New appointees with Ardonagh Group, Ethos, Legal & General Investment Management, European Union Military Staff, Wrightbus and Galway City Irish Language Plan
Here is a selection of people starting new roles with Ardonagh Group, Ethos, Legal & General Investment Management, European Union Military Staff, Wrightbus and Galway City's new Irish Language Plan.
Rory Best has been appointed as director of development with insurance broker Ardonagh Group. The Irish rugby star, a former Ulster, Ireland, and British & Irish Lions captain will work with the executive teams across the group, including its subsidiary Arachas. He will campaign for its community and charity projects and will be appointed to the board of Ardonagh Community Trust. From Poyntzpass in Co Down, he won 124 caps for Ireland. From a farming family, he holds a degree in Agriculture from Queen’s University Belfast. Since retiring from rugby, he has predominantly focused on his charitable endeavours and is a passionate philanthropist. He will lend his voice to work with Ardonagh in support of mental health awareness and other issues affecting young people.
Shana Singh has been appointed as head of marketing with Ethos, the mechanical and electrical consultancy. A highly experienced marketing professional with expertise from former roles in Virgin Media Ireland, CityJet DAC and One4All, Shana will be responsible for leading a team charged with building the Ethos brand across the EMEA region via strategic and tactical initiatives that deliver business plan objectives, leveraging marketing communications, media, and direct marketing. She will also develop and implement a new communications platform focused on internal and external audiences. She will also support new sales activity and bid proposal responses, also advising the firm on new market opportunities. Irish-owned Ethos has significant growth and development ambitions for the EMEA region.
Steven de Vries has been appointed as head of wholesale and retail distribution, EMEA, with Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), and will lead its wholesale and retail efforts in Europe. Reporting to Honor Solomon, LGIM's head of retail, EMEA, Stephen will manage the firm’s mutual fund and ETF distribution in core European markets, such as Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. With 25 years of asset management experience, Steven worked for Janus Henderson Investors as MD of Global Financial Institutions (GFIs) from 2017-20. Prior to the company’s merger, he held senior roles at Henderson Global Investors from 2001-17, including as head of sales for Europe for six years. He recently acted as an independent consultant, advising boutique asset managers on European distribution, among others.
Seán White, Brigadier General with the Irish Defence Forces, has been appointed as director of communications, information systems and cyber defence of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) within the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels. He will develop policies and concepts for military Communication/Information systems (CIS) and Cyber Defence, which are underpinned by the EU Common Security and Defence Policy. He is a communications and information services officer with over 35 years of service in the Irish Defence Forces and has held domestic and overseas appointments in a variety of military roles. Educated at Summerhill College Sligo, he holds a master’s degree from the UK Defence Academy (Cranfield University) and NUIM, and a higher diploma in Information Management and Technology, also from NUIM.
Neil Collins has been appointed as managing director of Wrightbus, the bus manufacturer based in Co Down. A seasoned managing director, he is also well known as a goalkeeper for the Down GAA team, winning two All-Ireland titles in the space of four years. He will work closely with Wrightbus executive chairman Jo Bamford, who rescued Wrightbus from administration in 2019, and with CEO Buta Atwal. Neil leaves his role as MD for Ireland with Rubble Master, the Austrian mobile crushing firm. He was also previously manufacturing director for Northern Ireland the Dimplex Group’s heating and ventilation division. He championed various net zero initiatives during his time at both companies and is keen to ensure Wrightbus continues to push the boundaries in the coming years.
Micheál Óg Mac Aoidh has been appointed as the coordinator for Galway City’s new Irish Language Plan. A graduate of NUIG, Micheál was brought up in an Irish-speaking household in Salthill. He has worked for several Irish language theatre groups, including An Taibhdhearc, (Amharclann Náisiúna na Gaeilge) Fíbín and Na Fánaithe. He has volunteered with Galway International Arts Festival, Macnas and Cúirt. He spent ten years working as an arts officer in Gaeltacht regions. He was the first-ever Irish language planning officer in Ireland. He worked as a language planning officer for three years in the Gaeltacht region of Cloich Cheann Fhaola in Donegal, initiating many innovative language projects. He also spent two years working for a publishing company in Sao Paulo, Brazil.