A multi-million pound investment by Bank of Ireland Group will create 149 new jobs in Belfast.
First Minister Rt Hon Ian Paisley MP, MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA today announced the investment in Northern Ireland’s Financial Services Sector which will establish a specialist funds administration business in Belfast.
The new venture will service the rapidly growing offshore alternative investment funds market – specifically, the hedge fund segment which is growing at 20% per annum.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered support of over £2million towards the initiative. The landmark investment will establish Northern Ireland’s first funds administration project 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.
Making the announcement, Rt Hon Dr Paisley MP, MLA said: “Northern Ireland’s financial services sector is growing rapidly and is now one of the most attractive locations for global firms seeking the best skills and infrastructure to service European customers. Invest NI has worked closely with Bank of Ireland Securities Services (BoISS) to secure this project, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.”
Martin McGuinness MP, MLA added: “This new centre of excellence will provide very high quality career opportunities whilst at the same time helping the financial services sector here to move further up the value chain and boost the local economy.”
Brian Goggin, Group Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland, said: “In line with our strategy of expanding our niche skill-based businesses internationally, we are very excited about the prospect of creating a sizeable presence in Belfast servicing the offshore hedge fund industry. Our Securities Services business in Dublin already services a total of US$160billion of assets, of which in excess of US$3.5billion 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% 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 co-op placement programmes”, he added.
At the event, Bank of Ireland also announced a further multi-million pound 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.