Tuesday 24 October 2017

Where are they now? Kingsley Aikins


THE "guru of global philanthropy" and networker par excellence is helping a gigantic online version of the Antiques Roadshow launch in Europe.

Born and reared in Dublin, Aikins was educated at The High School in Rathgar and at Trinity College. He played college rugby and also had a few outings for Leinster.

From 1985, he was the Irish Trade Board's and the IDA's man in Sydney, Australia. From 1992, he ran the Australian Ireland Fund and also set up the same model in New Zealand and Japan. He moved to Boston a year later to head up the American Ireland Fund.

In 1995, he became CEO of the funds' umbrella group, Worldwide Ireland Funds, which has tapped the wealthy Irish diaspora to raise hundreds of millions for community and charitable causes here. Under Aikins, it drummed up over €250m.

He finished up that $900,000 (€780,000)-a-year job at the end of 2009. This year, he set up Networking Matters, teaching the art of making and building business connections.

Aikins is a director of Worthpoint Ireland, the European base for the US online antiques valuation site. This "Bloomberg for antiques" has made Dublin its hub for a European rollout. The Ireland website launches in the next few weeks. UK, France and Germany sites will follow.

He is part of "Farmleigh 2" the Global Irish Economic Forum. He lives in Dublin and is married to Claire and they have three children.

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