Former Wall Street trader named Belfast Business Ambassador

Former Wall Street trader named Belfast Business Ambassador

14 October 2020

FORMER Newcastle native and Wall Street trader John O’Donoghue was named Belfast Business Ambassador at last weekend’s Belfast International Homecoming event.

The 61 year-old received the honour at a two-day virtual event which aims to connect Belfast with its diaspora around the world.

This year the Belfast Homecoming called on its far-flung natives to back the city as it rebuilds from the effects of Covid-19.

Mr O’Donoghue was honoured as one of this year’s cohorts who will use their influence to keep connections to Belfast, and in turn the whole of Northern Ireland, alive with the rest of the world.

He retains a close interest in business, jobs creation and investment in Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole. 

A former student at St Patrick’s Grammar School in Downpatrick, Mr O’Donoghue is senior vice-president and director of equities at OTR Global which provides research and intelligence to international investors.

After leaving school, he went on to become an Economics and Business graduate from Queen’s University, Belfast. 

He left Newcastle, where his mother Angela still lives, for New York in 1980.

“I was very fortunate that I had spent three or four summers in New York and I was invited to a job on Wall Street where I got into one of the trainee programmes and went from there to there to there and that was it,” he said.

Mr O’Donoghue since enjoyed a 35-year career in financial services on Wall Street in senior positions, primarily at three firms; Schroders from 1983-2000, Credit Suisse from 2000-2005  and Cowen from 2005-2012.

It was during his time with Cowen, he set up an office in Belfast with the help of Invest NI where now 50 people are employed. 

The father of two sons and grandfather to two boys, Mr O’Donoghue has maintained strong connections with Queen’s University and is a member of its Foundation Board.

He was the first president of the Queen’s Alumni Association in the US and since 2013, has been president of the Friends of The Queen’s University Inc of Belfast.

Mr O’Donoghue been active in the American Ireland Fund and as member and former chair and has served on the last seven chairman’s committees for the annual New York Gala.

He is passionate in his belief of the impact that Northern Irish people and business can have on the world stage.

Speaking of the future, Mr O’Donoghue said: “I think that access to education for kids who wouldn’t have access is important. I think integrated education is extremely important. 

“It’s all about education and job creation and I get a little sad reading all of the silly partisan politics, both over here and over there.”

He added: The best way to move society forward is to make people productive and I believe in that wholeheartedly.”