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Saturday 10 December 2016

Warren Buffett protege beefs up the Irish racing set

Published 06/08/2010 | 05:00

IRELAND'S racing set will get another paid-up member with the arrival of Warren Buffett protege Richard Santulli (65), below, who is setting up a $500m (€380m) helicopter company, Milestone, which will be based in Dublin for tax reasons and offer services here in Europe and in the US.

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While the one-time head of Goldman Sachs' equipment-leasing group is best known as the man who set up New Jersey-based NetJets after pioneering the "fractional" concept of selling shares in private aircraft, he is also an enthusiastic horse breeder.

He was recently elected to the board of stewards of the US Jockey Club and has horses on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mr Santulli's taste runs to the high end of the market.

He sold a colt called Kingmambo to Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum for $11.7m (€8.9m) in Kentucky in 2006 following a long bidding duel with Coolmore Stud owner John Magnier.

Former NetJets Europe executives William Kelly and Robert Dranitzke will head up Milestone's Dublin office while several former NetJets executives will work in the New Jersey branch.

Mr Kelly (44) ran NetJets Europe when Santulli headed the business.

A vision thing

FERGAL O'Byrne, a former "net visionary internet marketer of the year", is joining the board of the IE Domain Registry as a non-executive director. The 44-year-old Enniscorthy resident is chief executive of Sonru, which allows people to interview job candidates online and is a former chief executive of the Irish Internet Association.

The DIG-trained engineer is author of '10 Technologies Every Executive Needs To Know' and '10 Online Marketing And Search Engine Essentials'. He was also part of the original team that helped set up eircom.net and was responsible for projects such as the 'Doras Directory', and sits on several other boards including giftsdirect.com, WINC, and CCD.ie as well as advising Failte Ireland's e-Business Support Initiative.

Sprouting jobs

WELL done to Nature's Best managing director Paddy O'Callaghan (above). The Drogheda-based chilled-food producer has agreed a €2m deal with Tesco which the company says will add another 25 new jobs to its existing 200. The 63-year-old mechanical engineer first set up a business growing beansprouts in 1987 but those humble beginnings have led to a massive factory being opened in Drogheda and a position as one of the leading suppliers of prepared fruit, salad and vegetable products in the Irish market.

Irish Independent

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