New and notable appointments at Compass Group Ireland, Johnson Hana, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking, Access2Funding and Lynoslife

By Business & Finance
13 May 2021
Pictured: Deirdre O’Neill, Managing Director, Compass Group Ireland

This week sees new and notable appointments at Compass Group Ireland, Johnson Hana, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking, Access2Funding and Lynoslife

Deirdre O’Neill, Managing Director
Compass Group Ireland

Compass Group Ireland, a foodservice business, has announced the appointment of Deirdre O’Neill as Managing Director, effective from July. O’Neill joined Compass Group in 2016 as Marketing Director and was appointed to the new role of Future Food Offer Director earlier this year.  She succeeds Chris Chidley, who has been promoted to Chief Growth Officer for Compass Group UK & Ireland.  Chidley will also retain the role of Chairman of Compass Group Ireland. Announcing Deirdre O’Neill’s appointment, Chris Chidley said that he and O’Neill have worked closely to ensure a smooth transition and have implemented a strong organisational foundation on which to build on the island of Ireland.

“Deirdre O’Neill has been instrumental in the delivery of key business innovation. Her proven track record in getting the best from people and putting customers at the heart of decision-making signals a strong future for the Irish operation”, Chidley said.

The strategic development and launch of Copper Pan Kitchen in Ireland, the new Compass Group central production kitchen for fresh delivered meals, was led by Deirdre O’Neill. As Future Food Offer Director, O’Neill was involved in the integration of Feedr into the Dublin market.  The app-based platform digitises the inhouse food experience.  It effectively moves staff restaurants safely online, with delivered freshly-made meals in the workplace or direct to employees’ homes. Having rapidly reshaped its foodservices operation to cater for new ways of working in the wake of Covid, Compass Group will remain firmly focussed on supporting employers in safely providing nutritious meals in the workplace, Deirdre O’Neill says of her advancement to the role of Managing Director on the island of Ireland.

“The traditional notion of 9-5 office working, five days a week, is becoming a thing of the past.   We are flexing and adapting to help employers manage unpredictability and to feed our clients’ workforces in a way that works for them”, Deirdre O’Neill says.

With 15 years’ experience in Irish food and retail, Deirdre O’Neill joined Compass Group in 2016 to head up the marketing division and to drive digital and brand communications. She previously held marketing roles in leading FMCG companies, including Kildare-based O’Brien’s Fine Foods and Carroll’s of Tullamore, as well as with HMV Ireland Xtravision. Deirdre O’Neill is a graduate in business studies from GMIT and has a Masters in marketing from NUI Galway.

Compass Group Ireland currently employs around 1,500 people in the Republic and in Northern Ireland and is one of the largest catering groups on the island, accounting for annual revenue in the region of €70 million.   As well as the new Feedr ‘cloud canteen’, its foodservices solutions include full restaurant operations, café and coffee dock facilities, as well as bespoke catering for events and meetings.

Alan Dalton, Commercial Director
Johnson Hana

Johnson Hana (JH), the outsourced legal solutions company, has announced the appointment of tenured financial executive, Alan Dalton as Commercial Director. In this role, Alan will work to expand the footprint of Johnson Hana both domestically and internationally, as the company continues to disrupt the legal industry. As Ireland’s first on-demand lawyer and managed legal solutions consultancy, Johnson Hana was established to fill the vacuum between high-value, partner-led legal advice and low-value, process-driven legal work.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Dan Fox, Founder and CEO of Johnson Hana, said, “I’m delighted to have Alan come onboard at this very exciting time for Johnson Hana. Alan’s wealth of experience across the banking and finance sectors will be of tremendous advantage to our clients, particularly in the context of our work in regulatory compliance, complaints and asset disposal. His expertise will be of great support as we expand into new markets, develop new partnerships, enhance our customer offerings, and continue to build on our leading position in the legal services market.”

Regarding his new role, Alan Dalton added, “I am delighted to be joining Johnson Hana, a company that I have long admired, and working with the brilliant team to shake up the legal solutions market. Johnson Hana has built a strong reputation with domestic and international clients, having successfully delivered across numerous large-scale contracts with leading institutions. Their client-centric and process driven approach to managed legal solutions can offer unparalleled advantage to companies in areas such as conveyancing, data protection, compliance, and complaints, to name but a few. I hope to contribute to their success by leveraging my experience in driving efficiencies and designing strategies for legal process outsourcing within the financial services sector.”

The company has witnessed a surge in interest from banking and financial services clients over the past year, who are seeking a more agile approach to service delivery and to scale back on unnecessary legal spend. Dalton is the latest senior hire for Johnson Hana, with the firm having welcomed three new team members in March – Sabina Grecu, Business Development Representative; Nathan Shine, Associate Commercial Director and John Champion, Associate Director of Marketing. With a unique understanding of the challenges faced in business process design and deployment by financial sector participants, Alan will be another huge asset to the company as it continues to build on its strengths and growth in 2021. 

After graduating from UCD with a Business & Legal Studies degree, Alan moved to the U.S. where he spent a decade in Boston and Chicago working for a variety of Financial Institutions in Commercial Real Estate and Private Wealth. Alan returned to Ireland to take up a Senior Business Development role Link Group (BCM Global), focused primarily on their Banking and Credit Management division. At Link Group, Alan worked with multiple global Private Equity Funds, Origination Funds, FinTechs and large Financial Institutions, to provide bespoke outsourced banking and credit management services. 

Kevin Elliott, Head of Global Foreign Direct Investment,
Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking

Pictured: Kevin Elliott, Head of Global Foreign Direct Investment, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking

Bank of Ireland has appointed Kevin Elliott as Head of Global Foreign Direct Investment on its Corporate Banking team. Kevin moves into his new role following six years as a Senior Vice-President in Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking. He first joined Bank of Ireland in 2015 after working for eight years previously in IDA Ireland.

In his new role Kevin will focus on leading and growing Bank of Ireland’s Foreign Direct Investment business, which already supports two out of every three FDI companies entering the country. Kevin brings with him a strong track-record in the area of FDI, with a market-leading number of IDA supported FDI projects banked by Bank of Ireland’s FDI team in 2020.

Despite the pandemic the FDI sector continues to remain resilient, led by life sciences and tech sector companies. Kevin will direct the team from his California base, established as a key contact point for the Bank in a vital growth market, and further cementing a new alliance formed with IBOS – the leading global banking network.

Discussing his appointment, Michael Lauhoff, Head of Corporate Banking, Bank of Ireland said: “We are delighted to appoint Kevin to this very important role as Head of Global Foreign Direct Investment. His vast knowledge of this sector, and longstanding direct experience of working in this area, will enable him to act as a trusted adviser to companies looking to invest and grow in Ireland. We look forward to Kevin leading our exceptional FDI team in providing the appropriate banking requirements to new businesses coming to these shores, as well as supporting existing customers with their growth ambitions.”

Kieran Newton, Tax Specialist

One of the UK’s fastest growing research and development (R&D) tax credit specialists, Access2Funding, is making its mark in Northern Ireland with the introduction of a new tax specialist.

Kieran Newton joins the team in Northern Ireland, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge on corporation tax for SMEs, personal tax for high net-worth individuals and corporate tax planning and restructuring. Access2Funding, which has roots in England, was established in 2014 and includes a team of qualified accountants, tax specialists and technical writers, along with knowledgeable sector experts. Kieran said of his appointment: “What attracted me to Access2Funding was how rapid the company is growing and how it is establishing itself all over the UK. Working alongside the Northern Ireland team, I will be utilising my knowledge of taxation to maximise client claims and working alongside all departments to impart my expertise.

 “The opportunity to work with pioneering companies in Northern Ireland, helping them to raise finance by recognising innovation in the form of new products, processes or services they create, is what excites me about my role as tax specialist.”

 R&D tax credits were introduced in 2000 by HMRC to incentivise innovation, and result in a reduction in corporation tax or a cash payment for companies. Dawn Coker, Chief Operating Officer at Access2Funding, said: “Many Northern Irish companies are already embracing innovation, but there are many businesses that are losing out because they don’t realise they are eligible.

 “R&D tax credit statistics published by HMRC showed that an incredible £105 million was claimed in R&D tax credits in Northern Ireland in 2019, with each company claiming on average £65,000. Whilst the top sector claiming for R&D in the country is manufacturing, we urge other sectors, including food and agriculture, construction and healthtech to take a closer look at what they are doing as a business day-to-day as they could be innovating and missing out on thousands of pounds. We helped return more than £23 million to UK businesses in 2020 and we want to dispel any myths surrounding R&D for businesses, with our new tax specialist further adding to our dedicated and passionate team of professionals.”

 Access2Funding has been established in Northern Ireland since January 2021 and its team also includes business development executives Michael Kelly, based in Omagh, and Ross Davidson, based in Belfast, alongside R&D account manager Brogan Kear.

Phil O’Sullivan, Commercial Director,

Pictured: Phil O’Sullivan, Commercial Director, Lynoslife

LYNOSLIFE employs a team of over 120 across their Cork and Mayo campusesThe company offers a diverse range of services including formulation, sourcing, bulk manufacturing, filling, and packing for the global beauty and personal care marketsMr O’Sullivan joins LYNOSLIFE from his recent role as Commercial Director for an international distribution business to the pharma and life sciences industriesHe has previously held roles in indigenous and multinational companies including Kepak Group, H J Heinz, Boots, Gillette and AndercoWith over 20 years industry experience, Phil brings insights from the pharma, food, drinks, seafood, agri and FMCG sectors to the team.  

Commenting on the appointmentLYNOSLIFE CEO Aiden Corcoran said: “The last five years have been a period of tremendous growth for LYNOSLIFE. We have expanded from a team of 22 to a team of over 120, opened our second site in Cork and invested in our R&D formulation facility and output capacity. We are delighted to now welcome Phil to the team as Commercial Director. He brings a wealth of end-to-end experience knowledge across ideation, global sourcing, product development, branding, marketing, and sales. He will play a pivotal role in our plans for global growth and expansion as we further diversify our offering.”

Mr O’Sullivan is a guest lecturer in University College Cork for their Ignite entrepreneur programme and a guest lecturer for FITU (Food Industry Training Unit) also based out of UCC. He is also a board member of the FITU advisory board in UCC. 

Mr O’Sullivan said, “I am delighted to have joined the team at LYNOSLIFE at such an exciting time for the company. The last year has been a significant one for business, and LYNOSLIFE’s capacity, expertise and agility has meant we have consistently delivered large-scale projects that meet the requirements of our customers and the needs of consumer around the world

look forward to developing strong commercial opportunitiesas we continue to build on our reputation as a global brand that drives innovation in the health, well-being and beauty sectors.” 

After three years of sustained growth for the company, in November 2020, LYNOSLIFE rebranded from Cosmetic Creations. In March 2020, the company launched Airmedica, range of personal care productsin direct response to the growing demand for hand sanitiser and other protective and safe products. In the last 12 months, the company has manufactured and delivered over eight million units of hand sanitiser in total to sectors including retail, hospitality, and healthcare. By mid-2021, the company will also have invested a total of €1.5million over 18 months into the Mayo and Cork sites, further increasing adherence to cGMP and enhancing output capacity, commercial marketing, and ecommerce capabilities. Shipping to more than 15 countries globally, clients include brand leaders as well as household private label brand names for the Irish, UK and European retail markets