Business Irish

Sunday 8 December 2019

The Punt: The Fine Gael model Cabinet

Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs Enterprise & Innovation
Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs Enterprise & Innovation
"Richard Bruton looks pensive, as he evidently grapples with the jobs crisis"

Fine Gael has gone all glitzy on us. Who do they think they are? Those sophisticated yanks?

As Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced the new Cabinet line-up on Friday, the senior coalition party was busy putting 
out pre-prepared professional photos of their top men and a few select women.

And in an added touch, they've all been pre-signed with their first names.

It's all very West Wing-esque - and the photos look as if they've been touched up to make the Fine Gael boys and girls quite glamorous.

We have a side-on profile of Michael Noonan mid-speech; Government chief whip Paul Kehoe looks a little angry in a don't-mess-with-the-whip sort of way; Richard Bruton looks pensive, as he evidently grapples with the jobs crisis, while Charlie Flanagan, sitting at his desk, sports a smug little smile as he marvels at the plum job he's landed.

There's many a thorny issue to be tackled by the new Cabinet, not least in health where golden boy Leo Varadkar has taken the helm.

Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin have another tough budget (perhaps not as tough as once thought) to get past a very weary public. And an election beckons in a few short years.

It would be terribly embarrassing if it turned out that it was all style and very little substance.

Women at the top of business

Mouna Kenazoui, chief executive of Irish-owned recruitment firm Martinsen Mayer, has been crowned Dublin's businesswoman of the year in a new firm as part of the Network Ireland awards.

Ms Kenazoui, who established Martinsen Mayer last year, was commended by adjudicators for being "an entrepreneur to watch with a strong vision for her company".

"She has a growth plan and isn't putting up any barriers to corporate and personal success," they added.

Barbara Moynihan, MD of On Your Feet, was the capital's self-employed businesswoman of the year, while the Dylan Hotel's Rachel Walker was top employee.

All three now have to face category winners from Cork, Limerick, Galway, Mayo, Tipperary North, Kildare and Louth/Meath at the national awards on September 26.

"Promoting business networking for women and growing the number of female entrepreneurs is an important part of the Irish economic recovery," said Ms Kenazoui, who hopes to help shape Ireland's future business landscape.

Waratek digs down under

The Punt's quest to unearth the identity of some of the investors behind Dublin-based Waratek, where technology entrepreneur Brian Maccaba is chief executive, leads us to Australia.

Waratek develops software used to protect applications that integrate with Oracle's Java platform. The company's shareholder register notes that within the past couple of months an Aussie firm called Perle Ventures paid €65,000 for a stake.

Perle's ultimate owners are Australian Simon Szewach and New Zealander Shayne Smyth. Mr Szewach is an internet entrepreneur who co-founded StartHere, a retailing website.

The Australian backing for Waratek extends further.

Of a €230,000 tranche of funding it recently raised, the bulk came from Down Under.

One investor is a firm controlled by a family that includes Kinsey Cotton, one of Australia's richest young people. He's a co-founder of the high frequency trading firm Tibra Capital. Looks like Waratek is keeping good company. Fair dinkum.

Irish Independent

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