01 May 2015

Blackrock Castle Observatory was the venue for a special celebratory event on Thursday 30th April, hosted by City Life: Wealth Advisors, which marked 10 years doing business in Blackrock for the family run business.

The event saw Lenny McLoughlin, Economist, Irish Life Investment Managers join a panel discussion chaired by Newstalk’s Jonathan Healy, on the changing landscape of Blackrock and Cork City, the local economic outlook, and the greater global economy and stock markets.  They were joined by Eamon Dwyer, Managing Director of City Life and Dermot O’Mahoney, Director of City Life and former chairman of the Port of Cork.

Invited guests, many of whom were business owners from the Blackrock area, had the opportunity to experience Cosmos at the Castle and were treated to a ‘behind the scenes’ guided tour of the Telescope Tower and the Castle dungeon.

In business since 1971, City Life re-located its office premises from Cork’s city centre to the suburb of Blackrock in the spring of 2005 with a team of 12 people, having outgrown their rented premises on South Mall. City Life, which specialises in advice and provision of pension, investment and insurance products was founded by Ted Dwyer, and he continues to work full time in the business.  Now run by his son Eamon, and a strong board of directors, the business is a great example of a successful family managed business.

In the spirit of optimism that was somewhat contagious at the event, Lenny McLoughlin pointed to the very strong global recovery as having had a major bearing on Ireland’s recovery.  “Due to Ireland’s open economy, the recovery in the United States and, in latter times, the UK and Europe, has greatly benefited Ireland.  Cork is a prime example of how the impact of the multinational sector has benefited us in this country, with the knock on effect of an improved property sector in the big urban areas”.

Speaking about the changes in Blackrock that he’s witnessed in the 10 years since City Life’s move, Eamon Dwyer said “Today Blackrock, and especially the relatively new road connecting Skehard and the South Link, has developed beyond recognition. What I find interesting is the diversity in employment types.  Very few, of course, are industrial, with the vast majority being in the service sector. However, the nature of the employment is satisfyingly broad reaching, from business outsourcing centre operatives to solicitors; from accountants to retail staff. The contribution to Cork city’s economy is huge.”

Eamon continued “In the 10 short years we have done business in Blackrock, we have literally seen it transform in front of our eyes.  For City Life, we are now up to a headcount of 14 people and feel like we’ve been here forever. Mahon Point has been a stellar success for those who shop there, along with the retail park across the road and Johnson and Perrot’s high end motor dealership. We have seen our neighbours, Voxpro embark on a greatly needed employment spree, while RDJ Solicitors have expanded and re-invented their firm just around the corner. And for anyone who feels hungry, or would like to observe some truly stellar activity, the success of Blackrock Castle has been significant. We are so glad to be here, to be part of the new Cork.”  

City Life opened its first non Cork based operation in Galway in 2011 and this business has replicated the Cork business model successfully, and now has a staff of 4 there. Between the two companies, City Life employs 18 people and has assets under advice of approximately €200 million.