Arguably Ireland’s most effective networker, renowned international speaker Kingsley Aikins CBE, was welcomed to Belfast as keynote speaker for Davy Northern Ireland’s fourth annual conference.
Kingsley Aikins, Stephen Felle, chief executive of Davy Private Clients UK, Neil Gibson, EY chief economist, Alan Werlau, head of investment strategy at Davy, journalist and presenter Naomi McMullan, and Stephen Warke, Davy’s director of financial planning.
Under the theme ‘Beyond Brexit: Networking through a storm’, this year’s event also included a high-powered Brexit panel discussion which included EY chief economist Neil Gibson and Alan Werlau, head of investment strategy at Davy. The informative, charged debate was moderated by former journalist and presenter Naomi McMullan.
Aikins, former chair of multi-million euro lending platform Linked Finance and former president and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds – an organisation that has raised $500 million for local projects – provided delegates with a masterclass on how effective networking could be used to build up business and personal strength to help ride out Brexit’s storm.
Awarded a CBE for his work on British-Irish relations and building on his skills and experience, Aikins has run workshops and presentations for some of the world’s leading companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Accenture, Deloitte, Intel, KPMG, PwC and a number of leading law firms in Ireland and elsewhere.
Speaking at the event, Kingsley Aikins said: “Small countries need their global friends and networks more than ever – they are critical in times of intense disruption.
Northern Ireland’s global diaspora will now be vitally important and it should provide a good support if used and managed wisely. A strong and diverse network is a necessity, not a luxury. Without it, success will be extremely difficult to gauge.”
Aikins has also worked with governments and international agencies such as the US State Department, the UN, EU and the World Bank.
Stephen Felle, Chief Executive of Davy Private Clients UK and head of Northern Ireland, said: “With Brexit looming and views, thoughts and opinions tightening, we were keen to create a unique, useful and engaging event which would provide delegates with the networking know-how to ensure that all business relationships – whether local, national or international – remain strong and enduring and are fit to weather any storm.
“Our fourth annual conference in Northern Ireland is part of our commitment to stimulate debate, create meaningful conversations and to provide a solid, organised platform which informs and inspires.”