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PCH International founder is 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Monday, 29th October 2007

Liam Casey, founder and Chief Executive of PCH International was named the 10th Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year at a gala ceremony held in Dublin last night. He was announced as the winner of the International Category before receiving the overall title which was presented by Mr. Micheal Martin, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, T.D.

Founded in Cork in 1996 PCH International is a world class supply chain management company focused in the consumer electronics, hi-tech and medical sectors. Its customers are mainly multinationals based in North America, including the who’s who of Silicon Valley. Among its clients are three of the top five personal computer companies, three of the top five telecom and networking companies, three of the top five consumer electronics companies and the top five leading contract electronics manufacturers. PCH acts as their gateway into China.

Based in Shenzhen, China, the company employs 800 people in Ireland, China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, USA, Brazil, UK and South Africa. Last year, PCH International had sales of US $117m and contributed €6m to the Irish economy.

Enda Kelly of Ernst and Young reiterated the guiding motive of the awards, stating that, “the enterprise culture in Ireland remains strong and there is a positive predisposition towards entrepreneurship. The Programme continues to help acclaim entrepreneurs and provide valuable role models for existing and future business innovators. With over 40 countries involved, it opens channels of a unique nature for Irish business participants.

“Liam Casey encompasses the qualities we are looking for in today’s entrepreneur,” he said. “PCH International has addressed highly complex supply chain problems for global multinationals and generated creative, simple solutions.”

Denis O’Brien, chairman of the judging panel and a former winner of the award, was highly impressed with the calibre of all 24 contenders. “The winner is doubly to be congratulated for beating off such strong opposition,” he said. “The company has only been in existence for 11 years and has offered the current suite of supply chain solutions for just three years. To be able to convince multinationals to choose them is no mean feat.”

Robert Gallagher, Chief Executive, Ulster Bank Corporate Markets, said, “Each of the finalists involved in this year’s programme has shown how success can be achieved with focus, perseverance and support. On behalf of Ulster Bank, I would particularly like to congratulate Liam Casey.

The 24 finalists fell across three categories, International, Industry and Emerging, and were selected from over 140 entries. The 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Industry category award went to Michael Taggart of Taggart Holdings and Oliver Tatten, VIVAS Health was deemed the winner in the Emerging Category. A special award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Padraig O h’Uiginn for his entrepreneurial vision and drive within Government.

Founded in 1989 by brothers John and Michael Taggart, Taggart Holdings has grown from a Northern Irish-based house builder to a vibrant and dynamic international property development company, with offices in Ireland, UK, Eastern Europe and the USA. Their current property portfolio includes both residential and commercial properties in Ireland, UK, mainland Europe, New Zealand and Eastern Europe, with a combined land bank valued in excess of £500 million.

The company employs more than 320 people and provides additional employment and business opportunities for many hundreds of sub-contractors and other providers of services to the Group’s many developments. The financial results for 2006 saw Taggart Holdings delivering record growth, with turnover increasing 134 per cent to €164m and operating profits up 103 per cent to more than €36m.

VIVAS Health entered the health insurance market in 2004, at a time of little choice or innovation among providers, and quickly established itself as a company offering policies which were flexible, practical and tailored to the needs of the individual or the company. The company has seen enormous growth since its launch, with a turnover run rate of €100m per annum, and is the largest insurer of previously uninsured people.

With 110 employees, direct and outsourced, located in Dublin and Cork, the company has also created hundreds of indirect jobs throughout Ireland through intermediaries and brokers who distribute their products. VIVAS Health has worked hard to influence regulatory reform in the private health insurance market, with many of their recommendations on how to increase competition in the market now becoming Government policy.

The 10th Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year was celebrated with all previous nine winners in full attendances including Denis O’Brien, Digicel, Moya Doherty, Abhann Productions, Eddie Jordan, Jordan Grand Prix, Martin Mc Vicar, CombiLift, Padraig O’Ceidigh Aer Arann, Liam Shanahan, Shanahan Engineering, Dr Peter Fitzgerald, Randox Laboratories, Aidan Heavey, Tullow Oil and last year’s winner, Anne Heraty, CPL Resources.

Liam Casey will go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2008, where more than 10,000 entrepreneurs will compete for the worldwide title.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme is sponsored by Ulster Bank and supported by The Irish Times, RTE, Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, InterTrade Ireland and Digicel.

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