A Good Way of Life with Irish Life

Part of the benefit of a project like Ireland Gateway to Europe (IGTE) is how it helps US companies hit the ground running when setting up here. Things like tax, employment, location, and laws must be dealt with first before they can launch here and since there are a number of differences between the US and Ireland, having major players help demystify this process is a blessing.

Of those major players, one majority company that’s involved in this process is Irish Life. Providing a full range of employee benefits including health insurance, pensions and life and income protection cover, Irish Life helps companies quickly put a benefit package in place that will support their work in recruiting staff in Ireland.

Commercial director at Irish Life, Damian Fadden said these different players coming together was a testament to the type of initiative IGTE brings, and the generosity of these organisations.

“Companies participate in the IGTE for commercial reasons of course but there is a higher purpose, this is a group of Irish companies who are the best at what they do, are very proud to represent Ireland and support the growth of FDI investment into the country,” said Damian Fadden.

IGTE brings together a huge amount of expertise and knowledge from the Irish side, and makes it easily accessible to US companies thinking about investing here.

The other major benefit is how much they learn from each other too. Not just the companies part but what their counterparts in the US too.

“Anytime you get involved in something like this, you learn a huge amount from the people who attend the events and take part in the process from the other side,” said Fadden.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to learn about employee benefits and developments in other markets, what the emerging priorities and challenges are for multinational employers and their employees.”

Speaking of counterparts, one of Irish Life’s strengths is that its parent company is Great-West Life, one of the world’s biggest insurance companies, and the second biggest administrator of employer pensions in the US.

That gives it a significant advantage in knowing what US companies are looking for, what they see coming over the horizon and how Irish Life can position itself to best serve those that come over.

“The IGTE programme has focused on bringing the best of Ireland to showcase Ireland as an investment location for US companies looking to invest in Europe,” said Fadden.

Irish Life provides market-leading solutions across the range of employee benefits, including health insurance, life and income protection insurance, and pensions – as well as all of the investment, technology and investment services that are needed to ensure delivery of a successful employee benefits experience.

“When it comes to meeting customers or potential customers in the Gateway forum, it means we have a huge amount of experience and knowledge and what have been priorities and issues for FDI companies that have gone before which is really useful insight for FDI companies as they consider investment in Ireland.”


Hit the Ground Running

When US companies consider bringing their operations to Ireland, there are numerous things they need to consider before they can launch and do business.

Part of the IGTE project is that those who are involved help reduce the time it takes US companies to understand the Irish market. The more help they get, the quicker and smoother the process is.

“When companies come over here, they don’t want to spend a huge amount of time getting to grips with the market, understanding what norms are and what they should do,” said Fadden.

“They want to work with people in different sectors who can help them get their business up and running, get the different pieces in place that they need in order to support that and quickly get to focusing on developing their business.” Fadden said that, when Irish Life met companies considering the move across, it was able to show them the necessary steps they need to take to be competitive like knowing how to attract and retain talent”

It is perhaps unsurprising to hear that health insurance is a major priority for US companies investing in Ireland, given how important that benefit is in the US market. Irish Life Health’s range gives them all the scope they need to put very strong health insurance benefits in place for the Irish staff, supported by comprehensive health and wellbeing services that support employees in managing their own healthy lifestyle.

“We have a huge opportunity to learn from our multinational clients in how health insurance is developing in other markets, and this feeds into our innovations on an ongoing basis,” explains Fadden.

“Through the money they spend on health insurance, FDI employers fund a significant proportion of the health system in Ireland and one of the important things we do is advocate for those companies at an employer level.

“These companies are hiring people from right around the world for different expertise like language needs and support,” said Fadden.

“They come into the Irish health system [and find] it’s complex, it’s different to what they’re used to and it can be difficult to navigate and we can support those employees and help them navigate their way through the system.

“If they have a health issue or health worry, at least they don’t have the additional worry of not knowing where to go or where to turn, we can guide them through that.”


Article by: Quinton O’Reilly and published in The Sunday Business Post, 25 March 2018.


For more information on the benefits provided by Irish Life Corporate Business, go to our website www.irishlifecorporatebusiness.ie