'Ireland for Finance', the Government’s Strategy for the development of Ireland's international financial services sector to 2025 was launched in April of this year. The development of the regions is one of the priorities of the Strategy.
There were approximately 44,000 people in direct employment in the IFS sector at the end of 2018 with one-third of these jobs located outside Dublin. The sector has a significant presence in a number of regional locations including Cavan, Clare, Cork, Drogheda, Dundalk, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.
A number of international financial services companies have chosen to build centres of excellence in these regional locations, taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by the higher staff retention rates associated with operations outside of Dublin. Close connectivity to educational institutions and the development of like-minded business lines in a particular regional hub are also important factors why companies locate in these areas.
The two Enterprise Agencies (IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland) actively promote the advantage of regional locations to both existing and target clients. IDA Ireland has an active ‘second site’ strategy where companies in Dublin are encouraged and supported to establish a second office in a regional location.
Groups such as State Street in Kilkenny, Northern Trust in Limerick, MetLife in Galway and First Data in Nenagh have successfully established a regional presence through this channel.
Other public sector bodies that are identified in Ireland for Finance as supporting the Enterprise Agencies include my Department and the nine Regional Skills Fora. At an upcoming meeting, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland will provide an update on employment figures for Q4 of 2019 to the public sector High Level Implementation Committee, which is chaired by Minister of State Michael D’Arcy TD.
However, significant announcements during the year have included the opening of Fundrock’s regional second site in Limerick, where it intends to employ 45 people; Rimes’ decision to establish its first office in Cork; and Japanese company JRI America Inc.’s announcement to further expand its Technology Centre in Tralee, Co. Kerry, creating 100 new jobs over 5 years.
Carne Global, an Irish founded global provider of fund management company solutions to the asset management industry, announced a significant expansion in its Irish operations earlier this year, creating an additional 250 regional jobs over the next three years in the South East.
Opus Fund Services recently announced its decision to establish a regional second site in Wexford, creating 100 jobs while Liberty Insurance announced a 120-person expansion of its office in Cavan in addition to the announcement by DMS Governance that it is to create 50 further jobs in Cashel.
The employment target in Ireland for Finance is to reach 50,000 people in direct employment in the sector by 2025.