South Korea’s Mirae registers Dublin unit as Brexit looms

Central Bank governor expects ‘substantial’ increase in activity due to Brexit

South Korean investment group Mirae Asset Financial Group has registered a Dublin subsidiary as it advances plans to set up a global trading centre in Ireland as it weighs the outcome of Brexit.

The group, which has over $100 billion (€85.9bn) of assets under management, previously indicated in a Korean newspaper interview last month that it plans to base about 20 traders in Dublin, relocating staff from London, Hong Kong and other cities to the Republic.

It is understood the company will also seek to hire some staff locally, including back-office employees.

While the Asian financial services group has not received Central Bank authorisation yet, filings with the Companies Registration Office show that it set up an Irish subsidiary, Mirae Asset Financial Markets DAC, last month.


It has used the offices of corporate solicitors A&L Goodbody as its registered address, and two partners with the law firm, Peter Murray and Peter Walker, as its initial directors.

Mirea's group chairman, Park Hyeon-joo, said in an interview with the Maeil Business Newspaper late last month that the company would seek to buy a building in the IFSC in Dublin, adding that it plans to use the base for mergers and acquisitions, starting off with a European exchange-traded funds (ETF) firm.

Trading hub

The company discounted the possibility of setting up the global trading hub in London due to Brexit.

A number of major banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, have said in recent weeks that they plan to expand their operations in Dublin as they prepare for the likelihood that the UK will lose rights to passport financial services across the EU under Brexit.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank governor Philip Lane has defended his institution in an interview with the Times, amid criticism in recent times that the regulator has been taking an overly-cautious approach when dealing with overseas firms looking to relocate activities from London.

Responsible regulators

“Our commitment is to be efficient and responsible regulators,” Mr Lane said, according to a transcript of the interview, published on the Central Bank’s website on Monday. “We are neither more forgiving or less forgiving than the expected European standard.

“It’s a fluid situation. But the idea that we are not open for business just cannot be true because we already regulate so many firms.

“We have a really large international financial centre here, and in terms of new business we are seeing enough indications that we think it’s quite consequential...and [are] making our resource plans on the basis of a substantial increase in activity.”

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times