The world’s largest financial services company, Citigroup, is setting up a technology centre of excellence in Belfast which will create up to 375 jobs and contribute some £65 million to the local economy over the first five years.
The investment was announced today by Secretary of State, Paul Murphy.
The Secretary of State revealed that the project is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland which is contributing over £7.6 million towards the investment.
Speaking at the announcement Leslie Morrison, chief executive of Invest NI, said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of over two years of negotiation between the company and Invest NI and represents a significant affirmation of Northern Ireland’s capability.
“The establishment of a technology centre of excellence fits very well with Invest Northern Ireland’s focus on developing the software and financial services sectors and encouraging R&D and application development activities.
“We hope it will act as a catalyst to stimulate further growth in this specialist sector, which has already attracted global brands such as Liberty IT and Northbrook, to Northern Ireland.”
Citigroup brings together banking, insurance, and investments under one umbrella, employing 275,000 and managing 200 million customer accounts across six continents in more than 100 countries.
As well as creating high value jobs the investment will introduce new investment banking technology and skills to Northern Ireland strengthening the region’s attraction for other potential inward investors.
Bill Mills, Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup’s Global Corporate and Investment Bank in EMEA, said: “Citigroup has ambitious growth plans which depend on developing the technology platforms supporting each of our business areas. The Belfast Centre will play a significant role in this, enhancing our cost competitive position and offering us the opportunity to grow resource levels quickly.
“As part of Citigroup’s investment in Belfast, the company is also supporting the creation of the first Academy of Finance in Northern Ireland, which will be run as a collaborative venture by Ashfield Boys High School, The Girls Model School, St. Patrick’s College, Bearnaghaeha, and the UK Career Academy Foundation.”