US investment group to set up Dublin operation


US investment banking and securities trading firm, Bear Sterns, is to open a new company at Dublin's International Financial Services Centre in March. The New York based group, which employs 7,600 worldwide, has applied to the Central Bank for a banking licence to initially trade derivatives from the Dublin financial centre.

Bear Sterns' executive vice president, Mr Warren Spector, said it expected to employ 25 people at its Dublin office over the next six to nine months and could increase this to up to 50 people over the next couple of years. The total number of jobs that will be created at the company, Mr Spector said, will depend on the opportunities it sees in the Republic. "We have some definite plans here, that is to trade non US derivatives in Dublin. But we also intend to explore what other options there may be for us."

Bear Sterns, Mr Spector said, may look at adding custody and securities clearance services, and to taking in large scale deposits at its Dublin base in the future.

Most of the group's non US derivatives trading is currently carried out in London and a small number of its British based staff will be transferred to Dublin. These are mainly Irish people working for Bear Sterns who have expressed an interest in returning to the Republic to work, Mr Spector said. It will also begin recruiting other staff for the new Dublin office shortly, he added.

Bear Sterns employs 260 people in London. The group handles clients funds worth $300 billion (£18.6 billion). Mr Spector says that more than, $100 billion (£6.2 billion) could eventually be transferred to its Dublin based bank, depending on its trading performance.

Established in New York 73 years ago, Bear Sterns' business includes corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, private client services, fund management and derivatives trading.