• First Derivates and MJM’s Brian McConville honoured at business awards in Belfast

First Derivatives, the Newry-based fintech giants employing 2,400 people worldwide, took the coveted ‘Company of the Year’ title at last night’s AIB Business Eye Awards, while MJM Group founder Brian McConville was named ‘Business Personality of the Year’.

28 November 2019 Photo by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
AIB Buisness Eye Awards 2019:
Company of The Year First Derivatives.

A special ‘Contribution to Business’ Award was presented on the evening to Julie Conlon, widow of First Derivatives founder Brian Conlon, who passed away in July of this year. First Derivatives, established by Brian Conlon in 1996 and now valued at £1 billion, was also named as ‘Technology Business of the Year’ at last night’s awards.

The awards, now in their 14th year, were presented at a glittering ceremony attended by a 750-strong business audience at ICC Belfast last night (Thursday 28th November). Sponsored by AIB (NI), guests were treated to a spectacular stunt performance by Static LED as the local bank celebrated its official rebranding from First Trust Bank to AIB (NI). The awards honour companies and business leaders across 19 different categories, rewarding growth, innovation, commitment to CSR, the environment and people development.

Brian McConville was chosen by the judging panel for steering the rapid growth of the MJM Group, a global leader in the marine fit-out industry, as well as for his successful acquisition of Antrim-based Mivan.


Business Personality of The Year Winner – Brian McConville, MJM Group:
L-R Brenda Buckley, Mark Irwin – Ardmore, Brian McConville, MJM Group and Adrian Moynihan, Head of AIB(NI)

Downpatrick specialist guitar makers Lowden Guitars, which supplies instruments to Ed Sheeran, Gary Lightbody and Eric Clapton amongst others, took the ‘Family Business of the Year’ award, while Lisburn-based Creative Composites was named ‘Manufacturer of the Year’.

In other awards, accountancy firm Harbinson Mulholland won ‘Professional Services Firm of the Year’ category. Meanwhile, a hotly contested ‘Young Business Personality of the Year’ title went to Gareth Deering from Denroy Plastics in Bangor.

28 November 2019 Photo by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
AIB Buisness Eye Awards 2019:
Small Business of the Year AES Global.
Seamus McGuckin AIB presents Noleen McGuckin with the Small Business of the Year Award

Speaking at the awards, Adrian Moynihan, Head of AIB (NI) said;

“We are incredibly proud to be associated with the awards again this year, which showcase and celebrate business success. In doing so, the awards encourage more organisations and business owners to prioritise development, growth and innovation.

“We also used the occasion to showcase and celebrate our own transformation as we launch our rebrand from First Trust Bank to AIB (NI). We are excited about the benefits the change can help deliver for our customers, our communities, our stakeholders and the wider Northern Ireland economy”

“Congratulations to all the winners, you are the force that drives our economy with unfailing resilience and innovation. We are delighted to shine a light on your efforts with these much-deserved accolades.”

Richard Buckley, Editor of Business Eye added;

“Business Eye is very proud to have been organising Northern Ireland’s foremost business awards for the past 14 years. Against a challenging political and economic backdrop, it’s really important for business success that both companies and individuals can be recognised in this way. We had an incredibly high-quality entry in 2019 and that entry illustrates the strength of the local business sector.”

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