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We are delighted to invite you to an evening with our talented guest speakers to discuss their careers to date, recent changes in the Irish Funds industry and how they see this evolving over the coming years.

There will be a great chance to network with peers from the industry, meet the speakers and the Azon team. We will also be providing food and drinks during the evening to keep the energy levels up!

Venue –  Café en Seine

Date & Time – Thursday 4th May from 6:30pm – 9pm.

RSVP here!


Key Note Speaker

Currently director in Bridge Consulting, Ex head of Deutsche/State street and Manager of the Irish, Grand Slam, six nations winning team in 2009. Paul has had a very successful career in both Funds and the sporting arena and will no doubt be able to share his thoughts on the keys to success as well as the common traits needed in both areas.

Paul McNaughton – Director – Bridge Consulting 

Paul McNaughton has over 30 years’ experience in the Banking/Finance, Fund Management & Securities Processing Industries. Previously Global Head of Deutsche’s Fund Servicing business worldwide, Paul lead the sale of the business to state street in 2004. He is now a Director for Bridge Consulting as well as an advisor and non-executive director for several investment companies. Paul holds an Honours Economics Degree from Trinity College Dublin. He was the founding Chairman of Irish Funds formerly the Irish Funds Industry Association and a member of the Irish Government Task Force on Mutual Fund Administration. He was instrumental in the growth of the funds business in Ireland both for traditional and alternative asset classes.

Paul has represented Ireland in rugby as both a player and a manager, most recently winning the grand slam, alongside Declan Kidney in 2009. Although better known as a rugby player, he also played soccer for both Shelbourne F.C. and Bray Wanderers A.F.C.. To add to his array of sporting achievements, Paul represented Wicklow GAA in both senior football and minor hurling, making him the only person to play three sports in Ireland’s national stadiums.

Paul will share his thoughts and insights into a prestigious career across both the corporate and sporting arena.

Guest Panel

Pete Townsend – Founder & CEO – Norio Ventures (Moderator)

Pete is the Founder & CEO of Norio Ventures an innovative consultancy for the wider Financial Services industry. Across a 21-year career in asset management, asset servicing and as a FinTech adviser, Pete has become an expert at product development, operations management and leading change within large teams.

Most recently, Pete was chief operating officer and then global head of product development for the BNP Paribas Alternatives business and was also a director on the board of its Irish franchise for ten years.  During this time, Pete held several senior roles at the local and global level focused on the traditional and alternative asset management sectors.

Prior to moving to Ireland, he spent six years in Bermuda in client service and technology for a leading hedge fund servicing firm.  Pete began his career in 1995 at Fidelity Investments in Boston, and holds a BSc from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA from Boston University.  Pete is based in Dublin, Ireland and is active in financial industry associations and consortia, and in the start-up community.

Des Pierce – Head of European Operations – Mercer

Des joined Mercer in the summer of 2016 and is responsible for the Operations of Mercer’s European Funds business which has more than US$60bn AuM. Des has 15 years’ experience in the Funds Industry and, prior to joining Mercer, held roles with SS&C GlobeOp, JPMorgan and Bisys.

Des skill set spans product development, technical sales, Investment Operations, department management, relationship management and commercial negotiations. Des is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA), a Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (FCCA) and holds a degree in Accounting and Finance from Dublin City University.

Alan Meaney – CEO – Fund Recs

Alan Meaney is the CEO of Fund Recs. Fund Recs was founded in 2013 and develops software for the global Funds Industry. Fund Recs was named ‘European Start-up of the Year’ at the ICT Spring conference in Luxembourg in 2016. Clients include Capita Asset Services, a FTSE 100 company and MUFG Investor Services, a global top 10 Fund Administration unit of Mitsubishi Bank.

Alan has over 10 years’ experience working in Fund Administration with HSBC and SEI Investments. A graduate of DIT Hothouses New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development programme, Alan was also a member of the last batch of companies that participated in Telefonica’s Wayra Accelerator in Dublin. In early 2016 Alan founded the Dublin Funds Industry Innovation meetup group. Heading into the groups fifth event it boasts over 600 members.

Yvonne Connolly – Ireland CEO – Carne Group

Yvonne is a Principal with Carne Group and CEO of Carne’s Irish business. She is currently a Council member of Irish Funds, the official representative body for the Irish investment fund industry. She acts as a Chairman and Director to a select number of traditional funds, hedge funds and management companies domiciled in Ireland and Cayman.

Yvonne is a specialist in governance, product development, compliance, financial reporting and operations. She also has experience in delivering solutions to fund managers and service providers with various aspects of operational development, control and risk management. She is a recognised expert in back office operations and change management and regularly speaks at fund industry conferences.

Prior to joining Carne, Yvonne was Head of Operational Development at State Street (International) Ireland (formerly Deutsche Bank), where she looked after new business take on, product development, system implementation and change management. As a member of the senior management team at State Street, Yvonne reported directly to the CEO and was a key contributor to the overall strategy and direction of the business. Yvonne trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG, specialising in corporate taxation. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Laura Wadding – Director Risk & Regulatory Consulting – Deloitte

Following a successful career in Fund Administration culminating in a Head of Transfer Agency position for BNP Paribas, Laura decided, given her interest in Risk and Regulation, an interesting change in direction was on the cards.

Laura is currently Director of Risk & Regulatory Consulting and works with a variety of Financial Institutions advising on regulatory developments, risk and compliance.

Laura currently leads the Irish funds Transfer Agency Working Group, playing an active role in the development of industry initiatives, representing industry at meetings with the Central Bank. She has been at the forefront of regulatory developments in the financial services sector, in particular, the development of the Investor Money Regulations for fund service providers and the evolving Anti-Money Laundering landscape for all financial institutions.

Laura holds a Degree in Law from the Dublin Institute of Technology and a Diploma in Compliance from the Institute of Bankers.

Key Topics

  • An interesting perspective from highly regarded, senior funds professionals on their unique career journey within the funds industry.
  • Recent changes to regulation, technology and off shoring that have shaped the current industry across fund administration, asset management, consultancy and FinTech
  • The future trends and events from blockchain to Brexit that will affect the funds industry here in Ireland.
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