In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Martin McGinn, head of finance at Waddell Media, which is celebrating 30 years of programme making this autumn
What was your first job?
My training contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Dublin.
What qualifications do you have?
FCA, Member of Chartered Accountants Ireland, BA Hons Accounting and PGD Advanced Accounting from UoU,
What do you attribute your success to?
My mum and dad instilled a strong work ethic in me very early on and this has carried me through my academic and professional life. Although my two daughters Heidi and Niamh are still young, it is one of the most important life lessons I learned, so I will teach them nothing comes for free in this world. I also think you have to be adaptable. My move from finance within T&A Kernoghan where I worked for five years to managing the finances of a highly successful independent television production company could not be greater, but I absolutely love this industry.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
Honest, hard-working and diligent but with a good sense of humour.
Who do you look up to in business?
Every business in Northern Ireland that has battled through the recession, which required making hard decisions and came out the other side. I believe it is important to be brave and take risks to be successful.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I believe you should let everyone have a certain level of autonomy, lead from the front, and be prepared to do all levels of tasks whatever your position in the company.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
We need better infrastructure especially more flight capacity. Waddells is operating in a global market and our success over the past 30 years is down to our highly creative people based here but making programmes that appeal worldwide. So better transport links are needed to assist us and other NI companies compete on the world stage.
What website or app could you not do without?
Sky Sports and BBC news – I constantly have to know what’s going on.
What was the last book you read?
‘Nelson Mandela – The Long Walk to Freedom’ which I enjoyed while travelling around South Africa.
What car do you drive?
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I did a a sky dive from 14,000 feet over the Great Barrier Reef, followed by a bungee jump and then I finished off that day with some white water rafting, it was incredible! And I also played at Wembley when I was 12!
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Sports definitely, I am a massive football fan but I also have a huge interest in golf and I played for St Enda’s GAA in my younger years, now I go to the gym most days.