Ulster Business

| 6.1°C Belfast

Leaders in Business: Tanya McGeehan, MCG Investments


Tanya McGeehan

Tanya McGeehan

Tanya McGeehan

Tanya McGeehan is very much a self-taught leader, she says, and her move into the property industry was unintentional. Despite that, her business MCG Investments has grown at a rate even she never anticipated.

MCG Investments is director Tanya McGeehan’s second property-focused firm. Her first business belongs to her parents, and it was her move into the family trade that sparked a passion for property.

MCG is known for seeking out property investment opportunities, with a specific focus on Belfast. It sources and acquires buy-to-sell sites and delivers extensive refurbishments as well as commercial to residential conversion.

Its website reads like an interior magazine, flaunting pictures of conversions in some of the most popular residential locations here.

The eldest of four girls, Tanya grew up in Magherafelt. Her dad was a Bank of Ireland manager and took early redundancy after which he made investments in properties.

“It was primarily a rental business,” Tanya says. “He had some houses in Magherafelt, some land and some commercial property.”

Tanya’s father tragically passed away at the age of 57 and being the eldest in the family, she took over the business.

“Mum was a community nurse, and I was working full time in the local council. I walked into a business I knew nothing about. It didn’t have a computer, everything was in his head, his memory was how he organised everything.

“And so, ultimately, the love for property began then and I’ve never looked back. I ran that business as best I could and I still do.”

Tanya’s career prior to stepping into the driving seat of the family firm included working at a foreign exchange dealing room where she was one of three females. She describes that setting as “highly volatile”, adding “it nearly gave me a heart attack, but it gave me resilience and I learned a lot.”

Her hospitality degree at Ulster University led her into a role at the Europa and Culloden hotels. “I always had a burning desire to work for myself. I just didn’t know what industry,” she says.

A catering and cafe business in Magherafelt was her first solo enterprise before she started her own family and then a role at the then Cookstown District Council, working primarily for a rural development programme, followed.

In 2017, Tanya set up MCG Investments. “My parent’s business is a separate entity from my own business. It would be a smaller business and we haven’t really grown it, but we maintain it and manage it for my mum and my sisters. It’s their inheritance and they are all very strong female business leaders in their own rights in different industries.

“I wasn’t setting out to start a large company when I set up MCG Investments. I had no goal to be a property tycoon of any sort. My objective was just to be.”

Like many business leaders, Tanya says imposter syndrome was very much part of her journey over the years until she undertook property training in Glasgow.

“I took part in an educating course, and it changed everything for me. It really helped to boost my confidence and help me believe in myself and I do think that lack of self believe was holding me back.

“I think everyone can feel that way depending on what room they’re in and who they are surrounded by but it’s better to be in a room and be the least experienced because then, you can only learn.”

In 2020 Tanya pivoted her business to investors and decided to open opportunities to work with private clients who were time poor or had little experience in property investment.

She says the key objective for 2021 was to grow the brand and its profile and with that growth the business employed a public relations professional. Headcount at the business has also grown with more jobs in the pipeline.

“It’s been absolutely crazy. We’ve been exceptionally busy, and the market has been buoyant. Is that set to continue? I don’t know, perhaps for the first two quarters of 2022 but I do see it slowing down.

She is confident the upswing in property here won’t end with a price crash but, rather, demand will slow down, impacting prices.”

“I love what I do, it’s a great career and while it’s seen as a dirty money game, we have integrity and that’s what I pride myself on, that’s what MCG is all about. We want to make a good living.

“Northern Ireland is a village. It can take you years to build a reputation, but you can lose it overnight. I do have high morals and I believe you can make money but still do it in an honest transparent way.”