Our Champions

Terry Clune

CEO & Founder - Clune Tech

Aoife O'Brien

Global Head of Recruitment - Clune Tech

Cathal Smyth

Executive in Residence (ExIR) in the School of Business – Fund Academy

Kritika Jackson

Channel Partnership Manager - Immedis

Dean Caron

Project Manager - Unum

Liam Varley

Vice President - Cyber Security - State Street

Rob Leslie

CEO & Founder - Sedicii

Tom Enright

Head of Compliance - Loanitt

Yvonne Connolly

Country Head Ireland - Carne Group

Terry Clune

Founder & CEo - clune tech

Born in Wicklow and based in Kilkenny, Terry Clune is the CEO and founder of Clune Tech (formerly Taxback Group). Terry graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1996 with a degree in business and economics.

After a summer working abroad in Germany, he and his fellow students found it difficult to claim back German Tax they had overpaid. He decided to take matters into his own hands and with the help of his mother, he started preparing German tax returns for his University friends. This resulted in the establishment of Taxback.com in 1996.

Driven by Terry’s keen eye for business and entrepreneurial spirit, Clune Tech is the parent company of Ireland’s most successful and ground breaking Fintech brands – including TransferMate Global Payments, Immedis and Taxback International. In an ultra-competitive Fintech sector, Clune Tech’s companies are all at the very cutting edge of financial innovation developed here in Ireland and exported to the world’s largest multinational clientele.

Aoife O'Brien

Global Head of Recruitment - Clune Tech

I graduated from college with an honours degree in Human Resource Management in Waterford Institute of Technology. Straight after graduation I moved to Perth, Western Australia and began my career in recruitment. I worked for global multi nationals recruiting across retail, commercial and corporate banking positions. I got homesick and decided to return home where I secured a role with America’s third largest asset management company growing their business up to one thousand employees in Ireland. I always wanted to return to the sunny south east and I was delighted when the opportunity arose with Clune Tech ( formerly The Taxback Group) to head up their recruitment department globally from their Kilkenny headquarters.

We are currently expanding at a rapid rate here in Kilkenny which is great. Terry Clune is fantastic bringing such a large volume of roles to the south east.

Cathal Smyth

Executive in Residence (ExIR) in the School of Business - Fund Academy.

Cathal is now Executive in Residence (ExIR) in the School of Business – Fund Academy.

He had worked at State Street for 20 years, firstly as a general manager, and also chief administrative officer. Before that he worked in Deutsche Bank (now State Street) for 4 years. 

Prior to working in State Street, Cathal worked for AIG and PWC.

Cathal got into finance as he studied Accounting & Finance in DCU.

Kritika jackson

Channel Partnership Manager - Immedis

I have had a very interesting career which has exposed me to loads of different roles in various industries- this has helped me gain a huge amount of transferrable skills, something Immedis obviously recognised. I moved to Ireland to work with a global student organisation, AIESEC for a year before joining Coyle Hamilton, now Willis Towers Watson and doing a 5 year stint in Accenture. Following which I took a break and moved to India before returning to Ireland to pursue my MBA from Trinity. Having spent the guts of the last 10 years in eCommerce and becoming very proficient in it, I had reached a stalemate where it felt very repetitive to me- I was facing different versions of the same few issues.

Sometimes during Covid, I have wished I was back in that space as the opportunities were immense but I am really glad to be in the role I am in. I am currently setting up the structure around the strategic partnerships for growth and working with top tier Human Capital Management software providers such as Ultimate Software and Workday. I work with a team of people who challenge me regularly and make me laugh often- a winning combo, if ever!

dean caron

project manager - unum

I started my IT career in New Zealand, in software engineering and database management, as well as stints in the UK and Ireland before settling back home and raising a family. I eventually moved to the dark-side, IT Management, and am proud to have been instrumental in building a start-up IT company from 5 to 50. I enjoyed being a big fish in a small pond with roles from Operations Manager to CTO.

Relocating to Ireland was challenging in a country where it’s all about who you know, but with so much IT work available it didn’t take too long. Since 2014 I have worked for Unum in management roles. A significant portion of Unum’s IT department is based in Carlow, and has been for over 10 years. We have a great reputation within Unum IT for innovation and advancing Unum’s IT practices. I very much appreciate that I am able to maintain and enhance a “corporate career” without having to be based within a congested city. Unum is big enough that there is always new opportunities surfacing with various options to move or change within.

Liam varley

Vice President - Cyber security - State Street

Liam is an experienced Cyber Security Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and security industry. Skilled in Incident Response, People Management, Talent Development and Process improvement. Strong SOC and Talent Management experience with a MSc in Computing focused on Applied Cyber Security from Technological University Dublin. While also holding certs in GIAC SANs Incident handler (GCIH) & Cyber Security Leadership from the Professional development academy.

liam varley

rob leslie

CEO & Founder - Sedicii

In 2013 I founded Sedicii. Using novel cryptographic protocols, multiparty computations and zero knowledge proofs, Sedicii is creating the world’s first distributed, public identity utility to facilitate the verification of identity data without the need to expose or share the underlying data, thereby protecting the privacy of the person.

Sedicii has developed & patented technology based on a zero knowledge proof protocol that removes the need to transmit or expose personal data during an identity verification or authentication process. It facilitates any organisation or person verifying the information they hold on a person with any other organisation or person without the need to share or expose this information. This reduces identity theft, impersonation & fraud & enables users to consume digital services safely & reliably without having to expose their identity. The info is protected using complex mathematical transforms that cannot be decrypted, decoded or hacked without massive computational effort. 

Prior to founding Sedicii, I co-founded Kyckr in 2007. And prior to that I lived in Japan for nearly twenty years before returning to live in Ireland in 2003.

rob

Tom enright

head of compliance - loanitt

Experienced Head of Compliance with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. Skilled in Banking, Compliance Management, Anti-Money Laundering, Risk Management, and Financial Services. Strong legal professional graduated from Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Loanitt now offer new mortgage and switcher mortgage options, car finance, agriculture finance and commercial finance.

Loanitt are rated the #1 lending broker in Ireland with the use of technology to improve a customer’s credit application journey.

tom

YVONNE CONNOLLY

Country head IRELAND - CARNE GROUP

Country Head of Carne Group’s Irish business and former Chair of Irish Funds Council, the official representative body for the Irish investment fund industry. Yvonne also acts as a Chairperson and Director to a select number of traditional funds, hedge funds and management companies domiciled in Ireland and the Cayman Islands. She has over 25 years of experience in the funds industry, having started her career with Deutsche Bank’s (now State Street’s) fund business in 1993.

During her time as CEO of Carne Ireland, the business has more than doubled its workforce, opened a second office in Kilkenny, a new financial services centre in Wexford and has established a technology company. Carne Ireland has also become the largest independent third-party management company, having Assets Under Management approaching $150+ billion.

Carne Group founded 2004, is the premier global provider of Fund Management Solutions to the asset management industry. Their comprehensive solutions include European Management Companies, Fund Platforms, Independent Fund Directorships and other services