Sep 24, 2004

Invest Northern Ireland backed First Derivatives has taken its expertise into the financial heart of the US by establishing a presence in New York, which will give it a platform from which to further penetrate the lucrative North American market.

The move comes as the result of a strategic alliance with US company Kx Systems (, a leader in the field of database technology. Kx has recently made the Newry consultancy company their sole accredited partner for sales and marketing worldwide.

First Derivatives manage Kx Systems’ recently opened Manhattan office and from there provide sales and marketing, consultancy and support services to Kx Systems’ financial services customers worldwide.

Michael O Neill, Operations Director of First Derivatives, is heading up the Kx office in New York. “This arrangement is a tremendous boost for us. The partnership agreement with Kx Systems gives us a solid presence in North America and also allows us to bring Kx Systems’ expertise back into Europe so enhancing our operations on both sides of the Atlantic,” he says.

First Derivatives boasts a unique skill set with staff trained in both finance and technology, allowing them to bridge the gap between software developers and finance companies.

The initial contact with Kx Systems came a few years ago as a result of a trade mission to Silicon Valley organised by one of Invest NI’s predecessor agencies. From there First Derivatives invested in building awareness of its services in the North American market.

“With the help of Invest Northern Ireland we’ve been able to carry out extensive marketing in North America and as a result have built up our profile in that key region,” says Michael O Neill. “That led directly to this alliance with Kx Systems, and to contracts with other major customers, such as FNX and Mantas, and has positioned us for further penetration of the US market.”

First Derivatives and Kx are now turning their attention to Asia and will be participating in an Invest Northern Ireland backed trade mission in April to investigate the potential of that market, particularly in terms of developing Kx sales, as well as First Derivatives partnership agreements with software companies servicing the region.

Kevin McCann, Director of Enterprise Support in Invest NI, comments: “First Derivatives has a very focused strategy for extending its presence worldwide. Its investment in marketing in the US has already paid dividends and it is now planning to build profile in other overseas markets.

“The agreement with Kx Systems is an indication that the high level of expertise available in Northern Ireland is being recognised by global players. This partnership should lead to further growth for First Derivatives and firmly establish it in the international marketplace. “

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