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The EY Podcast: CEO Outlook

Featuring the CEO of the IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan,

Martin discusses the importance of foreign direct investment to the Irish economy, the factors contributing to our FDI success and he also shares fascinating insights into the future horizon for FDI in Ireland. Listen here.

Over the course of our CEO Outlook series, we hear from some of Ireland’s leading CEOs, where they share perspectives on business, the economy, and strategies for growth. We also hear about the people behind the names – their personal stories of challenge and triumph, their major influences and leadership mantras.

We recently had the pleasure of featuring Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE and Pat McCann, CEO, Dalata Hotel Group, who shared fascinating insights into the challenges of steering their respective organisations through the turbulent environment of COVID-19. Their stories are interesting and inspirational in equal measure. To listen to these podcasts please click here.

Ireland’s ability to attract and nurture major multinational companies is world-renowned. The FDI sector has been credited with helping Ireland emerge from the last recession, and, today, multinationals employ almost 250,000 people in Ireland and contribute over €22bn to the economy.  

At the heart of that success story lies the IDA. The semi-state body, responsible for promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ireland, has helped this country compete on a global scale in the face of intense competition. 

Martin Shanahan became CEO of the IDA in 2014 and in that time has overseen record levels of FDI employment, exceeding targets set by government in the body’s most recent 5-yr strategy. Shanahan is keenly aware of where Ireland once was, and how Foreign Direct Investment has been pivotal in turning the country into a successful, modern economy.  

In this episode of The EY Podcast: CEO Series, Martin Shanahan tells Richard Curran about his journey from hotel management to CEO of one of the country’s most important agencies, applying his ‘get stuck in’ philosophy at every step along the way. In his role, Shanahan must design a successful strategy in the face of unpredictable global forces such as Brexit, challenges to Ireland’s corporate tax rate, and the COVID-19 crisis. In this interview, he outlines his approach to this challenge, and talks about many other topics besides, including: 

  • The most common questions that the bosses of multinational companies ask about Ireland (how highly corporate tax rate ranks on that list may surprise people)   
  • His reaction to the recent ruling by the European General Court on Apple’s tax liabilities in Ireland 
  • Why he does not believe that the growth of multinationals has contributed to rising house prices and a shortage of supply.  
  • The skills he looks for in an IDA team member 
  • The big sectors of the future and the opportunities for Ireland as a result 
  • His business mantra, favourite book and film, and advise for other CEOs  

Listen to the podcast on the link below

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