbeck College at the University of London.

Katherine is now based in London after many years living overseas in the US, Eastern Europe and the Far East.

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Fernando Vicario
Fernando Vicario CEO, Bank of America Europe

Fernando Vicario is Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America’s lead European banking entity, Bank of America Europe DAC. Fernando Vicario was formerly head of Corporate and Investment Banking for the European Union (EU) and head of Corporate Banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), at BofA Securities, roles he has held since February 2020 and 2012 respectively. Fernando has worked for Bank of America for over 25 years across multiple roles including head of Corporate Banking for Financial Institutions in Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia), head of EMEA Global Product Solutions, head of EMEA and Latin America Corporate Banking and co-head of EMEA Debt Capital Markets and Corporate Banking. Over the years he has led a significant number of growth initiatives across EMEA in these roles. Fernando sits on the EMEA regional executive committee and is the co-sponsor of Bank of America’s EMEA Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Group. Fernando sits on the EMEA regional executive committee and is the co-sponsor of Bank of America’s EMEA Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Group. A native of Pforzheim, Germany and a Spanish national, Fernando obtained a degree in Banking and Finance (Bankbetriebswirt) from the Hochschule fuer Bankwirtschaft/Bankakademie in Frankfurt, Germany. He is fluent in English, German and Spanish and has a good command of Portuguese

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Patrick Burke
Patrick Burke CEO, Irish Life Investment Managers

Patrick sits on the Irish Life Group Senior Leadership Team and is Chief Executive Officer of Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM). ILIM is Ireland’s largest asset manager with €100bn in AuA having grown its international client base to c.40% with core investment capabilities in multi-asset portfolios, quant, fixed income & indexation strategies and as Ireland’s largest landlord in commercial, retail and residential real estate. Patrick sits on the Irish Life Group Senior Leadership Team and is Chief Executive Officer of Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM). ILIM is Ireland’s largest asset manager with €100bn in AuA having grown its international client base to c.40% with core investment capabilities in multi-asset portfolios, quant, fixed income & indexation strategies and as Ireland’s largest landlord in commercial, retail and residential real estate.

Irish Life has been a leader in Sustainability and Responsible Investing in Ireland having first signed as member of UNPRI in 2010 and is committed to applying ESG principles to 100% of its discretionary portfolios including its flagship MAPS funds. With over €22bn of AuM in Responsible Investment strategies (up from €15bn at year-end 2019) ILIM provides investment solutions to wholesale, institutional and retail investors which focus on the risk and return requirements of that diverse Customer base.

Prior to joining ILIM, Patrick was a Director and professional trustee at Irish Pensions Trust Limited having previously served as Corporate Lawyer to Mercer Ltd. Patrick is past-Chair of Pensions Europe, past Chair of the Irish Association of Pension Funds and has previously served as Chairman of the Irish Trustee Forum. A Solicitor by profession, he is also an Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute and an Associate of the Irish Institute of Pension Managers. He holds a primary Degree in Commerce from University College Dublin.

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Kieran Cuddihy
Kieran Cuddihy Event MC & Broadcaster

Kieran Cuddihy, is a broadcaster and qualified solicitor. Kieran presents The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk every weekday. The show is a lively mix of news, current affairs, politics, sport and human interest stories. Prior to The Hard Shoulder, Kieran presented The Breakfast Show with Shane Coleman and On the Record.

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Caroline Casey
Caroline Casey Founder, The Valuable 500

Caroline Casey is an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of The Valuable 500 - a catalyst for an inclusion revolution that exists to position disability equally on the global business leadership agenda. 

Committed to building a global movement on inclusive business for the 1.3 billion people in the world with a disability, over the past two decades she has set up several organisations and initiatives centred on disability business inclusion. 

Her latest initiative, The Valuable 500, is a campaign to get 500 businesses to commit to put disability inclusion on their leadership agendas.  Launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Summit in 2019, Casey succeeded in bringing disability inclusion onto the main stage at DAVOS for the first time ever with the support of global business leaders. 

The Valuable 500 is supported by a host of global leaders including Sir Richard Branson, and Paul Polman, and global brands including Microsoft and Sky. 

Casey is also a TED speaker, Ashoka Fellow, Eisenhower Fellow, a past advisor for the Clinton Global Initiative, a One Young World Counsellor and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

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