First Derivatives & MJM’s Brian McConville Honoured

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 as Business Personality of the Year.

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.

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, the awards honoured companies and business leaders across 19 different categories, rewarding growth, innovation and 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.

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.

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 as Manufacturer of the Year.

In other awards, accountancy firm Harbinson Mulholland were the winners in the 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.

See all the picture from the night 2019 Awards

Awards Judging Panel Meets In Belfast

The First Trust Bank Business Eye Awards judging panel met recently at The Resolution Centre on the fifth floor of The Boat building in Belfast.

The judges had to consider 140 shortlisted entries across 19 different categories before deciding on the winners and highly commended awards in each category. This year’s Awards produced a record overall entry of more than 450 across the board.

“Some of the decisions we had to make were very difficult indeed, and some really good companies and individuals will be left disappointed. But we’re confident that we’ve come up with some really excellent winners right across all of the categories, winners who will showcase what is best about Northern Ireland and its vibrant business community,” says Richard Buckley, Business Eye’s Editor and a member of the judging panel.

The panel also included Brian Gillan, Head of Business & Corporate Banking at First Trust Bank; the bank’s Head of Marketing, Michelle Corbett; Business Eye’s Brenda Buckley and Gary McDonald, Business Editor of the Irish News.

VIDEO: First Trust Bank / Business Eye Awards 2019 Launch

The First Trust Bank Business Eye Awards are the result of a long-standing partnership between Business Eye, Northern Ireland’s most popular business magazine and First Trust Bank, a key supporter of the Northern Ireland business community, has partnered Business Eye on the annual Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Awards for the past three years and will now sponsor the November awards, which cover all businesses – large, small and medium-sized – across the region.