Business Davos 2017

Monday 1 May 2017

Taoiseach meets top bosses in bid to lure jobs

Brexit is expected to be the number one item on the agenda between Mr Kenny and Lloyd’s chief executive Dame Inga Beale. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Brexit is expected to be the number one item on the agenda between Mr Kenny and Lloyd’s chief executive Dame Inga Beale. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will meet a host of top business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos in a bid to lure more jobs to Ireland.

The meetings include one with the chief executive of Lloyd's of London. The world's largest speciality insurance market is actively examining Dublin as an option for its European base in the wake of Brexit.

Brexit is expected to be the number one item on the agenda between Mr Kenny and Lloyd's chief executive Dame Inga Beale.

Yesterday, Ireland's Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy said the prospect of losing access to the European Union's single market should prompt a wave of UK-based financial services companies to announce full or partial relocations to Ireland by the middle of 2017.

But Mr Murphy declined to name any of the companies that are in talks to relocate.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach is due to meet an array of executives from the banking, medical and telco sectors at Davos.

Singer and Unicef ambassador Shakira spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photo: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
Singer and Unicef ambassador Shakira spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photo: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Mr Kenny will hold a bilateral meeting with Dame Beale tomorrow ahead of a special address to the WEF congress by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Lloyd's has been one of the London financial institutions most vocal about the need to set up an EU subsidiary as Britain readies for a 'hard' Brexit from the European Union.

Yesterday, Lloyd's chairman John Nelson said the company would make an announcement on its new European subsidiary before the middle of April.

"We will be ready to make an announcement in relation to our move to Europe in Q1, certainly by Easter," Mr Nelson said.

Lloyd's has said it is considering five locations for its new subsidiary, including Dublin.

Mr Nelson did not give any further details on the insurance market's choice of location.

Industry observers say all insurers looking to set up EU subsidiaries have included Dublin among their options.

They are attracted by its language, location and tax and regulatory systems.

The Irish delegation in Davos, which includes Mr Kenny, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan, is focusing its efforts on a series of meetings at which Brexit and other issues such as financial regulation, tax and foreign direct investment (FDI) are expected to dominate proceedings.

Mr Kenny has a series of scheduled meetings with key executives including Michael Rake, chairman of BT Group, and Anne Finucane, vice-chairman of Bank of America.

The Taoiseach will also meet a number of leading medical tech and pharma executives, including Omar Ishrak, chairman and chief executive of Medtronic, Flemming Ornskov, chief executive of Shire, and Michael Nally, president and CEO of global vaccines at MSD.

Mr Kenny will also have talks with Karim Lesina, AT&T's vice-president covering international external affairs for a number of regions, including the EU.

Mr Lesina is in charge of trans-Atlantic relations for the American telco conglomerate.

He is also scheduled to meet with Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, as well as Manuel Kohnstamm, senior vice-president of Liberty Global.

Meanwhile, the Irish-born president of the Confederation of British Industry welcomed Mrs May's Brexit speech. Paul Drechsler said it was "a very positive, exciting and aspirational vision" for the UK.

He said Mrs May put forward a very positive message and tone around the sort of relationship that the UK wanted with Europe post-Brexit.

"This isn't about confrontation, isn't about negativity," said Mr Dreschler, who also praised the Irish Government's response to Brexit.

Irish Independent

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