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Business Culture in Asia panellist biographies

Introducing our esteemed panellists who will share their experiences of doing business in Asia. Drawn from a broad spectrum of industries including creative arts, manufacturing and fintech our guests have vast experience founding and scaling businesses and are well placed to offer insights into the unique business culture of the east. The CurrencyFair Business Webinar: Business Culture in Asia is available at 10 a.m. in all regions from Thursday 14 January 2021.

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Cathal Gaffney | MD, Brown Bag Films / COO, 9 Story Media Group, Indonesia.

Cathal is an Emmy Award winner and EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Having studied animation in college, he established Brown Bag Films with fellow animation director Darragh O’Connell in 1994.

In 2019 they acquired an Indonesian animation studio to complement their global expansion. As Chief Executive of the company, Cathal has a particular focus on the development of television and feature properties for young audiences.

Recent credits include: Olivia, Wobblyland, I’m an Animal, Noddy in Toyland, Octonauts, Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster.

Cathal was nominated for an Oscar® in 2002 as director of the short film Give Up Yer Aul Sins. He contributes to a number of industry boards and committees.


Emma Gregory | MD and Gemologist, Spokes Jewelry Services, Thailand.

Emma is the co-founder of Spokes Jewelry Services, a fine jewelry manufacturer based in Bangkok, Thailand. Renowned for their traditional Thai jewelry craftsmanship and production, Spokes Jewelry have been commissioned by fine jewelry brands and designers from the US and Europe to exclusively manufacture their collections.

In addition to jewelry manufacturing, Spokes experience extends to many other facets of the industry including jewelry CAD/CAM design, rapid production, e-commerce, jewelry website management and gold refining.

Emma was raised in Ireland but unearthed a passion for gemstones while living in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. With her husband and partner, Greg, they run Spokes Jewelry Services.

Emma attended Trinity College Dublin and holds an Honors Degree in Economics. She is also a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and holds a CAT (Certificate of Appraisal Theory) in Jewelry Appraisal via the NAJ (National Association of Jewelers). She serves on the Board of Directors for the Irish-Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok.


Paul Byrne | CEO and President, CurrencyFair, Singapore.

Paul is a successful entrepreneur having scaled and exited three successful tech businesses. In 2016, he joined CurrencyFair, a payments business providing access to low cost foreign exchange rates and faster international payment services, with a view to scaling it globally and capitalising on the growing international demand for SME and enterprise FX and payments solutions.

He also founded "Accelerate Success", a boutique consultancy to provide mentorship to high-growth ambitious software companies seeking to be relevant globally. His approach to “Accelerating Success” is based on a playbook, designed and refined over a 20-year career, delivering consistent high revenue growth and profitability with shareholder returns significantly greater than market norms in technology companies.

Prior to CurrencyFair, he founded Cadency in January 2011, a highly profitable SaaS workflow and finance automation business and grew revenue to circa $60 million over a 5-year period, with a headcount of 250 people at exit. This success led to an acquisition by Vista Equity Partners in late 2015.

Before that, Paul was CEO of Concuity, a business he founded in 2008 to provide SaaS-based healthcare revenue cycle management services to large scale healthcare providers. He led revenue growth from start-up to approximately $10 million over an 18-month period and to sale of business in 2010.

Earlier in his acreer, he was a director of Trintech from 1998 to 2010 and acted as President from 2005 to 2010. He started his Trintech career as CFO and took Trintech public in 1999 via an IPO on NASDAQ.


Aidan McCullen | Moderator, The CurrencyFair Business Webinar / Host, The Global Innovation Show Podcast

Aidan is a change consultant and works with organisations to improve how they collaborate and create the environment for change.

Aidan is the host and founder of The Global Innovation Show Podcast, which boasts Bill Gates as a listener and advocate. It features on Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ and is the only English-speaking show on Finland’s Business FM.

He developed and continues to deliver a module on Emerging Technology Trends in Trinity College Business School, ranked 1st in Ireland and in the top 100 globally.

Aidan speaks globally on disruption and change for organisations such as Mastercard, Epic Games, Endemol Shine Group, Google, CBC Canada and VHI and in industries from pharma to fintech.

He reinvented himself after a 10-year career after rugby with over 100 caps for Leinster, Toulouse and London Irish and is a full Ireland rugby international.

He worked in digital transformation, innovation delivery and specialises in culture and leadership. This journey has led him to believe that you cannot change business models until you first change mental models.

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