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The Punt: Ex-Rabobank man Hetherington's new art job


 Andrew Hetherington

Andrew Hetherington

Larry Murrin with Danny McCoy

Larry Murrin with Danny McCoy

Gary O' Neill


Andrew Hetherington

Andrew Hetherington has been appointed the new chief executive of Business to Arts, an organisation that develops partnerships between the Irish arts community and, you guessed it, businesses.

Mr Hetherington (36) has been with the group since 2007 when he was appointed its project director.

He had just graduated from UCD with a Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at the time.

Usefully for Business to Arts, he worked for seven years in Rabobank's corporate treasury department.

That got the Punt wondering about other people who changed careers and it reveals some interesting evolutions.

Singer Andrea Bocelli was a lawyer before he made his first inroads as a crooner at the age of 34.

Martha Stewart was a stockbroker at one time with the firm that later became Oppenheimer & Co, while Walt Disney was a newspaper editor.

Former US vice president Al Gore was a journalist for a few years during the '70s (there's hope!).

"Our reputation as an impact-driven organisation is a tribute to the energy of my predecessor, Stuart McLaughlin, and our passionate and committed Board and team," said Mr Hetherington on his appointment.

"I am looking forward to working with our members to find new and innovative ways to collaborate."

The organisation says that businesses can benefit from being a member of the group by receiving strategic advice on issues such as CSR and sponsorship.


Murrin takes over at Ibec

IBEC's incoming president gave an interesting speech at the business lobby group's annual shindig at the RDS on Thursday night.

New man Larry Murrin, founder and chief executive of Dawn Farm Foods, inset, looks like a good fit for Ibec. He represents a group of businesses than employs hundreds of thousands of people in this country and he is also a bone fide entrepreneur which is no bad thing to have at the top of an organisation like Ibec.

Murrin is a smooth operator with a pleasing voice that allowed him to command the attention of several hundred hungry guests. While Dawn Farm Foods is a highly successful company that sells to everybody from Subway to Kerry, Murrin has a nice self-deprecating style.

For the evening, which is a showcase for the organisation as well as great fun, Ibec had the unusual idea of creating a wishing tree. Guests wrote down a wish for the country and then stuck it to a tree. Every wish was then matched with a donation to charity by Ibec.

The Punt could only agree with Murrin's wish which was for an end to unemployment and especially the tragedy of long-term unemployment.

Ibec chief executive (and former ESRI economist) Danny McCoy wished for population growth; he wants the island to hit the 10 million mark within a generation or so.


US Senate race eyes Irish tax

The fallout from tax inversion deals is getting personal. A Senate race in Minnesota has focused on a 2012 deal that saw Ireland's Azur Pharma acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $500m (€381m at the time).

Azur was founded by former Elan executive Seamus Mulligan in 2005. Following the Jazz deal, he owned 10pc of the enlarged group.

The transaction also saw Jazz move its corporate domicile to Ireland.

Last month, it was reported that Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden's investment firm - Lazard Middle Market - made $11m by advising Azur Pharma in the deal. Mr McFadden said he was not personally involved in the Azur-Jazz transaction.

This week, the incumbent in the Senate race - Al Franken -released a TV advert that criticises Mr McFadden's firm's involvement in the deal.

"Ireland - famous for its lucky leprechauns and corporate tax shelters," says the advert's voiceover.

"McFadden's company made more than $11m, but American taxpayers weren't so lucky. We lost millions," the ad says.

Irish Independent