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Meet the team

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland delivers an extensive range of services through its specialist team whose combined knowledge, expertise and commitment drives our ability to advocate and deliver on behalf of our members. For more information on our staff members and their roles please browse through our teams below.

Chief Executive

Maurice Crowley, Acting Chief Executive & Director, Banking and Payments

Maurice Crowley was appointed Acting Chief Executive of BPFI in July 2018, while continuing his role as Director of the Banking & Payments team, where his remit covers Retail Banking, Capital Markets & Risk and Payments and he is actively involved in banking & payments issues at both national and EU level.

Maurice has over 26 years’ experience in Capital Markets and Retail Banking with AIB. During this time he held various general management roles within the bank, including Chief Financial Officer, Allfirst Bank USA, HR & Market Strategy as well as Product Management and eChannel Development in AIB, Republic of Ireland. Before joining BPFI Maurice was Programme Director for the integration of EBS under the AIB umbrella

He holds an MSc Business Administration from Trinity College Dublin and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Banking and Payments Team

Sharon Brennan, Head of Technology & Business Change Projects

Sharon Brennan joined Banking & Payments Federation of Ireland in February 2016 and is Head of Technology & Business Change Projects. Her current project portfolio includes a number of cross collaborative initiatives, leveraging on the valuable BPFI membership network.

Sharon has a keen interest in exploring how the rapidly evolving world of technology can provide innovative business solutions to the Banking Sector.

Prior to joining BPFI, Sharon worked as an IT and Business Change Project Manager with Bank of Ireland. She has a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from UCD, and is a Certified PRINCE2 Practitioner.

Michelle Byrne, Head of Strategic Projects

Michelle joined the Federation in June 2010 and is Head of Strategic Projects.

Key areas of focus for Michelle include the Central Credit Register, transposition of the Payment Accounts Directive, eConveyancing and some regulatory elements of the SME agenda. Michelle chairs a number of working groups internally in BPFI, and participates in a number of working groups run by external stakeholders primarily at national level.

Prior to joining the BPFI, Michelle worked as a Planning Consultant with Tíros Resources Limited and prior to that, as a Management Consultant with Deloitte.

Michael Concannon, Head of FPAI Strategy and Development

Michael is responsible for driving the strategy of the Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI), which is affiliated to the BPFI. Through his role, Michael seeks to further the interests of stakeholders in the Irish Fintech ecosystem through events, information sharing and networking. The FPAI’s membership reflects the diverse nature of Fintech, comprising start-ups, scaling and mature domestic and international businesses.

Prior to joining the BPFI, Michael worked in various roles within Treasury and Digital Banking, and was Head of Cash Management in AIB for over 10 years. Michael has a Bachelor of Financial Services Degree from UCD, which is EQUIS and AACSB accredited.

Niamh Davenport, Fraud Awareness & Payments Manager

Niamh Davenport joined BPFI in 2017 as Fraud Awareness & Payments Manager.  Niamh is leading the industry’s fraud awareness programme both internally with members and externally with the media and other outlets.

Key area of focus for Niamh is the development of the digital payments and e-commerce agenda in conjunction with determining industry positions and thinking on critical developments and trends.

Prior to joining the BPFI, Niamh qualified as a Chartered Accountant working in both industry and practice before moving to AIB in a variety of roles including credit risk, lending and fraud prevention.

Niamh holds a degree in Commerce and is a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland with a diploma in Forensic Accounting.

Bernice Evoy, Head of Legal & Regulatory

Bernice joined BPFI in September 2014 and is Head of Legal & Regulatory.   Bernice advises BPFI and consults with members on legal and regulatory issues affecting the industry and assists where required in formulating appropriate responses when dealing with the industry’s stakeholders.  Bernice has responsibility for the IMC’s Legal & Conveyancing Committee and will co-chair a number of joint Law Society and BPFI working groups.

Bernice trained and worked in McCann FitzGerald Solicitors before leaving to join Danske Bank, where she worked on its Legal Team. Bernice is a solicitor and a member of the Law Society.

Joan Gill, Project Co-ordinator, Payment Schemes

Joan joined the organisation in 2013 working on the payments team with responsibility for providing operational and administrative support and assistance in respect of the day to day payments operations of member banks and their customers with a particular focus on SEPA payment schemes.

Joan was previously employed in the financial services sector as a programme manager for direct banking channels.


Keith Gross, Head of Financial Crime & Security

Keith has worked with the Federation for over ten years and is the Head of Financial Crime and Security.

Key areas covered by Keith include Fraud, E-Fraud, High –Tech Crime, AML & CFT, Physical Security and CIT (Cash- In- Transit) which involves engagement with external stakeholders, partners and law enforcement agencies. Keith chairs a number of working groups and committees internally in BPFI. He is the national representative at various committees and Advisory Groups at EBF and Europol for example.

Keith has worked previously in the number of other sectors including banking, bank assurance, pensions, investment consultancy and security.

Keith was educated at the National University of Ireland Galway (B. Comm), the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) (postgraduate studies) and the Institute of Banking in Ireland. Keith also holds an MSc, Masters in Criminology.

Gill Murphy, Head of Payment Schemes

Gill joined the Federation in August 2018 and is Head of Payment Schemes.  With a particular focus on the impacts of PSD2 and the SEPA Payment Schemes, Gill leads a number of member working groups and represents the domestic community at the European Payments Council.

Before joining BPFI, Gill worked with Exela Technologies Ltd as Head of Operations Ireland.  Prior to that Gill had an extensive career with Bank of Ireland spanning operational functions such as Retail & Cross Border Payments, SEPA Direct Debits, Cheque Clearing and Treasury Administration.  Throughout her career Gill’s focus has been to balance service excellence against a fast paced and changing payments landscape.

Niamh O'Donnellan, Head of EU Affairs

Niamh O’Donnellan is the Head of EU Affairs for Banking & Payments Federation of Ireland. Based in Brussels and Frankfurt, Niamh is engaged on all policy and regulation originating from the European Union Institutions and related bodies/agencies.

Based in Brussels for over six years, Niamh previously held roles in both the European Parliament as an advisor to the former Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and also the Council of Ministers as a member of the Presidency team during the Irish Presidency 2013 in Brussels. Niamh most recently worked as a Strategic Consultant, advising financial services companies on regulatory and policy developments of relevance to the financial sector and how to engage with the European Union institutions on such matters.

She holds a degree in International Commerce and Italian, a diploma in French Language and Culture and is currently pursuing a MSc in Economics and Finance.

Louise O’Mahony, Head of Sustainable Banking

Louise joined the Federation in 2002 and is Head of Sustainable Banking, formerly Head of Mortgage Policy, with responsibility for the two strategic committees, IMC Debt Management Council and IMC Mortgage Market Council.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Mortgage Federation and has participated in a number of external stakeholder groups both in Ireland and at European level.

In her previous role as senior manager, Louise worked on a number of strategic projects, including the introduction of European directives such as the Consumer Credit  Directive and domestic regulation such as the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and the Consumer Protection Code.

Louise holds a Masters in Political Science from UCD.

Gavin Purtill, Head of Capital Markets

Gavin Purtill joined the organisation in 2011 where he is Head of Capital Markets. He is active in many of the key areas of interest to FIBI (Federation of International Banks in Ireland) members such as EMIR, MiFID, UCITS V, MMF, AIFMD, ACS and Securitisation. Gavin is currently a member of the Financial Markets Committee of the European Banking Federation, a member of the ECBC (European Covered Bond Council) Steering Committee and ACS Ireland Committee Secretariat.

Prior to joining BPFI, Gavin worked with Aareal Bank AG as a Treasury Dealer and Regulatory Accountant for six years where he learnt first-hand the importance of regulation in determining the strategic direction and long term positioning of banks. He holds a Masters in Investment Treasury and Banking.

Ali Uğur, Chief Economist

Dr Ali Uğur joined the organisation in 2008 and is BPFI Chief Economist.  Ali was a member the Banking and Treasury Working Group of the Clearing House Group between 2012 and 2014. He is also a member of the Fiscal Committee, Accounting Committee and SSM Steering Committee at the European Banking Federation representing BPFI. He is responsible for tax and accounting issues as well as economic research and commentary within BPFI.

Ali graduated with an economics degree from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey followed by a PhD in economics from Trinity College Dublin in 2003. He started his career as a post graduate researcher and lecturer in the Economics Department in TCD. Ali then joined Forfás as an economist working for the National Competitiveness Council and subsequently became a manager in the enterprise surveys and evaluations department in Forfás. Prior to joining BPFI, Ali was an economist at the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

Paula Walsh, Head of Consumer Banking

Paula joined BPFI in September 2018 as Head of Consumer Banking.  Her career spans 30 years in retail banking having spent 11 years with Ulster Bank and 19 years with Bank of Ireland.  During that time she held numerous senior management roles, primarily in the mortgage credit world.  She then changed focus and moved to Consumer Banking as Credit Policy and Compliance Manager with responsibility for the regulatory agenda for the mortgage product.  She spent her last few months in BoI as Head of Retail Complaints prior to her departure earlier this year.

Paula is a member of IoB and holds diplomas in First Line Management; Criminology & Forensic Psychology and is currently studying Mediation, Negotiation & Conflict Resolution in NUI.  Paula is a member of the European Banking Federation Retail Committee and the European Mortgage Federation Executive Committee.

Richard Walsh, Head of Digital and Payments Strategy

Richard joined BPFI in August 2017 as Head of Digital and Payments, working with the membership to formulate positions and responses to Digital and Payment policy and regulation at national, EU, and international level. Richard is also working on a number of cross collaborative Banking and FinTech initiatives.

Throughout his career, Richard’s focus has been on the exploitation of new and emerging technologies for the delivery of innovative products and services with an emphasis on: FinTech, Digital Banking, and Payment services. Before joining BPFI, Richard was CEO for FinTech & Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI) and managed the merger of the association into BPFI. In the years prior to this Richard provided Consultancy in the development of digital commerce strategies for companies such as RBS/NatWest, Telefónica Group, Bank of Ireland, Monitise and Three Ireland.

Richard has a degree in Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin.

Public Affairs Team

Felix O’Regan, Director, Public Affairs

Since joining BPFI in 1991 Felix has worked in a number of roles, from Manager of the Irish Banks’ Information Service to Head of PR and Communications right through to his current position.

In that role he is responsible for the development and execution of public affairs strategy on behalf of the banking sector, including agreed customer-focused initiatives, stakeholder engagement, media relations as well as BPFI’s programme of conference and events.  He is actively involved in the work of the European Banking Federation, currently chairs its CSR Working Group and has previously chaired its Communications Steering Committee.  He served on the Board of Social Finance Foundation from 2007-2016 (appointed by former Minister Brian Cowan) and on the Board of Microfinance Ireland from 2012-2015 (appointed by Minister Richard Bruton).

Prior to joining BPFI, Felix worked for ten years with the Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) where he was appointed its first full-time Chief Executive.  There he led national consumer advocacy and information campaigns as well as the development of Consumer Choice as the country’s first independent consumer magazine.

Russell Bryce, Head of Projects - Public Affairs

Russell joined BPFI in 2016 as Head of Projects – Public Affairs. In this role he has responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the BPFI’s relationships with its members, with further responsibility for developing and updating the organisation’s web presence and social media channels.

Prior to joining BPFI Russell was Internal Communications and Online Manager for Fianna Fáil, having graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2011 with a BA in Business and Politics.

Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications

Jillian Heffernan joined BPFI in 2013 and is Head of Communications. In this role she is responsible for establishing and maintaining communications channels with a wide variety of internal  and external stakeholders.

With over ten years of experience across the PR, communications and media sectors, Jillian previously held the role of Communications Officer with the National Longitudinal Study of Children in Ireland in Trinity College, Dublin. She also worked as Account Manager with one of Dublin’s leading PR agencies and began her career as a radio journalist and sub-editor with RTE news.

Jillian graduated from DCU with a BA in Journalism in 2000 and has also received a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations from the PRII.

Anthony O’Brien, Head of Sector Research & Analysis

Anthony joined BPFI in 2005.  He manages BPFI’s research activities, including its stable of mortgage and SME-related research publications.  He also liaises with a range of government departments and agencies on research issues.  He is a member of the Statistics Committees of the European Banking Federation and the European Mortgage Federation.  In addition to a primary degree in marketing management from the Dublin Institute of Technology/Trinity College Dublin, Anthony obtained an IMI Diploma/UCC Postgraduate Certificate in Data Business in 2014.

Prior to joining BPFI, Anthony worked in banking and payments research and finance journalism.  Among other roles, he was editor of Electronic Payments International, a leading industry publication, between 2000 and 2005.

Lisa Shevlin, Head of Conference & Events

Lisa Joined BPFI in December 2006 and is Head of Conference and Events on the Public Affairs team.

She is responsible for the execution and delivery of BPFI’s conference, seminar, and events programme.  Lisa has extensive experience of dealing with external stakeholders to ensure a high standard of delivery of BPFI’s conference and events programme.  Her key focus is BPFI’s two annual flagships events, The FIBI International Banking Conference and the BPFI National Conference.

Prior to joining the organisation, Lisa worked as a Senior Account Executive in Grayling PR where she worked as a communications & event management consultant for a number of clients.

Corporate Services Team

Ann Smith, Director, Corporate Services

Ann Smith joined BPFI in late 2016 as Director Corporate Services. She has responsibility for financial management, corporate governance, people management and facilities within BPFI and its related entities.

Before moving to BPFI, Ann worked with Chartered Accountants Ireland for 20 years in a variety of education, regulatory and financial roles. Ann trained and worked in Butler Chance & Co/Touche Ross before moving to Irish Life Building Society as financial accountant.

Ann is a Chartered Accountant and fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Claire Broderick, PA to the Chief Executive

Claire joined the Federation in May 1998.  Her role as Personal Assistant is to provide professional secretarial and administration services to the Chief Executive.

Prior to joining,  Claire worked for J. Lyons & Co. (Ireland) Limited (Lyons Tea) in various roles, including Personal Assistant to the Finance Director.


Eleanor Doherty, Finance Team Lead, Corporate Services

Eleanor Doherty joined the Federation in March 2008 and works on the Corporate Services team as Executive Administrator.

Having graduated from Maynooth University with a degree in French & Anthropology, Eleanor has worked in the Legal and most recently the financial services industry.

Prior to working for BPFI, Eleanor worked for the Patent and Trademark Attorneys MacLachlan & Donaldson. This has given her valuable experience in the legal sector. She is currently studying for her ATI Qualification and hopes to graduate in early 2016.

Rosaleen Gibson, Executive Administrator, Corporate Services

Rosaleen joined the organisation in 2006 working in the payroll department and administering the Direct Debit Database. Rosaleen’s role in Banking & Payments Federation Ireland sees her liaise with the organisations IT providers, accounts reconciliation and general office duties.

Tara Ward, Corporate Services Team Lead

Tara Ward joined BPFI in late 2017 as Corporate Services Team Lead. She is responsible for the office management and office services support for the Dublin and Brussels facilities.

Before moving to BPFI, Tara worked in Chartered Accountants Ireland for 13 years in a variety of roles such as Senior Receptionist before working as Conference & Events Executive.

Tara has a Diploma in Event Management which she received from Dublin Business School in 2008.