West punches above its weight, Curran Financial Services event told

Pictured at the event are Ivan Yates, Pat Lam, Laura Lynch, Michael Fitzgerald, and Ross Curran.

Pictured at the event are Ivan Yates, Pat Lam, Laura Lynch, Michael Fitzgerald, and Ross Curran.

Galway and the west is a region that is punching way above its weight, particularly when it comes to sectors such as Medtech and Fintech — and local professional service firms were seeing a gradual recovery in the economic fortunes of their clients — So heard the audience at an event hosted by Curran Financial Services, Galway’s premium planning and investment advisory firm, and newly-established strategic tax firm, Laura Lynch & Associates, in association with Davy Select.

Throughout the engaging event, guests at the Radisson Blu were treated to a panel discussion about success and ambition in Galway in 2016 and beyond.

Speaking about the event, Ross Curran of Curran Financial Services said that facilitator Ivan Yates contended that there was real risk of a two tier country coming into existence in the next decade, as Dublin hoovers up all the population growth and economic activity.

"While this risk exists, we countered that there is a strong indigenous business community in the west as well as a thriving multinational element. The main focus should not be competing with the capital, but carving out a suitable niche to remain attractive for FDI.

"On a related matter, I discussed what I hear from clients who have moved west, often from Dublin, and usually to raise a family. While the career prospects are usually more limited, the net financial effect for most people tends to be a positive one, as lower house prices and cost of living can more than offset any reduced salary," he said.

"Another issue Ivan was keen to address was that of securing decent investment return in a low-interest environment. He pointed out that the last five years have seen huge returns in equity markets (albeit following a collapse in those markets ) and wondered if there was still scope for growth. I explained that while it is difficult to guarantee strong returns, it is important to first ask what returns are necessary for a client’s financial targets. I call this context investing – and it empowers individuals to understand that the performance of their portfolio should be intrinsically connected to their own personal life goals," added Mr Curran

Laura Lynch is Managing Director of Laura Lynch & Associates. She trained with Arthur Andersen, leaving there as Tax Manager in 2002. She subsequently worked for KPMG, Sydney, SWS Group, Cork and Mazars, Galway. She is an AITI Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA ), a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and has lectured extensively for the Irish Tax Institute, including delivery of their annual Finance Bill nationwide tour. She is co-author of the ITI’s publication, FINAK – Finance Act 2015 Explained.

Michael FitzGerald of OnePageCRM joined Ross Curran and Laura Lynch on stage, where broadcaster Ivan Yates challenged them on issues such as how businesses on the western seaboard compete with and differentiate themselves from their counterparts in Dublin and what the future holds for industry in Connacht.

There was a general consensus that the West punches above its weight when it comes to sectors such as Medtech and Fintech, and that local professional service firms were seeing a gradual recovery in the economic fortunes of their clients. Businesses and individuals in the West have the opportunity now to capitalise on the upturn, but only by taking advantage of sound and relevant advice around financial and tax planning opportunities.

The highlight of the evening was when Connacht rugby coach, Pat Lam, took to the stage to great acclaim from the audience and was interviewed at length by Ivan Yates. The two men covered a wide range of topics and drew strong reactions from the riveted audience. Pat was questioned about his commitment to Connacht rugby, plans for development and location of a new Sportsgrounds, the impact of losing key players and the future for Connacht rugby having achieved so much this season. He delighted guests with his humour and honesty, his unique insights into Connacht Rugby’s magical season and what it means for the region, in sport and businesses alike.

“Ivan chaired a panel discussion between Ross, Michael and I about doing business in the West and how business owners like ourselves compete with the large corporations and our counterparts in Dublin,” said Ms Lynch. “With questions about the west’s infrastructure, broadband and isolation, he didn’t go easy on us! However, when we countered with examples of sectoral successes and support services, winning clients nationally not just locally and the actively engaged business angel community this side of the Shannon, we convinced him that the West’s awake!

For all enquiries, Curran Financial Services, Unit 2, Monterey Court, Salthill, Galway, Ireland. Tel: 091 861001 / 086 8194629 | Email: [email protected]. To contact Laura Lynch, Unit 9, Dockgate, Galway 086 4057610 or [email protected]

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