Sunday 19 January 2020

The Punt - Now, which President were you looking for?

BERLIN - APRIL 24: Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan adresses the media during a news conference on April 24, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. Annan met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to set up a group to monitor rich nations' commitments to Africa, two months before the G8 summit of the world's leading industrial nations which Merkel is hosting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
BERLIN - APRIL 24: Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan adresses the media during a news conference on April 24, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. Annan met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to set up a group to monitor rich nations' commitments to Africa, two months before the G8 summit of the world's leading industrial nations which Merkel is hosting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

There is an old story about a caller to London's grand hotel, Claridge's, who rang up and asked to be put through to "the King".

"And which king would you like to speak to?" came the ice-cool response from reception.

The joke, or course, is that crowned heads were so common at Claridges the caller really needed to narrow down their search.

Attendees at this year's One Young World summit, which takes place in Dublin on October 15 to 19, may have to deal with some similar issues. With no fewer than six former presidents booked to arrive, including our own Mary Robinson, receptionists at Dublin hotels may need to brush up on their diplomatic skills.

Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico; Andres Pastrana, former president of Colombia; Jorge Quiroga, former president of Bolivia; Alejandro Toledo, former president of Peru; and Martin Torrijos, former president of Panama, all land in Dublin for the event.

It is hailed as the preeminent forum for young leaders aged 18-30 globally. While the focus of the event is on the young attendees, their prospective mentors are a formidable bunch. Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general,  Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; Gro Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway; Paul Polman, Global CEO, Unilever; and Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder, Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize laureate will all be in Dublin.

One Young World aims to bring the brightest young leaders from around the world together, to empower them to make lasting connections and develop solutions to some of the world's most pressing issues.

Now, which president did you say you were looking to speak to?

Irish disruptor honoured

DAVRA Networks boss Paul Glynn has been singled out for accolade.  He's been named one of the top 25 so-called disruptors among channel-focused tech businesses in the US, along with the chief executives of technology giants HP and Amazon.

The entry in CRN's list of industry leaders for 2014 reportedly recognises Glynn and the Davra Networks team for the development of a software platform.

CRN each year presents the Top 100 list of the IT industry's foremost leaders. The list starts by honouring the 25 Most Influential of 2014, a collection of the individuals who had the biggest impact on the tech industry in the last 12 months.

Being a disruptor may not normally be a good thing. But in the world of business, it's a big compliment. The big thinkers - such as Michael O'Leary and Steve Jobs - would likely be regarded as such.

Indeed, on September 5, Ireland's first disruptors conference will take place at the Marker Hotel in Dublin's docklands.

The Silicon Valley Bank-sponsored event will feature a range of speakers including Claire Lee, head of corporate ventures at the bank, and Margaret Molloy, the New York-based chief marketing officer at branding firm Siegel+Gale.

The event will examine how the fastest growing firms in the world are deploying disruptive business techniques and where the next business opportunities lie as well as where the money is going.

Davra Networks provides an end-to-end solution for gathering large volumes of data in virtually any Internet of Things (IoT) environment.

Cully & Sully owner rockets

It's hard to believe it's over two years since US food group Hain Celestial acquired Irish company Cully & Sully.

The group paid an upfront €10.4m in cash for the Irish firm, which was founded in 2004 by Colm O'Sullivan and Cullen Allen (a nephew of Ballymaloe chef Darina and grandson of Myrtle Allen), pictured below.

But it also set aside contingent consideration of up to €4.5m to be paid to the founders, based on the achievement of "specified operating results" during the period ending April 27 this year.

Releasing its annual report this week, Hain Celestial doesn't specify exactly how much of the contingent consideration the Cully & Sully founders were ultimately entitled to.

Hain Celestial made other acquisitions in the same year it bought the Irish company, and details that it paid $11.8m in total contingent consideration during its last financial year. Shares in Hain Celestial soared almost 10pc in one day last week when it reported record annual sales and forecast revenue for the current financial year that was above analyst estimates.

Its full-year sales hit $2.2bn (€1.6bn) after it generated its best ever revenue in the UK.

"They have very strong management, but beyond that it's a great category; natural and organic sales has a lot of growth, about 10pc annually," said Andrew Wolf, an analyst at BB&T Capital Markets.

Hain moved to gain synergies from its Cully & Sully purchase, transferring some of the company's soup-making activity to a Hain facility in the UK. Those soups had been made by Glanbia in Ireland.

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