Featured Article 26 Jul 2012

Article from Funds Review Ireland

Working hand in hand for jobs

IDA Ireland and the Irish funds industry are working together to create new jobs, explains Kieran Donoghue, Head of International Financial Services at IDA Ireland

Over the past 40 years IDA Ireland has built a successful track record bringing foreign direct investment to Ireland and 2011 has been no different with the organisation set to achieve its ambitious investment targets for the year, with over 130 new investments secured.

A large factor in IDA’s success over the years has been its strong international presence; as an international promotion agency, with offices across the globe, IDA brings its international knowledge back home to ensure investor requirements can be met from Ireland.

Collaboration and partnership are key requirements for overseas companies and IDA has become a trusted partner for investors, acting as a liaison between the Irish government and industry. It is this ability to bring government and industry together, for their mutual benefit, which makes IDA such a valuable asset to Ireland in the marketplace.

The international financial services sector also relies on collaborations and partnerships to grow and thrive. More than 250 of the leading global financial institutions have established operations in Ireland with many located in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). The IFSC was created by the Irish government in 1987 and promoted by IDA Ireland worldwide to drive the development of the sector and today it houses many of the world’s leading financial institutions along with a sophisticated support network including accountancy, legal, actuarial, taxation, regulatory, telecommunications and other service providers.

The vibrant international financial services sector in Ireland carries out a wide range of activities within the banking, insurance and the investment and funds industries.

In September 2010, Ireland’s international financial services industry in a novel private sector initiative created a new role,  President of IFSC Ireland, and former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) John Bruton, who has proved to be a great ambassador, was appointed to the position.

IFSC Ireland has been developed and is wholly funded by a number of industry stakeholders including the Irish Funds Industry Association and the President is supported in his role by IDA Ireland.

The funds industry in Ireland has remained resilient throughout the global downturn and continues to act as a source of well-paid employment creating more than 400 net new jobs in 2010 and an estimated 1,200 in 2011.

By working closely with the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) IDA is anxious to ensure and even accelerate the continued growth of the funds industry - sharing the belief that this industry will play a significant role in Ireland’s economic recovery.

Ireland now administers more than 40 per cent of the world’s alternative investment funds and is the European domicile of choice, home to 63 per cent of all European Hedge Funds.

Ireland also attracted more net assets of UCITS than any other domicile in 2011 (according to EFAMA) proving it has the expertise to attract retail and alternative investment funds equally.

Earlier this year, IDA and IFIA collaborated on an international media event, the inaugural Irish Funds Media Summit, where both organisations actively engaged with key European financial media on Ireland’s advantages as a location for funds investment.

Importantly this event brought together all relevant agencies and stakeholders to ensure joined up thinking in the promotion of Ireland as a funds domicile and an end-to-end solution for international financial media queries.

In a further collaboration, June 2011 saw the IFIA announce at its annual conference that it planned to open representative offices in the US and the UK in a joint venture with IDA Ireland. The move means that the Irish funds industry now has representatives on the ground in New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and London for the first time.

In November, the roll out of new offices continued when representatives from IFIA and IDA travelled to Singapore and Japan IFSC Ireland President, John Bruton, to oversee the opening of funds industry representative offices there, utilising IDA Ireland’s presence in those markets. But this is just the start with further new representative offices being planned throughout Europe in the coming months.

The success of the Irish funds industry can be seen in some of the key investments that have been made in Ireland in the past year.Leading global hedge fund administrator, HedgeServ, announced a substantial expansion in October of this year with plans to create 300 new jobs. Deutche Bank revealed that it is to establish its European hedge fund administration centre in Ireland with the creation of up to 100 jobs. Apex announced plans for some 60 jobs, and Citi is expanding it Dublin and Waterford sites creating 250 new jobs . These are only a few examples and by no means an exhaustive list.

And, showing the impact the funds industry is having in the creation of jobs and Ireland's economic recovery, domestically PWC revealed it is to hire 600 new people.

IDA Ireland will work hand in hand with the IFIA in 2012 and beyond to ensure that Ireland remains the domicile of choice for internationally distributed investment funds, ensure our newly established funds team are meeting with the managers and promoters locally in the countries in which they are based - and create further new jobs for Ireland in the process.