Pocket Watch


Colman Collins is the founder of Collins McNicholas, a recruitment and human resources firm. Collins spent 13 years working in multinational firms, mainly in HR roles, before establishing his company in Galway in 1990.

The firm now has offices in Dublin, Cork, Sligo and Athlone.

The 57-year-old is married and lives in Galway. He has a son aged 25 and a daughter aged 21.

What’s the best investment you ever made?

Buying my house at the bottom of the market in 1983.

What was the worst investment you ever made?

Buying Eircom shares.

Which investment options do you currently favour?

I don’t favour any particular financial investment. I enjoy a bet on the horses, where you know your fate very quickly.

What financial advice would you give to someone starting off? Save a little every year.

Don’t incur debt you can’t readily manage.

When you started your career if you had the financial knowledge you now have, would you have done things differently?

I would take out a self-administered pension plan and I would not have bought shares.

Are you a saver or a spender?

Neither at present, I live within my means.

What’s your top financial priority?

To manage my business through this period of economic downturn and to position it for global recovery.

Have you made any changes to your personal spending habits as a result of the current economic environment?

I’m now more conservative in my spending habits.

If you were the Minister for Finance for a day and could change one thing, what would it be?

I would extend the cosy cartel of the so-called ‘partnership process’ to include small business representatives.

Had that been the case for the past ten years, I believe the country would not have been allowed to lose its competitiveness. As a consequence, it would have been easier to retain and attract foreign direct investment.

If you had all the money you could wish for, what three things would you buy?

I honestly think I have all of the things I could wish for.

Time is much more important to me at this stage of my life.

Colman Collins

Founder & Management Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group