He was born in Belfast and anchors his business enterprises in his native city, but spends much of his week in the money capital of the world – London. Mark O’Connell, of OCO Global, fronts up a specialist advisory economic development firm reaching into cities all around the world. His clients include Governments and private companies at home and abroad.
In this wide ranging interview, O’Connell issues a stark warning to the Irish Republic and other ‘shaky economies,’ in the event of further economic instability in the euro. He reveals American boardrooms are already examining ‘Plan B – exodus plans’ in the event of further uncertainty.
On the deficits in our education system, O’Connell contends, Northern Ireland has “become a little too protected and insulated by the public sector.” Arguing there is not enough emphasis on entrepreneurialism in our schools and way of thinking, he adds, “it’s systemic….it starts really in the home….the aspiration is around doing law, medicine and accountancy, if you are really risky. There isn’t a sense of – I want to be a businessman when I grow up.”
Why is this man not sitting at the table of DETI Minister Arlene Foster?