Tuesday 19 November 2019

Young bloods done good

Their folks made it and now their offspring are spending it – but planning to make more under their own steam with their own businesses

Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison
Eve Hewson films scenes for 'The Knick' in New York
School's out: Rosanna Davison is opening her own nutrition clinic
James Gandolfini and Eve Hewson in a scene from Enough Said.

Roisin Burke

Brought up in a gilded lifestyle, you could easily just rest on your laurels and rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad.

But some of the offspring of the very moneyed are making their mark in their own way.

Take Natalya Coyle, for one, the sure-shooting Olympic athlete and heiress to her dad Ray's Tayto fortune. She placed ninth in the London Olympics Pentathlon; now she's training for Rio in 2016.

Bono's actress daughter Eve starred with Sean Penn in This Must Be the Place and has been a red carpet regular, despite her parents' initial opposition to her going into acting. She appeared in Enough Said, which starred Sopranos star James Gandolfini in one of his final roles, and is starring in Oscar-winning director Stephen Soderbergh's upcoming TV drama, The Knick.

A surprising amount of Irish rich kids are involved in their own business ventures.

When researching setting up his Dublin base, Jack Teeling discovered that the Teeling family had been involved in whiskey-making in Dublin up until the 17th century. Carrying on a distinguished heritage, John Teeling's son has started a whiskey business and is opening a €10m distillery in the Liberties. Jack has the benchmark of Cooley – the whiskey business founded by Jack's dad, and sold to Beam in a deal worth €71m. So, no pressure then.

Zoe Jordan, the daughter of former Formula One boss Eddie Jordan, was a London City bond dealer who moved seamlessly from high finance to high fashion to become a well regarded designer. She's a London fashion week favourite with fans such as Keira Knightley and Cara Delevingne.

Not yet 30, Danielle Ryan, granddaughter of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan, is launching her Roads luxury products and entertainment business next month with lots of projects already in train. She's also a founding director of Lir Theatre and a big Unicef supporter.

Dedicated vegan Rosanna Davison is setting up a nutrition business and plans to open her own clinic. She says she'll still carry on modelling, but a further Playboy outing isn't on the cards – sorry, boys.

Rosanna's fiance Wesley Quirke works in his father Richard 'Dr Quirkey' Quirke's amusement business. Wes's brother Andrew is the comedian behind Damo & Ivor.

At just 26 Zach Desmond is already making his mark in the family entertainment empire, which he went into straight from college. He's a key figure at MCD, the business started by his dad Denis, and he produced his first music festival, Longitude, in Marlay Park last summer.

Having tried her hand in retail with a store selling second-hand designer clobber, Sharon Smurfit returned to the family fold last year. The daughter of packaging magnate Michael Smurfit is in charge of membership and sales at dad's exclusive €20,000 a year K Club.

Despite the dire prospects in recent years, several children of developers have stuck with the family business, with some poised to take advantage of an upturn.

Jamie Rohan, son of one of Ireland's biggest commercial property players, Ken Rohan, took over from Ken and runs Rohan Holdings and Airspace Investments. He sees very big opportunities coming down the track and is eyeing up other investments and opportunities.

His sister Ali Rohan, a former Nama executive, works for Californian property investment fund giant Kennedy Wilson – helping it buy up squillions of dollars-worth of Ireland's property assets.

Their brother, Dubai-based Ken Rohan Jnr, works in property asset management.

Neil Monahan, a grandson of the Burlington hotel's PV Doyle, built several residential projects in south Dublin and has an asset management company with offices in Ireland, Britain, Poland and France. The former Accenture executive son of developer Ray Monahan and Doyle heiress Eileen, he's on the family's Doyle Hotels board, which has a string of hotels in London, Ireland and the US.

Louis Ronan Jnr, the 28-year-old nephew of developer Johnny, is a director of his dad's veterinary care business and has a TV and radio company with his broadcaster girlfriend Mairead Farrell.

Larry Goodman's son Laurence followed his dad into the family meat empire. The 32-year-old is the owner of a massive mansion next to his dad's in Louth, and his younger brother Mark Goodman is the commercial director of the Asia division of the Goodman business – currently one of the most promising areas of expansion.

Mark also runs a branding company called MGI that specialises in developing meat products for the Chinese market.

It can be difficult to prove yourself in the shadow of a successful family business, but Alannah Weston has succeeded.

As creative director at Selfridges, Galen Weston's daughter reinvented the flagship Oxford Street store. She was recently promoted to deputy chair of the group that owns BTs and a stake in Arnotts.

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