More financial firms setting up or expanding in Ireland despite Covid-19

New Government legislation is expected to further fuel investment in the industry

New figures showed 67 investment companies have entered or expanded their presence in the Irish market in 2020. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

New figures showed 67 investment companies have entered or expanded their presence in the Irish market in 2020. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

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Some 67 financial firms either entered the Irish market or expanded their presence here in 2020 despite the Covid-19 crisis, according to Irish Funds, the umbrella group for the industry.

The financial services sector here has been bolstered by an influx of business from the UK ahead of Brexit. And new Government legislation aimed at making it easier to invest in major infrastructural funds is expected to further fuel investment.

The Investment Limited Partnership (ILP) Bill, brought before the Seanad last week, overhauls the existing legislation to allow for the establishment of certain partnership structures, typically used elsewhere, but until now unavailable here.

Partnership structures are typically used to fund long-term capital projects. “Completion of the legislation will add an important capability to the offering we have for investors globally, and is critical to maintaining the competitiveness of our industry, one which employs some 16,000 people all around Ireland, ” the chief executive of Irish Funds, Pat Lardner, said.

“It will make investing in the transition to a green economy and in post-pandemic recovery much easier while also encouraging the use of Irish-based expertise and services.”

Raise capital

With Brexit looming, the new legislation is also aimed at giving money managers here options to raise capital across Europe post-Brexit.

New figures showed 67 investment companies have entered or expanded their presence in the Irish market. These, and the 500 other investment managers who utilise services here, established 323 new investment funds during the first six months of 2020, Irish Funds said.

The new firms come from various locations, including the US, France, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, with firms such as Janus Henderson, Amundi and Mercer among those establishing or expanding their activities, highlighting the importance of Ireland as a global English-speaking hub.

Seán Fleming, Minister of State for Financial Services, said the new Bill would modernise Irish legislation and stimulate growth in the key areas of sustainable finance and green infrastructure investment. “Ireland’s success in attracting top-tier global financial services is set against an increasingly dynamic and competitive backdrop,” he said.

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