Deloitte Best Managed Companies Symposium

Speaker line-up 2019

The Deloitte Best Managed Companies Symposium 2019, run by the programme's academic partner, the Irish Management Institute, is exclusively hosted for CEOs and management teams from the Deloitte Best Managed network. The Symposium takes place on the same day as the Gala Awards on Friday 1st March in the Convention Centre Dublin.

The day features business educators, thought leaders and guest speakers leading a variety of interactive sessions, providing exclusive insights and practical, targeted advice. It also allows winning companies to spend a day sharing best practices and new ideas, while learning practical tools that Deloitte Best Managed leaders can apply immediately to drive their business. For more information on the Symposium please email

Symposium Speakers 2019

Nancy Rademaker

Keynote: Leaders the Day After Tomorrow

Exponentially evolving technology is transforming the outside world like never before. The world of business, too, is changing at the same speed of light and leaders are having a hard time catching up and moving ahead to thrive in The Day After Tomorrow. To keep evolving leaders must abandon traditional linear ways of thinking.

In this session, Nancy will explore how to be inspired, to look beyond ‘just’ the technology and zoom in on the needs of customers and put them first.

Nancy has over 20 years of experience in how technology was and is transforming society, working for different IT companies. She loves to share her passion for technology and combines that valuable inside information with her experience in training and education.

She has always been enthusiastic about people and customer-centric strategies. She likes to focus on how technology influences people’s behavior and how it helps them to share knowledge and to create and innovate.

As a highly rated and motivating international business speaker, she has energised many roundtables, boardroom sessions and corporate events with bold presentations on the topics of digital transformation, extreme customer centricity, disruption, AI, business model change and leadership.

Nancy travels the world taking business leaders to innovation hubs like Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Berlin, using that first-hand inspiration as a continuous and valuable source, thus keeping the keynote content and examples on the cutting edge of the latest technologies, developments and disruptive new business models.

Nancy Rademaker

Dr. John Briffa

Session: Taking Care of Business

Strategies for Optimising Individual and Organisational Wellbeing, Performance and Productivity

Wellbeing issues are common in the work place and evidence shows they can take a considerable toll on an organisation’s productivity and profitability. Dr. John will explore the link between wellbeing and personal and organisational productivity. He will offer a selection of lifestyle and thinking strategies for optimising individual and organisational wellbeing, performance and productivity.

Dr. John Briffa BSc MB BS (Lond) is a practising doctor, internationally-published author, journalist, speaker and trainer. After graduating with honours from University College London School of Medicine, he specialised in preventive and nutritional medicine and is an expert in the use of lifestyle strategies to boost wellbeing and performance.

Dr. John is the Director of Dr. Briffa Wellness, a specialised business consultancy dedicated to providing practical tools for personal and organisational productivity. Over 20 years, Dr. Briffa has helped thousands of business professionals maximise their vitality, effectiveness and resilience using simple and sustainable strategies.

Dr. John is renowned for his ability to make complex information easy-to-understand and actionable. His sessions have a reputation for being high impact and memorable, with participants acting on and benefiting from his unique insights long into the future.

Recent clients include Deloitte, London Business Forum, Corenet, Allen and Overy, Management Today, RWE, Thames Water, Wincanton, British Gas and Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co., and Freshfields.

Caspar Berry, BMC

Sir Rob Wainwright, Partner, Deloitte North-West Europe 

Session: Cyber Security - Navigating the Cyber Terrain

Sir Rob Wainwright, recently retired Executive Director of Europol and now a partner at Deloitte, will be sharing his deep insights on cybersecurity.

In his time at Europol, he established the European Counter Terrorism Centre and the European Cybercrime Centre and led the transformation of Europol into a world-class security institution and the centre of innovation for cybersecurity, anti-terrorism and financial crime. Sir Rob was the pioneer of new global data-sharing and analytics platforms across governments and industries, and has led public-private cooperation initiatives on cyber at the World Economic Forum.

Sir Rob has had a 25-year career in intelligence, policing, government, EU and international affairs, including at the Serious Organised Crime Agency, National Criminal Intelligence Service and the British Security Service. In June 2018 he was awarded a Knighthood by HM The Queen for his services to security and policing.

David Carson, Partner, Deloitte

Session: Brexit: Beyond 29 March

This panel discussion, chaired by David Carson, will focus on how businesses will operate from Brexit “Day 1”.

David is a corporate finance partner. He leads Public Policy including Brexit in Deloitte Ireland.

David is a member of the IIEA Brexit Hub. He is a Council member of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Brexit subcommittee. He has spoken at a number of conferences on Brexit in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. He led a team that conducted a sectoral review on behalf of a Government Department of the impact of Brexit on Irish companies. He has advised a number of companies on the impact of Brexit.

David leads the Deloitte “Brexit Lab” for clients to assist them in their strategies to mitigate threats and take advantage of opportunities arising from Brexit. The lab accelerates businesses beyond uncertainty by examining potential risks, scenario planning and exploring opportunities to drive strategy and decision making.

Vincent Wall, BMC

Loretta O'Sullivan, Group Chief Economist, Bank of Ireland

Session: Brexit: Beyond 29 March

Dr Loretta O’Sullivan is Group Chief Economist at Bank of Ireland. Loretta heads up the Economic Research Unit and is responsible for economic analysis, including commentary, forecasts and research for various Group stakeholders and customers. She joined the Group from the Central Bank of Ireland, where she held the position of Senior Economist within the Monetary Policy & International Relations Division. Prior to that, she was a Senior Economist at the Department of Finance, during which time she was seconded for two years to the European Commission’s Economic and Financial Affairs Directorate in Brussels. 

Loretta holds a Ph.D in Economics from Trinity College Dublin, an MA in Policy, Management and Government from the University of York, and a BA (Mod) in Economics and Social Studies from Trinity College Dublin.

John Cronin, Partner, McCann FitzGerald

Session: Brexit: Beyond 29 March

John has many years’ experience in banking and corporate matters on a very broad range of transactions and projects. He provides legal and strategic advice to many corporate and financial institutions and State agencies.

John was the firm’s Chairman/Managing Partner from May 2008 to April 2015. He trained and qualified with McCann FitzGerald. After a stint with a UK magic circle firm, he became a partner in the firm’s Finance Group in 1991 and, from 1991 until August 2002, he led our London office. 

John is a non-executive director of Kingspan Group PLC and is the current President of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Paul Tierney, Managing Director, Extraspace Solutions Ltd.

Session: Brexit: Beyond 29 March

Paul joined Extraspace Solutions in 1990 and has been managing director since 2004. For over fifteen years, he has been instrumental in the company’s expansion particularly throughout the UK. A Deloitte Best Managed Company since 2014, Extraspace Solutions is a main contractor specialising in modern methods of construction, with two manufacturing facilities in Ireland, specialising in Education, Residential, Commercial and Healthcare.

Two years ago, Paul led the formation of a new joint venture company with Styles & Wood in Manchester, Spatial Initiative Limited. SIL is now the largest school builder in the UK, working directly with the UK’s Dept. for Education. Whole schools are manufactured off-site in Ireland and delivered and installed on-site in the UK.

A certified Chartered Management Accountant by profession, Paul has overseen the successful entry into the off-site residential sector and ensures that Extraspace Solutions upholds its place as an award-winning premier provider of off-site and modular accommodation throughout the UK and Ireland.

Valarie Daunt, Partner, Human Capital Consulting, Deloitte

Session: Is your organization simply irresistible?

In this session, Valarie will discuss creating an organisation that people will clamour to work for and hate to leave.

Valarie Daunt leads the Human Capital practice in Ireland. She has spent over 15 years delivering human capital solutions to clients in both public and private sectors, both as a practitioner in the role of HRD with an international bank and as a Consultant. She has responsibility for the provision of advisory services to a broad range of the firm’s national and international clients and specialises in advising both private and public companies on all aspects of Human Capital.


Prof. Michael Shiel

Session: Executing Strategy

The proportion of business strategies which achieve their goals and create value in the medium-to-long term is in a minority. Many potential factors contribute to strategy and there are many critical factors which must be aligned if the strategy is to work. In this session, Professor Shiel will outline a clear and practical set of action items which can be implemented immediately within any organisation.

Michael Shiel, a teacher and consultant in the field of strategic innovation and leadership, works with clients throughout the world on the development and implementation of strategic change; Pfizer, L’Oréal, Starwood Hotels, Abbott, The World Bank, Renault-Nissan, UNICEF, LVMH and Société Générale.

He is Adjunct Professor of Strategy at INSEAD, teaching on the INSEAD MBA and leads tailor-made executive programmes for large client companies. He has led INSEAD executive programmes in Japan, China, the US, and France. He has taught at the Scandinavian Executive Institute, ESADE and the China Business Executives Academy Dalian. He is an Executive Fellow at CEDEP in Paris, has been a visiting professor at the Moscow School of Management, taught at SIMI, IESE and at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

He holds a Doctorate in Strategic Management (University of Hertfordshire), an MBA (Fordham University), a bachelor’s degree in Engineering (NUI), an Advanced Certificate in Group Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Institute of Group Analysis) and the Tavistock Institute Qualification in Advanced Organizational Consultation (London). He is a recipient of the Sir Charles Harvey Award for outstanding achievement in the field of postgraduate business studies.

Paula Mullin

Session: Leading with Executive Presence.

Why do certain leaders have the ability to really engage, inspire and move people to act? Executive Presence has long been acknowledged as a critical factor in leadership. However, its definition is often mysterious and people struggle to capture what it really means. Using the Bates ExPI model, the session will look at the three dimensions of Executive Presence; Character, Substance and Style.

Paula Mullin is an Executive and Communications Coach specialising in Executive Presence. She is one of a small number of Irish coaches accredited to deliver the Bates Executive Presence Index (ExPI) assessment – the science-based 360 model which measures Executive Presence.

Paula has 18 years’ experience working in communications and coaching. She works with companies including Kerry Group, CRH, Hollister, CarTrawler, Enterprise Ireland, AON and Facebook. With a BA honours in Psychology and Sociology from Queens University Belfast, Paula has qualifications in Executive Coaching, Communications Training and is an Associate Coach and Facilitator with the IMI. A Programme Director, she teaches on many certified modules including the Diploma in Executive Coaching. Paula is a popular speaker at events including the European Mentoring Coaching Council, National Conference, Google – The Women’s Professional Network, Institute of Directors, ACCA, Association of Advertisers and The Irish Times. She is a regular contributor to The Sunday Business Post, The Irish Times, Irish Independent and The Marian Finucane Show, on RTÉ Radio One. Paula is a member of European Mentoring & Coaching Council and avails of regular supervision.


Julie Ryan

Symposium MC

Julie founded and heads up IMI's Customised Executive Education which is globally ranked (Financial Times) for the quality of its work. She and a professional team work with hundreds of organisations and their senior teams to enhance business performance through talent development programmes.

Julie is leading on the design and delivery of a range consortium programmes for sectors including – Tourism & Hospitality, Construction, Engineering and FDI in Ireland.

She has extensive experience working with stakeholders and industry partners including Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Irish Banking & Payment Federation, CIF and UCC to both expand IMI’s footprint in industry and support leadership development in Ireland.

Julie is an executive coach, board member, participates in industry working groups and is a judge for IITD and GradIreland national awards.


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