PwC: Gathering assets, people and jobs
Innovation Profile Dublin conference is confirmation of Ireland’s status as a global centre for asset management
Damian Neylin, leader, and Marie Coady, tax partner, PwC Ireland Asset Management Practice
Almost 500 global asset management leaders will gather in Dublin’s National Convention Centre over the next two days for PwC’s European Asset Management Conference. Coinciding with The Gathering, the decision to hold the conference here and the size of the attendance are confirmation of Ireland’s status as a global centre for asset management.
“This is the best globally attended conference we have ever held here from an asset management perspective”, says Damian Neylin, leader with PwC’s Asset Management Practice. “People have been drawn to it by the nature of asset management as a global industry and the fact that Ireland is now an acknowledged international centre for the domicile and administration of funds.”
And this reputation is backed by the numbers which are so large they almost boggle the mind. In June of this year, total investment fund assets in Ireland reached €1.27 trillion having increased by 4.1 percent since the previous year. The significant majority of this – €998 billion – was accounted for by UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) which comply with a set of European directives allowing them to operate freely throughout the EU on the basis of authorisation by a single member state such as Ireland.
And the consistent growth in the level of fund assets is equally impressive. Total assets in June had grown more than threefold since the end of 2001 and had almost doubled since 2008.
“This has been the most resilient of the services sectors since the downturn began in 2007,” says PwC asset management tax partner Marie Coady. “It’s right up there with technology and I think the target of 10,000 new jobs in the Irish international financial services sector set by the Minister for Finance is very achievable. Only about 10 per cent of European assets are invested in funds at the moment, so there is a market there and Ireland is well placed to succeed in it. This is not a false optimism.
“The fact that we are holding our European Asset Management Conference here and the numbers we have coming to it are great signs of the recognition there is for Ireland’s position as a global funds leader.”
The conference will hear from a range of speakers drawn from both the domestic and international arenas who will address the continued growth in the sector and the increased opportunities it presents for Ireland.
“It is an international business and people continue to invest in assets, they just change the type of asset”, Neylin notes. “Ireland has such a diverse range of funds it is well placed to capitalise on any trends in the future. For example, passive vehicles like exchange traded funds (ETFs) have been very attractive to investors of late and Ireland’s offering in this area, backed by the very efficient and internationally respected tax regime for them, has been particularly successful. Ireland is the leading ETF domicile in Europe with over 60 percent of ETF players globally having products in Ireland which are sold into 70 different markets around the world. Our success in this area is based on our strong regulatory regime and international confidence in the products which are domiciled here. We see this side of the business continuing to grow.”