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Ireland: A good place to do business Back
Clive Bellows, country head of Ireland at Northern Trust, talks about recent developments for Northern Trust in Ireland against the backdrop of increasing regulatory pressure and a changing financial landscape. 'Since establishing our first office in Ireland, Northern Trust has been actively involved in and witnessed a huge amount of growth and development in the IFSC. Northern Trust’s Irish business has seen not only dramatic growth in its scale but also its ability to offer new and innovative solutions to ensure our clients are best placed to take advantage of the regulatory and structural changes.'
Since establishing our first office in Ireland, Northern Trust has been actively involved in and witnessed a huge amount of growth and development in Ireland’s International Financial Services Centre. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, Northern Trust’s Irish business has seen not only dramatic growth in its scale but also its ability to offer new and innovative solutions to ensure our clients are best placed to take advantage of the regulatory and structural changes.
Clive Bellows


Opening offices in Dublin and Limerick in 2000 and 2006 respectively, we support a range of organisations from leading alternative, multi-manager and traditional investment managers to pension funds, multi-nationals, insurance companies and not-for-profit organisations, all of whom have their own sophisticated needs and requirements. In light of the many regulations our clients face, we see an increasing demand from them for solutions that can help them maximise risk management, transparency and good governance. Our Ireland operations are a key location for these services.

The Irish regulator has been working closely with industry participants such as Northern Trust, to support the continued development of a positive, carefully considered regulatory regime. Most recently, the Alternative Investment Fund Directive (AIFMD), which introduces the requirement for managers to appoint a depositary for each AIF it manages, brought about new requirements and challenges for the industry. With over a decade’s experience providing depositary services from our established Irish business, Northern Trust were well placed to meet the growing demands of AIFMD. We expanded our European depositary services across multiple fund types, asset classes, fund locations and investment strategies, offering depositary services in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands, as well as our established services in Ireland, Luxembourg and the Channel Islands.

Alongside AIFMD, UCITS (Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities) continues to apply regulatory pressure on our clients, in particular hedge funds. In 2011, Northern Trust acquired Omnium, a leading hedge fund administrator. This landmark acquisition enhanced our capabilities, making us one of the largest hedge fund administrators in the world. Our hedge fund administration centre in Ireland is focused on supporting clients across the globe.

Ireland is a “centre of excellence” for both fund administration and cross-border pooling solutions. In 2005, Northern Trust launched the industry’s first tax-transparent cross-border pooling solution for multinationals through a vehicles based in Ireland known as the Common Contractual Fund (CCF), providing a platform for investment managers to offer proprietary investment strategies in a tax-transparent cross-border pooling vehicle.

We continue to see Ireland as a good place to do business. In 2011, Northern Trust acquired Bank of Ireland Securities Services (BoISS), underlining our presence in the region and further expanding our capabilities in exchange traded fund administration.

With the fund industry ever-growing, our recruitment efforts remain focused on Ireland’s home grown talent. Limerick’s investment in education, in particular, has created a talented and well qualified workforce to draw from. Northern Trust works closely with graduates and students from the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology to provide them with the vital experience to increase their employability, such as internship schemes and CV preparation workshops. Over 200 staff at Northern Trust today came to us from the University of Limerick. We currently employ close to 1000 people in Ireland and recently announced we would create 400 new jobs in Limerick by 2017, as a result of sustained global business expansion.

As Ireland continues to produce a wealth of high-quality graduates and investor confidence in the country remains robust, we think the funds industry in Ireland is as strong as ever.
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