The keynote speaker at the conference was Ciarán Devane, current Chief Executive of the British Council and former CEO of one of the UK’s most prominent charities, Macmillan Cancer Support.

The focus of Ciarán’s keynote address was on his time at Macmillan, the challenges they faced and the strategies they pursued to meet those challenges. It included many ideas that are applicable to all charities, no matter how large or small.



Ciaran Devane

Ciarán Devane

Chief Executive of the British Council

former CEO, Macmillan Cancer Support 

Ciarán is originally from Dublin and a graduate of University College Dublin. He has had a varied and successful career, initially as a chemical engineer and subsequently in management consultancy.

In 2007, Ciarán made the transition to a third sector when he was appointed CEO of one of the UK’s most prominent charities, Macmillan Cancer Support. During his time in Macmillan, Ciarán developed the strategy which transformed the scale and impact of what the charity does, both on its own and in collaboration with other organisations, and raised its profile as an authoritative voice on cancer and on health.

Ciarán joined the British Council in January 2015 as Chief Executive. The British Council is engaged in cultural relations, connecting millions of people with the United Kingdom through programmes and services in the English language, the arts, education and society. It is the UK’s largest charity by annual income and it employs 7,000 staff in over 100 countries around the world.



Ian Brady

Head of Davy Charities and Not-for-Profit Group

If you would like to know more about Charity Events at Davy or Davy Charities' Investment Services, please contact Ian Brady on +353 1 614 3344 or by email at