Business movers: People starting new jobs in Ireland

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Here is a selection of people starting new roles with Willis Towers Watson, TEKenable, New Ireland Assurance, Trigon Hotel Group, Bibby Financial Services and Poolbeg Pharma.

Darragh McHugh has been promoted head of the life insurance consulting and technology team in Ireland with broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson. He previously held a variety of roles in the team, which he will now lead, combining strategic and analytical skills to solve practical business problems and applying the latest techniques and technology solutions, supporting clients in risk and capital management, strategy and growth, technology and operational effectiveness and profitability. He is also the proposition lead for M&A in UK and Ireland. He is a graduate of actuarial and financial studies from University College Dublin and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland.

Danielle Hanley has been appointed as HR manager at digital transformation platform TEKenable, with responsibility for the people strategy. This will include employee engagement and retention as well as supporting the recruitment team in continuing to attract and hire IT professionals. She will work closely with the leadership team to support TEKenable’s culture of high performing teams with their personal and career development. Prior to joining TEKenable, Danielle was HR executive at TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) for over three years and before that she was HR assistant at Ancestry for seven months. Danielle holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Limerick.

Richard Jones has been appointed as director of product, pricing and distribution at New Ireland Assurance. He will look to capitalise on the business and digital transformation opportunities. He joins from Aviva, where he was head of product, marketing and pricing. He has also held senior commercial roles within the Bancassurance Division of the National Australia Bank, managing over $100B in AUM. He has significant commercial experience covering product, distribution, bancassurance, transformation and strategy. Additionally, he also provides extensive experience in group defined contribution pensions, having helped establish NEST (now one of UK’s largest auto-enrolment pension schemes), as well as fund management having worked with Fidelity Investments in Boston.

Peter Loughnane has been appointed as group sales and marketing director with Trigon Hotel Group, which includes the Metropole Hotel, the Cork International Hotel and the Cork Airport Hotel. He brings extensive hospitality experience in Ireland and the UK, notably with County Arms in Birr, Co Offaly, Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, Kensington Palace, Clarence House, High Grove and Downing Street. He also worked for the Hyatt Group. He became Cork Airport Hotel’s general manager in 2014, then GM at Ballymaloe House in 2019 before returning to Trigon Hotels in 2021. He holds a BSc in Hotel and Catering Management from University of Surrey.

Garry Holligan has been appointed as business development manager for the Greater Dublin area and Eastern Ireland with Bibby Financial Services Ireland, SME finance specialist. He joins after spending over 20 years with Bank of Ireland assisting SMEs in a variety of operational and commercial roles, including significant time spent in lending and debt restructuring. His most recent role was as head of banking for CoMeath, where he was responsible for revenue growth strategy and business delivery across 19 product lines. He holds a professional diploma in Financial Advice, professional diploma in Project Management and a certificate in SME lending from the Institute of Bankers.

Professor Daniel Hoft has been appointed to the scientific advisory board of Poolbeg Pharma, a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company. Alongside Dr Elaine Sullivan and Prof Luke O’Neill, he will guide the company on its asset development programmes. He will also help scout for prospective in-licencing opportunities. Prof Hoft is the Dianna and J. Joseph Adorjan endowed chair of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine. He has been working in immunology and infectious diseases for 32 years. Prof Hoft has published over 140 peer reviewed scientific publications.


  • Photo: Starting new roles are (top row, left to right) Darragh McHugh, Danielle Hanley, Richard Jones; (bottom row) Peter Loughnane, Garry Holligan, Professor Daniel Hoft.


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