Richard Bowen,  Citigroup Whistleblower and Professor at University of Dallas, Texas

Richard Bowen Masterclass

On Friday 22nd November 2019 our MBA Masterclass series in association with the NUI Galway MBA Alumni Association featured Richard Bowen, who presented the topic: Ethics and Leadership: Lessons from the Field.

Since the financial debacle of 2008 and the fallout it caused to our economic infrastructure, we have seen increased concern for corporate moral and social responsibility worldwide. Meanwhile companies previously held in high esteem are subject to ever-greater scrutiny of organizational behaviour and ethical leadership practices.

Unethical behaviour has a high cost: lack of trust on the part of customers, the public as well as employees. Diminishing loyalties yield decreased profits and disengaged employees. Based on Professor Richard Bowen’s true life experience and client case studies, this session focuses on the costs of unethical leadership and the steps an organization needs to take to instil guiding principles that become part of the corporate culture. It points out the dangers inherent to an absence of ethical culture, and how to prevent this from happening within your own organization.

During this event, a discussion was had on into ethics and leadership and how they apply specifically to attendees.

About the speaker

Richard Bowen was a business chief underwriter at Citigroup who discovered that billions of dollars annually of defective mortgages were being sold to investors in securitizations as quality mortgages. He warned management repeatedly for 18 months about possible unrecognized financial losses. Richard then warned Citi’s board of directors and requested an outside investigation, resulting in his being placed on administrative leave and instructed not to return to the bank.

He provided evidence to the SEC three months before the post-crisis bank bailouts and gave nationally televised testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, where he witnessed coordinated efforts to hide key parts of his testimony from the American public. His story was featured in the 60 Minutes story “Prosecuting Wall Street,” which aired December 4, 2011 with an audience of 12 million viewers and has since been re-aired on CBS and CNBC eight times.

Richard is presently a professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas and is a well-known speaker on ethical leadership and the financial crisis.



Heidi  K.  Gardner,  PhD, Harvard  Law School -  Tuesday, 12th March 2019 at 6.00pm 

In March 2019 we hosted an MBA Masterclass in association with the NUI Galway MBA Alumni Association featuring Heidi  K.  Gardner,  PhD, Harvard  Law School, who delivered a session on "Smart Collaboration:  How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos”.

Collaboration isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a business necessity. As the commercial, technological, competitive, and regulatory environments become increasingly complex, knowledge workers must collaborate across disciplinary and organizational boundaries to tackle those sophisticated issues.  By teaming up to integrate their expertise, they can address problems more effectively and efficiently — if done well.  Otherwise, collaboration can be costly, risky, time-consuming, and painful.  After more than a decade of empirical research across dozens of organizations, it’s fairly clear what separates excellent, smart collaboration from less successful attempts.

Heidi delivered an interesting and engaging masterclass.

Niamh Brennan Professor of Management at UCD - 19th February 2020

Niamh Brennan Masterclass

In February our very own Prof Breda Sweeney hosted an MBA Masterclass in association with the NUI Galway MBA Alumni Association featuring Niamh Brennan, Michael MacCormac Professor of Management at University College Dublin and Founder/Academic Director of the UCD Centre for Corporate Governance, who delivered a session on "“Connecting Earnings Management to the Real World: What happens in the black box of the boardroom?”

Accounting choice, income smoothing, earnings management and earnings manipulation are terms frequently used in the academic literature. Niamh Brennan will present her paper which reviews these terms, highlights the resonances and dissonances between them, and attempts to reconcile varied perspectives in the literature. The paper then connects the prior research to boardroom practices and praxis (best practice in practice) with a view to deepening understanding of the three terms in practice. During this event, we had dialogue, questions and answers.

About the speaker

Niamh Brennan is Michael MacCormac Professor of Management at University College Dublin and Founder/Academic Director of the UCD Centre for Corporate Governance. A first-class-honours, first-in-class UCD Science (Microbiology and Biochemistry) graduate, Prof Niamh Brennan qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG, holds a PhD from the University of Warwick and is a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors (London). Niamh received the 2018 British Accounting & Finance Association Distinguished Academic Award and was inducted into the Interdisciplinary Accounting Research Hall of Fame in 2019. Former chair of the National College of Art & Design and of the Dublin Docklands. Development Authority, she holds/has held non-executive directorships with the Children's Hospital Ireland, the Health Service Executive, Ulster Bank, Co-operation Ireland, Coillte (State forestry company), Lifetime Assurance (Bank of Ireland’s life assurance subsidiary) and several private companies and is/was a member of numerous audit committees. She chaired the Irish Government's Commission on Financial Management and Control Systems in the Health Services and was Vice-Chair of the Irish Government’s Review Group on Auditing. Niamh is an inaugural honorary fellow of the Institute of Directors in Ireland and an honorary fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland.

Norman Crowley CEO & Founder of Crowley Carbon -  15 February 2019 at 6.00pm 

Norman Crowley MasterclassIn February 2019 we hosted an MBA Masterclass in association with the NUI Galway MBA Alumni Association “In conversation with Norman Crowley,  CEO & Founder of Crowley Carbon” - Chair   Emer   Mullins,   Executive   MBA   Class  Member.

Norman is a successful international entrepreneur and philanthropist. At the age of 26, Norman founded his first technology company Trinity Commerce. Trinity was one of the first e-commerce services companies in the world. By 1996 Norman had grown the business to 5 countries and 150 people. Three years later the business was sold to Eircom Plc. just before the peak of the internet bubble. By 2001 Norman co-founded Inspired Gaming Group. By 2006, Inspired was the largest player in the world in the area of Server Based Gaming (SBG) and was floated on the London Stock Exchange. It had grown to 2500 people and had annual revenues of $500m. In 2008 Inspired was sold to a private equity group for a valuation of €500 million. Along the way Norman also co-founded The Cloud - Europe's largest WIFI operator. This business was sold to Rupert Murdoch’s BSKYB for circa €80m. In 2010, Crowley Carbon was founded with the vision of becoming a major player in the 1 trillion dollar global energy services market. Crowley Carbon is now a global leader in energy services and solar services with offices in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Clients of Crowley Carbon include Google, Bunge, Johnson& Johnson, Associated British Foods, PepsiCo and Intel. In 2017 Crowley Carbon established the Cool Planet Foundation. The foundation is opening 10 education centers across the globe to help educate children and adults on the threats and opportunities of Climate Change. The first centre was opened in early 2018 by Sir Richard Branson. Cool Plant has now also established Cool Planet Ventures to encourage teams to develop businesses to help mitigate the effects of Climate Change. In his spare time Norman converts classic cars into Electric Hypercars. His engineering team is currently building a 1961 Corvette Stingray to run 0 to 60mph in 2.2 seconds.