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Saturday, 19th September 2020
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Developing New Business Back  
The report published by the Asset Management Task Force, a part of the IFSC Funds Group, (See pages 4 and 5), a follow-up to the earlier report released last October, is to be welcomed and is a further positive sign of the industry and regulator working together. Setting out a strategy for the development of the sector, the report identifies the IDA as being critical to the success of the venture, and the IDA will start marketing Dublin as an asset management centre by encouraging international companies who have already located fund administration/custody business in Dublin to consider moving their front office operations as well.
But it is important to recognise that asset management is a different business to fund administration and requires different skill sets and experience. It is also more dependent on the vagaries of the markets and while there have been notable successes in attracting investment managers to Dublin, for example, Pioneer Investments and Gensec Ireland, there is still some way yet to go. The report marks an important step towards reaching this goal. The IDA has also picked pensions as a sector to promote. Of course there are other sectors which should be similarly promoted by the Government.
One sector that has gone from strength to strength over the past number of years is securitisation. A community of professionals in the investment, issuance, credit enhancement, listing and legal and taxation advisory fields has emerged in Dublin, and in order to provide a platform for this group to interface with leading global players in the field, Finance Dublin are holding a one-day international securitisation conference on October 23rd. The conference aims to recognise the development of the sector and the growing importance of Irish companies in the global asset backed securities (ABS) market.
In fact Dublin is fast developing an international reputation for being a centre of excellence in the ABS world with strong capabilities in structuring, third party funds management and repackaging, as well as a high concentration of investors in a small geographic area which means that Dublin features high on international investment banks’ road shows.
Top quality regulation will remain critical to the success of all financial services sectors. The report of the Irish Bankers’ Federation, exclusively reported on in this issue (See pages 12-13), is a well thought out response to the publication of the Irish Financial Services Authority Bill, which will establish a single regulator for financial services, and we commend it to our readers. The report gives seven recommendations on how the new regulator should operate and urges the IFSRA to distinguish between international financial services banks and the domestic sector. This is important to maintain the IFSC’s competitiveness internationally.

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