EY CFO Summit: The future reimagined

EY and Global C-Suite leaders joined together on 7 April in the EY Ireland broadcast studio in Dublin for the EY CFO Summit: the future reimagined.

Registrations for the CFO Summit live event are now closed. To sign up for an on-demand version delivered directly to your inbox, please register here.



Given the impact of the global pandemic over the last two years, finance leaders world-wide have been challenged to reimagine the future path amidst unprecedented change. Join the EY CFO Summit to hear from a distinguished line-up of speakers discussing best practices that drive impact and growth during uncertain times.

Each of our esteemed speakers have played a critical role in navigating their organisations through significant change and transformation. They will share insights into the strategies they’ve implemented, from integrating sustainable growth demands to new business models and strategic investments, such as global expansion, alignment of finance strategy to drive growth, maximising the value that finance can bring to businesses and dealing with industry challenges.




Jim Barry

Jim Barry, CIO, BlackRock Alternatives Investors 

Jim Barry, Managing Director, is the Chief Investment Officer of BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI). BAI currently manages c. $330 billion in total assets and client commitments with a team of over 1,200. As CIO, Mr. Barry has responsibility for and oversight of all investment activities across the platform, which is comprised of the firm’s investment capabilities in Real Estate, Infrastructure, Hedge Funds, Private Equity and Liquid and Private Credit.

As CIO, Mr. Barry oversees four strategic business pillars within BAI which cover investment performance and process; implementing a fully integrated ESG investing strategy and framework; a pan-alts strategy and research function; and BlackRock Capital Markets (BCM), BlackRock’s firmwide Capital Markets business.

Prior to his role as CIO, he was Global Head of BlackRock Real Assets. In 2016, he created Real Assets when he took responsibility for BlackRock's Global Real Estate Investment business and integrated both Infrastructure and Real Estate to create one cohesive, scalable operating platform with a range of client orientated strategies defined by their risk positioning. Under his leadership this business grew from c. $30 billion to c. $65 billion in assets in under 5 years.

Mr. Barry founded BlackRock’s Infrastructure business in 2011, upon joining the firm. Prior to which he spent 11 years as the CEO of NTR plc. He led the transformation of NTR from its origins as an Irish toll road developer into a leading international developer, owner and operator of a portfolio of diverse infrastructure businesses. Prior to joining NTR, Mr. Barry worked at Bain and Company and in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Barry earned a BComm from University College Cork in 1989 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1994.

Brendan Brennan

Brendan Brennan, CFO, ICON

Brendan has served as Chief Financial Officer of ICON since February 2012. He joined ICON in 2006 and has served in a number of senior finance roles in the company including the role of Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance. Prior to joining ICON, Brendan developed his corporate finance experience in Cement Roadstone Holdings, a major Irish building materials organisation.

Over his years in the CRO industry, Brendan has been involved in many industry organisations and developments including ACRO (Association of Clinical Research Organisations) where he was the founding Chairman of the industry CFO roundtable group, a group formed to aid CROs dealing with the various industry challenges.

Katie Burns

Katie Burns, Partner, Finance Transformation, Consulting, EY Ireland

Katie Burns is a Partner in the EY Consulting practice in Dublin, leading the firm’s business consulting finance transformation team. She specialises in large scale finance transformation programmes and has experience across a wide range of industries including consumer business, life sciences, technology, manufacturing and public sector. Katie has extensive experience of finance operating model design, global business services, digital finance and enterprise performance management.

Wendy Chang

Wendy Chang Smith, CFO, Glanbia Performance Nutrition

Prior to joining Glanbia, Wendy had worked in multiple industries including E-Commerce, Consumer Products, Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical at Kellogg, J&J and P&G.  Most recently, She was the Vice President of Insights, Planning Analytics and Technology for Amazon where she worked in the Consumer Operations team helping to build new capabilities.

One of Wendy’s favorite professional accomplishments are the Finance Transformation work she has done in Kellogg and J&J.  In shifting the Finance support model to Shared Services in order to maximize the value Finance can bring to the business, while lowering cost, and improving efficiency and effectiveness.  Wendy is a strong believer and champion for Women and Diversity.

Wendy is an advisor for the London Financial Times CFO Forum, advisor for the NYC Financial Times CFO Forum, on the Board for the LDS MBA association, and an active member volunteering her time in her community.

George Deegan

George Deegan, Assurance Partner and 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.

Frank O'Keeffe

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.

Annona loughnane

Annona Loughnane, EMEA CFO, Microsoft

As Chief Financial Officer for Microsoft’s Commercial business in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Annona is responsible for driving performance and growth in a $50B+ revenue sales region which includes 30 subsidiaries selling in 128 countries. She has accountability for driving results across the entire Microsoft Commercial solution portfolio; leading strategy, execution rigor, and compliance.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the technology industry, Annona is a key driver of transformational leadership across her 200+ finance stakeholders, known for actively connecting finance with the business to, identify growth opportunities, deliver growth targets, build sustainable businesses and partner with customers on their digital transformation journey.

In addition, Annona is passionate about talent development, team culture, and ensuring diversity and inclusion are top priorities within her organization. Annona is part of the Finance Diversity and Inclusion Leadership team at Microsoft.

Annona previously held several leadership roles at Microsoft in the United States and Ireland, including CFO of Western Europe, Chief of Staff to Amy Hood (Microsoft CFO), CFO for Americas Operations Finance and Leader of Global Credit Services Operations.



Prashanth Mahendra–Rajah, Senior VP, Finance and CFO, Analog Devices

As Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Mahendra-Rajah sets Analog Devices’ financial strategy and oversees ADI’s global finance organization, with responsibility for financial management, planning, controls, and reporting.

Prior to joining Analog Devices, Mr. Mahendra-Rajah was Chief Financial Officer of WABCO Holdings Inc., a global supplier of commercial vehicle technologies. He previously served as Division CFO and in other financial leadership roles at Applied Materials, Visa, and United Technologies.

Mr. Mahendra-Rajah has been recognized by Institutional Investor Magazine as a Top CFO in Semiconductors in 2019 and 2020 by equity research analysts. He serves on the Board of Advisors and on the Finance Committee for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is on the Advisory Board for the University of Michigan School of Engineering, Dept. of Computer and Electrical Engineering.

Mr. Mahendra-Rajah holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a M.S. in Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.B.A. from Purdue University, Krannert School of Management.

Johanna McLoughlin leads EY Ireland Life Sciences Consulting practice

Johanna joined us in January from Kite Pharma, the cell therapy company acquired by Gilead, based in Los Angeles, where she held the role of Chief Financial Officer. Before moving to Kite, Johanna held a number of leadership roles in Gilead in Europe, including Head of Commercial Finance for EMEA, CFO for Spain, and CFO for UK&I.

Johanna’s career to date has also seen her hold senior positions in finance, commercial and operations functions in GlaxoSmithKline & Walgreens Boots Alliance and has Big 4 client-facing consulting experience. She started her career in Audit & Assurance.

Minister Michael McGrath

Minister Michael McGrath, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Michael grew up in the harbour town of Passage West in County Cork. Before entering national politics, Michael served in local government as a member of Passage West Town Council and Cork County Council (Carrigaline electoral area). He was elected to Dáil Éireann at the first attempt in 2007 and has been re-elected in every election since (2011, 2016 and 2020).

Michael secured a first-class honours Commerce degree in UCC and went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Cork City. Before going into politics full time, Michael held senior positions in both the private sector (Financial Controller, RedFM) and public sector (Head of MIS, UCC). He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and has served on that body’s Audit, Risk and Finance Committee. Michael has also undertaken studies with the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In his time in the Dáil, Michael has served on a number of Oireachtas committees including the Finance Committee, the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry, the European Affairs Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.

As Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael is responsible for delivering well-managed and well-targeted public spending, through modernised, effective and accountable public services. The department oversees the implementation of the National Development Plan, drives the programme of public service reform, and has a key role in decisions made across government.


David Paterson

David Paterson, CFO, Primark

Since joining Primark as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2017, David has responsibility for all of Primark’s financial functions, including leading the global finance team to deliver an ongoing cost optimisation programme and driving Primark’s international expansion investment. As well as legal, risk and procurement, David is also responsible for Primark’s technology function, overseeing its transformation into a best in class strategic enabler for the business.

Prior to joining Primark, he was CFO at CarTrawler for over four and a half years during a period of significant transformation and growth for the business. He previously held a number of financial and strategy roles across a number of industries including TUI Travel plc, Virgin Rail Group, Deutsche Bank AG and British Airways. A graduate of the University of Leeds and London Business School, David lives in Dublin and is based at Arthur Ryan House, Primark’s international headquarters.

Mary Quaney

Mary Quaney, CEO, Mainstream Renewable Power

Mary was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer in August 2020. She joined Mainstream Renewable Power in 2009 and she held the role of Group Chief Financial Officer since 2017. She was appointed to Mainstream’s Board of Directors in 2019 and she sits on the company’s Risk & Investment and Corporate Social Responsibility Committees.

Mary has established a reputation for building world-class teams, implementing new reporting structures and systems across the company, and for aligning the company’s finance strategies to support the business strategy and high growth.

Mary has graduate and post-graduate qualifications from UCD and is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). She is an advocate and spokesperson on gender diversity and participated as a mentor for the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) Women in Wind programme in 2019.

Prior to joining Mainstream, Mary held senior-level positions in finance and corporate tax in PricewaterhouseCoopers and Trinity Biotech Plc.


Richard Kennedy

Scott T. Reents, VP Tax and Treasury, Abbvie

Scott Reents is Vice President, Tax and Treasury, reporting to Robert Michael, Sr. Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Reents joined Abbott in 2008 and after a two-year assignment in Europe, he returned to the U.S. to work in the corporate tax department with responsibilities in controversy and planning. When AbbVie began stand-alone operations in January 2013, he became the Vice President of Corporate Tax with responsibility for Global Taxes.

Prior to joining Abbott, he served as a Director of Tax for two other pharmaceutical companies. He also worked in consulting and was a Senior Director in Deloitte’s tax practice.

Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics at the University of Nebraska, and an MBA & JD from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

He is admitted to the Missouri Bar and is a member of the Tax Executive Institute.

Colin Ryan

Colin Ryan, Financial Services Country Leader, EY Ireland

Colin Ryan is EY Ireland’s Financial Services Country Leader. He has worked in a strategic advisory and change delivery capacity across Financial Services, Public Sector, Consumer Goods and Technology clients for the last 20 years. He has established and run a number of advisory practices in this time, and was previously leader of EY Ireland’s Financial Services Consulting practice.

Colin has extensive experience designing and delivering complex strategic change and business transformation initiatives across the full breadth of C suite portfolios. His particular areas of expertise is in operational excellence and complex ‘end-to-end’ transformation programmes. His approach is always to partner with leadership and delivery teams to understand the unique client organisational context in order to realise sustainable performance improvements for the organisation.

Danny Buckley, Partner, Financial Services, EY Ireland

Danny Buckley leads EY’s FS Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) team. The focus of FS FAAS is supporting CFOs in meeting the ever-changing demands on their agenda. 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 (XVAs, hedging, IBOR / benchmark reform), 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).

These broad experiences make Danny uniquely placed to advise/support on all aspects of the CFO’s agenda.

Danny holds a law degree from University College Dublin, a Professional Diploma in Accounting from DCU and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Risteard Sheridan, Chair of the Audit Committee, DAA and Company Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer AerCap

Risteard is the Senior Independent Director, Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee for daa plc, which owns Dublin and Cork airports and operates multiple airports and duty free concessions globally. Risteard is Company Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer of the aviation lessor AerCap, the largest owner of commercial aircraft, helicopters and aircraft engines globally. Risteard also led the recent integration of AerCap with GECAS (GE’s aircraft leasing division), following the conclusion of the $30bn acquisition in November 2021.

Derarca Dennis

Derarca Dennis, Partner, Assurance, EY Ireland

Derarca is the Partner and Lead for Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) for EY Ireland.

She has over 20 years of professional experience in financial and non-financial reporting, including six years based in Brussels and Finland. Derarca leads a team of climate change and sustainability specialists who focus on advising private and listed companies on climate and sustainability business solutions. She also leads the Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) team that advise on a range of technical financial and non-financial reporting issues.

Derarca is a graduate of University College Dublin and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland, as well as holding a degree in Psychology.

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CFOs are operating in a rapidly changing business environment and find themselves taking up unfamiliar challenges on a daily basis. Registrations for the CFO Summit live event are now closed. To sign up for an on-demand version delivered directly to your inbox, please register here.


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