'Infrastructure is very much front and centre of all debate'

Shane MacSweeney, Partner and Head of Government & Infrastructure at EY Ireland on the challenges facing the construction sector

18th September, 2018
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What's your name?

Shane MacSweeney

What position do you hold?

Partner and Head of Government & Infrastructure, EY Ireland

What are your day to day responsibilities?

In my role I lead the Government, Infrastructure and Economic Advisory Services team in providing solutions for Government and private sector clients. This involves working with our team of experts and meeting with clients to advise them on economic feasibility, policy analysis, and financial, commercial and strategic advisory services, as well as procurement advisory for large scale infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships (PPPs).

I also work closely with our EY DKM economic advisory team of experts on a daily basis. They specialise in helping clients understand the current and future environments they operate in and help them to scenario plan for potential challenges. In my role I see first-hand how vital this service is to clients now more than ever, as we face into potential obstacles such as a hard Brexit.

What is your professional background?

I am a Partner in EY's Transaction Advisory Services team focusing upon Government and Infrastructure Advisory. I have over 18 years’ experience working on large infrastructure projects globally. I specialise in providing commercial, financial and economic advisory services in the infrastructure field to government and corporate clients including project finance and public private partnerships (PPP) transactions, having worked in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. My experience includes project implementation and leadership, economic analysis, complex business case development, feasibility assessment, commercial structuring, funding and financing analysis, project management, tender evaluation, pre-qualification analysis and evaluation, payment mechanism structuring, contractual drafting and review of commercial aspects associated with PPP deals, and negotiations.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

Away from work, I am happily married with four great kids – aging from 3 to 12. As you can imagine it’s a busy household, especially on weekends when we’re running between various sporting activities. I’m also training for an adventure race taking place in early October which will involve 74km of cycling, trail running and kayaking which I’m really looking forward to. Fingers crossed for sunshine that day!

Tell us something very few people know about you?

I play the drums, having being bought a full sized kit by my wife a few Christmases ago. Great fun, albeit a bit loud!

You are speaking at the 2018 Construction Industry Federation conference. What are you speaking about?

I will participate in a panel discussion on Project Ireland 2040, specifically looking at Ireland’s key capital infrastructure priorities and how best to deliver them efficiently.

What challenges do you see for the construction sector?

With the release of the National Development Plan (NDP) in February of this year, it is an exciting time to be in the construction sector in Ireland. Infrastructure is very much front and centre of all debate and its economic benefits are inherent and widely recognised. However, there are a number of challenges facing the industry including skills shortages, pricing and Brexit, which will need to be addressed in order for initiatives such as the NDP to be successfully implemented.

Where would you like to see the industry in 10 years’ time?

I would like to see Ireland’s construction industry leading the way and for us to be a country that our global peers look to for exemplary projects and methodologies. I would also like for us to be viewed as a country that has embraced technology and innovation and in doing so, has delivered a stable career and future for existing and new generations.

Shane MacSweeney is speaking at the Construction Industry Federation Annual Conference in Croke Park on October 2nd, 2018. For tickets and further information about this event, visit www.cifconference.ie

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