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Finance Magazine - October 2004 Issue

Fee income and productivity jumps in accountancy
KPMG has beaten PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to the top spot to become Ireland’s largest accountancy firm in terms of fee income – but only by a whisker, according to the 2004 FINANCE survey of the industry, which shows growth amongst the 'Big 4' is up 11 per cent on 2003, and that Farrell Grant Sparks is the most efficient accountancy firm in Ireland, in a year when productivity gains of up to 23 per cent were recorded.
First MBS of 2004 launched
Irish Life & Permanent has successfully raised over €1.5 billion in a major securitisation of the mortgage book of its UK subsidiary, Capital Home Loans (CHL). The securitisation is the largest ever undertaken by the group.
Single financial services Bill proposed
The Department of Finance has launched a consultation process on how best to achieve consolidation and/or simplification of the legislation governing the regulation of the financial services sector.
Deal value to exceed 2003
The total value of deals in 2004 will be higher than the €7.4 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) recorded in 2003, according to Joe Devine, a director with corporate finance firm Ion Equity.
Reputational risk is now the biggest threat to an organisation’s value
Risk management in general has climbed higher up the corporate agenda, a new survey of more than 130 senior executives in financial services institutions reveals, and an awareness of unquantifiable risks in particular has grown markedly, with reputational risk now regarded as the greatest threat to an organisation’s market value. Alan Merriman reports on the main findings of the survey.
Women In Banking and Finance Association launches Irish branch
Women In Banking and Finance (WIBF), the non-profit making professional organisation has launched an Irish branch.The aim of WIBF is to provide a business forum for women in the financial services sector to meet, share experiences, develop themselves, and develop others. Membership is not exclusively for bankers or for women.
New member firm on ISE
CCF S.A., the French subsidiary of banking group HSBC, has been admitted to membership of the Irish Stock Exchange as a primary dealer in Irish government bonds, bringing the number of primary dealers up to eight.
Cardinal to launch active value fund
Cardinal Asset Management, the Dublin and London alternative asset investment firm, is to launch and develop an active value hedge fund capability.
Traders to build houses
Two of Bank of Ireland Global Markets traders are about to swap their Bloomberg screens for builder’s tools. Paul Flynn (trading group) and Joe Dunphy (financial institutions) have signed up for this years ‘Niall Mellon Township Challenge’ in South Africa.
Accountancy firms’ fee income growth eases, but IFRS boost expected
Ireland’s main accountancy firms notched up impressive gains in business during 2004, with overall fee income up 10.9 per cent at €636.4 million. However, in light of the accelerating pace of the economic recovery, growth was perhaps not as robust as expected, coming in under the 15 per cent level recorded last year. But while an improving economy and upbeat projections for next year point to expectations of healthy industry potential going forward, most firms have identified the implementation of IFRS in 2005, as among the most significant factors likely to affect business, with 16 of the 17 surveyed by FINANCE predicting an increase in fee income arising from the new rules.
Accounting - a dynamic field
There is a whole new world of opportunities and possibilities awaiting accountants, writes Hilarie Geary.
The transition to IFRs is driving growth in the accountancy recruitment market
With corporates busy preparing for the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRs) in 2005, accountants with IFRS experience are in demand, as are CIMA qualified accountants with previous financial services experience, Cara O’Leary writes.
IFRs – a boon for business
Irish accountancy firms are overwhelmingly positive regarding the impact on their business of the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRs) a survey on practice management trends in accountancy has revealed.
Industry matures as capital sourcing is transformed from high net worth individuals to institutions
U.S. institutional investor capital in hedge funds is forecast to increase from $60 billion to $300 billion within five years, a new report commissioned by the Bank of New York reveals. Institutional capital is driving this growth, and will soon account for more than 50% of annual net new flows into the hedge fund industry.
The EU Pensions Directive - considerations for transposition
The EU Pensions Directive, which represents an attempt to harmonise cross-border provision and regulation of financial services in the pension sector, must in large part be transposed into Irish law by 23 September 2005. Tom Carney reports on developments to date, and says that transposition of the Directive is an ideal opportunity for consolidation of all pension legislation, old and new.
Jobs in finance: using a career coach to improve your prospects
Management style is just as important as technical competence in the impact a new chief executive officer (CEO) will have, Caitriona Murphy writes. She recommends the use of a coach to assist in the transition to the role of CEO, as this will help the CEO manage his relationship with the chairman and build effective interactions with non-executive directors.
Alternative Investments - can fine wine continue to out-perform ?
Fine wine is attracting growing interest as an alternative investment thanks to disillusionment with traditional asset classes such as equities, writes James Miles, and some headline grabbing vintages from the world’s leading wine regions in recent years, particularly Bordeaux 2000 and 2003.
VAT and credit cards
The UK High Court has upheld a claim by a major UK retail group that part of the total payment by credit card customers in their shops can be attributed to the handling of a credit card transaction and should not attract VAT. The decision, if it is not overturned on appeal, could add approximately 0.4p.c. to gross margins.
Intelligence gathering or intimidation?
The UK has followed USA example by requiring notification to the Revenue of certain tax planning. Is this a legitimate collection of information or is it part of a wider campaign to vilify and intimidate larger taxpayers? Is there evidence of a similar campaign in Ireland?
Maximising value for the seller
Traditionally due diligence is a process carried out by the purchaser so that he may assess the pig before he purchases the poke. There are many advantages to a vendor in commissioning due diligence in advance of a sale, including due diligence on the taxation aspects.
How do stock markets react to changes in oil prices?
With oil prices continuing to reach record highs, the ECB examines the impact this is expected to have on the stock markets.
Going in the right direction
As deputy chief executive of the Irish Bankers Federation, a typical day for Enda Twomey involves co-ordinating the work of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI), responding to EU regulatory developments, and meeting with member institutions.
Who’s who in Finance: Juergen Fenk, Member of the Board, Hypo Real Estate Bank International
Upsurge in accountancy jobs as growth of 21 per cent is predicted over the next year
Firms responding to the annual FINANCE accountancy survey say that they will recruit over a thousand additional employees in the coming year, with the introduction of new accountancy standards being cited as a key driver of the growth.
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