Pictured: Former US Secretary of the Treasury Henry (Hank) Paulson receives the Sutherland award
The Business & Finance Awards, in association with KPMG Ireland, celebrated a ‘New Era of Excellence’ on 12th April, 2022
The Business & Finance Awards, in association with KPMG Ireland, celebrated a ‘New Era of Excellence’ at Dublin’s Convention Centre on 12th April, with 1,000 of Ireland’s business, political and social leaders in attendance at the celebrations.
Presented by veteran broadcaster Pat Kenny, alongside Business & Finance Managing Editor Sarah Freeman, this year’s awards acknowledged the former US Treasury Secretary Henry (Hank) Paulson with the Sutherland Leadership Award, which was presented by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD. Mr. Paulson and his wife Wendy travelled to Ireland to accept the honour.
Upon accepting the award, Mr. Paulson spoke about the qualities of outstanding leadership, and noted that Peter Sutherland – a friend and former colleague of Mr. Paulson’s – embodied these qualities. He said: “Great leaders have integrity – they do not only ask themselves is this legal, but is this good?”
Business & Finance also honoured Pat and John Hume with the TK Whitaker Award. The Award was presented to the Grandchildren of the late John and Pat Hume, Rachel and Ollie, by U2 frontman Bono, a surprise guest. “Right now, freedom in Ukraine means taking up arms, but in 1998, 10th of April, 24 years and 2 days ago, freedom in Ireland meant laying them down,” said Bono while presenting the Award.
He continued: “That’s why it is a privilege and an honour to have you here. You know that freedom doesn’t come free. Freedom is very, very expensive. Your father and mother were teachers. Not simply school teachers for their pupils, but moral teachers.”
Rachel Hume, granddaughter of John and Pat read a poem as part of the Hume family’s acceptance of the award. The poem was written by Rachel’s cousin and was read at her grandfather’s funeral:
“Dear Granda, The last time I saw you you weren’t feeling yourself. But we sat and we chatted, we got you something sweet to eat and you came round to chatting and charming like you always used to do. The next day you were right as rain, giving orders and singing songs. We used to say you’d be around with the cockroaches. Although I’m heartbroken that that’s not true, I’m grateful that in the end it was peaceful and kind. Just like you.”
Ian Hyland, President, Catalyst Media Group and Owner, Business & Finance, addressed attendees in a speech. He began by congratulating the night’s winners: “Can I start by congratulating tonight’s winners – Enterprise Ireland, Pfizer, APC, Northern Trust and AIB. I want to recognise the role of Frances Ruane as Chair of our Judging Panel for a rigorous judging process to pick our outstanding winners.
“I want to congratulate our Company of the Year, Icon PLC, and in particular Steve Cutler and his team, who have been at the forefront of COVID vaccine trials and a new period of medical innovation. I also want to congratulate Mark Roden on his deserved recognition tonight by his peers. Mark joins a roll of honour that includes Michael Smurfit, Denis O’Brien, Anne Heraty, Tony O’Reilly, Tony Ryan, Anne O’Leary and Domhnal Slattery, Tony Smurift, to name but a few. Congratulations Mark and the entire Ding family.”
Mr. Hyland turned to the TK Whitaker Award and discussed John and Pat Hume’s legacy: “TK Whitaker’s service to this state set the ethos for this award and tonight’s recipients in a team who, as Ken imagined, strived for ‘the raising of human dignity and, eventually, the participation of all . . . in the benefits of spending their lives and bringing up their families in Ireland.’ Because of Pat and John Hume’s bravery, service, and vision, the island of Ireland realised the ambition of a brighter day. One of Hope, Peace, and Prosperity. John and Pat showed the power of a unit and together, transformed the landscape of peace across this island.
“John, supported by Pat, shone a light on the ability to overcome obstacles, engage with critics and mobilise communities to realise a better future through dialogue, inspiration that applies now more than ever.”
Other familiar faces in attendance on the night included former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Tánaiste Mary Harney.
The Business & Finance Awards celebrated its 47th year this year, and while there was widespread jubilation, there were somber reminders of the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Seamus Hand, Managing Partner, KPMG, addressed the war in Ukraine in a speech: “While our focus for the evening is on recognising the excellence of those in the Irish business community it is difficult not to remember what is happening to our European friends and neighbours in Ukraine.
“It is harrowing to see the democracy and human rights that we all value and take for granted being attacked. I would also like to add my thanks UNICEF for the exceptional humanitarian work that Peter Power and his team do across the world including in Ukraine where they are working hard to provide life-saving support for children and their families.”
Enterprise Ireland picked up the award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Business. The award was accepted by Terence O’Rourke, Chairman, Enterprise Ireland.
AIB won the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Award, sponsored by Coillte, which was represented by CEO Imelda Hurley
Northern Trust won the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Award, sponsored by Indeed. Eimear O’Halloran, Senior Director of Client Success at Indeed presented the award to Meliosa O’Caoimh.
Pfizer won FDI of the Year, which was presented by Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland, to Paul Duffy, VP, Small Molecule Operations at Pfizer.
APC Ltd received the Elevation Award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland. The Elevation Award category was launched in 2018, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland. This new award recognises Irish companies that are fast-growing and with significant potential to continue to scale globally, focused on Irish companies achieving up to €350m in revenue. The Award complements the well-established Company of the Year Award which recognises Irish companies above this revenue threshold.
Steve Cutler accepted the KPMG Company of the Year Award on behalf of ICON plc. The Company of the Year Award recognises the company which best demonstrates outstanding business leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy, strong financial returns and employee development.
Mark Roden, founder and CEO of Ding, received the KPMG Business Person of the Year Award. This Award seeks to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, particularly, those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.
Secretary Henry (Hank) Paulson was honoured with the Sutherland Leadership Award.
The TK Whitaker Award went to John and Pat Hume for their commitment to peace and their unyielding contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process. Established in 2016, the TK Whitaker Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Life recognises Irish and international social and political leaders who have been exemplary in their contribution to public life.
Business & Finance was launched in 1964 as Ireland’s first business magazine with the Awards programme established a decade later. The Business & Finance Awards is Ireland’s premier business awards programme and includes among its previous honorees outstanding leaders of our time across business, politics and wider society.
This includes former United States President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Sir John Major, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, President Michael D. Higgins, former ECB President Mario Draghi, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Senator George Mitchell, and Sir Bob Geldof, among others.