Harry Toye is a successful corporate consultant and the Events Organiser for Five Fold Ministry, a Christian movement founded by Paul, now an evangelist in the ministry. Both men were at a business mixer last month, organised by Yeah! Africa’s Jeranjie Kamfose. Paul and Harry have worked together with former terrorists in Derry City, helping people to turn their backs on violence, and playing a modest role in the peace process. They were kind enough to discuss both business and God with the magazine.
Harry spoke first, about consultancy work and a substantial deal that he brokered between Ryanair and a Spanish-European Investment company, and the bad reputation that some consultants have:
The problem is, generally speaking, consultants will retain their fees even if they get things wrong. And Michael O’Leary is quoted as not liking consultants. But I did close a deal with him and his admirable C.O.O. and deputy Chief Executive, Michael Cauley. Competitors included major multinationals who had immense resources, sophisticated technical teams and legal resources.
I went in with three pieces of paper. No laptop, nothing else. [Ryanair] trusted me for months against International opposition while I conducted work in Spain. I was only attached to the deal for less than six months ’til it got off the ground, but the Spanish company compensated me adequately. The only good deal is a deal where it’s mutually beneficial, where everybody makes [something] out of it.
Is there a problem with board directorships, where members are on numerous boards, and they have little to do with the everyday running of the company, and yet they are answerable for the mistakes of the company?
Well, consultants aren’t too close to the woods to see the trees. Business owners or management might be too attached – emotionally involved, as it’s their baby. But an experienced consultant will come in and see what’s good and what’s bad.
So it’s good to have external professionalism and experience. Particularly if one man is dominating the company.
John Lowe – a friend of mine – is a qualified financial adviser and consummate professional. He’s been a banker for about thirty years. He’s very well known in banking circles. John’s very reputable and honorable. He’s a real guru. John, I understand, is one of the few financial advisers – less than five percent in Ireland – who are obliged to give best practice advice even when your solution may not be one of his products. Now, it’s a legal requirement, John had to invest a tremendous amount of time and money to put up the indemnities on that insurance – you have to put up significant bonds and study endlessly. But John Lowe has to tell you the right advice, even if it isn’t to do with business for him, wherever the best source is. But he is one of these directors who the government can turn to and say: “We’re having a problem with a state body”, and he has the financial qualifications for them to put him on that board.
And this is what a real friend does, a real friend tells you the truth and doesn’t tickle your ears with what you want to hear. In Christianity, Jesus says it better – he says “The truth will set you free.”
All photos are courtesy of the Five Fold Ministry.
Evangelist Paul discusses some of his work in Part 2.