Brexit: A Risky Business?

On 23 June 2016, the UK electorate will answer the question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

This IIEA conference provided a forum for high-level figures in the business world to elaborate on the risks and opportunities inherent in Brexit, across a number of key sectors.

This Event was supported by McCann FitzGerald.

Conference Highlights

Did you miss Brexit: A Risky Business? the definitive Brexit conference in Ireland on 19th May 2016?
View or download speeches, presentations, podcasts and videos here.

Coming Soon.


  • Charles Flanagan TD

    Charles Flanagan

    T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

    Charles Flanagan is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was first appointed to this role on 11 July 2014, having previously served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. He was first elected to represent Laois-Offaly (now the constituency of Laois) in Dáil Éireann in 1987. He served as Chairperson of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party 2011-2014 and was the Fine Gael leader on the Constitutional Convention. He was Fine Gael Spokesperson on Northern Ireland from 1997-2000 and Vice Chair of the British-Irish Parliamentary group from 1997 to 2000.
  • Peter Sutherland

    Peter Sutherland

    Former European Commissioner for Competition and Founding Director General of the WTO

    Peter Sutherland is the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration and former Chairman and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs. He was educated at University College Dublin and the King’s Inns, graduating in Civil Law. He was also admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America. From 1969 to 1981 he practised at the Bar. Prior to his current position, Peter served as: Attorney General of Ireland (1981-1984), EC Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy (1985-1989), Chairman of Allied Irish Banks (1989-1993), Director General of The World Trade Organisation, formerly GATT (1993-1995). He has received eleven honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and America.
  • Brendan Halligan

    Brendan Halligan

    Chairman of the Institute

    Brendan is Chairman and Founder of the IIEA. As General Secretary of the Irish Labour Party (1967-1980) he set up the Council of Labour involving the SDLP, the Northern Ireland Labour Party and the British Labour Party. Appointed to the Senate in 1973, he was elected to Dáil Éireann in 1976 and later became a Member of the European Parliament. He lectured in Economics in the Dublin Institute of Technology and was Adjunct Professor of European Integration in the University of Limerick from 1990 to 2000. He set up and co-ordinated civic society alliances campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote in the Maastricht, Nice and Lisbon referendums. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by UCD in 2010. He is a recipient of the French Legion of Honour.
  • Owen Brennan

    Owen Brennan

    Executive Chairman of Devenish Group

    Owen attended UCD studying Agricultural Science and he graduated in 1982 with a Bachelors of Agricultural Science and later graduated with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 1992. In 1997 Owen led a team to acquire Devenish, and has overseen a rapid expansion in the intervening years, with Devenish now the largest independently owned manufacturer of premix, creep and speciality feed products in the UK. The Group has 6 manufacturing sites across the UK, Ireland and US as well as offices in Dubai and India and is exporting to over 25 countries worldwide.
  • Susan Dargan

    Susan Dargan

    Chair of
    Financial Services Ireland

    Susan is chairperson of Financial Services Ireland, the representative body for international and domestic financial services companies in Ireland. She is an executive vice president and head of State Street Global Services Offshore. She is responsible for the day-to-day management and future development of the offshore and Alternative Investment Services (AIS) businesses across EMEA as well as overseeing the IFDS joint venture in Dublin and Luxembourg. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Dargan served as head of State Street Global Services in Ireland. She was also responsible for State Street’s traditional fund servicing business in the Channel Islands. She has also been a director of the Institutional Money Market Fund Association (IMMFA) since 2008 where she chairs the operations committee and has been actively involved in the regulatory debate in relation to shadow banking and money market funds.
  • John McGrane

    John McGrane

    Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce

    John McGrane is Director General of The British Irish Chamber of Commerce, a private sector organisation which he co-founded in 2011 to represent businesses with interests in the two islands and their economies. He is a retired financial services professional having completed a 40 year career with the Royal Bank of Scotland / Ulster Bank Group in Ireland. His career has spanned substantial initiatives in the enterprise and corporate sectors, both indigenous and foreign direct investment. He is Founder of NSI Technology, a tech start-up which helps Not For Profits become Not For Losses. He is a Board Director at Dublin Chamber of Commerce and at The British Irish Chamber of Commerce and a number of charities.
  • Brendan McGrath

    Brendan McGrath

    Group Chief Executive, Gaelectric Holdings plc

    Brendan is a founding shareholder and Group Chief Executive of Gaelectric Holdings plc, one of the leading independent renewable energy groups operating in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Prior to establishing Gaelectric in 2004, Brendan held a number of senior leadership positions in manufacturing and marketing. Brendan provides strategic leadership to Gaelectric’s executive teams across the Group’s positions in wind (on- and offshore), solar, energy storage, trading and market services, and the emerging ‘prosumer’ sector. Gaelectric is midway through the transition of its development pipeline of wind projects to operating assets with a target of 400MW of wind generation by the end of 2017. Gaelectric has recently submitted its application for planning approval for its 330MW compressed air energy storage (CAES) project, Project-CAES Larne NI, which is located towards the north of the Islandmagee peninsula. Brendan is also a tireless and vocal advocate for the renewable energy sector and has engaged extensively with the energy industry, government policy makers, regulators, communities and the media.
  • Howard Millar

    Howard Millar

    Chairman of BDO Ireland

    Howard Millar joined Ryanair at the end of 1991 and served as Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of Ryanair Holdings plc for 11 years, and for 12 years as Finance Director until December 31, 2014. Post stepping down Howard continues to be involved as a Non- Executive Director in growing Ryanair from currently 100m customers to 150m customers by 2024. Howard also joined the Board of Irelandia Aviation the world’s premier low cost carrier (“LCC”) developer. Irelandia Aviation, a private company, has successfully developed 5 LCC carriers, Ryanair in Europe, Tiger Airways in Asia, Allegiant in the USA, Viva Aerobus in Mexico, and Viva Colombia.
  • Patrick O’Sullivan

    Patrick O’Sullivan

    Chairman of ESML at Lloyd’s of London, Cairman of Old Mutual

    Patrick O’Sullivan has been Chairman of Old Mutual since January 2010, where he also chairs the Nomination Committee. From 2007 until 2009, he was Vice Chairman of Zurich Financial Services, where he had specific responsibility for its international businesses including those in South Africa. Prior to that, he was CFO of the ZFS Group and CEO of Eagle Star Insurance Company. He has held positions at Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Financial Guaranty Insurance Company and Barclays/BZW. Previous non-executive roles included Chairman of the UK’s Shareholder Executive and Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ireland, among others. In addition to his role at Old Mutual, he serves as Chairman of Equity Syndicate Management (ESML) at Lloyd’s and Executive Advisor to Aquiline Capital Partners LLC.
  • Richard Pym CBE

    Richard Pym CBE

    Non-Executive Chairman, AIB

    Richard was co-opted to the Board of AIB on 13 October 2014 as Chairman Designate and Non-Executive Director and was appointed Chairman with effect from 1 December 2014. Mr Pym is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in financial services having held a number of senior roles including Group Chief Executive Officer of Alliance & Leicester plc. He is Chairman of UK Asset Resolution Limited, the entity which manages, on behalf of the UK Government, the run off of the Government owned closed mortgage books of Bradford & Bingley plc and NRAM plc. Mr Pym is a Director and former Chairman of Nordax Bank AB (publ). He was also previously Chairman of the Boards of The Co-operative Bank plc, BrightHouse Group plc, Halfords Group plc and a former Non-Executive Director of The British Land Company plc, Old Mutual plc and Selfridges plc.


Brexit: A Risky Business? took place on the 19th May 2016. Highlights of the conference including presentations and video can be found below.

Conference Highlights

Event Location

Havelock Suite, Aviva Stadium

Lansdowne Road
Dublin 4
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