Thursday 23 November 2017

A fast grower supplying IT to the bio-tech world

Paddy Roberts, Kevin Barrett and Pat Pollard of Daybreak Information Technologies
Paddy Roberts, Kevin Barrett and Pat Pollard of Daybreak Information Technologies

Daybreak Information Technologies is the brainchild of Kevin Barrett, former chief information officer of bio-technology firm Elan (bought last year by US firm Perigo). Elan now outsources all its IT functions to Daybreak whose rapidly growing business provides IT support services especially tailored for the bio-technology sector.

Daybreak has already won two other major clients, and is on an aggressive business development strategy to sign up more customers in 2014, focusing on the major US bio-technology hubs of Silicon Valley, San Diego and Boston. Headquartered in Dublin, where approximately half the company's 40 staff work, Daybreak is specifically targeting firms with extensive European operations.

"We believe our niche focus on biotechnology, our proven expertise, our ISO certifications and the fact that we can deliver a service for 20 per cent less than other supply models makes us a compelling partner to work with," says CEO Kevin Barrett, who was supported in setting up Daybreak by two other former Elan colleagues – Pat Pollard and Paddy Roberts.

The three executive directors are supported on Daybreak's board by chairman John Hartnett, an Irish-American veteran of Silicon Valley and also a board member of Aer Lingus. The group's other non-executive director is William Earley, former managing partner of law firm McCann Fitzgerald.

Barrett's strategy is to grow the business organically and also through acquisition with a similar strategy of offering specialist services targeting specifically the bio-tech sector. Just two months ago Daybreak bought digital evidence specialist Cernam which will broaden the range of specialist services it can offer.

Kevin Foley

Director and Head of Start-Ups, Grant Thornton Dublin

We have worked very closely with the Daybreak team and their legal advisers to create the appropriate corporate structure during its separation from Elan. Given the multi-jurisdictional nature of the business there were a range of complex factors we needed to ensure were in place from day one rather than having them become an issue as the business expanded.

When we support start-ups we provide a very holistic and hands-on service including helping develop the business plan, monitoring its implementation and providing strategic counsel to the company's board.

The global Grant Thornton network was of great value here given Daybreak's international plans and need for support on both sides of the Atlantic.

Peter Vale

Tax Partner, Grant Thornton Dublin

The Daybreak HQ and certain key functions sit in Dublin, with the majority of its customers in the US. Managing tax compliance for such a group is important. Daybreak is currently on the acquisition trail and managing the group's overall effective tax rate will be an important part of that. There are signals that the US corporate tax rate will come down but at the moment it is about three times our rate, meaning that managing tax is a key part of managing costs for Irish groups looking to break into the US market.

We work closely with Allan Smith and our Grant Thornton US tax colleagues on any tax advice, as the US piece of the jigsaw is key. We've also been helped by the recent opening in New York of our dedicated US/Ireland desk, led by Dara Kelly, allowing our US and Irish firms to link up even more effectively in providing advice to US companies looking at investing in Ireland and Irish companies such as Daybreak looking at the US market.

Allan Smith

Tax, Managing Director, Grant Thornton US Bay Area

As Peter indicates, Daybreak's operations are currently bridged between the US and Ireland and it's important that we are able to provide them an integrated package of advice with my team bringing to bear our specialist knowledge of the United States.

A collaborative approach is necessary requiring a close working relationship between the client, Peter's team in Ireland, and our team here in Silicon Valley.

One of our first tasks in the US was to assist Daybreak in establishing appropriate procedures to ensure overall tax compliance and minimise risk. In the United States alone, Daybreak is subject to comply with a myriad of taxes at the US federal, state, and local levels.

Understanding the reporting requirements and deadlines of these various taxes, as well as implementing processes to administer the compliance, was critical for Daybreak.

Jillian O'Sullivan

Corporate Compliance Partner, Grant Thornton Dublin

In much the same way that Elan is outsourcing its IT function to Daybreak, they in turn have outsourced their finance and accounts department to Grant Thornton.

We are able to provide all the necessary support such as payroll services, accounting support and company secretarial facilities. This ensures that Daybreak can focus on its core business without the added overhead and complexity of needing its own finance department.

Given our extensive involvement in the establishment of the company and knowledge of the structure and strategy, it has been very easy for Grant Thornton to provide a tailor-made finance service to Daybreak that meets their needs and will be scalable to their ambitious growth plans.

Sunday Indo Business

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