We chat with David Keane about how welcoming the LIBS community is and how it can make you feel closer to home.
I did my undergrad in NUIG, after which I worked for a time in Europe. After finishing my masters, I moved to London in 2008 to work at CBRE in commercial real estate. After three fun years in London, I moved to the US in 2011, where I ended up running investments for a REIT, which was was bought out by Brookfield in 2018.
Learning from those who had come before us
I was the Vice Chairperson of LIBS. I was brought on board by Darren Glynn, who I knew from my days in NUIG. I joined LIBS to hang out with my friends, find other Irish people in London and build a unique network. I also saw it as an opportunity to reach out to and learn from successful Irish people who had come to London before us.
LIBS helped me to network effectively and build a community of friends and contacts over a wide-range of industries. It also gave me confidence to approach senior executives and gave me an insight into what was going on in the wider business world, rather than just the real estate sector.
Feeling close to home despite being miles away
Even though I left London 10 years ago, I still count the friends I made at LIBS as some of my best; we continue to meet on vacations and have witnessed major life events such as weddings, babies and moving (whether further abroad, back home to Ireland or just moved out of Clapham). The core group of LIBS founders Whats App group makes me feel closer to home despite living thousands of miles away.
A place to listen to inspirational speakers
LIBS is about more than just an excuse to meet for pints. It is a great place to meet like-minded Irish people, have some fun and learn more about the business environment in London. London can be a lonely place at first but the LIBS community is very welcoming.
There is also an educational aspect to it and its focus on topical business issues of the day provides its members access to business executives who have witnessed or are making these decisions which impact our daily lives. For younger Irish people in a new city, the speakers show that there is a path to rise up the ranks and get to a higher level.