A confidant of Bill Clinton and the Irishman behind a US company that flies under the radar has hired a Reagan-era legend.
Tipperary man Declan Kelly’s Teneo Holdings has enlisted Ed Rollins, who was election master mind and senior adviser to the late US President Ronald Reagan.
Rollins ran the 1984 Reagan campaign that won a landslide election victory and was subsequently a top aide in that administration. More recently, Rollins advised Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann.
Top ex-CIA operative Jim Shinn was another recent Teneo recruit, for its new ‘intelligence’ unit, predicting rebellions and trouble spots around the world and how they’ll affect markets for major companies.
Olympics sponsor Coca-Cola is a major Teneo client.
At its heart Teneo is essentially a global consulting firm and merchant bank that advises many of the world’s largest companies on a wide-range of issues.
In his own office the Portroe, Tipperary-born Kelly has a spectacular view of uptown Manhattan and his desk is adorned with pictures of world leaders and corporate chieftains he has done business with including Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.
The coke machine also serves the purpose of reminding visitors that Teneo and Kelly are deeply involved with Coke, one of their major clients.
Kelly is on the fast track in American business, he comes from a humble background in Ireland and still tears up remembering the sacrifices his parent Nan and Tom Kelly, a small farmer who left school when he was 12, made for him and his brother Alan, now a Minister of State, to ensure they got the best education.
Whatever was in the water in the Kelly household the two sons emerged as outrageously ambitious, confident and willing to take on the world.