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Top Students on Career Fast-Track at Leading Irish Law Firm, Matheson

AUTHOR(S): Michael Jackson, Tara Doyle, Elizabeth Grace
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Asset Management and Investment Funds
DATE: 14.09.2016

  • Three students from Maynooth University have been awarded six-month internships at leading Irish law firm, Matheson
  • Wayne Flanagan, Offaly, Gbemisola Fowara, Louth, and Stephen Traynor, Meath, impressed in the University’s specialised funds law course
  • The course is designed to accelerate entry into Ireland’s international financial services sector – identified as a key growth area in the Government’s IFS2020 strategy

Three students from Maynooth University have each won a coveted legal internship in financial services law.

Students Wayne O’Flanagan from Offaly and Gbemisola Fowora from Louth had competed fiercely for the prestigious award, and did their university proud when it was announced at the Council Room on Maynooth campus, that not just one but both students had won the title of Matheson Funds Law Intern 2016.

The students earned their awards for the high calibre of their work produced as part of the University’s master’s degree module in investment funds law, which is entirely taught at the offices of Matheson, combined with a competitive interview process.

A further special announcement was made at the proceedings, as Head of Investment Funds at Matheson, Tara Doyle, confirmed that classmate Stephen Traynor had been awarded a Fintech Internship with Matheson.

It was also announced that Silke Volckehaert, from Belgium, had won the prize for the best UCITS essay on the Funds Law course.

Commenting at the awards ceremony, Ms Doyle said: “Ireland is an international leader in financial services and in investment funds. In a post-Brexit world where many UK-based financial services companies have signalled their interest in moving some of their operations abroad, Ireland must demonstrate its strengths. Having a supply of talented graduates skilled in specialist, in-demand areas is essential to be competitive and it is important that Ireland continues to forge ahead in these disciplines.”

Ireland is already the sixth largest exporter of financial services in the world and the seventh largest exporter of wholesale financial services in the EU.

Matheson first partnered with Maynooth University in 2013 to create Ireland’s first and only specialised funds law course to be taught at university level.  Liz Grace, a Partner at Matheson, wrote and created the course.

On the announcement of the 2016 internship winners from the funds law class at the Council Room, Maynooth University Campus, she said:

“The Funds Law course is a direct response to an increased demand for transferring specialist legal and industry knowledge to our third level graduates. By looking beyond the traditional law curriculum and focusing on areas central to Ireland’s economic development, we are providing financial services companies establishing in Ireland with the essential expertise they require from Irish graduates when operating in a complex and regulated area.”

“We know that a skilled workforce is a key factor for international companies considering locating in Ireland. Equipping graduates with specialist skills is essential to Ireland’s success in continuing to attract foreign direct investment and, of course, hand in hand with that is the generation of exciting employment opportunities at home for our talented graduates”, she said.

Two-thirds of the Funds Law class were female this year, “This is by far the highest female to male ratio we have had on the course to date”, she noted. “This is significant”, she added, “and, moving forward, increasing the number of female-led financial services courses is important, if we are to help to progress beyond the cliché that finance and financial services are typically male fields. Having a diverse pool of experts mentoring and equipping our graduates for moving forward successfully beyond the campus and into their careers is essential if we are to establish gender diversity as a competitive advantage for the Irish international financial services sector.”

Managing Partner at Matheson, Michael Jackson said, “I am delighted to congratulate Wayne, Gbemisola and Stephen and I look forward to welcoming them back to Matheson to commence their internships. The success rate of our Maynooth interns in going on to pursue a career at Matheson is extremely high. The partnership with Maynooth is one we very much value and one which has helped us to deliver on some of our key corporate social responsibility, diversity and training initiatives. Liz Grace is entitled to be proud of her work both on behalf of the firm and on behalf of the students.”

Pictured above at Maynooth University, L- R: Liz Grace, Partner at Matheson, Gbemisola Fowora, Maynooth University, Wayne Flanagan, Maynooth University, Tara Doyle, Head of Matheson’s Asset Management and Investment Funds Group.

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