Friday 27 April 2018

Niamh Brennan

ROISIN BURKE

Ex-Ulster Bank director and Dublin Docklands Development Authority chair Niamh Brennan has turned her main focus to academia.

A UCD science graduate, she went on to qualify as an accountant with KPMG. She favoured academia however, taking a PhD from the University of Warwick.

Ten years ago she started up UCD's corporate governance centre that she still heads up, where for €14,000, company directors learn business ethics mores. She has held several public roles, including on the audit committee of the departments of agriculture and enterprise, chairing the financial management and control body for the HSE and sitting on its board. She is also an ex director of Coillte and Bank of Ireland's Lifetime Assurance.

For almost a decade until 2009 she was a non-executive director of Ulster Bank.

In 2009, then environment minister John Gormley appointed Brennan to chair the DDDA, to put measures in place to ensure accountability following years of conflicts of interest issues and disastrous property investment. She finished up with the DDDA in May. Of her time there, she says a key learning point for the organisation was that "In a lot of these kind of situations, doing things properly in the long run is a much better approach."

She chairs a family investment and insurances business and is a director of an offshoot of this called AIC. She's on the Institute of Chartered Accountants disciplinary body.

She is married to barrister and ex-PD Michael McDowell.

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