Reports show that everyone wins in two-way US-Irish relationship

Launching the US Ireland Business Report 2019 are Bill Byrne, VP global sales, Aer Lingus; Mark Gantly, president, American Chamber of Commerce Ireland; Catherine O’Meara, tax partner, Matheson; Mark Redmond, CEO, American Chamber; and Reece Smyth, acting US ambassador to Ireland.

Reports issued by Enterprise Ireland and the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland both highlight a deepening of the US-Irish business trade relationship, and predict further investment in the coming years.

Enterprise Ireland reports that there are over 100,000 people employed in the US by Irish companies in 2018, of which 85,000 people are employed by 520 Enterprise Ireland-supported companies operating across all 50 states at 954 locations.

Ireland is now the ninth-largest source of FDI into the US at $146.2bn (€130bn), says the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. In 2018, Enterprise Ireland-backed companies opened 60 bases in the US.

“Ireland continues to realise its global ambition with each new partnership, innovation and idea from our entrepreneurial community that we share with the world,” Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, said in Washington at the outset of a week-long St Patrick’s Day tour of key US cities promoting the US-Irish business relationship.

“Few places is this more evident than here in the United States where the contribution of Irish investment and employment is at an all-time high. Over the coming week, our trade events across the US will support our drive to ensure that Irish exporters are gaining even more traction in the US, one of our key export markets. In the context of Brexit, this has never been more critical.”

Enterprise Ireland is hosting more than 110 events in the United States in the week leading up to St Patrick’s Day. It is hosting another 50 trade and business events in over 45 locations across the world this week. The US is clearly the top target.

Ireland and the US have a long history of shared values and a drive for innovation and entrepreneurship — all resulting in a business-positive environment for our countries,” said Sinnamon. “St Patrick’s Day is a perfect time to reflect on our mutual success, as we work to continue to grow our impact in the United States.

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland is also hosting a series of business events in the US all this week right up to St Patrick’s Day. The AmCham delegates are armed with their latest report, the US Ireland Business Report 2019.

That document was launched in Croke Park at AmCham’s recent inaugural ‘US Ireland Business Conference — At the Heart of the Transatlantic Economy’. Along with the statistics on Irish investment in the US, the Chamber also highlighted that US investment into Ireland continues to increase year on year.

Each and every week, the flow of trade between the US and Ireland is more than €2bn. While each change of presidency in the US raises fears of Ireland suffering from repatriation of US investment, those fears invariably turn out to be groundless. No doubt, the two-way nature of investment has helped the relationship.

The AmCham report notes that 700 US companies now employ 155,000 people directly in Ireland, with an additional 100,000 employed in supporting businesses.

The latest American Chamber iReach survey among the general public also showed that 84% of respondents believe US companies will continue to invest here despite Brexit.

Some 61% of respondents are confident or very confident about Ireland’s role as an inward investment destination despite global trade tensions.

American Chamber president Mark Gantly said: “Our 2019 US Ireland Business Report shows US direct investment stock in Ireland totalled a record $446bn in 2017, a 14 % increase from the prior year. And figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that Ireland’s share of US investment stock in Europe was 12.6%. On the back of those figures, it’s fair to say that the transatlantic business relationship continues to deliver for the Irish economy.

“Despite Brexit, the Irish public also seem to agree,” Mr Gantly added.

Some 84% of respondents to an iReach survey conducted for the American Chamber among the general public last week said they believe US companies will continue to invest despite the UK’s departure from the EU.

The American Chamber also last week launched the AmCham Mandate Leader Master-Class Programme, with the objective of sharing expertise from across the membership to support the current cohort of leaders to strengthen and expand their mandates here in Ireland.

AmCham’s US Ireland Business Report 2019 features a chapter by Wall Street economist Joseph Quinlan, managing director and chief market strategist for US Trust and Global Wealth Development at Bank of America.

Mr Quinlan’s analysis highlights the importance which the United States places on its relationship with the European Union.

He also sees Ireland as the gateway for the US-EU relationship. His analysis focuses on economics, with little reference to historic US-Irish relations.

“Ireland is the gateway to a workforce of 500 million people and its importance is reflected in the fact that 12.6% of all US investment in the EU is based in Ireland,” states Joseph Quinlan.

“The economic fundamentals of the Irish-US relationship remain rock-solid. Europe in general, and Ireland in particular, remain critical entities to the success of corporate America, whether in manufacturing or service activities.

“By the same token, the US market remains among the most important in the world for European and Irish firms. No two other regions in the world are as deeply integrated as the US and EU, with Ireland a key hub for the transatlantic economy that generates $5.5trn (€4.9trn) in total commercial sales each year.

“While US investment flows to Europe declined last year, due to the repatriation of capital because of the US corporate tax reform — the total US-EU trade remained relatively robust in 2018.”

Grapevine: Business movers

Brendan Higgins

Brendan Higgins has been appointed head of finance at Horse Sport Ireland (HSI), the national governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland. He is a qualified accountant and was the youngest ever member to be admitted to an Irish institute in 2002. He has worked in financial control with Setanta Sports, and became CFO of the group in 2013; he was an instrumental member of the executive team that returned Setanta Sports to profitability and launched geographical expansion into Eurasia. A native of Drumree, Co Meath, he has a keen interest in sport horse breeding and equestrian pursuits. HSI also maintains the Irish Horse Register under licence from the Department of Agriculture.

Adrian Mulryan

Adrian Mulryan has been appointed as head of financial services with law firm LK Shields. He brings 20 years of financial services experience, in both in-house and private practice roles in Ireland and London. He began his career with LK Shields, then held senior roles at both Allen & Overy and Arthur Cox in London and Dublin. His in-house roles head of retail issuance (Legal) for ABN AMRO / RBS. He was also a founding employee and general counsel for Source ETF. He has a deep and broad understanding of cross-border issues related to the structuring, marketing and distribution of investment products in Europe.

Colin Hunt

Dr Colin Hunt has been named as CEO of AIB group, succeeding Bernard Byrne who is stepping down from his executive duties with the bank. He joined AIB in 2016 as MD for wholesale and institutional banking. He has held senior roles in Macquarie Capital, Goodbody Stockbrokers, Bank of Ireland and NatWest, as well as spending time as special advisor to former ministers for finance and transport. He is a former non-executive director of Aer Lingus group. Throughout his career, Colin has been a keen supporter of the sustainability agenda.

AIB chairman, Richard Pym, said: “I look to the future with confidence and optimism that, under Colin’s leadership, AIB will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.”

Liz Hughes

Liz Hughes has been named as CEO of Charities Institute Ireland (Cii). She is a former head of ACCA Europe and ACCA Ireland. She is a committee member of the International Women’s Forum. She was also previously head of marketing/communications with law firm McDowell Purcell. She was marketing manager with Iona Technologies. Cii was formed in 2016 following the merger on ICTR and Fundraising Ireland, two key sector bodies who joined to create one, strong single voice to represent their combined members and the not-for-profit sector. Cii is focused on raising standards in the industry and promoting transparency, openness, and integrity.

John Mercer

John Mercer has been named as CEO for Mercer Ireland, the health, wealth and career consultancy. He will succeed Tom Geraghty, Mercer’s CEO for Europe. John previously ;ed Mercer’s health and career consulting businesses in Ireland, advising clients on strategies on employee engagement, wellbeing, recruitment and retention. He has been a member of Mercer Ireland’s leadership team for the past five years. He holds a Masters in Business Studies from UCD, and is a graduate of WIT. He has previously worked in HR roles for Intel and IBRC. Mercer has offices in Dublin and Cork and advises over 700 corporate clients and pension funds, with 240,000 members.

Mari O’Leary, managing director of MD, O’Leary PR, has been appointed chair of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), the trade association for more than 30 Irish PR and agencies. She has served a two-year term as treasurer of the PRCA; she succeeds Rhona Blake, the MD of managing director, MD, Fleishman Hillard. Mari set up i[ her own agency, O’Leary PR & Marketing 25 years ago. She was awarded a fellowship of PRII and holds an MBS from IMI/UCC, and executive coaching and leadership qualifications. She started her career in fashion and was one of the first Irish models to work in London, Milan and Tokyo. , Hamburg and Tel Aviv. She is president of Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) Ireland.

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