If a business person is ever looking for help developing his or her personal digital brand, they might want to talk to iZest Influence. This is a newly launched company which specialises in helping high profile people manage their online profile, protect their reputations and take advantage of commercial opportunities.

Jenny Taaffe, the company's co-founder, says that everyone has a brand profile, whether they are a business person or a celebrity, and that profile can be used to different effects. The digital world presents the obvious social media channels but Ms Taaffe say that many high profile people do not have their own .com or their own active website and so they are not taking full advantage of what they could be doing from an online perspective. The company advises people who are "on the way up" to register their own .com - this only costs about $8-10 a year - and also to focus on their own area of expertise and to be very precise and specific. 

Pippa O'Connor is one of the company's clients. Ms Taaffe says that while Ms O'Connor was doing an excellent job on her personal blog in terms of content and social media, the commercial aspect of her blog needed to be "refined". IZest completely redeveloped her site from a technological and design point of view and also took over the complete commercial management of her own personal brand. This has had a significant revenue impact on Pippa O'Connor business.


MORNING BRIEFS - AIB has appointed Bernard Byrne as chief executive officer. He succeeds David Duffy and will take up the role with immediate effect. The 47 year-old Mr Byrne was previously director of retail and business banking at AIB. The chartered accountant, who began his career with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 1988 and has also worked at ESB International and IWP, joined AIB in 2010 as chief financial officer.

*** The former chief executive of Lehman Brothers has blamed the US government for the bank's collapse and the subsequent banking crisis. Mr Fuld was speaking at a conference in New York yesterday evening in his first public appearance since 2008. He described the crisis as a "perfect storm" and acknowledged the bank had too much leverage but, he has no doubt about what he thinks were the origins of the problems in the financial sector.

*** The founders of petrol station operator Applegreen will have a stake valued at around €200m in the company when it floats on the Irish Stock Exchange. Applegreen announced its intention to offer shares to the public yesterday. Bob Etchingham and Joe Barrett, the co-founders and respectively chief executive and chief operating officer of Applegreen, plan to raise €70m through the IPO valuing Applegreen at around €280m and their own stakes in the company at €200m.

*** Ryanair shareholders are pressing the company's management for answers on whether it plans to sell its 29% stake in Aer Lingus to IAG. Chief executive Michael O'Leary and his senior executive team are on the road at the moment meeting investors in both Europe and the US following Ryanair's full year results announcement earlier this week.