AIB - Supporting Ireland's future economic development through DCU

Robert Mulhall is a DCU graduate and currently Managing Director – Consumer Banking Ireland with AIB. In this article, he explains what has inspired AIB to support DCU’s Centre for Family Business and Ireland’s first Chair in Data Analytics at DCU.

AIB has been a longstanding supporter of DCU. What is it that inspires AIB’s continued partnership with the University?

As one of the leading universities in Ireland, DCU plays a critical role in shaping future thought leaders across a range of disciplines. DCU’s mission, “To transform lives and societies through education, research, innovation and engagement,” shows the profound ambition of the university to continuously develop the talent of its student base and enhance the wider community in Ireland and abroad.

AIB is inspired to support DCU on this mission. Our purpose, to back our customers to achieve their dreams and ambitions, is why we are in business.

As the leading bank in Ireland, AIB realises the role universities play in developing the skills and enterprises that the economy needs to continue to develop and grow. This is critical to the success of our customers, and ultimately the success of AIB. Our support to DCU and the student body aligns with our purpose and is key to developing Ireland’s strategic interests and consistently pursuing excellence.

AIB has supported DCU’s Centre for Family Business since 2015. Why is it important to AIB to support Irish family businesses to address the unique challenges that they face and to enhance their competitiveness?

Family businesses form the heart of communities across Ireland, are the core of our economy and an important client base for AIB, representing 75% of Irish businesses and accounting for approximately 50% of the country’s GDP and approximately 50% of its employment.

As a Partner, we use research findings generated by the Centre to aid our development of propositions and products to back family business. AIB works closely with the Centre to provide a platform to support the professionalisation and growth of family business companies in Ireland. We also aim to educate the current and next generation leaders about the challenges and opportunities of the family business on issues such as succession planning, next-generation involvement and continuity planning through the quarterly educational workshops and networking events.

These seminars and workshops provide access to AIB specialists and include practical tools businesses need to build and grow their family businesses sustainably.

AIB’s support for a Chair in Data Analytics at DCU demonstrates your awareness of how philanthropy can address key issues facing our economy and society today. Why did you decide to prioritise this area for further research and what do you hope will be the impact of your support?

AIB is proud to sponsor the Chair in Data Analytics to help attract more talent, deliver leading programmes and research and advance the agenda in this critical field. As organisations move more towards insights-driven businesses, the demand for analytics talent will continue to grow and individuals with the critical combination of technical, analytical and business skills will be highly sought after. The appropriate supply and quality of analytics talent will be a key enabler in helping our business customers to succeed, and in the continued attraction of foreign direct investment to Ireland.

As a DCU graduate, what does DCU mean to you today and how did a DCU education contribute to your own success?

As a proud alumnus, DCU will always represent a significant part of my development and success to date. Today, I see a University that consistently pursues excellence and has evolved with the ever changing pace of modern day business and society.

I graduated from DCU in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics. The content and the culture provided me with a platform to think analytically and develop my competencies in leadership and innovation, which are key passions of mine. These skillsets, amongst many others, have equipped me on my career path and contributed to my success across different roles and organisations.

I look forward to my continued engagement with DCU in both a personal and professional capacity.