Rory Best joins insurance broker Ardonagh as director of development

Move is first major role for former Ireland rugby captain since retiring in 2019

Rory Best: ‘Coming from a farming family, I have long understood the importance of insurance to protect business owners.’ Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Former Ireland rugby captain Rory Best has joined insurance broker Ardonagh Group as director of development.

Best, who retired from rugby after the World Cup in 2019, will create and lead the company's senior leadership training programme. He will work with executive teams across the group, particularly its subsidiary Arachas.

It will be his first major role since retiring.

“Since I retired two years ago, I have examined many opportunities and wanted to make sure I was making a real difference in whatever I pursued. Coming from a farming family, I have long understood the importance of insurance to protect business owners,” he said.


“David and Conor have built truly world-class businesses and when they approached me about a role at Ardonagh and at Arachas, I was confident I could really help, developing leadership abilities and offering management insight, given my own experience leading ambitious teams. Ardonagh’s deep support for the communities it operates in is personally important to me and aligned to my ambition to positively impact lives and livelihoods wherever possible.”

Charity projects

Best will also campaign on behalf of the group's community and charity projects, and will be appointed to the board of the group's charity, Ardonagh Community Trust. He will work with Ardonagh in support of mental health awareness and other issues affecting young people, and in September he will walk 290km (180 miles) from Co Down to Co Mayo to raise awareness of the experiences of children and young people suffering from cancer.

"Rory Best is an exceptional man with unique insights into leadership and an acute commercial intelligence. Whilst I have always hugely admired his sporting achievements, it is our shared values, and his unique insight into how teams can work better together that really strike a chord," said David Ross, founder and chief executive of Ardonagh. "Rory will be an influential voice inside our businesses and we very much looking forward to seeing him flourish as a corporate leader. It is a mark of his character that he is determined to learn the ropes from bottom to top, inside and out."

Conor Brennan, chief executive of Arachas and Ardonagh Europe, said Best could make a big impact within the business

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist