New and notable appointments at Circle K Ireland, Suir Engineering, Swappie, Ibec, Lakeland Dairies, and I-RES REIT

By Business & Finance
14 March 2024
Pictured: Ann Kelly, Finance and Real Estate Director, Circle K Ireland

This week sees new and notable appointments at Circle K Ireland, Suir Engineering, Swappie, Ibec, Lakeland Dairies, and I-RES REIT

Ann Kelly, Finance and Real Estate Director,
Circle K Ireland

Circle K Ireland has announced the appointment of Ann Kelly as its new Finance and Real Estate Director. She will take over from Ciara Foxton who was appointed in January as the new Managing Director of Circle K Ireland.

Kelly will be responsible for overseeing financial strategies, budgets and reporting, ensuring fiscal health and compliance for optimal organisational success, as well as the development and expansion of Circle K’s real estate footprint. She has amassed a wealth of experience across her career both home and abroad. She has worked for Circle K since 2019; most recently serving as Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis for over two years. Her previous experience includes Audit roles at PwC in both Ireland and Australia, and as Finance Manager at Australia’s leading retailer, Coles Group.

Speaking on Kelly’s’s appointment, Managing Director of Circle K Ireland Ciara Foxton said, “I am delighted to announce the promotion of Ann Kelly to her new role as Finance and Real Estate Director at Circle K. Ann brings a lot of experience and expertise to the role, and is a highly regarded leader in Circle K. Congratulations Ann on this well-deserved promotion.”

Kelly holds a BA in Management Science and Information System Studies from Trinity College Dublin and a Professional Diploma in Leadership and Management from UCD Professional Academy. She is also a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Leighton More, Supervisory Board Member,
Suir Engineering

Leighton More, Supervisory Board Member, Suir Engineering

Suir Engineering, engineering services providers, has announced the appointment of Leighton More as a Supervisory Board member.

With over 20 years of corporate finance experience, Leighton More is Chief Financial Officer and board member at family-owned construction and infrastructure firm, Sir Robert McAlpine. His leadership and board experience across sectors including Industrial, Healthcare, Commercial Office, and Civil Infrastructure, together with his financial acumen have earned him high regard within the industry.

In his role as Supervisory Board Member, Leighton More will play a crucial role in overseeing and guiding the strategic direction of the business, providing financial monitoring and oversight in collaboration with the management team, helping to shape and direct Suir Engineering’s long-terms vision and goals.

John Kelly, CEO at Suir Engineering said: “Leighton is a seasoned sectoral professional with a wealth of board room level experience and proven track record, which will be invaluable as we continue to grow and innovate our business. His expertise and in-depth sectoral knowledge bring added depth to our board and we are confident that he will play a pivotal role in shaping and driving Suir Engineering’s long-term success.

Leighton More said: “I’ve always admired the way in which Suir Engineering has done business. Its growth trajectory over 40 years has been consistently solid and its flagship projects, not just in Ireland but in the UK and across Europe too, are recognised as best-in-class. For me, this is an opportunity to collaborate with a dynamic team and my aim is to support and help drive Suir Engineering’s continued growth and success.”

Headquartered in Waterford and with offices in Dublin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, London and Frankfurt, Suir Engineering was founded in Kilkenny Ireland in 1984 and was acquired in 2022 by private equity group, Duke Street, from Dalkia and EDF Energy.

This appointment supports Suir Engineering’s plans for sustained growth as it celebrates 40 years in business this year. Additionally, the company has further plans to expand its employee base, increasing it from over 1,500 to more than 1,700 in 2024.

Luísa Vasconcelos e Sousa, Country Manager for Ireland,

Luísa Vasconcelos e Sousa, Country Manager for Ireland, Swappie

Swappie, a European iPhone refurbisher, has announced a key appointment to its leadership team. Luísa Vasconcelos e Sousa has been Swappie’s Country Manager in Portugal since 2021 and will now additionally serve as Country Manager for Ireland.

Vasconcelos e Sousa has a degree in Business Management and a specialisation in Digital Transformation and takes this position after several years working with northern European markets in the Global Business Group at Facebook’s European headquarters (Meta) in Dublin. She also has prior experience in the banking and marketing sectors.

Vasconcelos e Sousa joins the Irish team at Swappie with the mission of promoting more conscious choices and habits, reducing the environmental impact of technology and strengthening the circular economy through refurbished devices, contributing to more conscious consumption and a more connected society.

As part of her new role, Vasconcelos e Sousa will oversee a team of experts dedicated to the Irish market. Since launching in Ireland in 2020, Swappie now serves over 1 million customers across the country to provide them with quality, refurbished iPhones.

Commenting on her new appointment, Luísa Vasconcelos e Sousa says: “I am excited to bring my years of experience to Swappie in this new role. After living in Dublin for 3 years working at Meta I have a strong connection to Ireland, the culture, and the people and I look forward to furthering Swappie’s vision of a more circular tech ecosystem in my new position as Country Manager for Ireland.

Jonathan McDade, Public Affairs Lead for the Small Firms Association,

Jonathan McDade has been appointed as the new Public Affairs Lead for the Small Firms Association, after serving as Deputy Director of Food Drink Ireland, within Ibec. Prior to that, McDade was Director of Drinks Ireland | Beer and Drinks Ireland | Cider within Drinks Ireland for over eight years. Before joining Ibec, McDade worked for variety of public relations agencies including MURRAY, Finn Partners / 360, Limelight Communications and Montague Communications. McDade also worked as a Parliamentary Assistant for Ruairi Quinn, TD and is a graduate of Griffith College Dublin, with a BA in Journalism and Media Studies.

Oliver McAllister, Chief Financial Officer,
Lakeland Dairies

Cross-border dairy co-operative Lakeland Dairies has appointed Oliver McAllister as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to lead an exciting growth agenda for the co-operative.

Mr. McAllister has over 20 years’ experience in finance and strategy and has spent the last decade in some of the largest agri-food companies on the island. He departs his current role as CFO with veterinary pharmaceuticals company Norbrook and will join Lakeland Dairies where he will be a key member of the co-op’s Senior Leadership Team.

McAllister started his distinguished career working on mergers and acquisitions with PwC before pursuing a successful path in the agri-food industry on the island of Ireland. Prior to his role at Norbrook, he was CFO at Dale Farm Limited and CFO at Foyle Food Group. During his tenure as CFO of these businesses, they experienced significant growth with McAllister playing a key and strategic role.

Oliver McAllister, Chief Financial Officer, Lakeland Dairies

Welcoming Oliver McAllister to Lakeland Dairies, Group CEO Colin Kelly said: “In Oliver, we have appointed a CFO with a tremendous track-record of innovation, strategic thinking, and business growth. He has a deep, intrinsic and invaluable understanding of the co-operative sector as well as the wider agri-food industry.

“We are at a hugely exciting time for Lakeland Dairies as we continue to execute our ambitious strategy Foundations for a Better Future. Our purpose is to deliver sustainable prosperity for our 3,200 farm families and this will be achieved by meeting the needs of our customers through the commitment of our people and the quality of our products.

“Oliver’s vision, talent and acumen will ensure that we can realise the ambitions of our strategy for the benefit of our farmers, our people, our customers and the communities we serve.”

Commenting on his appointment with Lakeland Dairies, Oliver McAllister said: “I’m delighted to be joining my local dairy co-operative. The dairy industry and the wider co-operative movement play a hugely important role in enhancing the lives of people and communities across rural Ireland, and this is a contribution that I deeply value. I’m excited to be joining Lakeland Dairies at such an important time for the company. I look forward to working collectively and collaboratively with all the great people throughout the co-operative to ensure we realise our new strategic direction.”

A native of Co. Antrim, Oliver McAllister holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Queen’s University, Belfast. He is a chartered accountant and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Oliver lives in Co. Fermanagh with his wife and three daughters.

Eddie Byrne, Chief Executive Officer Designate,
Irish Residential Properties REIT

Eddie Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Residential Properties REIT

The Board of Irish Residential Properties REIT plc has announced the appointment of Eddie Byrne as Chief Executive Officer Designate, with effect from 8 April 2024. Mr Byrne will succeed Margaret Sweeney as CEO and Executive Director of the Board with effect from 1 May 2024.

As announced on 31 October 2023, Margaret Sweeney notified the Board of her intention to retire from I-RES in April 2024, having served as CEO for the past six and a half years. Margaret will step down on 30 April 2024 following an agreed transition period with the CEO Designate.

Eddie Byrne’s appointment follows an extensive and rigorous selection process, led by the Company’s Nomination Committee, and assisted by Chair Hugh Scott-Barrett following his appointment to the role in January 2024. The selection process, which commenced in November 2023, considered both internal and external candidates and was supported by independent third-party advisors.

Eddie Byrne has over 20 years’ experience at executive level in the real estate sector. Most recently, he was Joint Managing Partner at Quintain Developments Ireland, one of Ireland’s largest residential real estate developers, where he co-established the Irish operation that achieved over 5,000 planning permissions, built and sold c. 1,500 rental and private homes, and raised a significant amount of growth capital. He was previously Managing Director at Hudson Advisors Ireland, where he oversaw several billion euro of acquisitions and disposals of real estate assets in Ireland. He was also Chief Portfolio Officer at Netherlands based Propertize where he had responsibility for a large property portfolio across the Benelux countries and before that, worked in real estate, banking, and capital markets in North America.

Commenting on the appointment, Hugh Scott-Barrett, Chair, said: “I am pleased to announce that Eddie will join I-RES as our next CEO. Eddie has an extensive track record across Irish and international real estate, including most recently in the Irish residential sector, and has significant experience in building teams, interacting with local authorities, raising capital, executing transactions, and developing strategic initiatives. Eddie’s experience will be a significant and complementary addition as we continue our previously announced Strategic Review which is considering all strategic options available to maximise value for Shareholders.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank Margaret for her immense contribution as CEO of I-RES for the last six and a half years. Under Margaret’s leadership, I-RES delivered a significant transformation in scale, growing its portfolio by over 60% to c. 4,000 units, put in place new long-term funding structures, and successfully internalised the management of the business”.

Eddie Byrne said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the next CEO of I-RES, a company which is the leading provider of high quality private residential rental accommodation in Ireland. The real estate sector is going through a period of unprecedented change, making this a very exciting time to be joining the business. I look forward to working with Hugh and the Board in exploring value creation opportunities for Shareholders as part of the Strategic Review, and I am excited to work with the I-RES team, its partners, and all stakeholders to develop and realise those opportunities”.

This announcement is made in accordance with Rule 6.1.64 of Euronext Dublin Listing Rules. The Company confirms that there are no other matters requiring disclosure under Rule 6.1.66 of Euronext Dublin Listing Rules.

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