Sherry Fitz seeks private equity investment; Stripe jobs announced; and how to reduce your digital footprint

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Co-founder and chairman Mark FitzGerald, who owns about 50 per cent of the business, is selling a large part of his holding. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Co-founder and chairman Mark FitzGerald, who owns about 50 per cent of the business, is selling a large part of his holding. Photograph Nick Bradshaw


Ireland’s largest estate agent Sherry FitzGerald has hired PwC to advise on options to secure private equity investment to help fund its growth over the next five years. The firm told Ciarán Hancock that this would involve an investor taking a majority stake in the group, with its co-founder and chairman Mark FitzGerald, who owns about 50 per cent of the business, selling a large part of his holding.

Stripe is to create “hundreds” of highly-skilled software engineering roles in Dublin over the next three years. The new roles are in addition to the more than 1,000 jobs announced by the company for its Irish operation in March. The online payments company established an engineering hub in Dublin three years ago which is is seen as having performed beyond expectations. Charlie Taylor has the details.

Karlin Lillington returns this week and looks at Britain’s new consultation document to loosen the EU chains on data privacy.The document, she writes, sounds like the latest instalment in a blockbuster film franchise targeting the kind of people who get excited about the difference between opt-out and opt-in consent. However, such a move could further hamper the UK’s economy given the importance of UK/EU data flows.

Private capital is an essential factor in fighting climate change, along with government action, charities and corporations, according to the majority of high-net-worth individuals. That is according to a research report produced by Campden Wealth on behalf of Global Impact Solutions Today and Barclays Private Bank. Ciara O’Brien reports.

Family businesses say they are competing against Covid unemployment supports to get people back working again. Dominic Coyle has examined a new report that says the State will rely on family firms to deliver jobs growth over coming years as changes to international corporate tax rules inevitably reduce Ireland’s attraction to foreign employers. But that will depend on more supportive and inclusive Government policy, the National Family Business Sentiment Report 2021 argues.

Microsoft has teamed up with RTEJr to launch a new digital skills competition for primary schools. The competition challenges students across the island of Ireland to use Minecraft: Education Edition to help shape Ireland’s sustainable future. The software offers a game-based learning platform to deliver lessons that promote creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. You can get more details, here.

We create data wherever we go and in her technology column this week, Ciara O’Brien outlines seven ways you can reduce your digital footprint. Ciara also reviews the much-teased (and eventually leaked) Ray-Ban/Facebook collaboration – Ray-Ban Stories – released last week.

Ever wanted to build your own house but the potential cost of having it designed and being unsure if your grand design would fit on the site you have in mind put you off? In Innovation, Olive Keogh meets the team behind the virtual architect which is helping homeowners design the perfect pad.

Meanwhile, Nathalie Thomas examines how the polluted Scottish city of Dundee is driving the UK switch to electric vehicles.

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