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Financial software firm First Derivatives tops at Entrepreneur of the Year awards

The founder of a Newry financial software company was last night named the 13th Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Brian Conlon, chief executive and founder of First Derivatives, won the international category before receiving the overall title.

Frank O'Keeffe, partner-in-charge of the awards said: "Brian Conlon has demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial vision with an innovative and successful business model."

He is the second overall winner from Northern Ireland, with Peter Fitzgerald of Randox receiving the accolade in 2004.

Founded in 1996, First Derivatives is a publicly held company which provides products and consultancy to the capital markets industry.

In August, the firm announced a boost for university leavers, with the creation of 50 graduate jobs.

Other Northern Ireland finalists in the Ernst & Young competition included Terence Donnelly, managing director of the Donnelly Motor Group in Dungannon, Eamon O'Hare, managing director of Newry construction company O'Hare & McGovern Ltd and John Toner and Robert Adamson from engineering company Williams Industrial Services in Newtownabbey.

Mike and Pat Glennon of Longford timber processing firm Glennon Brothers received the Industry Entrepreneur of the Year gong and Dublin born Conrad Burke of Innovalight walked away with the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year title.

Entries remain open for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year internship scheme, where 24 graduates will each gain a work placement with an award finalist.