Advisory Board


The International Advisory Board, which launched in 2015, includes distinguished leaders from private, public and third sector organisations and is chaired by businessman Mark Ennis, who also chairs Invest NI. The Board exists to help the School develop strong links with businesses, organisations and policymakers. It also provides strategic advice and supports the Management School’s current development and future activities.

The Board supports the teaching activities of the School by providing an employer perspective on the skills required of graduates, by facilitating access to work-based learning opportunities for students, and by providing direct input into degree programmes. The research activities of the School are supported by the Board through identifying issues of concern to business, public and third sector organisations, and by assisting in the dissemination of research results and facilitating engagement with communities of practice. 

Internal members:

Professor Nola Hewitt Dundas
(Head of School)
Donal McKillop
(Advisory Board Co-ordinator)

External members:

Mr Mark Fitzgerald
Former Managing Director of Global Market Strategies Group, BlackRock

Mark's service with BlackRock dates back to 2000, including his years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. At BGI, he was the Global Head of Investment Strategy in the Hedge Fund Management Group before assuming his current role. He also held roles as a portfolio manager within the Global Advanced Active business (GAA) before becoming a senior investment strategist within the team. Prior to joining BGI, Mark worked at Barclays where he became head of Barclays International Premier Banking in Knightsbridge, London. Mark holds an MSc degree in finance from the London Business School.


Mr Declan Breslin
US Head of Client Service, Prime Brokerage at J.P. Morgan

Declan Breslin is a Managing Director and Prime Brokerage Global Head of Client Service for JP Morgan. His team is responsible for the day-to-day client service for all of the hedge fund clients on J.P. Morgan’s Prime Brokerage platform. Declan began his career in London with Deutsche Bank before moving to Lehman Brothers in 2003, where he ran Client Service and Transition across all products both pre- and post- bankruptcy. He worked closely with the administrator post-bankruptcy before transferring to Nomura International to build out their global Prime Brokerage platform. Declan graduated from the Queen’s University of Belfast in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and holds a Master of Science in Finance from the University of London.



Ms Frances McCandless
Chief Executive of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland

Frances was appointed to the Commission in April 2010 as its first Chief Executive. Prior to taking up this post, Frances was employed as Director of Policy at NICVA, an umbrella body which provides advice, information and policy analysis to the 5,000 voluntary and community organisations in Northern Ireland. Frances has a BA (Hons) from University College, Oxford, an MPhil from Trinity College, Dublin and a Diploma in Public Administration from Warwick Business School, where she has also taught and been an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Governance and Public Management.


Professor Arthur Francis
Emeritus Professor of Management, Bradford University

Prof Francis was Dean of Bradford University School of Management for 12 years until his retirement in August 2010 and is currently Emeritus Professor at the School. Currently Arthur is dean of the college of Fellows of the British Academy of Management. Arthur was previously professor of corporate strategy at the University of Glasgow, where he was also director of research at the business school, and associate dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Before Glasgow, he was head of the business policy and marketing group at the Imperial College Management School. Arthur has a BSc (Eng) in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London.


Professor Robert Hutchinson 
Retired Provost of University of Ulster Coleraine

Robert was Provost of the University of Ulster's Coleraine Campus (2009-2012) and formerly Dean of the Ulster Business School (2001-2009). A graduate of both the University of Ulster and the University of Warwick, Robert has extensive experience of teaching and research in Economics and Finance. He spent a period in 1998/99 as a visiting researcher at the Central Bank of Ireland. Robert is currently involved in part-time lecturing and consultancy and, in addition, is a Member of the Department of the Environment's Local Government Staffing Commission and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Triangle Housing Association.



Ms Lynne Rainey 
Partner of Corporate Intelligence practice, PwC

A research professional, Lynne works with a range of international private sector clients to help them mitigate the bribery, corruption and reputation risks posed by third parties arrangements. She has helped clients develop and implement global third party policy and procedures, and has managed the delivery of a number of global programmatic integrity due diligence research programmes for blue chip companies. Lynne has a BA (Hons) in Modern History and Politics from Queen's University Belfast.


Sir Nigel Hamilton 
Former head of the NI Civil Service

Sir Nigel Hamilton, KCB, was formerly Head of the NI Civil Service prior to his retirement in June 2008. He joined the Civil Service in 1970 and worked in the former Department of the Environment (DOE), on roads, transport, water, housing and local authority policies. He was appointed Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service in 1 October 2002. In this role he led 29,000 civil servants and was the most senior adviser to the First and the Deputy First Ministers. Sir Nigel Hamilton is a Psychology graduate from Queen’s University, Belfast.


Mr Adrian Toner
Chief Operating Officer at First Derivatives

Adrian first joined the board of First Derivatives as a Non-Executive director in 2005 and in June 2010 joined the Company full time as COO. As COO, Adrian is responsible for global business operations, logistics and human resources. Prior to joining First Derivatives, Adrian was Associate Commercial Director at Allianz in Dublin as well as being Head of Allianz Northern Ireland. During his career he has worked in London, Munich, Dublin and Northern Ireland. He graduated from Queens University Belfast in 1988 with a BSc Management and holds a MBA from Middlesex University.


Mr Mark Ennis
Chairman of Invest Northern Ireland

Mark was appointed Chairman of Invest Northern Ireland in January 2012. He has been Chairman of SSE (Ireland) since October 2010 and he moved from an executive role to non- executive in April 2012. In October 2013 he was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Liberty Insurance Ltd where he also serves as Chairman of the Risk Committee and a member of the Audit Committee. Mark is a past Chairman of CBI Northern Ireland and currently serves on the CBI Business Committee. Mark is an economics graduate from Queen’s, has an MBA from the Open University and was awarded Queen’s Graduate of the Year award for services to industry in 2001.


Ms Angela McGowan
Chief Economist at Danske Bank

Angela has been with the bank since July 2012 and provides analysis and commentary on local and global economic trends, in particular those elements of economic performance which impact the Bank's personal and business portfolios.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ She is also a board member of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland. She has previously held roles as a senior economist at Economic Research Institute NI and Northern Ireland Economic Council. She has an economics degree from Queen’s and an MBA from Ulster University. 


Dr WenWen Zhan
Fund manager at China Merchants Securities (HK)

WenWen is a fund manager at China Merchants Securities (Hong Kong), where she focuses on global macroeconomic research and Chinese on-shore as well as off-shore bond market research and provides investment advice to fund managers. Before this she was a strategy and macroeconomic analyst and a retail sector analyst at the same company. WenWen has an undergraduate degree in Finance from Queen’s, a postgraduate in Finance from York, a PhD in Finance from Queen’s and was a research associate at Lancaster University‌