Business News

CFO 100 Index 2021 in association with Sia Partners – Part 1

By Business & Finance
09 December 2021
B&F Feature Image CFO 2021

The Business & Finance CFO 100 Index 2021, in association with Sia Partners, recognises the top 100 Chief Financial Officers working across some of the most innovative companies in Ireland and the UK today.

To launch this Index, Business & Finance is hosting a virtual thought leadership panel discussion on the key issues facing the CFO today. The theme is: The Evolving Role of the CFO, the importance of flexible business models and investment in technology in an unpredictable world. 

Business & Finance Managing Editor Sarah Freeman opened the event and was followed by David Cass, Partner, Sia Partners, who delivered a keynote Partner Address.

Watch the CFO 100 Index Webinar on-demand video.

To download the full list, please click here.

Here is Part 1 of a four-part Index.

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

David Arnold, Chief Financial Officer,
Grafton Group

David Arnold joined the Board and the Group as Group Chief Financial Officer on 9 September 2013. He was Group Finance Director of Enterprise plc, the UK Maintenance and Support Services business, from 2010 to 2013 and Finance Director of Redrow plc, the house builder, from 2003 to 2010. He previously held senior financial positions with Six Continents plc, the hotels group and Tarmac plc, the building materials company.

Basil Blakeney, Finance Director,

basil blakeneyBasil Blakeney is the Finance Director and Site Director at AbbVie Limited (formerly Abbott Laboratories), and has held these positions for over 15 years. He is a qualified member of both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Associates of the Irish Tax Institute (AITI). In 2017, Blakeney successfully received his Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. He is a board member of Allergan Ltd.

Ken Bowles, Chief Financial Officer,
Smurfit Kappa

ken bowlesKen Bowles is the Group Chief Financial Officer at Smurfit Kappa since April 2016, and was appointed a Director in December 2016. In this role, Bowles holds direct responsibility for all internal and external reporting requirements, from both a management and statutory perspective for Smurfit Kappa. He joined Smurfit Kappa in 1994 and has occupied a number of finance roles in various parts of the Group. In 2004, he was appointed as the Group’s first Head of Compliance, in 2007 he became the Group’s Head of Tax, and in 2010 he was appointed Group Financial Controller. Bowles is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants and holds a first class MBA from the UCD Graduate School of Business.

Brendan Brennan, Chief Financial Officer,

Brendan Brennan Brendan Brennan has served as Chief Financial Officer since February 2012. Brennan has developed his career over the last 22 years from experience in various industries. Brennan joined ICON in 2006 and he has served in a number of senior finance roles in the Company including the role of Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance. Prior to joining ICON, Brennan developed his corporate finance experience in Cement Roadstone Holdings, a major Irish building materials organisation. Brennan qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Dublin City University. Over his years in the CRO industry, Brennan has been involved in many industry organisations and developments including ACRO (Association of Clinical Research Organisations) where he was the founding Chairman of the industry CFO round table group, a group formed to aid CROs dealing with the various industry challenges. Brennan held the position of Chairman of the round table from its foundation in 2017 to December 31, 2019.

Pat Brennan, Chief Financial Officer,

pat brennanPat Brennan is Chief Financial Officer at Novartis. Novartis Ireland business includes the Global Service Centre, Sales and Marketing business units in Dublin, and Manufacturing and Services in Cork. Brennan has worked with Novartis for the past 18 years in various finance and business roles in Switzerland, Turkey, and Ireland. Pat Brennan gained experience prior to Novartis with ArcelorMittal, as well as in the motor industry, real estate in Chicago, and Sourcing and SCM roles in the food manufacturing industry. Brennan holds a Master of Science in Global Business Services from Smurfit Business School UCD along with an Accounting degree from the Cork Institute of Technology, and he is a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA).

Simon Brett, Chief Financial Officer,

Simon Brett is the Chief Financial Officer at Providence. He has been working with the company since 2008, where he began his career as a Group Financial Controller/Corporate Accountant before being appointed as CFO in 2012. Before joining Providence, Brett held senior finance positions with Damovo, Coca Cola, Johnson Wax, and Sega Europe.

Donal Buggy, Group Finance Director,

DonalBuggy - OrnuaDonal Buggy is Chief Financial Officer of Ornua, Ireland’s largest dairy exporter and owner of the Kerrygold brand. He is a member of the senior leadership team and is responsible for the Group’s financial functions including group financial reporting, treasury management and taxation. He also oversees business transformation and ICT. Buggy was appointed as an Executive Director of the Board of Directors of Ornua in 2020. Prior to joining Ornua, Buggy was Group Chief Financial Officer, Independent News & Media PLC (INM) and was a member of its Board and Executive Committee. He has previously served as a Non-Executive Director of APN News & Media Ltd. and several other group companies in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Buggy is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants of Ireland and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin.

Eimear Cahalin, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder,
Vivid Edge 

Eimear Cahalin - Vivid EdgeEimear Cahalin is an experienced and versatile CFO, with a passion for helping climate change. She is Co-Founder of Vivid Edge, whose mission is to help solve climate change and decarbonise the planet by applying the “as-a-service” concept to a broad range of energy efficiency products. The company helps large organisations accelerate energy efficiency upgrades and sustainability goals. Prior to Vivid Edge, Eimear was CFO of Mainstream Renewable Power, where she led the finance function from the group’s start-up to its position as the world’s leading independent pure-play renewable energy development company with a presence in four continents. She is a former member of the steering committee of RE100. Before her conversion to the world of green energy, Eimear held a number of senior finance positions in leading investment banks in the UK. Her combination of banking and green energy experience gives her excellent insights into how to make energy efficiency a more attractive proposition.

Stephen Cameron, Finance Director,

stephen cameronStephen Cameron is Finance Director at Workhuman. He was appointed to this position in July 2021, having spent over 24 years at Dell Technologies in various roles in both Ireland and Texas, US. Strengths that Stephen Cameron has gained during his career include being energetic and target-oriented, and having substantial experience delivering exceptional organisational leadership within the financial services and technology industries. He has proven career expertise in accelerating business growth, delivering enterprise level cross-functional and global programmes, leading organisational transformation, developing and deploying business solutions and improving core operations. Cameron has been consistently instrumental in driving collaboration among other high-performing and cross-industry professionals globally, delivering countless end-to-end business improvement outcomes and initiatives. He is also experienced in delivering high-worth projects within time and budgetary constraints. Cameron holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics, and a Master’s degree in Business Strategy from Ulster University.

Aaron Carroll, Finance Director,

Aaron Carroll BTAaron Carroll is Finance Director of BT Ireland, one of the country’s leading communications services companies which employs more than 650 employees and whose services underpin the operations of mid-to-large sized organisations in every sector in Ireland. Carroll, a 19-year veteran of the BT business, was appointed to the role in April 2016.

Padraig Clancy, Vice President Finance,

padraig clancyPadraig began working at biotechnology company Gilead Sciences, Inc. in 2008 as a Director Finance. He progressed to Senior Director Finance, then Executive Director Finance before being appointed Vice President Finance – Financial Shared Services in 2019. Padraig has global experience in the pharmaceutical industry across the supply chain from bulk API production, tablet manufacturing and packaging through to distribution and commercial operations. He is experienced in leading strategic organisational and operational change in complex business environments and has demonstrated ability in working with cross functional management on all areas of business to deliver results including commercial operations, budget and finance management, cost reduction programs, operational excellence initiatives and strategy formulation and planning. Padraig has proven organisational and motivational skills along with a strong record in staff development to deliver on objectives and targets.

Paul Cogan, Chief Financial Officer,

paul coganPaul Cogan joined Wisetek just over a year ago. With over 20 years financial experience, Cogan has a wealth of financial and managerial expertise which he has gained in various roles across a variety of sectors, operating both nationally and international. Graduating from the University of Limerick with a degree in Business and Accounting, Cogan spent much of his career in Diageo, having joined Guinness Ireland as a graduate in 2000. He went on to hold a number of senior finance roles with Diageo internationally, including Global Sell To Cash Director based in Budapest, and Commercial Finance Director for the Nordic Region in Copenhagen. After 15 years abroad, Cogan returned home to Ireland in 2018, and prior to joining Wisetek, spent two years as Group CFO of the Irish Times

Lorna Conn, Deputy CEO, Board Director,

CPL - Lorna ConnLorna Conn joined Cpl plc in October 2017 as Chief Financial Officer and was appointed Deputy CEO in April 2021. Conn has previously held senior roles in a number of public companies, residing in both Ireland and America during this time. Conn is a Chartered Director and placed first in Ireland in her Diploma examination. Conn is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having trained with Deloitte. Lorna graduated with first class honours in both the Bachelor of Commerce degree in University College Dublin and the Master’s in Accounting in the Michael Smurfit Business School. Conn is passionate about Ireland, as a location to live and to do business in.

Neil Corcoran, Chief Financial Officer,
Irish Life Investment Managers

neil corcoranNeil Corcoran has over 25 years of experience across financial services and has held a variety of senior finance roles covering asset management, banking and asset servicing. He joined ILIM from Bank of Ireland Group where he was Director of Group Finance. Previous roles within Bank of Ireland included CFO for the Irish Retail Division and Head of Finance for Bank of Ireland Asset Management. Neil is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management.

Stephen Craig, Chief Financial Officer,
State Street

Stephen Craig has held the role of CFO for over seven years at State Street, a global provider of financial services to institutional investors. Prior to State Street, Craig worked at Merrill Lynch as Director, and at Hedge Fund Group where he was overseeing all aspects of Financial and Operational processes. From 2004 to 20006, he worked as Director, Change Management at Deutsche Bank. Craig studied Business Economics and Accounting at the University of Southampton.

Andy Cronin, President and Chief Financial Officer,

Andy Cronin - AvolonAndy Cronin was appointed President of Avolon in July 2021. This appointment is in addition to Cronin’s role as Chief Financial Officer where he is responsible for leading the Finance and Capital Markets Teams. In this role, he has successfully led Finance and Capital Market teams through numerous capital raises, debt issuances, successfully listing Avolon on the NYSE, privatisations and subsequent corporate acquisitions. Avolon acquired Investment Grade status with Ratings Agencies in 2019. In the past 12 months alone they have raised almost $6bn in the Capital Debt Markets, at the close of Q3 2021 Avolon had total available liquidity of $6.6bn. Prior to joining Avolon, Cronin served as SVP Investor Markets at RBS Aviation Capital with responsibility for disposal, financing and debt syndication of operating lease and structured debt products to a wide pool of investors and banking communities. Before working at RBS Aviation Capital, Andy worked in numerous commercial and operational roles at FLS Aerospace. Cronin has a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master’s of Industrial Engineering, both with First Class Honours from University College Dublin.

John Dalton, Chief Financial Officer,
Bord Gáis Energy

john daltonJohn Dalton is Chief Financial Officer at Bord Gáis Energy. He is responsible for the financial leadership of the business which includes reporting, control and planning, ensuring financial statements integrity and guiding the business to define and deliver the strategic agenda. Dalton has been with Bord Gáis Energy since 2015 and joined the management team in May 2017. Prior to working with Bord Gáis Energy, Dalton worked in Centrica within the Energy Markets & Trading function. Dalton is a Chartered Accountant (ACA), has a Master’s in Financial Services (MBS) and is a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (AMCT).

Keith Davies, Chief  Financial Officer and Finance Lead,

Keith Davies - MicrosoftKeith Davies is Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft Ireland. He was appointed to the position in 2018 and sits on both the Irish Senior Leadership Team and the Western Europe Finance Leadership Team. Davies is responsible for driving and enabling sustained financial growth for Microsoft Ireland with the support and success of Microsoft’s customers and partners as the key foundations for growth. Keith joined the company in 2018, and brings extensive commercial finance leadership experience with him from a variety of senior positions held in the pharmaceutical, food manufacturing, software development and professional services industries – locally, regionally and globally. Davies holds a Bachelor of Business and Law degree from University College Dublin and is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant.

Jonathan Davies, Executive Finance Director,

Jonathan Davies - Allergan plcJonathan Davies is an experienced finance lead with a strong business and commercial focus. He has broad international industry experience and a proven track record of shaping the strategy and direction of the business to build profitable growth. Davies adds considerable value and insight to Allergan with strong commercial, analytical and communication skills. He leverages strong IT knowledge to maximise effectiveness and utilisation of systems for the business.

Frank Davis, Chief Financial Officer,
Dole Plc

Frank Davis - Doyle plc
Frank Davis has been a director and board member at Dole Plc since February 2021 and is their chief financial officer. Davis was appointed as Finance Director and to the Board of Total Produce in 2009, having previously served as the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary since 2006. Throughout his tenure at Total Produce, Davis’s astute financial stewardship, excellent management skills and strong understanding of financial systems and controls enabled the company to successfully execute the integration of numerous acquisitions across Europe and North America, all while maintaining a prudent capital structure and generating value creation for Total Produce shareholders. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a qualified barrister (Honorable Society of King’s Inn) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

James Deane, Chief Financial Officer,

james deaneJames Deane joined TransferMate in 2014 as the Financial Controller progressing to CFO for the Group. Deane has primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities of the Group. He has over 10 years of experience in the financial services sector and is ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualified.

Paula Deegan, Chief Financial Officer,
Aerospace Dublin

paula deeganPaula Deegan is the Chief Financial Officer at Dublin Aerospace. She has 12 years of experience with the company, beginning her career in 2009 as a Financial Controller before becoming the Head of Finance and then CFO. Deegan is skilled in budgeting and working within the aviation industry, having gained previous experience with SR Technics Group as a Component Services Accountant and Manager Controlling, along with FLS Aerospace and Aer Lingus. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from Dublin Institute of Technology in 1991.

Enda Devine, Finance Director and Executive Director,
IPB Insurance

Enda Devine - IPB InsuranceEnda Devine is the Finance Director and Executive Director at IPB Insurance. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland and a member of the Insurance Institute of Ireland with a diploma in Information Systems awarded by Trinity College Dublin. He has held a number of Senior Executive and Board level positions over the past 20 years in leading financial services organisations.

Geoff Doherty, Chief Financial Officer,

Geoff Doherty joined Kingspan as Chief Financial Officer in January 2011. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Geoff was previously the Chief Financial Officer of Greencore Group Plc, having previously worked in IWP International Plc, PricewaterhouseCoopers and BDO Simpson Xavier accountants in Dublin. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Financial & Cost Accounting.

Sam Dooks, Finance Director,
Caffè Nero

sam dooksSam Dooks is Finance Director at Caffè Nero UK and Ireland. He was appointed to this role in October 2017, bringing with him many years of experience from various finance roles at Tesco, Tesco PLC, and Tesco Ireland. Dooks began his career in 2001 in a Graduate programme with Tesco PLC before being appointed to Deputy Store Manager, Regional Business and Finance Manager, and continuing to rapidly work his way up through the world of finance. Dooks’ first role in the Republic of Ireland was as Head of Operations Finance at Tesco Ireland in 2010, and he was soon appointed Head of Commercial and Marketing Finance in 2013. In 2015, he was made Head of Finance at Tesco for UK and ROI FP&A, and in 2017 took on the role of Corporate Finance M&A Projects which is a position that he still holds. Dooks has a Bachelor’s degree in General Biomedical Sciences from The University of Sheffield.

Business & Finance CFO 100 (alphabetical by surname):

View part one (A-D)

View part two (D-K)

View part three (L-O)

View part four (P-W)