Ministers welcome investment by US financial services firm

First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster have welcomed the decision by Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) to establish a Belfast office.

With headquarters in Chicago, CME Group is one of the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplaces offering the widest range of global benchmark products. The Group has confirmed that it intends to open its office in Belfast office in the next few months.

Welcoming the decision the First Minister said: “This new investment is another significant vote of confidence for Northern Ireland and reflects the confidence that international players have in this region. It follows from the highly successful inward investment trip to the US by myself and the deputy First Minister in September 2011 when we met senior Executives of the company to promote the many benefits that Northern Ireland has to offer. This announcement is a good strategic fit with the Executive’s recently published draft Programme for Government which puts economic growth at the heart of Northern Ireland’s future.”

The deputy First Minister said: “The CME Group considered several locations across the globe but in the end was attracted here by the high quality of our workforce, our excellent university linkages and the support offered to it.

“The IT and financial services sectors are key drivers of our economy and the CME Group will join a growing cluster of world-class companies based here, and will further enhance our reputation as a premier location for this kind of investment. We look forward to working with the company as it establishes and grows its Belfast operation.

Economy Minister Arlene Foster continued: “This is the kind of high quality inward investor that Northern Ireland seeks to attract. I and Invest NI have worked hard over the last two years to secure the CME Group investment.