Sir Gerry Loughran

Having joined as an advisor to the board in 2009, Gerry is the former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service where he directed a work force of 23,000 employees across 10 government departments.

Other public sector positions include serving as the Permanent Private Secretary at the Department of Economics where he oversaw the introduction of natural gas to Northern Ireland. Gerry’s other current and former private sector roles include but are not limited to sitting as Chairman for the Grafton Recruitment Group, for Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd as well as his valuable tenure at Forward Emphasis International.


Stephen Kingon CBE

Having joined as an advisor to the board in 2009, in addition to his role with FEI, Stephen is Chairman of the NI Centre for Competitiveness, Balcas Group and Lagan Group (Holdings) Limited. 

Stephen is Honorary Treasurer at Queen’s University Belfast, a member of Belfast Harbour Commissioners and a non-executive director of Mivan Ltd, AIB Group (UK) plc, Anderson Spratt (Holdings) Ltd and Baird Group Ltd. Stephen was formerly Chairman of Invest Northern Ireland and Managing Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers in NI. 


Fiona Burns



LLB, CTA, Stanford Graduate, School of Business – Executive Leadership, Green Belt Six Sigma

Fiona is a co-founder of Forward Emphasis International, a Law Graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor; having trained with Deloitte and Touche. Fiona recently further enhanced her skillset through completing an Executive Leadership Program with Stanford Graduate School of Business. As CEO of Forward Emphasis Fiona leverages her expertise in systems and process engineering to deliver strategic input to both FE and its client base throughout the UK and Ireland.

Aine Clarke



Msc Business Improvement, Bsc (Hons), Prince2 Practitioner, Green Belt Six Sigma, Accredited EFQM Assessor

Aine, a Queens University graduate, has been with Forward Emphasis for 16 years and is responsible for the company’s Quality Management Systems and FCA regulation implementation across all sites. Aine received an MSc in Business Improvement from the Ulster University Business School focusing on Complex Business Process Re-engineering. As Chief Operating Officer Aine directs a five department Senior Management Team overseeing Forward Emphasis’ highly skilled employee base at Malmar House.


All Forward Emphasis agents undergo extensive training regardless of their qualification or educational background. The initial development of a new staff member is to understand that the key element of CRM is to help the customer.


The CRM agent develops to the “Meaningful” stage thereby delivering a more meaningful interaction, developing the requisite product knowledge to satisfy other customer needs. This is done primarily through developing a robust expertise surrounding the client and the client’s product base.


With a combination of experience, NLP and targeted training programs, the interaction becomes more “Thoughtful” with the agent anticipating the customers needs. This is managed through database behavioural tracking and previous experience of calls taken thereby maximizing first contact resolution.