Irish nationals top the list of non-British company directors in the UK. According to London-based Eulogy PR, which has been compiling a list for the past five years, Irish nationals now represent one in six foreign directors registered by Companies House in the UK.
There are just over 54,000 Irish directors, more than double the number of the next highest group - Indians, of whom 25,000 are directors of UK companies.
Adrian Brady, chief executive of Eulogy, says an increase of over 30% has been seen in the number of Irish directors in UK company during the five years the study has been carried out, with another 6% increase seen last year. Mr Brady says the number of Irish directors is testament to both what Irish people achieve in UK business and also the great ties evident between the two countries. He says the age analysis of the survey shows that people emigrated from Ireland to the UK 20 and 30 years ago and have been steadily climbing the corporate ladder.
Today's reports show that services dominate the companies which feature Irish directors, but construction remains very important while retail makes up the top three. Mr Brady says the UK economy offers opportunities for Irish business and today's figures show that it also offers great opportunities for individuals in terms of who they can network with in the UK as well as great opportunities for government officials and companies that want to do business with both countries. Explaining what could be called a "Paddy Premium", Mr Brady says an Oxford University connected group, called the Oxford Economic Forum, defines "trail blazing companies" and these type of companies are twice as likely to be run by Irish directors as by non-Irish people. "These are not just random numbers, we are showing great success in the UK as a group", he adds.
Looking ahead, Mr Brady says a key issue now is second and third generation Irish people in the UK. Since the peace process in the North, and as the "brand of Ireland" goes up and up every year, he says that second and third generation Irish are now very proud of their heritage. He says there is great opportunities for everyone to work together and to be more pro-active in their business dealings.
MORNING BRIEFS - Irish company Origin Enterprises is, not surprisingly, finding business conditions at its subsidiary in Ukraine "extremely challenging against the backdrop of the current political unrest and economic uncertainty". Its business there lost money last year according to half year results published this morning. Overall Origin, which provides technology and other services to help farmers boost food production in a sustainable way, reported a near 3% rise in revenue to €532m but its pre-tax profit fell from €8.3m to €7.7m compared to the same period last year.
*** Agricultural land prices rose by just over 5% during the past 12 months. The annual Farmers Journal Land Report shows over 86,000 acres were offered for sale in 2014 - the highest such figure in the eight year history of the report. The report says prices are mainly driven by transactions for agricultural use but that last year also saw big increases in some areas driven by demand for land with development potential. In Dublin, for example, the average price was up by 46%.