4th ACOI Compliance in Finance Conference 22 November 2010
Welcome by Martin Murray, Chief Executive Officer,
The Associat...
meeting here in Dublin to discuss how we may cooperate for the benefits of our
respective members and for the greater good...
Ireland too in time will be ' back to our normal problems ‘. As many of you know,
I have strong personal links with Asia ....
v=wdjLBXlieI0
That excellent ad by DAA . Dublin Airport Authority perfectly captures how Ireland
is a small island in a bi...
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ENOUGH ! CEO Welcome To The 4th ACOI Compliance In Finance Conference Dublin 22 November 2010

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ENOUGH ! CEO Welcome To The 4th ACOI Compliance In Finance Conference Dublin 22 November 2010

  1. 1. 4th ACOI Compliance in Finance Conference 22 November 2010 Welcome by Martin Murray, Chief Executive Officer, The Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland ENOUGH, REMEMBER WHO WE ARE ! Your Excellencies , speakers, ladies and gentlemen,members and friends of ACOI - welcome to the almost 300 people here today for the 4th ACOI Compliance in Finance Conference in Dublin which is already recognised not only as an European but as an International Conference as evidenced by our Speaker Panel and the presence of friends from across the globe. Thank you for being with us. May I take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. May I again take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. ( you’ll forgive me but given the current mood, I wanted an excuse to say the word “ Happy “ as we Irish are generally , both in times of triumph and tribulation , a happy lot. ) Last night, as is healthy in a democracy, a small number of people strongly expressed their serious unhappiness at recent developments. As you may know, the ACOI Conference has a reputation for attracting the highest level of global speaker. However, there is no truth to the rumour that we have also invited a few other high profile international visitors recently arrived in town to speak here today. May I also give the disclaimer that what I am about to say is purely in a personal capacity and is not the official view of ACOI, though perhaps it should be. We are now in a historic time in a historic place facing historic challenges and perhaps in our own way - we can –together- here -today make a little bit of history . ACOI is a young organisation , just 8 years old, representing the relatively new profession of Compliance. With almost 1300 members, ACOI has valued intellectual assets and we are above all a community of professionals working together for the common good. Today I would like to talk a little about our Compliance Community here in Ireland. Like any community, we live by core values primarily based on our non lobbying and not for profit ethos. Through education, skills development, selfless sharing of knowledge and experience between members and with sector colleagues, and by simply being there, we support each other both professionally and personally and reinforce the value of strong Regulatory Compliance and Business Ethics in the financial services industry in Ireland. Like the HR profession, there is a culture of camaraderie and an instinctive desire to help. For example, today eight ACOI members volunteered to help out with the Conference from 6.00 a.m. this morning, driving from all regions of Ireland. You can appreciate the feeling of privilege I have to work with such wonderful people. Given the nature of compliance professionals, we work in an interconnected industry and an example of Ireland’s global reach and willingness to engage with international partners, is that tomorrow Compliance Association CEO's from the US, Australia, Malaysia,South Africa and Ireland will have our first face-to face- 1
  2. 2. meeting here in Dublin to discuss how we may cooperate for the benefits of our respective members and for the greater good of global society. I would now like to share a few personal thoughts with you about the ‘ Elephant ‘ in the room today – the economic crisis in Ireland and how we Irish feel about it. You must all have seen yesterday’s announcement that Ireland has reached agreement with the EU institutions and the IMF. Hopefully this will bring a sense of stability and closure to recent speculation about the future of Ireland. May I ask you all to please stand ! Can you feel the firm ground beneath your feet. Less there be any doubt , Yes, We are facing serious problems but Ireland has not fallen off the edge of a cliff – we are still standing ! Thank you – Please sit. The current crisis seems to have generated an unusually negative environment which overshadows the true nature of Irish people which is positive and optimistic based on concrete actions to move forward. Frankly, I have had enough – yes enough- and most people I know have had enough -of all this overwhelming negativity about Ireland ! Whilst fully accepting the depth and gravity of the current crisis,for God’s sake, let us have some balance when discussing Ireland. Has everyone forgotten the so many good things about this country- what we’ve achieved – who we are –I don’t think so - but much of that which is, and remains great about Ireland, is currently overshadowed by a pervasive sense of doom and gloom. It is frustrating for Irish people to read some of the extreme comments being made about Ireland. As Irish people often say when overcoming problems with determination, ‘ if we didn’t laugh,we’d cry ‘ but the key is to act. ! When someone you love becomes sick, you make sure that she takes the necessary medicine, administered with love, sometimes tough love, to ensure her recovery to full health. To help her through the pain, you stay with her and support her unwaveringly at all times, through thick and thin. Ireland has been rightly criticised for the current economic mess , seriously affecting many people who have lost jobs, closed businesses or emigrated because of the crisis. Because of this, there are too many of our fellow citizens now facing personal financial crisis and they are in our thoughts and prayers. There is understandably much public anger. We Irish largely got ourselves into this situation and largely we will have to get ourselves out of it. Fortunately Ireland has many smart, capable, hardworking people and many friends around the world who are happy to assist us. As you may know, there are 70 million people of Irish origin globally but beyond this diaspora, there are many more ,of no Irish origin, who are Hibernophiles ( from the Latin word for Ireland Hibernia), loving all things Irish. Now, at a time of crisis both in finances and in confidence, we should remember the words of the most famous Irish American , US president John F. Kennedy when he said “ Ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country . We in the financial services industry will do whatever is required to get our country back on track or as an Indian friend recently said when I asked him about India ‘ Things are good, we are back to our normal problems ‘. 2
  3. 3. Ireland too in time will be ' back to our normal problems ‘. As many of you know, I have strong personal links with Asia . My favourite Japanese phrase is ' ishi no ue ni mo san en - which really means that if you sit on a cold stone for three years, it will eventually become warm. ACOI, like any community , shares the human values of pride and love which applies not only to our families ,friends and work but also to Ireland. In common with other nationalities, Irish people love our mother country and it hurts us to see her suffer right now as we remember all she has done for us and how deeply we believe in her. Love between a citizen and your country is a very special thing- like that of a good marriage or similar to the love between a parent and your child or indeed that of old friends – it is unconditional and stays strong in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad. This is how we Irish feel about Ireland. Ireland with all its strengths ,faults and contradictions is where we chose to live and want to be. You know it’s funny what you remember from your childhood. When I was a child in primary school in Cork,we were taught three principles of living : 1. Mórtas Cine meaning pride of race. 2. Mórtas Aite meaning pride of place and 3. A value mindset to engage the world with a ‘respect among equals’ philosophy. I have never forgotten this. Like many Irish people, I have had the opportunity to work abroad and learn from other cultures and decided to come back to Ireland wanting to raise my family here with its great education system, quality healthcare and stunning nature. Equally, the human values, friendly people, sense of importance of the family, music, art, creativity, food, beautiful use of language , wicked sense of humour , intelligent debate, spontaneity and strength of character - and characters - all drew me home. If Ireland is the Emerald Isle, then its true jewels are the people of Ireland. Both at home and abroad, I have always been proud to be Irish and I have had reason to thank God that I was born in Ireland. When you look at recent international media coverage on Ireland, to be fair, some has been reasonable, accurate and balanced but other coverage makes dramatic reading bearing little relation with what is happening here on the ground. Some articles are quite simply ‘ rubbish ‘ such as one that one that claimed Irish people are afraid to put their children to bed at night due to worry that their children will have no future in Ireland. Where does such nonsense come from ? One article surprisingly suggested that the Irish apparently ‘ are undergoing an identity crisis so viral and all-engulfing that we don't know who we are any more ‘ . To be honest, I don’t know a single Irish person who thinks like this – including friends deeply affected by the crisis -and sadly the only things that seem to be going viral now are negative articles on Ireland. Who are I ? Me, I’m Martin, proud to say I’m Irish and love living in Ireland . My father named after me after Mars,the Roman God of War because he wanted his son to be strong- a warrior – who fights for what he believes in . Well, I fully believe in and will continue to believe in this great little country of Ireland ! To remind both our foreign friends and perhaps ourselves of who we Irish are, I would like to play the following video http://www.youtube.com/watch? 3
  4. 4. v=wdjLBXlieI0 That excellent ad by DAA . Dublin Airport Authority perfectly captures how Ireland is a small island in a big ocean but we're reached the world from here. We Irish are committed Europeans and share a unique combination of a Southern European style culture whilst being geographically located in Northern Europe ,putting us in the position of being friends to all and facilitating understanding between different perspectives. Recently abroad, I was asked ,given the negative media coverage, if Ireland is now helpless – yes helpless - do I look helpless ? - Is there any Irish person in this room who would describe yourself as helpless ? For example, ACOI has almost 1300 members and I genuinely cannot think of just one member even bordering on being helpless ! Another asked if I am depressed to be living in a failed country full of failed companies. Do I look depressed ? He was surprised when I told him that Irish companies now employ more people in America than US companies employ people in Ireland. Whilst accepting the fiscal failure, do the crowded city centres , the restaurants and pubs full of people, look like failure to you. How many Irish people in this room feel a failure ? The Celtic Tiger may have temporarily turned into a Paper Tiger but it is still a Tiger. In 2010 , the Chinese year of the Tiger, we may have lost our right to roar but our hidden strength essentially remains and adapting to the opportunity in adversity, will become visible again in the coming years. There are three types of people in this world : 1. those who make things happen 2. those who let things happen 3. and those who wonder what happened. - Unfortunately, the latter two may have been dominant in recent years. As the first type leaders from all parts of Irish society now come forward to help us recover from this crisis, I am confident that we will re-emerge as a nation with renewed strength and purpose and create a dynamic future for our children in our beloved Ireland. In conclusion, I ask for your active participation today and wish you a great conference discussing matters of a global significance on this small island with our speakers and friends from across a big ocean. May I now hand you over to the Chairman of ACOI, Mr Aidan Conlon for his introductory substantive remarks to formally open our Conference. 4

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