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 4 of a four-part Index.
David Paterson, Chief Financial Officer,
Since joining Primark as Chief Financial Officer in 2017, David Paterson has responsibility for all of Primark’s financial functions, including leading the global finance team to deliver an ongoing cost optimisation programme and driving Primark’s international expansion investment. As well as legal, risk and procurement, Paterson is also responsible for Primark’s technology function, overseeing its transformation into a best in class strategic enabler for the business. Prior to joining Primark, he was CFO at CarTrawler for over four and a half years during a period of significant transformation and growth for the business. He previously held a number of financial and strategy roles across a number of industries including TUI Travel plc, Virgin Rail Group, Deutsche Bank AG and British Airways. A graduate of the University of Leeds and London Business School, Paterson lives in Dublin and is based at Arthur Ryan House, Primark’s international headquarters.
Sinead Patton, Chief Financial and Commercial Officer,
Chief Financial and Commercial Officer of Veolia in Ireland and its Regional Director for Northern Ireland, Sinead Patton is proud of the role her organisation plays as benchmark leader of the Ecological Transformation, focused on helping organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and sustainably manage their energy, water and waste resources. Patton joined the energy division of Veolia as its Financial Controller in early 2005, holding various positions before assuming her current responsibilities across the Group’s full remit of energy, water and waste management services in 2018. Prior to joining Veolia, Patton secured a Masters in Accounting from the Michael Smurfit Business School and worked in Georgia Pacific and KPMG. She sits on the board of Business in the Community Ireland and is co-chair of its Leaders Group on Social Inclusion. In her spare time she enjoys getting out in nature, whether walking, running or cycling.
Ger Penny, Chief Financial Officer,
Ger Penny is the Chief Financial Officer of the Sisk Group, where he has led the finance and IT functions across the Group since 2005. He also serves as Chairman to the Group’s non-construction businesses. His role as CFO is wide-ranging, and he has acted as a business partner to the Sisk Group CEO and to other senior leaders across the business. He has extensive corporate finance experience and has been actively involved in the development of the Group’s healthcare diversification strategy and the subsequent acquisition, integration, and expansion of the businesses acquired. Penny is also a Chartered Director and sits on the boards of a number of companies. He spent 12 years with Diageo plc., where he held a number of senior finance, strategy and operational roles.
Carol Phelan, Chief Financial Officer,
Dalata Hotel Group
Carol Phelan is Chief Financial Officer of Dalata Hotel Group. She joined the company in November 2014 and during this time has played a leading role within the finance team, responsible for the development of the financial reporting function during a period of rapid growth and expansion. In her role as Group Head of Financial Reporting, Phelan led the refinancing of the Group’s debt facilities in 2018 and has been centrally involved in maintaining the Group’s financial strength and liquidity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Phelan is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and holds a Master of Accounting from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. In 2018, she completed INSEAD’s Women Leaders Programme and in 2019 she went on to complete the Deloitte & 30% Club Ireland’s Board Ready Programme. Prior to Dalata Hotel Group, Phelan held senior finance roles in KPMG and Ion Equity.
Lloyd Pitchford, Chief Financial Officer,
Lloyd Pitchford is the Chief Financial Officer at Experian PLC, the FTSE 100 Global Information Services company, operating in 44 countries with 20,000 employees. As well as being responsible for ensuring that global finance operations are efficient and effective, Pitchford is also the executive sponsor of Experian’s ESG programme which looks at how the business can improve performance across a wide range of environmental, social and governance matters. This includes their work helping to support financial inclusion and financial health, creating a more diverse and inclusive business for employees, and delivering on their carbon neutral commitments. He joined Experian in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Before Experian, Pitchford was the Chief Financial Officer of Intertek Group plc from 2010 to 2014 and previously spent ten years at BG Group plc – in various senior finance positions, including Group Financial Controller – and seven years at Mobil Oil.
Colm Purcell, Chief Financial Officer,
Colm Purcell is the Chief Financial Officer at Glanbia Nutritionals and has held this position since 2019. He has worked within various roles at Glanbia since 2013: Group Financial Controller, Director of Finance and Controller under Glanbia Performance Nutrition, and Senior Internal Auditor. Currently working in Kilkenny, Purcell was based in the US State of Illinois for three years in order to carry out his duties with Glanbia Performance Nutrition. Prior to his experience with Glanbia, Purcell was the Director of KPMG Ireland from 2006 to 2013, having entered the company as an audit trainee in 1999. Purcell is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate in Accounting from University College Dublin.
Darren Purkis, Chief Financial Officer,
Darren Purkis is Chief Financial Officer at Three since June 2018 having worked at the company for just over a decade, previously as deputy CFO. In addition to his traditional CFO duties, Purkis is also on the board at MBNL responsible for Three’s network share with EE, ensuring that the company can deliver an amazing customer experience while controlling its costs. Prior to joining Three, Purkis was previously finance director at Warehouse Fashions and prior to this various finance roles across the retail sector at Borders Books, Kingfisher plc and Marks & Spencer Group plc.
Peter Quinn, Chief Financial Officer,
Peter Quinn joined An Post in 2004 and has a key role in the ongoing transformation of An Post into a leading e-commerce logistics and financial services business. He is a Chartered Accountant who trained with KPMG, and has had industry experience with PJ Carroll & Co and Monaghan Mushrooms. Quinn is Chairman of An Post companies, An Post Insurance and Air Business (UK), and he is a non-executive director of the National Lottery.
Dominic Reilly, Chief Financial Officer,
Dominic Reilly was appointed Chief Financial Officer at Coillte in June 2021. He has over 10 years of experience across a number of senior finance roles within the Coillte Group, most recently as Group Finance Director since 2016. Reilly is a Chartered Accountant by profession and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting & Finance from Dublin City University. Prior to joining Coillte, he worked with PwC for eight years.
Jonathan Rockett, Chief Financial Officer,
Jonathan Rockett joined Ding in 2013 as Head of Finance before taking up the mantle of Chief Financial Officer in December 2017. Most recently in 2021, he was appointed to the Board of Ding. Rockett’s role spans Finance, Tax, Legal and also commercial teams supporting Ding’s global Partnership division. Prior to joining Ding, Rockett held senior positions at Paddy Power and PwC. He was Finance lead in the technology division at Paddy Power. Rockett spent more than five years at PwC, where he worked in both the Assurance and Transaction Services teams in Dublin. He studied in Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin Smurfit Business School, and Stanford University. He gained his Bachelor in Business and Economics from Trinity College before going on to complete a Master’s in Accountancy at University College Dublin. In 2014, he attended Stanford University where he studied Strategic Leaderships for CFOs, Strategy, Finance, and Management.
Antoine Sage, Chief Financial Officer,
Antoine Sage is the Chief Financial Officer at Schneider Electric, which he joined in 2005, and has held several leadership positions within different areas of the business and group. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Strategy for Europe Operations. During his experience, Sage has led several Finance organisations for Global Functions, French Manufacturing entities and European Industrial Cluster before becoming the Finance Vice President of Secure Power Division for both Europe and International regions. Sage holds a Master’s degree from Grenoble Business School.
David Savage, Regional Finance Director,
David Savage is Regional Finance Director at Abbott, a global healthcare device company. Prior to this, he was Senior Finance Manager at Eli Lilly and Company. He holds a Business degree in Accounting and Finance from Waterford Institute of Technology, an Executive Master of Business Administration from University College Cork, and is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant.
Anna Savage, Chief Financial Officer,
Anna Savage was appointed to the role of Chief Financial Officer at Fexco Group in October 2021. Fexco creates technology enabled solutions to deliver better outcomes for its partners with particular focus on foreign exchange, payments, and business solutions. Savage has more than 19 years of experience in banking and finance, most recently as the CFO for AIB Group (UK) plc. Prior to that she held senior positions in AIB as Head of Finance for AIB Retail Banking Ireland and Head of Group Management Reporting. Throughout her career, Savage held key roles in strategic and financial planning, mergers and acquisitions and the AIB IPO process. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CGMA) and the Irish Tax Institute
Michael Sheehan, Group Chief Financial Officer,
The Irish Times
Michael Sheehan is the Chief Financial Officer at The Irish Times & Examiner Group. He was appointed to this CFO role at The Irish Times in 2020, having previously worked at the Irish Examiner and Evening Echo since 2013. While at the Irish Examiner, Michael Sheehan held two management roles, beginning in 2018: Head of Finance and Operations, and Operations Director, where he oversaw the management of all finance, production, and operation-related functions within the Examiner Group. In this role, he placed a specific focus upon leading strategy and delivering projects. Sheehan played a key role in helping to manage change when the Irish Examiner transitioned from a print-centric business to a digitally-focused news publisher. He created an agile working environment, a necessary part of the group’s digital reorganisation, and contributed to the strategic development of the group, while maintaining overall responsibility for the management of the finance team. Prior to this experience, Michael Sheehan held various positions at Deloitte, working up from an Audit Trainee in 2008 to a Senior in Corporate Finance, and eventually an Assistant Manager in Corporate Finance by 2012. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University College Cork.
John Sheehan, Chief Financial Officer,
John Sheehan was appointed Chief Financial Officer and Director of the Group in 2021, having previously been Director of Corporate Development and Investor Relations. Prior to joining Ardagh in 2012, Sheehan spent twelve years in the equity capital markets with Investec, RBS and NCB, covering a range of sectors. Sheehan qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Aidan Skelly, Chief Financial Officer,
Aidan Skelly is the Chief Financial Officer of EirGrid Group. He has held this position since June 2005. He was also Interim Chief Executive of EirGrid Group between January 2018 and June 2018. Skelly was formerly Finance Director with Waterford Stanley Limited. He also worked with Waterford Crystal from 1987 to 2002, during which time he held a number of finance and commercial positions in Ireland and in the UK. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a Commerce graduate of University College Dublin. He also holds a Master of Business and Science in Corporate Leadership from Dublin City University.
Neil Sorahan, Group Chief Financial Officer,
Neil Sorahan was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer at Ryanair in October 2019, having previously served as Ryanair’s CFO from October 2014. Prior to this, Sorahan was Ryanair’s Finance Director since June 2006 and Treasurer from January 2003. Before joining Ryanair, he held various finance and treasury roles at CRH plc.
Monika Starzak, Managing Director, Financial Controller, and Ireland Chief Financial Officer,
Monika Starzak is currently the Financial Controller for Citibank Europe Plc (CEP) cluster and Ireland CFO with responsibilities over CEP consolidated regulatory reporting and financial controls as well as oversight over the Finance function for Ireland franchise. She joined Citi in Warsaw, Poland in March 1997 and held various roles in Finance including Bank Handlowy Financial Controller (a Citi Legal Entity with minority shareholders based in Poland and listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange), Tax Head, Strategic Cost Management and Expense processing Head for Citibank Poland. In 2017, she relocated to Dublin with her family to take over the responsibility of Citibank Europe Financial Controller. Before joining Citi, she worked in KPMG Poland Banking Audit team since September 1993. Starzak is a graduate of Warsaw University, Department of Economics and IESE Business School.
Mary Stone, Finance Director,
Mary Stone is the Finance Director of Northern Trust and head of EMEA MRPA. She has been with Northern Trust since 2005, holding positions as Head of Finance, Head of EMEA MRPA, and Finance Director before being appointed to her current role in 2014. Prior to her experience with Northern Trust, Stone was with Baring Asset Management for over 12 years, working in Financial Accountant and Head of Finance roles. She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants through Dublin Business School.
Stephen Tighe, Chief Financial Officer,
Stephen Tighe is the Chief Financial Officer of eir, the principal provider of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services in Ireland, with approximately 2 million customers and annual revenues of €1.2bn. Tighe was appointed Chief Financial Officer in April 2018. He is a senior finance executive with over 20 years of business experience. Previously, he was Finance Director for eir’s Consumer division, the largest within the Group since October 2013, and interim Chief Commercial Officer since July 2017. Prior to this, Tighe held the positions of Finance Director in both the Open eir division and Business division. He is a Chartered Accountant (CIMA) and has also completed the Corporate Finance Programme at the London Business School. Tighe and the team support and drive the business in delivery of the company financial and operating plans. The team also manages all Corporate Finance activity, Financial Control and Reporting, Investor Relations, Internal Audit, Property, Pensions and Procurement.
Dan Twomey, Senior Vice President & General Manager,
Dell Financial Services
Dan Twomey has been part of the Dell Technologies team for the last 24 years, holding a range of finance leadership roles covering manufacturing, operations, commercial, sales, and financial planning. Since 2019, Twomey has been the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Dell Financial Services and is the Managing Director of Dell Bank International. He is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the University of Limerick.
Richard Watton, Director of Finance,
Richard Watton is a CIMA qualified accountant with extensive knowledge of the telecoms and media industries. He joined Sky in 2007 from EMI music and has held various roles in the organisation, ranging from Content Syndication to Broadband. Watton has experience working in the UK and mainland Europe. In January 2020, he took on the role of CFO at Sky Ireland, the largest Pay TV provider in the country, where his remit covers the financial performance and commercial strategy of the business. Prior to his career in finance, Richard held roles in IT consultancy and Managed Services.
Pádraig Whelton, Financial Controller,
Pádraig Whelton is Financial Controller at Expleo Group, where he manages the financial aspects of the Irish business. Whelton is Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualified, with senior financial management experience within the telecoms sector. During his career, he has led the Business Partner team of nine accountants, he led financial reporting function for a £650m turnover business, has 12 years of management experience, and restructured BT Ireland’s reporting function and overhauled financial systems and controls.
Philip White, Chief Financial Officer,
Philip White is the Chief Financial Officer at Diaceutics PLC. White currently heads up the global finance team and investor relations programme. Having led the public listing of Diaceutics in March 2019 which resulted in a gross capital raise of £17 million and a subsequent further fundraising in May 2020 for £20.5 million gross capital. The current corporate market capital of Diaceutics PLC is circa £100m. White has over fifteen years financial experience as a finance director and is responsible for the financial and risk management of Diaceutics PLC, including business planning, financial reporting and analysis, investment resource prioritisation, and the development of a best-in-class finance organisation for a company with 130 employees in 20 countries across the key pharmaceutical regions of US, Europe, and Asia. He has a LLB in Law and Accounting from Queens University Belfast, a diploma in Accounting, certificate in International Financial Reporting Standards, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and also a fellow member of the Institute of Directors. White has completed the Senior Executive Programme and Merger and Acquisition programme at London Business School.
Business & Finance CFO 100 (alphabetical by surname):