At the official opening of The Ardonagh Group’s analytics lab in Marlinstown Business Park on Friday afternoon, from left, chief data officer Shane Keating, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, and Ardonagh Group CEO David Ross, who is a native of Mullingar.

‘Nerve centre’ of €10bn global firm opens in Marlinstown

The decision to open the “nerve centre” of a €10bn company in Mullingar is a “vote of confidence” in the town and its people, according to its locally-reared CEO.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin officially opened the Ardonagh Group’s analytics lab in Marlinstown Business Park last Friday afternoon. The lab provides data-led insights for the insurance brokerage group’s global network, which employs 12,000 people in 150 locations.

The CEO of the firm is Mullingar native David Ross, who named the group after the townland in which he grew up.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner at the opening on Friday, Mr Ross said that it is a “huge privilege” to be able to open the “nerve centre” of his firm in his home town.

He said the work carried out at the analytics lab, which currently employs 30 people with plans to double its workforce, will be central to the growth of the company.

“To come back here now and actually be able to help my local town and the community is wonderful. This is a vital part of a hugely powerful group. Once this thing finds its legs, every decision we make as we go forward and grow will be triaged in this centre and actually it will be out at the front of the business.”

In his speech at the launch, Mr Ross, who attended primary school at CBS, joked that when the company was choosing the location for the lab, he ruled himself out of the decision-making process “because clearly I was always going to pick Mullingar”.

He said that his team chose Mullingar for a number of “compelling” reasons, such as its access links to Dublin and its proximity to TUS Athlone.

“We run a global investment management business. It’s a meritocracy, so you want everything to be won on merit.”

On why he chose to name the company after a townland just outside Mullingar, Mr Ross said that he wanted it to “have a Celtic heart”.

“The beauty of the Ardonagh thing is that when I travel around the world people go, ‘What does Ardonagh mean?’. It was where I grew up. It was a hill and the whole idea was it was a view from the top of the hill. Running an asset management business, the whole idea was we sit on top of a hill in a holding company and basically make really good decisions with the help of the team we’ve got here in Mullingar.”

During his speech at the official opening, Tánaiste Micheál Martin outlined the increasing importance of regional hubs like Mullingar to support Ireland’s FDI ambitions.

“The Ardonagh Analytics Lab is a great example of a business that has achieved remarkable results thanks to the unique and unrivalled pool of expert talent we have here in Ireland.

“Since its launch, the lab has gone from strength to strength and has supported job creation in the midlands by expanding its team and its capabilities to offer a valuable service to its businesses across the world. I wish the team every success as they embark on the next stage of this exciting journey.”