Robinson offers to advise Government

 

A MEMBER of the Irish entrepreneurial diaspora who will be attending the Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh has said that he is willing to take up a position as a strategy adviser to the Government.

Gerry Robinson said that “I definitely would, provided that I felt that I could offer some expertise and as long as I genuinely felt that something would come of it.”

He also told The Irish Times in an exclusive interview published in this months Innovation magazine that: “these things can work as long as they’re followed up properly and acted upon.”

Currently an adviser to a London-based private equity division of Australian investment bank Macquarie and chairman of UK motorway services group Moto Hospitality, Mr Robinson has also carved out a television career with BBC2 and Channel 4 in recent years. This role has seen him advise, and invest in small businesses, and also find relatively simple ways to improve the management of Britain’s health service.

He is one of 150 participants who have accepted an invitation to the economic forum, which takes place from September 18th to 20th. “Two hundred invitations went out and we’re very happy that 150 executives have confirmed that they will attend,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The budget for the forum, the idea for which was developed by economist and author David McWilliams, is €300,000. This includes accommodation for the participants in a medium-priced hotel. “We can’t disclose where exactly they’ll be staying. But it’s not one of the high-end hotels in Dublin,” the spokeswoman added.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary is one of the executives who were invited but declined to attend.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh, whose name appeared on a guest list published earlier this week, is also not on the latest list of participants. Mr O’Leary is among a small number of Irish-based business leaders, such as Intel general manager for Ireland Jim O’Hara and his counterpart at Microsoft Ireland, Paul Rellis, who received invitations.

Although the Taoiseach will give the event’s keynote speech on the Friday at 2pm, its title has not been decided and it has not yet been written as there are still two weeks until the event takes place, the spokeswoman added.

Although members of the public will not be permitted to attend the event, some of the sessions will be streamed by live webcast over the internet.

Video clips from the event will also be available to view on www.globalirishforum.ie