Business

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton takes Lunn's Award of Excellence after record-breaking year

Alastair Hamilton (centre) receives the Lunn's Award of Excellence from Paul Terrington (left) of the IoD and Lunn's managing director John Lunn

THE chief executive of Invest NI Alastair Hamilton has become the latest recipient of the Lunn's Award of Excellence, bestowed annually on an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to business and to society in general.

Presented each year at the Institute of Directors' Northern Ireland regional dinner, he collected the distinctive Lunn's Award of Excellence trophy (first awarded in 1996 to Dame Mary Peters) as well as a Rolex Daytona watch worth more than £9,000.

He joins a long list of high-calibre leaders who are previous winners of the award, including Jim Dobson OBE (Dunbia), Helen Kirkpatrick MBE (Kingspan), David Dobbin (United Dairies), Michael Howard (SHS), John McCann (UTV), Bro McFerran (Northbrook Technology) and Michael Ryan (Bombardier).

Mr Hamilton has headed up the jobs creation agency since April 2009, and in the 2014/2015 year it promoted nearly 14,000 jobs delivering more than£300 million of salaries to the north's economy.

Before that, Mr Hamilton spent more than eight years in senior management roles in the private sector with BT, and he also had a period as a special adviser to then Stormont First Minister Ian Paisley.

The award was presented to him by John Lunn, managing director of Lunn's the Jewellers, who said: “I warmly congratulate Alastair on this well-deserved success.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the IoD dinner in Belfast, the organisation's regional chairman Paul Terrington urged Northern Ireland business leaders to overcome the challenge of establishing trust and encouraging a more honest business culture.

Referencing a recent poll which found that business leaders were among a group of people who are least likely to be trusted, he said: “Locally the business community has been much criticised in the last year, with the Public Accounts Committee accusing non-executive directors on public bodies of oversight failures and concluding that non-executive directors failed to abide by the Nolan principles of transparency in public life.

“We cannot escape the consequences of our actions and as directors we should be held to the highest standards of accountability – whether by the shareholders in our own companies or by government and its agencies where we advise and guide public bodies."

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