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Number of foreigners in management of new companies in Ireland is increasing; a new company can be set up in Ireland with foreign funding and technology

DUBLIN: The number of foreigners in the management of new companies in Ireland is increasing. Of the companies listed in 2020, about half of the new board members are reported to be foreigners.

According to the Ireland Spencer Stuart Board Index, foreign directors now make up 30% of companies in the ISEQ 20 index that trades Euronext in Dublin. Last year, 44% of new board appointments at these institutions were from outside Ireland.

Indications are that this is due to the greater emphasis on the internationalization of companies and their connection to global markets. This trend has emerged as part of a global campaign for diversity in corporate leadership.

Many new companies are working as a way to make the most of foreign capital, manpower and technology. It also helps those who have come from abroad to live in Ireland for a long time to start their own businesses. Shijumon Chacko, managing director of Task Accountants (TASC Accountants,Blanchardstown/ https://tascaccountants.com/), a leading certified public tax accountant in Ireland, has revealed that many permanent residents of India have become directors of Irish companies in the past year alone. ‘Many who previously sought trade partnerships in the UK are moving to Ireland after Brexit. Foreigners are increasingly interested in joining the company in Ireland as a gateway to Europe,’ he said.

Ruth Curran, managing partner of MERC Partners / Spencer Stuart, said the level of diversity on Irish boards is increasing. Mr. Curran said he expects the importance of diversity on the boards to continue in the years to come.

Flutter Entertainment, which owns the Paddy Power gambling business, hired two foreign directors in 2020 as the company expanded in the US. Arista Networks, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Kingspan and Ires REIT each added foreign directors.

State Street, one of the biggest fund managers in the world, has come out against the boards of big companies for not taking strong action to add minority members.

Twenty-five percent of ISEQ 20 companies require at least 30% of their directors to be women. Half of last year’s appointments were women. This is an average of 26% of all companies analyzed. This result lags far behind the companies in the FTSE 150, where women make up 34% of all directors and 71% of boards have reached at least 30% female membership.

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