Mission and Objectives
Who We Are
The Irish Fund Directors Association (“IFDA”) is the independent representative body for board members within the Irish funds industry.
IFDA is administered by a Council which is supported by dedicated working groups, and both the Council and the working groups function on a voluntary member basis.
IFDA is dedicated to fund governance and our purpose is to develop and support our community of professional independent directors and represent the interests of our members to other key stakeholders in the industry.
We advocate industry best practice, support networking of peers and issue recommendations and views on Corporate Governance topics impacting the investment funds industry.
We strive to be an ambassador of Ireland as a strong business place for good governance pertaining to fund, AIFM and UCITS management company boards.
Our objectives are:
- To advocate industry best practice in corporate governance, board oversight and other topics relevant to board members;
- To encourage continuous professional development for fund and management company directors and to represent the best interests of the membership within the Irish Funds Industry and where appropriate, within the international investment Funds Industry;
- To provide ongoing support and guidance to associate members of IFDA who work or have worked within a regulated entity in either the investment funds or asset management industry who are preparing to become an executive director or independent director or who currently work as a designated person.
- Independent representation of views through the Association to the Central Bank of Ireland and other regulatory authorities.
- Representation and association with other director representative associations throughout Europe.
- Access to and inclusion on to the dedicated IFDA director candidate database.
- Access to information and insight on best practise in fund governance.
- Ability for all members to share experience and broaden their network and add to their credentials by participation in working groups, supported by the IFDA Council.
- Engagement and participation in industry consultation processes.
- Holding seminars and other thought leadership events for members.
- Knowledge repository and event calendar for members on the IFDA website.
- Provision of advice and guidance on practical matters, tailored to support the role of an INED.
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
- 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 180 members currently serving on investment fund boards and management companies. The relative size of the funds INED community resident in Ireland is estimated to be circa 3-400 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. IFA also has an associate membership category for people considering becoming an INED but whom are not yet PCF approved.
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, CP153) 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 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.
Up to late 2020 Brian was Head of Oversight of a large third party UCITS Manager and AIFM, Link Fund Manager Solutions Ireland (now part of Waystone), and prior to that Chief Financial Officer of a boutique MiFID investment manager and start-up AIFM. During the previous ten years Brian was a Vice President in the compliance and regulatory consulting practice of Duff & Phelps (now Kroll) where he acted as Designated Person of UCITS funds, AIFs and Management Companies and also managed the firm’s financial reporting practice. Brian started his finance career with investment firms in Ireland and Australia including Ulster Bank Markets, BNY Mellon and Goldman Sachs.
Brian is a Chartered Certified Accountant, holds the designation of Certified Investment Fund Director and is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. Brian also holds a Diploma in Risk Management, Internal Audit and Compliance (with distinction) and a Diploma in Strategic Finance and Business Analytics (with distinction) from Chartered Accountants Ireland.
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).