About Us

Mission and Objectives

The Irish Fund Directors Association (“IFDA”) is the representative body for independent directors within the Irish funds industry. Our purpose is to support the industry through the delivery of a professional and informed independent director role and to represent the interests of our members to other key stakeholders in the industry. Our objectives are to advocate industry best practice in corporate governance and board oversight and to encourage continuous professional development for fund directors.

Aim Of The Association

The aim of the Irish Fund Directors Association is to represent the best interests of the membership within the Irish Funds Industry and where appropriate, within the international investment Funds Industry.


The governance of the Irish Fund Directors Association is administered by the Council. The elected Council Members also serve as Directors of the Irish Fund Directors Association Company Limited by Guarantee for the duration of their elected Council term. The Council Secretary also acts as the Company Secretary. The Memorandum & Articles of Association of the Company Limited by Guarantee is available from the Company Secretary on request.
The Council is an elected body, appointed by the membership, and consists of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 members. Council members must be paid up members of the Association and be over 18 years of age. The Officers of the Council include the following:

  • The Chairperson
  • The Deputy Chairperson
  • The Secretary
  • The Treasurer
  • And other such officers as the Council may deem necessary from time to time.

The IFDA officers of Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer are appointed by the elected Council members. The Council meet on a monthly basis or on a basis that may be agreed to consider exceptional issues. The quorum for any meetings of the Council is 3 members. All Council meetings are minuted and shared for review before the next Council meeting. The agenda for each meeting includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Applications for membership
  • Notifications of resignations
  • Matters for consideration from the membership
  • Finances
  • Developments within the domestic and international funds industry

The location of the Council (and Member) meetings can vary and is communicated in advance by the Secretary. Voting at the Council meetings is by show of hands on a majority basis and recorded by the Secretary. In the event of a tied vote the Chairperson shall have a second vote.
The Council has the power to set up sub-groups and working parties as deemed necessary, which are usually composed of non-Council members. These sub-groups are accountable to the Council.
The term of the Council members including the Chairperson is fixed for a period of two years and Council members are allowed to serve two terms of office.


The Irish Fund Directors Association (“IFDA”) was established in 2015 with support from the Central Bank of Ireland and from Board members in the Funds and Asset Management industry. IFDA was established by industry leaders and directors in the Irish investment funds industry to represent their interests and promote better collective standards in line with best international practice. The first IFDA Council in 2015 consisted of founding members, Fergus Sheridan, John Oppermann, Damian Keane, Fiona Mulhall and Raymond O’Neill.
IFDA already represents over 100 members currently serving on investment fund boards and management companies. The relative size of funds INED community resident in Ireland is estimated to be circa 220 people. Similar fund director associations exist in other key financial centres such as Luxembourg, Cayman and the United States of America. IFDA membership is open to anyone currently approved (or previously approved) by the Central Bank of Ireland (or an equivalent Regulator) to act as a Director of a regulated entity.
IFDA’s work to date has included matters such as: gathering members’ views on Central Bank of Ireland consultation papers (e.g. CP86, CP111, CP120) and sharing these findings with the Central Bank of Ireland; surveying members’ portfolios of directorships to obtain a clear picture of IFDA’s industry representation; and, a comprehensive program of engagement with relevant stakeholders across the investment funds industry in Ireland.
A series of what are called “Insight Sessions” for the IFDA membership also take place regularly. These take the form of short, Panel delivered information events (for circa 1 hour usually at midday) from industry experts on topics such as MIFID II, GDPR, Organisational Effectiveness, ESMA Outsourcing Guidelines, etc…..These “Insight Sessions” have proved highly popular to date.

Meet Our Council

Lisa Martensson

Chairperson of the Council

Lisa Martensson is a Swedish national with residency in Ireland.
Lisa is an independent non-executive director and chair to Investment Funds and Investment Management Companies, with over 30 years’ experience in banking, asset management and the financial services industry.
Lisa left HSBC Securities Services (Ireland) DAC in 2019, where she was chair of the board and Global Head of Client Experience. Prior to that, Lisa has held various senior executive positions within HSBC including Head of Business Development for Asset Managers in Europe and the US, and Head of Relationship Management in Ireland.
She studied Economics at Stockholm University in Sweden and holds a Certificate and Diploma (with distinction) in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors (IOD). She is elected chair of the Irish Fund Directors Association (IFDA).
From 1998 to 2001 Lisa worked for Bank of New York in Brussels, Belgium and prior to that she worked ten years for SEB Asset Management in Sweden and Luxemburg.

Gerard Scully

Deputy Chairperson of the Council

Gerard Scully worked for the Irish Stock Exchange (now Euronext Dublin) as Director of International Primary Markets and part of the senior management team at the Exchange for 16 years until March 2020. As Director of International Primary Markets he was responsible for the Debt and Funds listing businesses at the Exchange, where he built the business to become a global leader in the listing of fixed income, investment funds and structured products. Prior to joining the Exchange Gerard carried out a number of roles with Irish licenced banks as head of legal and compliance, including a 2 year term with Maxblue (a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank) as head of legal and compliance. From 1987 to 1997 Gerard worked as legal adviser with a number of London based banks covering the legal aspects of trading activity, derivatives and capital markets including a 6 year term with Swiss Bank Corporation. He worked on the first “euro” transaction. Gerard has served on the ESMA Consultative Working Group on Corporate Finance and was formerly a member of the Board of the Irish Auditing Standards Supervisory Authority. Gerard is qualified as a solicitor in Ireland and also in England and Wales. He currently serves on a number of board as independent non executive director.

Jennifer Fox

Council Member - Regulation & Governance

Jennifer is an independent non-executive director of UCITS and alternative investment funds. She is a lawyer by profession and has over 25 years executive experience in the investment funds and asset management sector. Jennifer was a partner in the investment funds practice of a leading financial services law firm (Dillon Eustace LLP: 2004-2018) and was also a partner in the investment funds unit of Walkers Ireland LLP (2018-2022). During her time in legal practice, Jennifer represented some of the world's leading asset management companies, pension fund managers and credit institutions in the establishment and operation of regulated Irish fund structures and management companies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Trinity College Dublin (majoring in Modern History) and she qualified as a solicitor from the Law Society of Ireland in 1998. Jennifer is currently a council member of the Irish Funds Directors Association (IFDA) and chairs the Regulation and Governance Committee. She has also been a member of various committees on the Irish Funds Industry Association including the Legal and Regulatory working group, the AIFMD working group and the Irish Limited Partnership reform group.

Lesley Williams


Lesley is an independent non-executive director. She has over 25 years’ experience in capital markets having held senior positions with Investec Bank plc as Head of Irish Equities, Euronext Dublin (formerly the Irish Stock Exchange) as Head of Irish Market and Goodbody Stockbrokers as Head of Institutional Equity Sales. Her board positions include a number of directorships in the asset management and International fund sectors. She is a non-executive director of Irish Continental Group plc and is a past director of Dublin Port Company where she held the position of Chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Lesley is an Associate member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) from which she also holds the certificate in ESG investing and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. She also holds the diploma in company direction from the Institute of Directors and a B. Comm from University College Dublin. Lesley was elected to the council of the Irish Fund Directors Association in 2020 where she holds the office of Treasurer. She also serves as a member of the Euronext ISEQ Index steering committee.

John Madigan

Council Member - Membership Affairs

John Madigan has over twenty-five years financial services experience covering capital markets, debt listings, loan servicing, Mancos and investment funds. John is an Independent Non-Executive Director (INED & Chair) and Designated Person (DP) providing PCF support (risk, compliance & distribution) and advisory services for regulated firms. John’s client coverage extends across Art 6 and 8 funds, MIFID firms, SPVs and Corporates. John is currently PCF-2B & 3 (INED & Chair) and PCF-39 (Designated Person) approved by the CBI and was previously approved as PCF-14 (Risk) and PCF-15 (Compliance).

John previously served as Country Head and General Manager for the Irish branch of MDO Management Company, Luxembourg, S.A. and prior to that was Country Head for the Irish start-up of a commercial real estate and infrastructure loan servicer, Mount Street Group. John is the former General Manager and Executive Director for the Irish subsidiary of the Portuguese investment banking group Haitong Investment Bank ‘Haitong’ (formerly Espirito Santo Investment). Working concurrently with Institute of Banking (IOB) from 2012 to 2021, John was the Examiner for the Professional Certificate (APA) in Stock Broking and part-time lecturer for the Professional Certificate in International Financial Markets.

John holds an Honours Degree in Business and International Finance and a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Investment & Treasury, Legal Diploma’s in Financial Law and Corporate Governance and an Advanced Diploma in Banking Risk and Regulation. John also holds the designation of Certified Investment Fund Director (CIFD).

Simon O'Sullivan

Council Member - Communication & technology

Simon O’Sullivan has worked in the investment management sector since 1993. From April 2002 to April 2006 he was employed in Dublin by Pioneer Alternative Investments as a product specialist. In May 2006 he left Pioneer to join his family company as financial controller and in May 2013 Simon became a partner in Maraging Funds Limited, trading as RiskSystem a specialist Fintech provider of financial risk solutions to the investment funds industry. He has also worked for Fleming Investment Management as a fund manager in London, as well as Eagle Star and Merrion Capital, both in Dublin. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Politics, a Master of Arts in Economics, a Master of Sciences in Investment & Treasury Management and a Diploma in Corporate Governance. Mr O'Sullivan is currently a non-executive director of a number of investment funds.

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