A long time ago, I was told that the secret of life came from the words 'gnothi seauton', words used by Saint Augustine which mean 'know oneself' in Greek. Know our strengths, limitations, what motivates us and demotivates us. I have always believed in recognizing the value of people.
Dermot Desmond Founder, Owner and Chairman

Dermot Desmond is Daon's Founder, Owner and Chairman. Before setting up his own company in 1981, Dermot worked for Citibank Dublin, The Investment Bank of Ireland, Dublin and as a banking consultant to the World Bank on behalf of Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Presently, Dermot is Chairman of International Investment & Underwriting (IIU), which he founded in 1995. IIU is a private company, operating from the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin, specializing in direct equity investment and underwriting, funds management and capital markets trading.

In 1981, he founded National City Brokers (NCB) an interbank moneybroking company, which developed into Ireland’s leading independent stockbrokers. In 1994, he sold his stake to National Westminster Bank (now part of Royal Bank of Scotland).

In 1984, he founded Quay Financial Software, which grew out of NCB’s internal technology requirements. He sold his 80% shareholding in 1995 to CSK Japan. In 1985, he established Financial Courseware Limited, to develop training products for financial market professionals. Intuition, as the company is known today has a joint venture with the Harvard Medical School and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Dermot conceived the establishment of a Financial Services Centre in Ireland in 1987. The Centre is a vibrant part of the Irish economy and is host to half of the world's top 50 banks and top 20 insurance companies.

Previous high profile investments include, London City Airport, Baltimore Technologies plc, Esat Digifone, Pembroke Capital, Greencore plc, Vivas Healthcare, Betdaq, Chronicle Bookmakers, Execujet and Acision. He was also part of the successful consortium that bid for Ireland’s first independent commercial National Radio Licence.

Through his private investment vehicle (IIU), Dermot has a substantial number of investments in a variety of businesses worldwide, including Celtic Football Club, Sandy Lane Hotel Barbados, Sandy Lane Yacht Club & Residences Canouan, Titanic Quarter Belfast, Rietumu Bank in Riga, Mountain Province Diamonds, Barchester Healthcare, Datalex, GBE Technologies, Rapt Technologies, Venson and many more. In 2004, he opened The Sporting Emporium, Dublin’s premier Private Members Club. In 2000, he established Daon. He holds substantial investments in many other companies across different industries.

Dermot is Chairman of a charity called ‘Respect’, which was set-up by the Daughters of Charity to raise funds to develop their services to people with a mental and physical handicap, and a trustee of the Chester Beatty Library.

He was educated at Scoil Mhuire in Marino and at Good Counsel College in New Ross.

Dermot is an avid golfer and plays annually in the AT&T Invitational Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, California and at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland. He also plays annually at the Father & Son Invitational Golf in Waterville, Ireland and has won the Tournament with each of his sons.