No other location in Ireland outside of Dublin has the breadth and depth of Financial Services activities as Cork, according to Karen Conboy, KPMG Partner in Cork.
Recent Cork Chamber estimates put the number of Financial Services related companies covering asset management, administration, middle, back office and IFA activities at 25, and growing. “Long before the concept of Brexit existed, major IFS companies such as BNY Mellon and Citco has set up operations in Cork. In recent years others such as HedgServ and Clearstream have followed and new entrants like Beechbrook Capital are expanding the type of Financial Services activities in the area beyond middle and back office processing into high end portfolio management,” she points out.
The government’s IFS 2025 Finance for Ireland strategy includes regionalisation as a priority, aligned to the Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework. Cork already holds the position as the state’s second Financial Services hub. “KPMG’s commitment to the local market has included our involvement in Cork Chamber’s Connecting Cork IFS Forum, the group highlighting Cork’s ability to meet the needs of potential new IFS entrants looking to set up or expand in the Irish marketplace,” Karen explains. Last month Irish Funds published an Indecon report, ‘Economic Impact of the Funds Industry on the Irish Economy,’ that identified 1,346 direct funds related jobs in Cork. With Limerick contributing 936 further positions, the two Munster locations represented just over 50% of all funds related employment outside of Dublin as indicated in the report.
With IFS being one of the few industry sectors set to gain from Brexit, Ms Conboy stated that “Cork has a track record in IFS nowhere else outside of Dublin can match, making it the most credible location for IFS growth outside of the capital”. She cites the outstanding talent pool provided by local third level institutions, combined with Tier 1 data connectivity, office capacity with competitive rents and strong transport links to major business destinations as key factors supporting the continued growth of this sector. KPMG Cork is positioned to support this next generation of Financial Services activity in the city and across the Munster region.
The KPMG Cork Financial Services group has grown and developed in parallel with the local Financial Services market over the past ten years. The local team of 30 professionals engage with new and existing companies across audit, tax and advisory with a particular focus on investment management and aviation leasing. “Our team has evolved and grown to meet the changing needs of the market place and clients get the benefit of local support and experience along with access to a strong global network. IFS is a complex, highly regulated sector and we are seeing more demand for regulatory and advisory support from clients. In addition, IFS companies operating in an ever-changing technological world are natural customers for the fintech and cybersecurity companies that have emerged as an IT cluster in the region.
“Cork must remain a dynamic, innovative location for Financial Services companies so that it can copper-fasten its position as the second city in Ireland for IFS. The opportunity is there and we should grasp it with both hands”.
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This article first appeared in The Irish Examiner, and is reproduced here with their kind permission.