by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Over 130 of Northern Ireland’s Chartered Accountants will fly to Washington DC this week for a Conference examining cross-Atlantic business links.   The Icons and Influence Conference in Washington DC, organised by Chartered Accountants Ulster Society and supported by Danske Bank, will take place from 3rd to 6th May and will feature a networking reception with American business leaders.


The Conference features a range of speakers on the themes of business development between Northern Ireland and the USA, including companies which currently trade in America. Chartered Accountants Ulster Society is working with the Northern Ireland Bureau, Northern Ireland’s diplomatic mission in North America, to deliver the event in Washington DC.


Speakers at the Icons and Influence Conference will include Shaun Kelly, Global Chief Operating Officer of KPMG International; Rory Brannigan, CEO of Belfast firm ISDM Solutions which has an office in Washington DC; Patrick Wilson of Cummins Inc; Toby Harnden, Washington Chief for The Sunday Times; Richard Cushnie, First Secretary of the Northern Ireland Bureau; and John McCourt of RSM US LLP.


The Conference will also examine the links between business, Government and lobbyists in the corridors of power in Washington DC.


Niall Harkin, Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, said:  “We’re delighted to be bringing a sell-out audience of business leaders to the US Capital for what will be a fascinating Conference and an important networking opportunity for our members.


“The Icons and Influence Conference will look at practical experiences of businesses entering the US market and we’ll also be hearing from political lobbyists about how they work with government structures in Washington DC.


“We have an opportunity to hear first-hand about the current climate for business and investment from the US. With the impact of Brexit looming, American links could be more important than ever before.


“We are extremely grateful to our partner, Danske Bank for their help in shaping this event. Our partnership with Danske Bank stretches back to 2001, covering fifteen conferences in cities such as New York, Lisbon, Chicago, Munich, Toronto, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Boston and Amsterdam. The partnership is an integral part of the success of our Conferences.”


Shaun McAnee, Managing Director of Corporate and Business Banking, Danske Bank, said: “At Danske Bank we are extremely proud of our long association with Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Ulster Society and we continue to recognise the essential role the accounting profession plays in the ongoing development of the Northern Ireland economy.

“We’re committed to playing our part by supporting our customers as they make important decisions on investment and expansion. We look forward to gaining fresh insights from the Icons and Influence conference that will benefit our customers, in particular those who are trading with the US or would like to do so.”


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Shaun McAnee of Danske Bank; Zara Duffy, Head of Chartered Accountants Northern Ireland; and Niall Harkin of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society.


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