Who We Are
Maria Timon Samra
Brendan Lenihan – Managing Director
Background And Career Experiences
- Managing Director, Navigo Consulting.
- Partner, Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.
- President, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.
- Trusted and experienced adviser to a large variety of clients from sizeable corporates to family businesses as well as individuals, charities and public bodies. As evidenced by our sample of client testimonials.
- Director of Bus Eireann, a State Owned Bus Transport operator in Ireland. External member of CIE Group Board Audit & Risk Committee. CIE Group is a state transportation holding company whose group members provide rail and bus services in Ireland;
- External member of Audit & Risk Committee of the Dental Council of Ireland, the state regulator of Ireland’s dental profession.
- Trustee and Chair of Audit & Risk Committee Pieta House, a charity providing prevention, intervention and bereavement services to those affected by suicide and self-harm.
- Chair of Board of Trustees of Good Shepherd Cork, a charity helping the homeless and vulnerable in Cork.
- Group Finance Director, multinational real estate company.
- Responsible for hundreds of companies over 9 legal jurisdictions in executive and non executive capacities.
- Group Finance Director of one of Ireland’s largest nursing home groups.
- Non Executive Director of international body coordinating the accounting profession in Britain and Ireland (CCAB Ltd).
- Awarded a number of academic, civic and professional honours including Graduate of the Year (UCC), and Winner, Irish Times Debating Competition.
Read more about Brendan Lenihan's background...
A First Class Honours graduate of UCC (B.Comm 1990) and UCD (Dip Prof Acc – 1991), Brendan qualified as Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in 1994, where he was placed fourth in his final exams. Post qualification, he spent four years as part of the Andersen Business Consulting practice in the Metro New York office where he worked with Fortune 500 companies. Leaving Andersen in 2002 as a Partner in the Business Consulting practice located in Dublin, he founded his own boutique management consultancy, Brendan Lenihan & Associates, through which he advised a range of indigenous Irish and multinational clients. From 2007, he held executive roles in industry, including as Group Finance Director of O’Flynn Group (2007-2015), a successful multinational real estate company and also as Group Finance Director of Carechoice, one of Ireland’s largest nursing home operators.
Brendan is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (2013/14), the representative, educational and regulatory body responsible for over 24,000 Irish Chartered Accountants and 6,500 students. Over the period 2007 – 2015, he held governance roles with that body including as Chairman of the Council, Remuneration Committee, the Oversight Board and Governance and Byelaws Committee. In 2013, during the reading of the Bill that became the Companies Act 2014, Brendan addressed the joint Oireachtas Committee for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation on the subject of the legislation.
In addition to having professional roles as either Executive Director or representing shareholders’ interests in hundreds of companies across multiple jurisdictions, Brendan is currently a Non Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services Limited, a charity which operates an emergency shelter, educational and aftercare service for the homeless. He was previously a Non Executive Director and Chairman of a charity in the educational area which operated school twinning projects between Ireland and South Africa. He is a member of an Advisory Board for a religious order.
Brendan has contributed significantly to community and civic life. He was awarded Graduate of the Year prize in 1990 by UCC Academic Council for overall academic achievement and contribution to college life. In 2002 he won the prestigious Accountancy Ireland award when his article was voted the best article in the Institute magazine for that year. In 2005 he completed a Certificate in Competitiveness of Nations, Regions and Firms at University College Cork.
Brendan is an accomplished and entertaining public speaker, being a former winner of the Irish Times Debating competition and having toured US Universities representing Ireland. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, events, dinners, lectures and graduation ceremonies
Governance assignments are bespoke and require depth and variety in terms of experience and expertise. Navigo has created a panel of experienced governance consultants who work exclusively with Navigo and our managing Director Brendan Lenihan in the area of corporate governance consulting. Navigo’s team may include some, or all, of the following consultants depending on the nature of the assignment:
Background And Career Experiences
- Corporate Governance Specialist at the Centre for Corporate Governance at University College Dublin.
- Senior Fellow at Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin
- Recognised as an expert and leader in Corporate Governance in Ireland.
- Consultant on Corporate Governance issues to Irish companies and public bodies.
- Course Leader, Diploma in Corporate Governance (UCD) and also other Executive Development Programmes in UCD.
- A founder and proprietary Director of Griffith College Dublin.
- Non-executive director of a number of Irish companies involved in Derivative Trading, Training and Education.
- Chairman of the Internal Audit Unit of the Education and Training Boards Steering Committee, set up by the Department of Education and Skills.
- Chartered Accountant and former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.
- Irish representative on International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Ethics Committee and chaired the IFAC Ethical Standards for Employed Professional Accountants Committee.
- Member of the Disciplinary Panel of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland.
- Chairman of the Appeals Committee, Arts Council.
Read more about Pierce Kent's background...
Pierce Kent is Corporate Governance Specialist at the Centre for Corporate Governance at UCD. He lectures in the Diploma on Corporate Governance in UCD and also further Executive Development Programmes. He is a Senior Fellow at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. Also a man of practical business experience, Pierce is a founder proprietary director of Griffith College Dublin and non-executive director of a number of Irish companies involved in Derivative Trading, Training and Education. He is Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Internal Audit Unit covering all of Ireland’s Educational Training Boards.
A Chartered Accountant by profession, he is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He has chaired the ICAI Ethics Committee and is a former member of their Disciplinary Tribunal. He represented Ireland on the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Ethics Committee and chaired the IFAC Ethical Standards for Employed Professional Accountants Committee. Pierce is a former member of the Disciplinary Panel of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. He is also former Chairman of the Appeals Committee of the Arts Council of Ireland.
Background And Career Experiences
- Emer is a Chartered Banker, a Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA) and holds a Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD Smurfit Business School.
- She also holds a Bachelor in Financial Services (BFS) degree jointly awarded by the Institute of Bankers and UCD; and the IMI diploma in Applied Finance.
- Emer has over 40 years experience in analytical, managerial and project management roles with Bank of Ireland, a deep expertise in the credit and risk area, and significant project management delivery experience on complex regulatory projects.
- Emer has served as a director of International Service Ireland and is currently a trustee of Castlewarden Golf club, having also served as Club Secretary and Lady Captain.
Maria Timon Samra
Background And Career Experiences
- Now based in the UK, Maria has over 25 years’ experience as an international management consultant professional and C-level executive operating at board level.
- Director of Digital Transformation at Barclaycard.
- Interim Chief Information Officer & Head of Business Information Services at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.
- Chair & voluntary Non-Executive Director of Tŷ Hafan Children’s Hospice Charity (in top 1% of UK charities, by income).
- Partner, Unisys plc in Global Industries Public Sector Consulting, London.
- Partner, Andersen Business Consulting, New York and London.
- Board Director, Private Trust Company; Advisor to Trustees and later appointed Interim MD of a private family office with assets of c. US $2billion, Geneva.
- Chief Information Officer & Director of Special Projects for US apparel (garment) company.
- Director of Client Services, Professional Software Systems New York.
Read more about Maria Timon Samra's background...
Maria Timon Samra is based in the UK, with an international career encompassing 25+ years as a management consultant professional and C-level executive operating at board level.
With hands on experience delivering strategic change, digital and IT enabled business transformation, Maria has led on major transformation initiatives for well-known international companies. In CIO roles, Maria has been responsible for defining and delivering IT strategy and forward looking service delivery models involving third parties/ outsource providers. Versed in stabilising and improving IT service delivery for organisations dependent on business critical systems, Maria has a keen ability to decipher complex problems business problems and to shape and deliver digital/ technical solutions. Adept at organisational design, and strong on team building, coaching and leadership development, Maria is also experienced in full scale redesign and restructure of IS and business change functions.
Maria is highly respected for her work in the area of governance, risk and compliance and has delivered consultancy and multi million pounds of change programmes in the highly regulated utilities and financial services sectors.
Irish born, Maria’s career started in the US, working briefly on Wall Street as an interim before joining an enterprise software solutions organisation where was promoted to Director of Client Services and Project Management. After a stint with BDO Seidman as a Manager in the consulting practice, she served in a variety of roles including as Chief Information Officer & Director of Special Projects for a private label US apparel (garment) company. Re-joining the professional services arena, Maria worked internationally for Andersen Business Consulting, initially based in New York and later as a Consulting Partner based out of London. In addition to high profile clients such as Budget Rent a Car international, Nike, MicroWarehouse Inmac, Transworld Entertainment and Danskin, Maria managed global professional services transformation programmes and her role extended to managing the orderly wind down of the Andersen organization across the globe, a complex international assignment. Following the wind down of the firm, Maria joined Unisys plc as a partner in Global Industries Public Sector where she had responsibility for business transformation and implementing significant IT enabled change, particularly in the police service and justice systems. Clients included the Metropolitan Police (Homicide Management Solution), PSNI, the Criminal Justice IT organisation (CJIT) and DCA, the UK Courts system.
Over the last several years Maria has held a variety of roles including Board Director for a Swiss based Private Trust Company, advisor to Trustees and later appointed Interim MD of a $2bn private family office, Interim Chief Information Officer & Head of Business Information Services at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and more recently as Director of Digital Transformation for Barclaycard. Concurrently, in a voluntary capacity, Maria is Chairperson and a Non-Executive Director of Tŷ Hafan, a Children’s’ Hospice that is in the top 1% of charities by income in the UK.
Get In Touch
If you have any questions or would like to engage our services, please contact us