New and notable appointments at the Irish Asset and Invoice Finance Association, Musgrave Wholesale Partners, Comtrade, Dell Ireland, and Irish Banking Culture Board

By Business & Finance
27 February 2020
Pictured: David Avery, Chairperson, Irish Asset and Invoice Finance Association

This week sees new and notable appointments at the Irish Asset and Invoice Finance Association, Musgrave Wholesale Partners, Comtrade, Dell Ireland, and Irish Banking Culture Board.

David Avery and Mark O’Rourke, Chairperson and Vice Chairperson (respectively)
Irish Asset and Invoice Finance Association

The Irish Asset and Invoice Finance Association (IAIFA), the representative body for the Invoice Finance and asset-based lending industry in Ireland, has appointed David Avery, Head of Commercial Finance at AIB, as Chairperson of the organisation. Mark O’Rourke, Managing Director of Bibby Financial Services Ireland has been appointed Vice Chairperson.

Formerly known as Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), the industry body has been re-named as the Irish Asset and Invoice Finance Association (IAIFA) and members include high street banks and a number of independent specialist finance providers.

“We want to create awareness of this financial solution and its ability to unlock funding to provide working capital to support growth”

The organisation provides a collective voice for the industry, promoting the wider benefits of invoice and asset based lending solutions and ensuring that appropriate standards are upheld across all members. The organisation is also a source of information for those wanting to know more about the industry’s products and services.

Avery is a Qualified Financial Advisor and has 25 years Invoice Finance experience, working initially for Lloyds Commercial Finance and latterly Bank of Scotland Cashflow Finance in the UK, where he held senior roles in risk and relationship management and sales.  David joined AIB Commercial Finance, upon relocating to Ireland, as Head of Business Development and subsequently as Head of AIB Commercial Finance since 2017.

Commenting on his new position, Avery says: “As chairperson of the IAIFA my goal is to broaden the understanding of invoice and asset-based lending across SME’s in Ireland. We want to create awareness of this financial solution and its ability to unlock funding to provide working capital to support growth, as well as its contribution to assisting in successful acquisitions and MBOs.

“Equally, as Brexit materialises, such finance can help to provide certainty of funding and enable Irish businesses to navigate a challenging economic environment.”

Mark O’Rourke, who has been appointed Vice Chairperson of the IAIFA, has 20+ years of experience in the Irish banking sector. He is currently the Managing Director at Bibby Financial Services Ireland.

Michael McCormack, Managing Director
Musgrave Wholesale Partners

Musgrave has announced the appointment of Michael McCormack as the Managing Director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners. McCormack is currently Managing Director of Musgrave in Northern Ireland and will take up his new role on 2 March, succeeding Noel Keeley who became CEO of Musgrave Group at the start of this year.

McCormack is currently MD of Musgrave in Northern Ireland. In this role he has delivered significant sales growth for the SuperValu, Centra and Mace brands in Northern Ireland.  Michael first joined Musgrave in 2007 and has held senior positions in the Wholesale Foodservice business prior to joining the business in Northern Ireland in 2015.

Michael McCormack, Managing Director, Musgrave Wholesale Partners

Commenting on his appointment, Musgrave CEO Noel Keeley said: “We are very pleased to appoint Michael McCormack as Managing Director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners. He has led significant growth in our business in Northern Ireland as part of our Growing Good Business strategy.

“With Michael’s leadership, Musgrave is ideally placed to respond to exciting opportunities in the wholesale and foodservice sectors. This includes meeting the demand for changing food tastes and leveraging our digital technology to deliver world-class customer experiences.”

Musgrave Wholesale Partners is the leading wholesale and foodservice business for retailers and SMEs and it is a one-stop shop for the growing hotel, catering and restaurant sector across the island of Ireland. Recent acquisitions include the fine food specialist La Rousse Foods and drinks distributor Drinks Inc.

Prior to joining Musgrave, McCormack held a number of domestic and international roles with Statoil, including Vice President Customer Offer where he was responsible for Statoil Europe’s shop and forecourt brand portfolio. He holds an MBA from the Michael Smurfit Business School and he is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants.

Boris Cergol, Head of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Comtrade Digital Services, the leading provider of software engineering services and solutions, has announced the appointment of Boris Cergol as Head of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Cergol brings extensive experience in AI research and implementation to this position.

In this newly created role, Cergol will be responsible for spearheading the company’s AI division and shaping its strategy, including identifying new markets and extending the service offering. Boris will oversee both the delivery of AI projects in production and research and development projects.

He will also manage the AI Collective, Comtrade Digital Services’ growing network of academic institutions and start-up companies, and assist in attracting new talent to further expand the internal team of data scientists and machine learning engineers utilising AI to help customers.

Boris Cergol, Head of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Comtrade

With extensive experience working with businesses who were early adopters of AI across various industries – including finance, insurance, technology, retail, manufacturing and energy – Cergol possesses in-depth expertise in helping clients to overcome challenges and identify relevant solutions to support their requirements.

Prior to this new role, Cergol was CEO and CTO at AI consulting and implementation group, Ektimo. There, he led the expansion of the company and grew its revenues significantly. He has also previously held research positions in the IT and financial services sectors, as well as in academic institutions.

Cergol holds an undergraduate degree in theoretical mathematics and a PhD in mathematical statistics. He maintains a presence within academia and continues to mentor students who are working on their master’s degrees.

Dejan Ćušić, Business Director for Ireland and the UK, Comtrade Digital Services, said: “Boris’ experience in building, developing and inspiring technical teams will be central to ensuring that we continue to deliver innovative and high-quality AI solutions for our clients. He will be a valued member of the Comtrade Digital Services team and will help us to consolidate our position as a market leader in this field.”

Jason Ward, Vice President and Managing Director
Dell Ireland

Dell Technologies has appointed Jason Ward, Vice President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies Ireland. In this newly created leadership position, Ward will assume overall responsibility for the commercial and enterprise businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Ward will be focused on delivering solutions to public and private sector organisations of all sizes throughout the island of Ireland – helping them to leverage the latest technologies in areas such as Digital Transformation, Cloud Managed Service, AI, 5G and Multi-Cloud to support their transformation goals and overarching business agenda. Jason will also take the lead on delivering Dell’s 2030 goals in Ireland to advance sustainability, cultivate inclusion and transform lives through the power of technology. Realising these goals supports the company’s mission to drive human progress and accelerate business transformation.

“The team here at Dell Technologies are well positioned to provide market leading solutions to our customers which will help them navigate change, identify opportunities and fundamentally embrace a digital future.”

With over thirty years’ experience, Ward has held several leadership positions within Dell Technologies and prior to that with EMC. He assumes the Irish MD role from his position as Managing Director of Enterprise in the Nordics for Dell Technologies where he was responsible for doubling revenue for the enterprise business across the region. Before that he held the role of Director of Enterprise Sales for EMC across Ireland and UK.

Speaking today Jason Ward, Managing Director, Dell Technologies Ireland said: “I’m delighted to take up the role of Managing Director at such an important time for Dell Technologies in Ireland. Despite the current strong performance of the economy, companies and organisations continue to face significant challenges and opportunity in the year ahead.

“The team here at Dell Technologies are well positioned to provide market leading solutions to our customers which will help them navigate change, identify opportunities and fundamentally embrace a digital future. Working with our global and regional experts in our campuses in Cork, Limerick and Dublin we are uniquely positioned to deliver real impact for our customers.”

Ward’s appointment follows a recent decision by the company to integrate and simplify its sales structure globally. These changes have led to the appointment of Aongus Hegarty as President of International Markets responsible for all markets outside of North America and Adrian McDonald to EMEA President for Dell Technologies with responsibility for all businesses, including PCs, server, storage and services, across the Europe Middle East & Africa region. Mark Hopkins, former General Manager of the Commercial business in Ireland, has been appointed VMware Director for the Western Europe region at Dell Technologies.

Connect with Dell Technologies Ireland by following @DellTechIreland

Connect with Jason Ward by following @JasonWardmc

Marion Kelly, Chief Executive Officer
Irish Banking Culture Board

Marion Kelly has been appointed to the role of chief executive officer of the Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB) following an open recruitment competition.

Kelly had been acting chief executive of the IBCB since it was established in mid-2019. Prior to joining the IBCB, Kelly spent over 13 years working in various executive roles in Bank of Ireland. Previously, she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dublin as well as the European Savings Banks Group and the European Commission in Brussels.

Marion Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Banking Culture Board

Commenting on the appointment, IBCB chairman Mr Justice John Hedigan said: “We were greatly impressed by the quality of the candidates who applied for the role of IBCB chief executive. It became very clear that the post was much sought after. It was our unanimous view that Marion was the outstanding candidate. I and the board are looking forward to working with Marion in delivering on the IBCB’s objectives of rebuilding trust in the banking sector through demonstrating a change in behaviour and culture.”

Kelly said: “It has been a privilege to have been involved with the IBCB since its inception and I am delighted to be appointed to the role of chief executive. I look forward to continuing my work with the chairman, the board, and all IBCB stakeholders, in particular bank customers and staff. Our extensive work programme is focused on improving culture and behaviour within the Irish banking sector, and aims to achieve fair customer outcomes, to support staff and to regain public trust in the industry.”

Kelly will take up the role in early March 2020. The independent recruitment competition was conducted on the IBCB’s behalf by executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndston, Dublin.