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Brand Finance Ireland: Nation Brands 2019 Report Launch

15 October 2019, 07:45–09:30 UK Time

The University of Notre Dame in association with Brand Finance Ireland invite you to join us for the launch of the Brand Finance Nation Brands 2019 Report.

The breakfast briefing will feature a presentation of the report findings and a panel discussion around the topic: Ireland's Continuing Brand Growth.

For more information on the event, please email [email protected]


07:30 Registration
07:55 Welcome & Official Opening


Michael Darcy TD, Minister of State, Department of Finance


Presentation of Nation Brands 2019 Report Findings

David Haigh, CEO, and Simon Haigh, MD, Brand Finance 


Panel Discussion: 'The growing importance of Nation Branding'

Hosted by Barry O'Dowd, Former Senior Executive at IDA Ireland

with Martin Naughton, Founder, Glen Dimplex

John Concannon, Director General, Global Ireland

Ruth Cosgrove, Group Director of Communications, Smurfit Kappa

09:00 Networking & Refreshments
09:30 Event Close


15 October 2019, 07:45–09:30 UK Time
to be notified of future events
In association with
Notre Dame University
Notre Dame University Website


David Haigh
Chairman and CEO
Brand Finance

David is the Chairman and CEO of Brand Finance Plc – the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. He has worked in the area of branded business, brand, and intangible asset valuation since 1991. He specialised entirely in the field after becoming the Director of Brand Valuation for Interbrand in 1995. He subsequently left Interbrand in 1996 to launch Brand Finance which is celebrating 25 years in business this year.

David represented the British Standards Institution in the working parties responsible for crafting international industry standards: ISO 10668 on Brand Valuation in 2010 and ISO 20671 on Brand Evaluation in 2019.

David is a passionate writer and has authored many articles on brand valuation, published in numerous marketing and finance newspapers and magazines, such as: Financial Times, Accountancy Age, and Marketing Week. He has also lectured on the topic of brand valuation for Harvard, Chicago, and London Business Schools.

David graduated from Bristol University with an English degree, qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London, and obtained a postgraduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He is a Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and has a practising certificate with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Simon Haigh
Brand Finance Ireland

With over 26 years of international experience, Simon has a history of C-suite/executive roles with Dell, BHP, Xilinx, NANA and leading global law firms in US, Europe, Australia and Asia Pacific.A quarter of a century of international executive experience has placed Simon in a unique position to help organisations & executives improve their performance through enhanced strategic direction, deal making, corporate and brand development, while utilising world renowned coaching methodology.As a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centred Executive Coach, Simon combines expertise across technology, professional services, tourism and hospitality, resources/utilities, consumer products, local government and not for profit sectors.As a consultant and thought leader, Simon helps forward thinkers succeed through his global business acceleration company GCM Advisory and it’s sister entity He also specialises in strategy, transformational change and business improvement, governance, risk and assurance and corporate restructuring solutions across a range of sectors and multi jurisdictions, as well as supporting boards and leadership to achieve their goals.

Barry O'Dowd
Retired (2018) Senior Executive and Company Director
IDA Ireland

Ireland's inward investment promotion agency, the IDA, is a non-commercial, semi-state body promoting Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland through a wide range of services. They partner with potential and existing investors to help them establish or expand their operations in Ireland.

John Concannon
Vice President

John was recently appointed Vice President, with responsibility for Development, of NUI Galway.

Prior to that he was Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as Director General of “Global Ireland”, an initiative designed to double Ireland’s international footprint by 2025, which includes the campaign for Ireland to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

John has held numerous leadership roles across both public and private sectors, including with Unilever PLC, Dubarry, Fáilte Ireland, the Taoiseach’s Office, and the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Following a successful 9 year tenure in various management roles with Unilever, John returned to Galway as CEO of Ireland West Tourism in 2004. He led the merger of the Regional Tourism Authorities in 2006 in the role of Director of Regional Development for Fáilte Ireland, and following this, he took up the role of Director of Market Development with the National Tourism Development Authority. In 2014 he was appointed Director of the “Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme”, the largest cultural initiative undertaken in the history of the State, and subsequently led the development of the “Creative Ireland” programme, to mainstream culture and creativity across public life. Following this, John was appointed as Director of Strategic Communications in the Department of An Taoiseach.He was selected as Irish “Marketer of the Year” in 2011 for his work marketing Ireland, and was nominated again in 2013 as the Creator of “The Gathering”.

John is passionately committed to the wider community and social development of Ireland. He served as Chairman of Cope Galway for 8 years and served as Chairman of Gaisce – The President of Ireland’s Award – for 6 years. He is former Chairman of the Galway Age Friendly Initiative, a Co-Creator of Ashoka Ireland’s ChangeNation, and was a Director of social enterprise. He is currently a Board Member of Connacht Rugby.

John is a graduate of NUI Galway, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce, a Masters in Business Studies, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Practice.

Ruth Cosgrove
Group Director of Communications
Smurfit Kappa

Passionate about making brands matter, Ruth has been developing brand strategies that resonate with consumers and customers since 2000.

Ruth holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Limerick and a diploma in Digital Marketing. Over the past 17 years, Ruth has worked with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Kepak and Britvic International across many FMCG sectors managing brand portfolios in Ireland, Europe and North America. Most recently, she is working with Smurfit Kappa Group (FTSE100) to build their global reputation as industry-leading packaging solutions provider.

She is also a wife and mother who appreciates good food and tends a small vegetable patch. Running keeps her fit and her mind clear. She is an avid hurling fan and a trainer with her daughter’s football team.

Martin Naughton
Glen Dimplex

Glen Dimplex is the world's largest manufacturer of electrical heating appliances, and holds global market positions in domestic appliances, cooling, ventilation, and renewable energy solutions.

Martin studied Mechanical & Production Engineering in Southampton, England. After 12 years working as an Industrial Engineer and Plant Manager he founded the private, family-owned Glen Electric (now Glen Dimplex) in 1973. Glen Dimplex now has 23 manufacturing plants worldwide in Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, China and USA.

He has received honorary degrees from the University of Notre Dame, USA; Trinity College, Dublin; University College, Dublin; Queen’s University, Belfast; Ulster University, Coleraine and Griffith College, Dublin.  He is a Trustee emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

Martin Naughton served for seven years as a member of the Irish Council of State and is the past Chairman of Intertrade Ireland. He is on the Advisory Board of Citi Private Bank for Europe and the Middle East. He is a Knight of the British Empire (K.B.E.)

Kevin Whelan
Notre Dame University

Kevin Whelan, one of Ireland’s best known and widely published scholars, was named the inaugural Michael Smurfit Director of the Notre Dame Dublin Global Gateway in 1998. During his tenure, he has taught over 3,000 Notre Dame undergraduates. He has been a visiting professor at New York University, Boston College and Concordia University (Montreal). He has lectured in fourteen countries, and at the Sorbonne, Cambridge, Oxford, Torino, Berkeley, Yale, Dartmouth and Louvain. He has written or edited over twenty books and over one hundred articles on Ireland’s history, geography and culture. These include The Tree of Liberty. Radicalism, Catholicism and the Construction of Irish Identity 1760-1830 (1996), Fellowship of Freedom: The United Irishmen and the 1798 Rebellion (1998), the best selling Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape (1997, second edition 2011), Paris: Capital of Irish Culture (2017) and Religion, landscape and settlement in Ireland 432 -2018 (2018). Among influential articles are those on ‘An underground gentry?,’ ‘The Republic in the Village,’ ‘The Memories of “The Dead”’ and ‘The Green Atlantic.’ From 1999 to 2011 he directed the annual Irish Seminar, the leading seminar in the field of Irish Studies, whose faculty has included Edward Said, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Edna O’Brien, Homi Bhabha, Fred Jameson and Benedict Anderson.

A native of County Wexford, he received a BA at University College Dublin (1978), a doctorate from the National University of Ireland (1981) and awarded a Travelling Studentship from the National University of Ireland (1981), held at Memorial University, Newfoundland. He is a former Newman Scholar at University College Dublin, and Bicentennial Research Fellow at the Royal Irish Academy. Between 1995 and 1998, he was historical advisor to the Irish government on the Famine and the 1798 Rebellion.

He is the father of four children and his personal interests include hurling, poetry, book-collecting, hiking, the Irish language, life-long learning, Wexford and conversation.

Michael Darcy TD
Minister of State
Department of Finance

Michael D’Arcy is Fine Gael TD for Wexford and in June 2017 was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance.

Michael D’Arcy previously served as a Senator on the Administrative Panel from 2011 to 2016 where he was appointed Government Spokesperson on Finance in the Seanad and served on the Oireachtas Banking Enquiry. He also served on the Oireachtas Committees on Finance and Agriculture, Food and the Marine

He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2007 and was appointed Deputy Spokesperson on Justice, with special responsibility for Equality. During the 2007-2011 term, he served on the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Michael D’Arcy is a graduate of University of London.

In association with

Notre Dame University
Notre Dame University Website


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University of Notre Dame, O’Connell House, 58 Merrion Square, Dublin 2

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