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Tuesday, 16th April 2024
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Pensions remain key investment choice Back  
Tony Joyce examines the changes that have occurred in the Irish fund management industry over the lifetime of Finance magazine.
In the latter part of the 1980s those of us who were fortunate enough to be employed in the Irish financial services industry had the dubious privilege of paying tax on some of our income at rates as high as 60 per cent. While retirement and old age seemed a long way off, in those days of high personal tax rates the attraction of enhancing your pension fund through Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), where the taxman was funding more than 50 per cent of the cost, seemed a good idea. Considering that all pension funds were invested on a gross basis, it did not take a genius to realize that the pension was a place to encourage people to invest.
Hibernian Investment Managers was established in 1990 as the asset management company of Hibernian Group. We re-located to La Touche House in the IFSC in 1993 and have seen at first hand the growth and development of this vital component of Ireland’s financial services industry.
We have managed individual and company pension plans and their savings during a time of enormous change in Ireland. Over the years there has been some reduction in the number of investment providers, which is dominated by the major life assurance companies and banks - a trend not uncommon with the rest of the world. The range of products has grown, as indeed has the choice of investment funds.
HIM has always offered a very wide range of different asset class, geographical and sectoral funds. The marketing of financial products has become more sophisticated and the knowledge of consumers and intermediaries has developed immensely.
In Ireland the broad financial services industry and particularly the pension industry has received a lot of support from enlightened legislation. Many individuals now have the option to retain control of their pension fund and are not obliged to purchase an annuity at retirement. The potential exists to manage your personal investments in a flexible, cost effective way.
This requires advice and information, which will ensure that those of us in the investment management industry will continue to be required to deliver superior investment returns as we try to satisfy our customers. The quality of staff available to deliver on these requirements has risen and has matched the industry’s demands very well.

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