Enterprise Minister welcomes new 'options' for young talent

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today welcomed a £2million investment in young talent, by Newry company First Derivatives.

First Derivatives is a leading global services provider in the capital markets technology sector, with offices in New York, London, Stockholm, Sydney, Singapore and Newry. The company’s ‘Options’ programme offers successful candidates, including recent graduates or those early on their career path, a two-year programme of international client assignments and internal company projects.

During this time, candidates have the opportunity to work alongside experts in a range of fields, including Capital Markets, Finance, IT, Business Consulting, Marketing and Operations. Although initially based at the company’s Newry headquarters, there are early opportunities to travel to client locations in London, New York, Hong Kong and other financial centres around the world.

Speaking at the official launch of the programme, Arlene Foster said: “First Derivatives is an ambitious, locally managed company, which is committed to further increasing its international presence through both organic growth and acquisition.

“Providing consultancy and specifically tailored software solutions to support high-volume trading activities at leading global investment banks and hedge funds requires some of the brightest, intuitive and analytical minds.

“Those who have been successful in securing a place on the programme come from a range of backgrounds, including high calibre graduates in Chemical Engineering, Experimental Physics and Computer Science, as well as individuals with experience in Law, Marketing and Human Resources. Through the Options programme, First Derivatives is investing over £2million to bring their transferable skills to Northern Ireland’s financial services sector.”

Brian Conlon, Chief Executive Officer at First Derivatives, said: “At First Derivatives we really do value our employees and consider them our strongest asset. It is only by enabling our employees to fulfil their potential that we, as a company, can fulfil ours. By offering successful individuals a fast track consulting programme to develop their skills and accelerate their career development in the international financial services industry, the Options programme will play an important role in ensuring that we continue to recruit and retain the most talented of people.

“At a time when many blue chip companies are reducing, or abandoning graduate recruitment, we are delighted to offer these opportunities. It is significant that First Derivatives was the only ‘corporate’ recruiting graduates for this autumn at the most recent graduate recruitment fair at Queens University.”

At the launch, two of the ‘Options’ recruits spoke of their motivation to apply for the programme and of their initial impressions of the company. Michael McClintock returned to Northern Ireland having successfully graduated from Southampton University with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Michael said: “I was excited about the opportunity to take up a position with a dynamic company, such as First Derivatives. Finding such a company in Northern Ireland was even more of a bonus. I will be spending the first few months of the Options programme learning the technology which underpins the company’s product suite - Delta. After that it is most likely that I will be heading off to North America on client projects.”

Local Newry girl Aoibhin O’Neill, who obtained a degree in Communications, Advertising and Marketing from University of Ulster, Jordanstown said: “First Derivatives immediately caught my attention at the Queens Graduate Fair. This is an exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to a progressive career within Capital Markets. I have only been here a month and I am already working with the Directors on several important strategic initiatives. The experience and knowledge I am gaining from them is invaluable.”

The initiative has been part funded from the previous Invest NI offer of £426,883, to support staff skills development related activities and which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).