Meet the Team

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NICK ASHMORE - DIRECTOR

Nick Ashmore is the Director of ISIF.

From 2015 to 2021 he served as Chief Executive of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), Ireland’s promotional financial institution focused on the SME market, which provides finance through front line bank and non-bank lending institutions. Before taking up this role in December 2014 he served as Project Director during the setup of the SBCI. He originally joined the NTMA as part of the team managing the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) in 2006, where he served as Head of Private Equity and Infrastructure before becoming Deputy Director in 2011. Before joining the NTMA Nick was an Investment Manager with Greenaap Consultants Limited, a private family office. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton in Glasgow and Edinburgh and is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen in Accountancy and UCC with a Msc in Management Practice and is also a member of the Scottish Institute of Chartered Accountants.

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KIERAN BRISTOW – SENIOR INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Kieran Bristow is Head of Investment Strategy & Economic Research for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. This role encompasses overall portfolio design and structure, management of non-Irish assets, economic impact assessment & measurement, responsible investment policy & portfolio assessment and residential property investments.

Prior to joining the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund Kieran worked at Permanent TSB where he was Group Treasurer since 2010. Before that he was Chief Investment Officer for Irish Life Investment Managers from 2003 to 2010, and prior to that in ILIM he had been Deputy CIO, Head of Quantitative Strategies and Fixed Income Manager.

Kieran holds a B.A. in Maths/Economics and a Certificate in Computing.

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CATHAL FITZGERALD – SENIOR INVESTMENT DIRECTOR - FOOD & AGRICULTURE

Cathal is Senior Investment Director - Food and Agriculture for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. He leads a team with responsibility for investments in the Food and Agriculture sector.

Prior to joining the Fund in 2014 Cathal worked in a agri consultancy company where he advised banks and corporates on their agri-food investment and loan portfolios. He worked with the Irish Dairy Board (Ornua) from 1997 to 2012 in various senior finance, corporate finance and M&A roles. He was Group Finance Director from 2004 and joined the Irish Dairy Board from Price Waterhouse.

He has experience in building growth platforms for food businesses in Ireland and across many international jurisdictions. He has developed a number of award winning innovative funding structures to support the expansion plans of the Irish dairy sector.

Cathal is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, he holds a B.Comm from UCD, a Diploma in Corporate Treasury from DCU and a Diploma in Corporate Direction from Institute of Directors.

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MIKAEL LANGSTROM – INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Mikael Langstrom is Head of Risk and Portfolio Construction for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund where he has overall responsibility for risk management, portfolio monitoring and performance analysis. He was previously a Manager within the Fund’s predecessor, the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF).

Mikael joined the NPRF in 2007 from Merrill Lynch’s Global Markets and Investment Banking Services group in Dublin.

Mikael was awarded the CFA Charter in 2010, holds an MSc in Financial Economics from University of Skovde Sweden, and an MBA from UCD Smurfit Business School.

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FERGAL MCALEAVEY – SENIOR INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Fergal is responsible for the delivery of one of ISIF’s priority themes; supporting the scaling of 100 indigenous businesses, where ISIF plans to invest €1bn over the next five years. ISIF will invest directly in medium scale growth companies and will utilise platforms or funds (equity or alternative debt providers) to access smaller scale investments and investments where specialist sectoral expertise is required.

Fergal joined the Fund from AIB Corporate Finance, where he was Managing Director. Fergal worked in AIB Corporate Finance for thirteen years where he led a wide range of investment transactions including M&A, buyouts, debt re-financings and IPOs and he has been particularly active in the SME sector in recent times. He also worked in the Department of Finance on secondment for one year to work the restructuring on the banking sector, which included leading the financial team within the Department of Finance which restructured the Promissory Notes element of IBRC bank related debt. Earlier in his career Fergal worked as a Technology Equity Analyst at Dolmen Securities and as a Senior Scientist at Optronics Ireland.

Fergal holds BSc and MSc degrees in Physics from Dublin City University and has a PhD in Physics from Trinity College Dublin. Fergal is a Chartered Director and recently completed the Diploma in Company Direction with the Institute of Directors. Fergal is a non-executive director on the Boards of AMCS Group Ltd, ATA Group Ltd, Cubic Telecom Ltd, Finance Ireland Ltd and Greystones Media Campus Ltd.

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DONAL MURPHY – SENIOR INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Donal is responsible for the implementation of ISIF’s Regional Development strategy and leads the team responsible for Enabling Investments. This includes investments and initiatives across Infrastructure, Urban Regeneration and Commercial Real Estate with a particular focus on enabling the Regions of Ireland to become engines of economic growth.

Prior to joining ISIF in late 2014, Donal was previously Head of Project Finance-Ireland at Bank of Ireland. He was responsible for transaction origination, negotiation and execution - principally in the infrastructure, PPP and renewable energy sectors. Donal worked in Bank of Ireland for 14 years in total, and prior to that he worked in the UK in a number of roles including credit/lending, financial control, and corporate recovery.

Donal has a B.Comm from UCD and is a member of the Irish Council of the International Project Finance Association. He is a Chartered Accountant, having trained with KPMG in Dublin.

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ÉIMHÍN NÍ MHUIRCHEARTAIGH - SENIOR INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Éimhín joined the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund in 2019 as Senior Investment Director and Head of Business Operations where she has overall responsibility for directing and overseeing all non- investment activities of the Fund including Technology, Operations, Finance, Data, Resourcing and Market engagement events.

Éimhín joined from Fidelity International where she was the Global Head of Business Operations Risk supporting Asset Management Operations, Investment Management Operations, Retail Operations, Pension Operations and the hybrid operational functions such as Data Governance, Process Excellence and Intelligent Automation. Prior to that, Éimhín worked within Commodities primarily in London and Singapore with both Anglo American, a FTSE 100 mining and commodities company, and Gazprom in their financial risk team supporting multi commodity energy trading. Éimhín also previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group as a strategy consultant in their London office and with a Mortgage Insurance company analysing securitized loan books for European banks. She started her career in Dublin as a Digital Integrated Circuit Designer with Parthus Technologies.

Éimhín has a Ph.D. in Molecular Electronics from Trinity College Dublin, a post-graduate degree in Polymer Science and Technology also from Trinity College Dublin and a B.Sc. in Applied Physics, Electronics and Computing from University College Galway.

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SAOIRSE O'CONNOR - INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Saoirse is Head of Irish Portfolio Monitoring for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. Saoirse has overall responsibility for portfolio monitoring and reviews of the Irish investments. Investments include direct debt investments, direct equity investments, venture capital funds, property funds, and alternative finance platforms for SMEs. Saoirse has a wide range of business experience including lending, debt restructuring, project finance, portfolio monitoring, IT implementation, project management and manufacturing.

Saoirse joined the ISIF from AIB in 2014 where she had worked for 12 years. Saoirse had worked in a number of areas including the Bankruptcy and Personal Insolvency Unit, Restructuring Support Unit, Financial Solutions Group and Project Finance, Capital Markets. Prior to that Saoirse had worked in industry with Bristol Myers Squibb in Dublin, US and Italy in a number of roles including manufacturing, new product planning, SAP implementation and European strategic planning.

Saoirse holds a BE in Chemical engineering from UCD, an MBA from UCD Smurfit Business School and is also a qualified Management Accountant. Saoirse has also recently completed the Diploma in Company Direction with the Institute of Directors.

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PAUL SAUNDERS – SENIOR INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Paul is Senior Investment Director for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, and leads investments across a range of areas for the fund, including Innovation, Healthcare, Life Sciences and Venture Capital. Paul also heads up ISIF’s Climate investment agenda.

Prior to joining the Fund, Paul has held senior positions in a range of Irish corporates, including An Post, Greencore and NTR, and in management consulting with McKinsey & Co. in Dublin and London. Paul started his career with Shell International, working in the Netherlands and globally, with roles ranging from management of drilling on North Sea rigs, to development of Shell’s renewables business.

Paul has a BSc in Physics from Bristol University, a PhD in Physics from Cambridge University and an MBA from Insead.

General contact details

Treasury Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1, D01 A9T8, Ireland.

Phone +353 1 2384000

Email info@isif.ie

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