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FPM & Ulster Business School – Leadership Talk

Denis O’Brien was the Keynote Speaker at today’s FPM 20th Anniversary Leadership Talk, held as part of the Management Leadership Network, Management Month initiative in association with the Ulster Business School, at the University of Ulster, Belfast Campus.   

Mr O’Brien, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors, is a serial investor renowned for his ability to invest in difficult and often unstable developing countries.  O’Brien suggested his business model in these markets is simple – more for less, with his group typically going head-to-head with state owned companies or market leaders, and overtaking their market share within two years, by offering better networks, better service and lower prices.   

It was very evident as he talked to Broadcaster Gerry Kelly, that Denis O’Brien is a unique individual, whose impatient entrepreneurial drive is balanced by a deep seated belief in helping people in less fortunate situations.

His commitment to help people less fortunate than himself, such as Special Olympics Ireland, was illustrated throughout the Talk and is currently manifest in Haiti, where he has pledged $5m of his personal money in aid following the 2010 earthquake.  A strong sense of social conscience has resulted in O’Brien overseeing the opening of over 50 schools in Haiti since the earthquake.  Rather than retreating from the earthquake zone, he and his business interests have spent close to $250m since the event, on further business investment in the region.

Speaking at the event, which attracted a “full house”, FPM’s Managing Partner, Feargal McCormack stated, that Denis’s entrepreneurial experiences, vision and views, which were shared during a par excellence chat with Gerry Kelly, were inspirational, and that he was confident that the Denis O’Brien Leadership Talk, would provide stimulus for the creation of further significant economic and social capital growth. 

Reviewing the FPM life journey, over the past 20 years, McCormack, a Visiting Professor, at the Ulster Business School,  stated that the FPM brand was associated with a desire “to serve and care”, to deliver service excellence.  He added that FPM’s motivation as trusted business advisors, was to help others to win, and therefore achieve their dreams and quality of life aspirations. 

Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of the Ulster Business School at University of Ulster stated, “we were delighted to work with Professor Feargal McCormack and his team at FPM in organising this special event to celebrate 20 years of excellent achievement at the Company. As a Business School that is committed to developing the entrepreneurial flair, business, management and leadership skills of its students, it was an honour to welcome such an inspirational figure as Denis O’Brien to the Ulster Business School to share with us his thoughts on his approach to business.”