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Three Directors Honoured at IoD Chartered Director Programme Awards 2015


Éilish Finan, Samantha McConnell & Catherine Woods winners at the IoD Chartered Director Programme Awards.

Three directors were honoured at the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) Chartered Director Programme Awards 2015 held in Dublin this morning. Recognising achievements in contributing to organisational direction and driving both board effectiveness and business performance, awards were presented in three categories - Chartered Director Award 2015 and Graduate of Merit Award 2015 – Executive Director and Non-Executive Director. The winners were announced as follows:  

Chartered Director Award
Éilish Finan, Non-Executive Director, JP Morgan Bank Ireland, New Ireland Assurance Company, New Technology Insurance and Social Finance Foundation

Graduate of Merit Award – Executive Director
Samantha McConnell, Chief Investments & Operations Officer, Willis

Graduate of Merit Award – Non-Executive Director
Catherine Woods, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, AIB plc, Non-Executive Director, Beazley Re

Des Lamont, IoD President and member of the Judging Panel, said: “All three directors are exceptionally worthy winners and highly experienced leaders in their field, who positively contribute to improving board performance and corporate governance standards in Ireland.

“Éilish Finan, winner of the Chartered Director Award, is an accomplished director in the financial services sector. Uncompromising in her commitment to continuous professional development, high standards and integrity in the boardroom, Éilish is a recognised leader and a wonderful ambassador for the Chartered Director qualification.

“Samantha McConnell and Catherine Woods hold key executive and non-executive director roles in Irish businesses and have demonstrated a firm commitment to effective leadership and oversight, built upon a solid understanding of their responsibilities as directors. All three are most deserving recipients of the Chartered Director Programme Awards and on behalf of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, I offer my warmest congratulations to all.”

Éilish Finan achieved Chartered Director accreditation in 2013 and is a highly experienced director, chairman and trustee, currently serving on the boards of JP Morgan Bank Ireland, New Ireland Assurance Company, New Technology Insurance and Social Finance Foundation.

Éilish served a four year term on the board of the National Asset Management Agency from 2009 to 2013 and spent 17 years as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer with AIG Global Investments, where she assumed global responsibility for a variety of regulated businesses. She is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, holds a Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD and is a Certified Bank Director, Institute of Banking in Ireland.

Samantha McConnell completed the IoD’s Chartered Director Programme in 2014 receiving the highest mark in the diploma in company direction examination and has worked for over 16 years in the investments industry. As Chief Investment & Operations Officer, Samantha has overall responsibility for the provision of investment management and administration services for Willis Human Capital & Benefits. As well as being on the board of a number of Willis Group companies, she is a non-executive director on a fund and AIFM board.

A well-known market commentator and industry expert, Samantha is a member of the Taoiseach’s committee on asset management and the IAPF investment subcommittee.  Samantha is a director of CFA Ireland and a CFA Charter holder.

Catherine Woods completed the IoD’s Chartered Director Programme in 2013 and holds a diploma, with distinction, in company direction. With 17 years’ experience as a non-executive director in the private and public sectors, Catherine is Senior Independent Non-Executive Director with AIB plc and Chairman of EBS Limited. Having joined the board of AIB Group in October 2010, she also acts as Chairman of the audit committee and is a member of the risk committee.

Catherine is a Non-Executive Director with Beazley Re and a former Non-Executive Director of An Post, as well as holding a number of pro-bono directorships. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Catherine has over 20 years’ experience working in executive roles in international finance.

Find out more about the Chartered Director Programme.