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Barry O’ Callaghan is an Irish financier who serves as Executive Chairman of AKLO Capital, his private investment vehicle. AKLO controls operating assets in the areas of international education, 3rd-Party Logistics & Fulfilment, Irish hospitality and commercial real estate. It also has investments in a broad range of sectors including IP and TV production, financial technology, agribusiness, retail and social enterprise. AKLO is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

Previously, Barry served as Chairman and CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a leading global education company and as CEO of its predecessor company, Riverdeep Interactive Learning. Barry is the Chairman and CEO of Daplon Holdings DAC, through which he holds a variety of interests and intellectual property in the global education sector.

Prior to this, Barry was an M&A and Capital Markets banker at Morgan Stanley and latterly at Credit Suisse.

Executive Chairman

Barry O'Callaghan

Barry O’ Callaghan is an Irish financier who serves as Executive Chairman of AKLO Capital, his private investment vehicle. AKLO controls operating assets in the areas of international education, 3rd-Party Logistics & Fulfilment, Irish hospitality and commercial real estate. It also has investments in a broad range of sectors including IP and TV production, financial technology, agribusiness, retail and social enterprise. AKLO is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

Previously, Barry served as Chairman and CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a leading global education company and as CEO of its predecessor company, Riverdeep Interactive Learning. Barry remains the Chairman and CEO of Rise Global, the successor education company to HMH and a leading ELT company with operations in Asia and headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

Prior to this, Barry was an M&A and Capital Markets banker at Morgan Stanley and latterly at Credit Suisse.

He graduated from Trinity College in Dublin with a Bachelor of Legal Science degree (LLB) in 1991.

Principal, AKLO Capital

Patrick Sheehan

Patrick is a seasoned executive boasting nearly two decades of business acumen spanning a diverse array of industries. Since 2011, he has been an integral part of the AKLO Capital team, where his expertise has been instrumental in orchestrating numerous impactful transactions and operational initiatives. With a keen focus on maximising value, Patrick has a wealth of experience in debt raising, transaction management, and strategic private equity investments, all while navigating complex tax and regulatory landscapes.

Prior to his tenure at AKLO Capital, Patrick worked at Mazars Corporate Finance, and preceding this, he was five years at KPMG, where started his professional career. Patrick is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

With a track record of delivering tangible results and a passion for driving innovation, Patrick is a trusted leader in the realm of finance and investment, consistently exceeding expectations and paving the way for sustainable business success.

Head of Real Estate, AKLO Capital

David Quigley

David joined AKLO Capital in 2016 to manage domestic development projects to completion within the private education and hospitality sector . He is also responsible for sourcing and leading property opportunities across the group.
Prior to joining AKLO he had extensive experience in Financial Advisory and Insurance markets and was educated at University College Dublin.

Head of Education, AKLO Capital

Garrett Power

In September 2011, Garrett joined the Rise Group as Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for implementing the RISE strategy across Asia. He became Chief Executive Officer in 2021. This role, based in our Singapore office, includes managing the day to day activities of the existing businesses in the Group and the identification and execution of expanded initiatives in new territories.
During the period from 2004 to 2011, Garrett held a number of senior positions within Houghton Mifflin Harcourt International Publishers (HMH), the world’s largest K-12 publisher. His last position was Head of International Mergers & Acquisitions with primary focus on expanding the HMH traditional US focused business into newer emerging markets. As part of this role Garrett worked on transactions in Latin America, Asia, Europe and Australasia. Garrett first joined the HMH Group as the Chief Financial Officer of the Riverdeep Group. Garrett had responsibility for managing the financial and operational aspects of the US$300m+ business. This included the Finance, Tax, Treasury, Legal and Operations functions.
Prior to working for the Riverdeep/HMH Group, Garrett was a Director at KPMG Transaction Services in London and Dublin. This role involved leading multi-functional teams assisting a variety of clients to undertake cross border transactions. Garrett is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Director, Hospitality Division

Gerri O'Callaghan

Gerri established CLIFF Group with her husband Barry in 2008. Gerri and Barry have been married since 1997 and have four children together, Amy, Kate, Lily and Ollie. Gerri holds BA and MA Honours degrees from Trinity College Dublin.

Joint Managing Director, Cliff

Tristan Jacobs

With over 20 years experience within the hospitality sector, Tristan has been provided with constant challenges and learning opportunities that have shaped the way he approaches his current role as Joint Managing Director at CLIFF.

As a goal orientated professional, his driving force is the achievement of results both in revenue and customer experience. He is a problem solver and has gained great professional gratification in identifying new revenue opportunities and growing them to fruition. His experience has included roles such as: Director of Sales for Iveagh Garden Hotel and Olema Property Holdings, Director of Sales & Marketing for Delfin English Schools, Account Manager for Net Affinity, Director of Sales for Finnstown Castle Hotel, Marketing Manager for Citywest Hotel and work with Dalata Hotel Group. His positions within these exceptional, forward-thinking organisations has offered him unique opportunities to learn and work with some of the industry’s best, enabling him to bring this wealth of experience to his current role.

Joint Managing Director, Cliff

Patrick Shields

Patrick Shields, originally from Cork, is a Director with CLIFF Group and joined initially as General Manager of Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore in 2018. Prior to that, Patrick held the position of General Manager with The Sutton Place Hotel at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia, Canada which is a luxury property twice named as ‘Canada’s Best Ski Resort’ over the last ten years at the World Ski Awards. Patrick has also worked in Hotel & Hospitality Management in the United States and Australia, including the Sydney Opera House, as well as at home in Ireland with over 15 years in senior management. A past President of the Midleton & Area Chamber of Commerce in Cork, Patrick holds an Honours Degree in Hospitality Management from the South East Technological University and an MBA in Management Strategy, graduating with First Class Honours in 2022. Over the last three years Patrick has been an External Reviewer for Munster Technological University on a voluntary basis providing feedback on numerous Management, Business & Hospitality modules from Certificate right through to Masters level.

CEO Verde Fulfilment USA, 3PL Division

Greg Dumont

Greg is accomplished senior executive with more than two decades of experience leading corporate-wide strategic growth initiatives with accountabilities to Investors, Founders, CEOs and Boards of Directors. A creative and dynamic leader, with a record of consistently delivering outstanding growth and return on investment through exemplary business innovation, corporate development, operations, finance and human capital management expertise

He is currently the CEO of Verde Fulfillment USA (“Verde”), a national 3PL roll-up targeting fulfillment services to middle-market businesses and mid-market global brands. Verde supports ecommerce, B2B distribution, retail compliance, and membership requirements for its customers, including tightly aligned value-added services. Leveraging his extensive business development experience, Verde is capitalizing on the core service strengths of the organization and tucking-in dynamic single market 3PL providers having similar operational strengths to create a national footprint emphasizing both diversity in service competency and geographic needs while remaining highly customer-centric in delivery.

In addition, he is the Founder and Managing Partner of Revolve Advisors LLC (“Revolve”), a boutique strategic, operational, financial advisory firm. Established in 2012, Revolve leverages experienced executives for impactful strategic advisory projects and has built a client list of education authorities and high growth companies within content/media/technology and public and private education, as well as serving on boards of selective companies.

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, C.B.E.

David Puttnam is the chair of Atticus Education, an online education company based in Ireland. Atticus, through a unique arrangement with BT Ireland, delivers interactive seminars on film and a variety of other subjects to educational institutions around the world.

David spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning films including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle. His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme D’Or at Cannes. From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice President and Chair of Trustees at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006.

He retired from film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy as it relates to education, the environment, and the creative and communications industries. In 1998 he founded the National Teaching Awards, which he chaired until 2008, also serving as the first Chair of the General Teaching Council from 2000 to 2002. From July 2002 to July 2009 he was president of UNICEF UK, playing a key role in promoting UNICEF’s advocacy and awareness objectives. In October 2013 David stepped down as Chancellor of the Open University a post he was appointed to in 2006, following ten years as Chancellor of The University of Sunderland.

He is Digital Champion for Ireland, President of the Film Distributors’ Association, Chairman of the TSL Advisory Board, Chair of the Academic Board, Pearson College, a UNICEF Ambassador, and Adjunct Professor of Film Studies and Digital Humanities at University College Cork.

He was Deputy Chairman of Channel 4 Television from 2006 until January 2012, and Chairman of North Music Trust (The Sage Gateshead) from 2007 until November 2012 . He was founding Chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and chaired both the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and the National Film and Television School for ten years. He has also served as a trustee of the Tate Gallery, the Science Museum, the Thomson Foundation and many other organisations.

In 2007 he was appointed Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill, having performed the same role on the 2002 Communications Bill.

He has been Chairman of two Hansard Society Commission Reports on the relationship between Parliament and the Public and has served as a non-executive director on a number of public companies.

David was awarded a CBE in 1982, a knighthood in 1995 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997. In France he was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1985, becoming an Officer in 1992, and a Commander in 2006. He has been the recipient of more than 40 honorary degrees from Universities in the UK and overseas.

He was most recently appointed the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Burma.

Advisory Board

David Clayton

Member, AKLO Capital Advisory Board: Until June 2012, David Clayton was Group Director of Strategy and Corporate Development for the Sage Group plc. Sage is a global provider of business software applications and services to small and medium sized enterprises. The company is ranked around 80 in the FTSE 100 with a market capitalisation of around £3.5bn. David assumed this full time Executive role in October 2007 and was a member of the plc Board. He was originally appointed to the Board in June 2004 as a non-Executive Director and also served as a member of the Audit Committee and the Remuneration Committee, in addition to being Senior Independent non-Executive Director.

Prior to joining the Sage Board in 2004, Mr. Clayton was Managing Director and Head of European Technology Research at Credit Suisse. In this role he was responsible for building and leading a team of equity analysts who provided research coverage of companies such as SAP, Nokia, Alcatel, Siemens, Philips, Cap Gemini among many others. The team was ranked first by Institutional Investor magazine for its research each year from 2000 until 2004. David’s own sector coverage was software. He joined CSFB via their acquisition of BZW in 1997. Having left CSFB in March 2004, in addition to the role at Sage, David also served on the Boards of Riverdeep, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and two small private software businesses. David is currently non-Executive Chairman of SDL plc having previously been Chairman of the Audit Committee, SDL is a world leader in language based Global Information Management. He is Chairman of market leading email archiving vendor, Cryoserver. David sits on the Board of Rise China as an independent non-executive Director and serves on the Alumni Advisory Committee for the business school at Sheffield University.

In addition to the above, David is Executive Chairman and controlling shareholder of Forensic and Compliance Systems. Until July 2012, David was a main Board Executive Director of the Sage Group plc, with responsibility for Strategy and Corporate Development. Prior to joining Sage, David was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse in equity research. He is Chair of Trustees of Changing Faces and is a trustee of Dixons multi-academy trust.

Advisory Board

Robert Rooney

Rob Rooney was appointed CEO of London tech company HyperJarin January 2023, three months after he joined the Board.

As HyperJar CEO, Rob is leveraging his extensive industry knowledge and technology expertise to lead the growth stage and global roll out of this award-winning platform. In addition to designing and executing the strategy, Rob is building investor and B2B partnerships. He is also expanding the world class team of founders and highly experienced professionals to ensure that HyperJar delivers cutting edge innovation, operational excellence, and platform resilience.

Previously, Rob spent over 30 years at Morgan Stanley in several senior executive roles, including 10 years on the Firmwide Operating Committee. Most recently, Rob was the Global Head of Technology, Operations, and Firm Resilience, where he led a comprehensive, firmwide transformation centered around technology, data, and workforce modernisation. Responsible for Morgan Stanley’s largest organisation (35,000 staff), he drove rapid change, including directing a complex and innovative Cloud journey and a strategic partnership with Microsoft. Rob also organised the firmwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioning 100,000 global employees to work-from-home while maintaining platform stability and performance during record volumes of activity and then bringing them back.

As the CEO of Morgan Stanley International, Rob led the firm’s UK and EMEA businesses through the tumultuous period following Brexit. He directed a significant restructuring of the global business to meet the firm’s business objectives within the new regulatory requirements. Rob held various roles within the Fixed Income, Equity, and Capital Markets businesses, ultimately serving as the Co-Global Head of Fixed Income, co-leading a team of 2,000 through the successful, post-GFC restructuring of Morgan Stanley’s largest balance sheet and risk book. He also served as a Board Director for Morgan Stanley International.

Rob is a Board Member and Chair of the Development Committee for The Jed Foundation, the largest charity in the US focused on mental health and suicide prevention for young people. Rob’s work with the Foundation and Morgan Stanley contributed to the establishment of the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health.

A UK- and US-passport holder, Rob currently lives in London with his wife, Corinne.

Advisory Board

Mary Finan

Advisory Board

David Mulville

David Mulville is a technology entrepreneur with interests in education, healthcare and the sports fintech sectors. David is currently Chair of Dataflow International group, which includes Dataflow Learning Ltd and Dataflow MedTech Ltd. He is a director and CFO of Swiss based sports ticketing ERP business Tixstock SA. He has been a corporate finance executive for most of his career including senior roles in Riverdeep Group, EMPG, Solidere and the Irish Stock Exchange.

Advisory Board

Derron Slonecker

Derron Slonecker is a Partner at Ducera Partners. Derron has over thirty years of experience working on a variety of restructuring and strategic advisory assignments across a broad range of industries.

Prior to forming Ducera, he was a Partner at Perella Weinberg Partners, U.S. Head of its Restructuring Practice, and Co-Chair of its Fairness Opinion Committee. Previously, Derron was a Founding Partner of Kramer Capital Partners. Prior to Kramer Capital Partners, he was a Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey and a member of its Operating Committee.

Derron earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington.