Friday 19 January 2018

Public service conference offers rare insight to inner workings

UCD professor and chairwoman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Niamh Brennan was characteristically forthright at a conference on public service yesterday.

"The board of the HSE is full of alpha males, and it's also full of alpha females; the job of the chairman is a nightmare," HSE board member Prof Brennan told her audience.

An off-the-cuff comment from second secretary general at the Department of Finance Donal McNally, meanwhile, offered an insight into civil servants' outlook as he referred to the "department of enterprise, trade and whatever else".

Good to see 'innovation' so high up on their checklist.

Mr McNally gave a frank insight into life in his department. "If you've a surplus, that's bad, we might have to spend it; if you've a deficit, that's bad because we have to borrow. We are sceptical, conservative and pessimistic; that goes with the job." Musing on the last bank strike, Mr McNally told the audience: "We had a bank strike in 1970 for three months; it did the country a power of good."

Slow embrace

THE slow embrace of overseas talent by Irish companies continues with Merrion Pharmaceuticals' appointment of Hing Kin Chan as chief business officer. Dr Chan has toiled for more than 20 years in the healthcare industry, and previously held similar roles at DBV Technologies in Paris, ProBioGen in Berlin and Eurand in Milan.

The graduate of the Universities of Geneva and London will be responsible for Merrion's deal-making and negotiations along with the identification of new opportunities and portfolio fits within the industry.

Dr Chan is also a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in the UK and the Gerson Lehrman Group Healthcare Council.

MBAs help out

SHANE Ross did the honours last night at an evening for Boardmatch and Norma Smurfit's First Steps initiative, which concentrates on small start-ups.

The senator spoke to around 50 MBA graduates who are looking to donate their time by sitting on the boards of charities, non-profits and start-ups at an event in the headquarters of CMC Markets in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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