CFO Forum

Join us on 25 March as finance leaders discuss delivering future growth and sustainable value.

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What a year it has been. Finance has been completely disrupted. The automation of the workforce has increased exponentially. Boards are rightly demanding more strategy. And data is rewriting the rules around everything. As a result, a new finance model is essential in order to take advantage of these disruptions. ​​​​​

All is not lost however. The 2021 EY CFO Forum brings together an illustrious set of speakers to explore the strategic role of the CFO in coming out of this of turbulent year intact. ​​​​

We’ll be joined by an impressive line-up of national and international speakers for a wide-ranging discussion on the forces shaping the future of finance. We’ll show you the key factors required for driving sustainable long-term value and profitable growth. This is a unique opportunity to get valuable insights on how to navigate an organisation through turbulent times, from some of the most famous and forward-thinking minds in international business. So, we look forward to you joining us on 25 March.


  • A Warm Welcome

    EY CFO Forum Partner lead George Deegan will get us underway and introduce you to Vincent Wall, our EY CFO Forum event host.

    EY Ireland’s esteemed Managing Partner Frank O’Keeffe will make as short opening address.

  • Here’s Looking At You – The Strategic Role of the CFO

    Rick Fearon, CFO, Eaton Plc and Non-Executive Director, CRH will be our first speaker in a virtual fireside chat discussing the strategic nature of the CFO role. Rick will provide a board member’s point of view of the relationship between the CFO, their CEO and Board, and the critical importance of this relationship for the future growth of a business. Rick will also discuss the transition from CFO to NED and the challenges and opportunities this transition poses. As for perspectives on transformation initiatives and what Long Term Value means to the CFO, you can’t get a better source of information than someone at the top of one of the world’s largest power management corporations.

    Guest: Rick Fearon, CFO, Eaton Plc and Non-Executive Director, CRH

    Host: Vincent Wall

  • The Pursuit of Happiness - Delivering Sustainable Value

    A distinguished and varied panel of guests will join together to explore the pursuit of Long Term Value. Together, they will look at executing it’s strategy in volatile times, whilst balancing short-term results, stakeholder returns and expectations. Sit back and listen to a lively discussion about the measurement of qualitative inputs, businesses economic and socio-economic impact and successful sustainability governance.


    • Ken Bowles, CFO, Smurfit Kappa Group plc
    • Patrick Coveney, CEO, Greencore plc
    • Niall O’Sullivan, Chief Investment Officer, Europe, Mercer Global Investment
    • Dr. Rosheen McGuckian, CEO, NTR plc
    • Derarca Dennis, Assurance Partner, EY Ireland

    Host: Vincent Wall

  • The Times They Are A Changin’ – Finance Transformation

    While transformation is at the forefront of the finance function, knowing where to start when transforming operations, is often the most challenging part. Our panel of leading finance transformation figures will share their insights into how they are working to stay ahead of the curve. Learn how they ensure their operations are agile and predictive, and hear first-hand how to engage with both the right talent and the right new technologies, to gain a competitive edge.


    • Patrick Cooney, CFO Europe & Russia and Group Finance Transformation Executive, Kerry Group plc
    • Mark Irwin, Group Director of Finance & Treasury, Flutter Entertainment plc
    • Conrad Ketterer, Global Head of Finance Change, HSBC Holdings plc
    • Martina Keane, Head of Assurance Financial Services, EY

    Host: Ben Castell, UK&I CFO Finance & CFO Agenda Leader, EY

  • Thoughts From The Top - A CEO’s Perspective

    By now, you will have heard from a number of leading thinkers on the strategic nature of the CFO role. But, with that role evolving, the perspectives of a CEO will play a vital part in defining any new direction. During an intimate virtual fireside chat, we will focus on where the CEO sees the future of their relationship with the CFO. They will also give us their view on the CFO’s relationship with the board and stakeholders. And we will get their unique insight on the importance of driving finance transformation for the whole organisation, with a focus on creating long-term sustainable value. 

    Guest: Fiona Gallagher, CEO, Wells Fargo Bank International

    Host: Danny Buckley, Partner & CFO Advisory Lead, EY Ireland Financial Services


  • Ken Bowles, CFO, Smurfit Kappa Group

    Ken was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer of the Smurfit Kappa Group in April 2016 and was appointed a Director of the Group in December 2016. He joined the Smurfit Kappa in 1994 and has occupied a number of finance roles in various parts of the Group.

    Prior to his appointment as Group CFO he held the position of Group Financial Controller from 2010. He was the Group’s Head of Tax from 2007 to 2010 prior to which he was appointed as the Group’s first Head of Compliance in 2004.

  • Patrick Cooney, CFO Europe & Russia and Group Finance Transformation Executive, Kerry Group plc

    Patrick has worked with Kerry for over 10 years in a variety of finance roles in North America and Europe. Patrick’s current responsibilities include CFO for the Europe & Russia business with a turnover of €1.2bn, 6,000 employees, 35 manufacturing sites and a commercial presence across 40+ countries. Patrick is also leading a Finance Transformation programme across the group transforming the operating model to deliver greater value contribution to the business and enhanced employee experience for our finance colleagues.

  • Patrick Coveney, CEO, Greencore Plc

    Patrick joined the Board on 5 September 2005 having been appointed as the Group’s Chief Financial Officer. In March 2008, Patrick was appointed Chief Executive Officer. Before joining Greencore, Patrick was Managing Partner of McKinsey & Co., Ireland. Patrick serves as a Non-Executive Director of Glanbia plc and is also non-executive Chairman of Core Media.

  • Rick Fearon CFO, Eaton Plc & Non-Executive Director, CRH

    Rick is Vice Chairman, Chief Financial and Planning Officer, and a member of the board of directors of Eaton Plc, a global power management company. In this role, he has responsibility for the accounting, control, corporate development, information systems, internal audit, investor relations, strategic planning, tax and treasury functions. In December 2020, Rick joined the board of CRH as a Non-Executive Director.

    Prior to Eaton, Rick worked at several large diversified companies, including Transamerica Corporation in San Francisco, NatSteel Limited in Singapore, and The Walt Disney Company in Burbank. Rick’s prior work experience also includes The Boston Consulting Group, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Willow Place Partners.

  • Fiona Gallagher, CEO, Wells Fargo International Bank

    Fiona is CEO of Wells Fargo International Bank UC (WFBI). WFBI provides support and services to Wells Fargo’s clients in all European Union and European Economic Area countries. WFBI is the only Wells Fargo bank entity outside of the U.S. and is a critical part of Wells Fargo’s European and international operations.

    Fiona joined WFBI in October 2019. Prior to this, she was Deutsche Bank’s Head of Securities Services and Chief Country Officer for Deutsche Bank Ireland. Fiona sits on several industry boards including Financial Services Ireland, the Foreign Bankers Association, and is on the Financial Services Steering Committee for the 30% Club.  Recently. Fiona was appointed the first female chair of the Federations of International Banks.

  • Mark Irwin, Group Director of Finance & Treasury, Flutter Entertainment plc

    Mark is Group Director of Finance & Treasury, Flutter Entertainment plc, based in Dublin. Since joining Paddy Power plc in 2010, Mark has held various senior positions across Group Finance, including the significant roles he played during the transformational mergers of Paddy Power and Betfair in 2016, and more recently this year when Paddy Power Betfair completed a merger with The Stars Group, to create the world’s largest online betting and gaming group.

    Mark’s career experiences have been characterised by frequent and significant periods of change. The integration of the newly merged Flutter Group will take this to a new level, in an industry which is already evolving at considerable pace.

  • Conrad Ketterer, Global Head of Finance Change, HSBC Holdings plc

    Conrad is currently Global Head of Finance Change at HSBC plc  which includes overall leadership of the Finance Cloud Transformation programme. Prior to HSBC, Conrad was Head of Group Risk Change at RBS plc, and had an extensive prior career working in Financial Services for Accenture, including at Lloyds Banking Group, Zurich financial Services, Old Mutual, and Nordea. Conrad has pioneered the business utilisation of transformative Cloud and digital technologies for Financial and Regulatory reporting globally at HSBC.

  • Dr. Rosheen McGuckian, CEO, NTR plc

    Rosheen became CEO of NTR plc in 2013. Before her CEO appointment she was responsible for business development, as the architect of NTR's future investment strategy. NTR plc is a leading renewable energy company based in Dublin that has transacted more than €3 billion of sustainable infrastructure investments in wind, solar, bioenergy, water treatment, energy storage and recycling over the past 15 years. The firm was awarded an A+ rating for Infrastructure and A for Strategy and Governance from UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) for 2020. NTR’s fleet of wind and solar assets under management across Europe has projects located in over 40 locations across Ireland, the UK, France, Sweden and Finland. A non–executive director of Grafton Group plc and Sicon Limited, before NTR, Rosheen was CEO of GE Money Ireland and led the business transformation initiative for ESB Power Generation.

  • Niall O’Sullivan, Chief Investment Officer, Mercer Global Investments Europe

    Niall is the CIO for Mercer Global Investments Europe. He is responsible for the design, implementation and ongoing management of Mercer Investment Management's range of Fund Investment solutions in Europe, whether provided to Multi-Client Funds, Single Client Funds or other implementation platforms.  He is also responsible for the Discretionary Management services that we provide to clients such as DDS.

  • Danny Buckley, Partner and CFO Advisory Lead, EY Ireland Financial Services

    Danny is a partner in EY Ireland’s Financial Services CFO Advisory team. Danny has more than 20 years’ industry and practice experience spanning finance (consumer banking, corporate banking and markets/treasury), corporate finance (recapitalisation of the banks, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring of the Irish banking system), financial services audit and transaction advisory services.

    Danny has considerable experience in IFRS accounting, treasury accounting, leading and delivering change, risk-adjusted return on capital / ROE, budgeting and planning, business partnering, cost change programmes and leading large teams (both project and business as usual).

  • Ben Castell, UK&I CFO Finance and CFO Agenda Leader, EY

    An EY Client Service Partner for a global consumer products business, Ben leads the UK&I CFO agenda across all service lines. He has over 30 years’ experience helping global businesses transform their finance function via technology and capability development.

  • George Deegan, Assurance Partner & CFO Forum leader, EY Ireland

    George is an Assurance Partner in EY Ireland and is Deputy Head of Assurance. In his role as CFO Forum leader, George leads a team of senior business executives in its roll out.

    As the Global Engagement Partner for a number of listed clients and as the EMEIA Coordinating Partner for Fortune 100 companies, George coordinates and leads multidiscipline cross-border teams and resources. In over 18 years at EY, he also worked with clients listed on Nasdaq and New York markets, supporting significant debt offerings and other public equity offerings.

  • Derarca Dennis, Assurance Partner, EY Ireland

    Derarca is an Assurance Partner who leads Ireland’s Financial Accounting Advisory Services team. She has over 20 years’ experience advising clients on accounting and financial reporting issues, including accounting change, transactions and financial due diligence.

    Derarca’s professional experience to date has included working with a broad range of companies both locally and globally that report under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), UK GAAP/ Irish GAAP, and US GAAP. 

    Prior to joining EY, Derarca worked with the Assurance Practice of one of the Big Four firms where she gained extensive experience and considerable flex in supporting a broad spectrum of diverse clients.

  • Martina Keane, Head of Assurance Financial Services, EY

    Martina leads EY Financial Services Assurance, specialising in banking and insurance. She works extensively across the global insurance and banking landscape. Martina has significant experience leading large teams in an environment where there is on-going change. She has detailed knowledge of finance functions, IFRS implementation, loan loss provisioning and reserving. She is passionate about driving innovation in financial services assurance and developing high performing teams both in audit and in financial accounting advisory services (FAAS).

  • Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner, EY Ireland

    Frank has been the EY Ireland Managing Partner since 2018. Prior to his current role, Frank held a position on the Irish leadership team as Head of Assurance, where he was responsible for leading the fastest-growing Assurance service in the island of Ireland. Additionally, he was the Lead Audit and Client Services Partner for Ireland. Frank’s experience includes serving a range of large national and multinational clients across the manufacturing, retail, technology and supply chain sectors. 

    Frank was the Partner for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ program in Ireland between 2009 and 2014. He has also held the position of Diversity & Inclusion Partner Sponsor and continues to preside over EY Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee in Ireland.

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