Meeting Barden's Partner Firms...Stephen McManus of BRUIN Financial (Ireland) Team

Stephen McManus is VP, Manager with BRUIN Financial (Ireland). He manages the Dublin office of BRUIN Financial which covers asset management, insurance and banking.

Stephen is an expert in financial services recruitment and specialises in asset management, insurance and banking, and has extensive experience within the financial services market in Dublin.

He is CIP (Certified Insurance Practitioner) qualified and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Risk Management & Insurance from University of Limerick.

We caught up recently with Stephen to find out a little bit more about him.

Where are you from?

I grew up in a small rural parish called Moore in Roscommon. It’s about ten minutes from Ballinasloe in Galway.

Where did you study?

I spent four great years in the University of Limerick (UL) where I studied business & majored in risk management & insurance

What was your time like in UL?

UL was some of the best years of my life. There was always some sport or other event on, a Munster game, a house party, a poker tournament etc. which meant you were never stuck for something to do. UL has some amazing sports facilities that only a couple of colleges around the country could match.

I still have some great friends from UL that are living around different parts of Dublin.

Can you tell us a bit about your professional background?

Like a lot of people that decide to do business as a degree I was unsure about what I wanted to do as a career. I spoke with career guidance counsellors but unfortunately, they did not give me any new ideas.

Half way during the course I decided that the “safest” option was to major in risk management & insurance as I was confident there would be jobs in that space when I graduated. This coupled with an interest in insurance made up my decision.

I went on to complete my CIP (Certified Insurance Practitioner). Once I graduated and went into a claims role for a year with RSA, I knew that career was not for me.

Why did you decide to get into recruitment?

I had a cousin working in recruitment in Edinburgh and she really loved it. After a few chats I decided I would use my insurance experience and try and get a career in recruitment. After getting down to the last two a couple of times, I eventually got in the door with a small boutique that took a punt on me. I am still really grateful for this faith and have lunch regularly with my first boss in recruitment.

Thanks again Anne Coleman!

What’s your role in BRUIN Financial (Ireland)?

My role in BRUIN Financial (Ireland) is to build out the financial services team in Dublin across insurance, asset management & banking (investment & retail). This involves onboarding clients in this space from our UK counterparts, engaging with pre-existing Barden clients and bringing my own clients on. Personally, I specialise in risk, compliance and senior operational roles as there is a huge demand in this space at the moment.

What kind of roles and companies do you work with in BRUIN Financial (Ireland)?

The main types of companies include Insurers, Asset Managers, Investment Banks & Retail Banks, and roles generally include Risk Managers, Head of Compliance, Regulatory Reporting Specialist, among dozens of others.

What are your top tips for anyone looking for a new opportunity?

Be passionate about what you want to do. This is a bit of cliché but if you really have an interest in the day job everything else will begin to fall into place.

What advice would you give someone looking to change career direction and move into recruitment?

Meet with multiple recruiters and understand exactly what we do. Not every recruiter is the same! Also aim to gain a good understanding of the different day to day elements that make up the job.

I think it helps to be an outgoing person as it makes networking & building relationships easier. If this is something that comes natural to you then maybe it could be an option.

What three words best describe you?

Direct, Enthusiastic, Fun

What’s your favourite movie?


What’s your favourite sport?


What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it?

We grew Christmas trees when I was young. I helped maintain them and bring them out of the field. From about 12 years old I sold them from the house.

What’s the Dublin market like at the moment for career opportunities?

The Dublin market is very buoyant particularly for professionals in risk & compliance

What advice, if any, would you give someone looking for a new role?

Get yourself out there. Go to networking events & make your LinkedIn profile reflect what kind of job(s) you are looking for.

For you, what makes BRUIN Financial (Ireland) different?

I think BRUIN Financial (Ireland) has a great culture. People enjoy going to work and are given a lot of autonomy to do their job. There’s no politics.

We also endeavour to build relationships with candidates and clients alike before the right job or the vacancy arises. We like to consider ourselves a consultancy rather then just a recruitment firm.


Need help achieving your ambitions?

Are you a financial looking for help in achieving your ambitions? If so, get in touch with Stephen McManus today who is ready with lots of CV, LinkedIn, interview and career advice along with cutting edge market insights.

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