Source: Invest Northern Ireland
Invest Northern Ireland today announced a multi-million Euro investment by Bank of Ireland Group, Ireland's leading financial institution, to establish a hedge fund centre of excellence in Belfast.
The new venture will service the rapidly growing offshore alternative investment funds market in Northern Ireland and specifically, the hedge fund segment, currently growing at 20 per cent per annum.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered support of €3 million towards the initiative. The landmark investment will establish Northern Ireland's first funds administration business in the international financial services sector and will create 149 new, high value jobs for experienced accountants and skilled graduates over the next five years.
Commenting on the announcement, Trevor Killen, Director of Invest NI Dublin said: "This project is a landmark investment win for Northern Ireland and has great strategic significance for our rapidly developing international financial services sector. Invest NI worked closely with Bank of Ireland Securities Services (BoISS) to secure this project, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. The knowledge developed at this centre of excellence in Belfast will help us continue to move up the economic value chain and will place Northern Ireland in a very strong position to attract similar financial services investments from overseas."
"This win speaks volumes for Northern Ireland's position in terms of availability of skilled labour and cost competitiveness and demonstrates once more how well positioned we are to attract substantial investment from leading companies in the Dublin financial services sector." Killen added.
Brian Goggin, Group Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland, said: "In line with our strategy of expanding our niche skill-based businesses, we are very excited about the prospect of creating a sizeable presence in Belfast servicing the offshore hedge fund industry. Our Securities Services division in Dublin already services a total of $160bn of assets of which, in excess of US$3.5bn are in hedge funds and we believe there is considerable potential for expansion in this market.
"We currently have a significant presence in Northern Ireland with 44 branches, eight business centres and 1,300 staff across a range of business lines. Our decision to locate in Belfast reflects the quality of professional people available in the marketplace, plus the fact that over 10 per cent of BOISS' 370 strong Dublin-based workforce, already come from Northern Ireland. We also have strong links with the universities in the region as a result of placement programmes", added Brian Goggin.
At the launch event in Belfast, Bank of Ireland also announced a major expansion of its retail banking network in Northern Ireland, which will lead to the opening of a number of new branches and business centres and the recruitment of 100 new staff into the branch network.