From UL to NYC
Meet the UL alumni taking New York City by storm.
Co-founder, Director and Chairman Emeritus at St Baldrick’s Foundation
Tim Kenny graduated from University of Limerick in 1981 and embarked on a successful career in the insurance sector, culminating in establishing Aran Insurance Services Group in 2009. He has lived in the States since receiving his visa in 1987 and played a key role in the recent re-launch of the New York UL Alumni Chapter of which he is Chair of the local Chapter Committee.
In July 1999, Tim and two friends, John Bender and Enda McDonnell, decided to support the fight against childhood cancer by getting 17 people to raise $1,000 each by shaving their heads on St Patrick’s Day, 2000. They ended up raising over $104,000 that day, and by 2002, they had raised $1 million.
St Baldrick’s Foundation was formally established by the trio
in 2004 and the goals of the not-for-profit foundation are to raise money for childhood cancer research, boost research capability, increase survival rates and to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
It is now the world’s biggest volunteer-driven fundraising programme for children’s cancer and the second largest funder of paediatric cancer research after the US Federal Government. To date, St Baldrick’s has raised over $300 million and the range of grants now include hypothesis-driven research grants, scholar awards and infrastructure support to help local institutions treat more children
in clinical trials.
Tim Kenny, ND Business Studies, 1981
Ann Marie Hourigan
Head of Science and IB Middle Years Programme Coordinator at The British International School of New York.
Originally from Patrickswell in Limerick, Bachelor of Science and Education graduate Ann Marie Hourigan moved to New York in 2013 after spending nine years in London as a science teacher and assistant headteacher. She became Head of Science at The British International School of New York, and has since added Middle Years Coordinator to this title.
“I have always worked outside of Ireland as an educator, apart from teacher training in UL in 2002 and 2004. From listening to friends that are posted in Ireland, there are far more opportunities to progress in the career of education in an international setting like New York than at home. Job stability is much higher abroad. The salary is much more lucrative in London and, although highly competitive to break into, more so in the US private sector. I’m more than happy to stay in New York for the foreseeable future.”
Ann Marie Hourigan, BSc Biological Sciences with Chemistry, 2004
Director of Risk Management at Honeywell International Inc.
Fionnuala Delahunty first lived in New York from 2002 to 2007 and transferred back from Ireland to take up her current role, a world away from her native Sneem. “Working in New York is extremely demanding. In my first year out of UL, I worked for a private firm on Wall Street and I was doing 14-15 hour days straight out of college. This tempered me well for further positions. I think with technology now, the expectation is to be connected 24/7, and with the responsibilities of my role, anything can happen anywhere in the world at any time, and I have to be responsive. The US is famous for being one of the greatest meritocracies in the world, and this fostered strong, determined, competitive workforces. With the proliferation of US firms on Irish soil I am certain Irish employees are becoming more familiar with the more demanding work environments, but I believe all of my friends in Ireland have a much better work life balance than is offered by firms here.”
“I have always said I will move home again and hopefully this will happen in the next couple of years with my current company. New York has immense energy, opportunity, constant stimulation, but as I am older now, a more low-key lifestyle may be better!”
Fionnuala Delahunty, BA European Studies 2001, GDip Business Administration, 2002
Executive Director at JP Morgan
A Business graduate from Clonmel in County Tipperary, Frances Ronan-Sutterby spent time in New York during her degree and always wanted to move back. After five years working in investor relations in Bermuda, she returned with her husband. Currently an Executive Director at JP Morgan, Frances says her role is interesting and varied. “Working in NYC is different. It truly is the city that never sleeps. There is always a major buzz and sometimes the city crowds can be overwhelming, but I love the atmosphere. I also see a huge focus on further education. In preparation for moving to New York I enrolled in an MBA programme and graduated in 2010. This was a key component in my career growth in the US.
The commutes often are very long so there is a ‘work hard and go home to family’ attitude. I live in New Jersey with my family so my commute is over three hours a day. We have two small children and it’s tough to work full-time in finance but we have been very lucky and have a great network of friends locally.”
Frances Ronan-Sutterby, Bachelor of Business Studies, 2000
Vice President, Legal & Compliance, at SVPGlobal
Laura Hurley from County Limerick moved to New York in 2013, following her now husband. “I (reluctantly) left a very fulfilling role as a solicitor in Limerick to take the NY Bar Exam. I’m a lawyer at an investment adviser with offices globally. They advise a hedge fund and four private equity funds with approximately $7 billion of assets currently under management. As Vice President in the Legal & Compliance department of an SEC registered Investment Adviser, my role is very demanding, often involving long hours but it is also exciting and rewarding. As our funds invest in Europe, it’s very useful to have both an Irish and English qualification.”
“We have no short-term plans to move back to Ireland. Both my husband and I are very settled in
New York, but no doubt we will return to Ireland at some stage.” UL
Laura Hurley, LLB Law & European Studies, 2008