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Finance Magazine - March 2006 Issue

New private bank to increase options for high net worth sector
High net worth individuals in Ireland are looking for greater investment diversification, and a new joint venture between one Dublin firm and Deutsche Bank, will give them access to global opportunities in more esoteric investment products such as CLOs.
Solutions to the remittance tax issue to emerge
Following on from the move in Budget 2006 to abolish the remittance basis of taxation for foreign employees, and the recent publication by The Revenue Commissioners of guidelines on the issue, Ireland’s leading taxation experts are to put forward potential solutions to the problem, which are aimed at enabling Ireland to remain an attractive location for international financial services professionals.
First speech for new regulator
Newly appointed chief executive of the Financial Regulator, Patrick Neary, is to make his first appearance in front of a financial services audience at the forthcoming Finance Dublin Conference on March 28th and 29th in Dublin Castle. Neary, who took up his new role in early February, will set out the Regulator’s agenda going forward, touching on key areas of interest such as the on-going consultation process on the Fitness & Probity of Directors’ regime.
AIB to issue ICBs
AIB is set to become the second mortgage bank, and the third Irish bank, to enter the burgeoning Irish covered bond (ICB), or Asset Covered Securities (ACS) market. The bank, which received authorisation for its new mortgage bank, AIB Mortgage Bank as a ‘designated credit institution’ by the Financial Regulator in February, is set to embark on a €15 billion programme. In 2006, the bank is expected to issue up to €4 billion.
NPRF ups allocation to alternatives
The National Pension Reserve Fund, which was established in 2001 to supplement the current public pension system from 2025 until at least 2055, returned 19.6 per cent in 2005, taking its total value to E15.4 billion, or 11.5 per cent of gross national product.
Corporates are not taking advantage of cheap debt
Public companies should borrow as cost of debt has fallen by up to a third.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Although the financial services industry is still understandably shaken by the decision in Budget 2006 to abolish the remittance basis of taxation, light hopefully is beginning to emerge at the end of the tunnel. As reported on page 1, Ireland’s leading tax advisers are currently working on proposals to dilute the impact of the decision on the financial services industry, and the IDA is also making representations with the Department of Finance on the issue.
Professionals look to change jobs in buoyant marketplace
Irish financial services professionals are most inclined to switch jobs, with 61 per cent of respondents to a poll conducted by recruitment firm Joslin Rowe, saying that they plan to move jobs within 3-6 months, compared with 58 per cent in London and 53 per cent in Scotland. Just five per cent said that they would definitely not consider moving jobs.
Move from defined benefit schemes gains pace
Ireland’s employers are increasingly moving from defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, to defined contribution (DC) schemes, with the public sector expected to account for the majority of DB schemes going forward.
Arthur Cox wins award
Arthur Cox was awarded European Law Firm of the Year at the ‘Legal Business’ Awards 2006, which took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Some of the most prominent law firms in Europe were short listed for the award, including White & Case and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Deal of the Year: deal values are up in 2006 as Irish corporates look for diversification
The nominations for the FINANCE ‘Deal of the Year’ 2006, which are chosen by a panel of corporate financiers to reflect the best and most innovative deals of the past year. We look at why these deals were nominated, and also the key trends in Ireland’s corporate finance market over the past year, such as an increase in diversification, as corporates look to expand their product offering.
Nominations for ‘Deal of the Year’ 2006
The nominations for the FINANCE ‘Deal of the Year’ 2006, which are chosen by a panel of corporate financiers to reflect the best and most innovative deals of the past year. We look at why these deals were nominated, and also the key trends in Ireland’s corporate finance market over the past year, such as an increase in diversification, as corporates look to expand their product offering.
Deal flow is up
Global M&A transaction levels were at their highest level since 2000, writes Gerard Flood, and growth in Ireland was also strong. Across the entire market, the inevitable factors that conspired to making deals more challenging to complete included pension liabilities and agreement to the level of underfunding, achieving adequate satisfaction of an ability to put funding in place and on occasion a lack of trust between the parties to the deal.
Property deals fueled growth in market in 2005
2005 proved to be a highly active year for Irish M&A transactions with a recent survey data showing the value of deals executed rose by 19 per cent to more than E11 billion, writes Fergal McAleavey. The year saw a trend towards fewer but larger transactions, and growth was helped by general positive sentiment among investors and supportive market conditions, such as low interest rates and strong property prices.
New performance standards represent a major opportunity for the Irish fund management industry
Ireland, under the sponsorship of the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM), became the very first country to adopt the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) standards in May 2001, when the Investment Performance Council (IPC), an international industry-based group overseeing performance standards development, formally approved the Irish standard at its Los Angeles meeting. Five years on, Irish investment managers have just adopted a revised and updated version of the standards, which will remove barriers to accessing clients in other jurisdictions, and which represents a major opportunity for the Irish fund management industry, writes Joe Kavanagh.
Poland offers opportunities to Irish investors
Brian O’Neill explains the dynamics of the Polish economy, the potential of the residential property market, and how to capitalise on these factors, using the various investment options available to Irish investors.
Candidates with international experience are sought after
Candidates with good exposure to new financial products, and who have worked overseas in global investment banks, are highly sought-after in the current recruitment market, as the Irish market requires innovative investment solutions. Professionals with solid experience in trading or fund management are also highly sought-after, according to Robert Walters’ annual salary survey 2006.
Expatriates hit
The ending of the remittance basis of taxation of expatriates, in so far as it applied to employment income from duties in Ireland, requires both employees and employers to urgently consider their situation. Both face potential, difficult to quantify, tax exposures as a result of the hasty curtailment of the remittance basis.
Finance Bill fails to fully deliver for international sector
The Finance Act 2006 should have marked a watershed as a nationwide international financial service industry emerges from the IFSC umbrella. Whilst containing some welcome features, it failed to act in a number of key areas and even more disappointingly made unannounced changes which have left many investors wondering what other planks for inward investment policy might disappear overnight, writes Brian Daly.
Financing management buy-outs
Management buy-outs (MBOs) are an attractive way of taking over a business, as a large proportion of the capital can be financed via debt.
Pensions caps
The Finance Act has imposed punitive tax on pension provision in excess of certain limits; capped the maximum tax free lump sum that can be taken from a pension scheme; imposed effective payout requirements on ARFs; but has improved the funding rates permitted by older persons.
A Day in the Life: Steve Haggerty, managing director of Homeloan Management (HML)
Steve Haggerty is managing director of Homeloan Management (HML), which processes mortgages on behalf of some of the UK and Ireland’s largest building societies. He was in Dublin recently for the presentation of a study HML commissioned. The study looked at the underlying socio and economic conditions that prevail in the Irish housing market and their potential long term impact on the housing and mortgage markets.
Who’s Who in finance
Mark Ryan is currently country managing director of Accenture. He joined Accenture in 1982. Ryan was promoted to manager in 1987, associate partner in 1991 and partner in 1996. He became head of financial services practice in 1999 and was made managing director of Accenture Ireland in September 2005.
Who's who: Ciaran Kane: Head of Treasury, Barclays Bank Ireland plc
European co-production to provide future for Irish film industry
The inaugural Film Industry Conference, addressing the Changing Landscapes of European Film Finance, took place on Thursday, 23 February on the back of the recently enhanced incentive scheme for Irish film production in the Finance Bill 2006.
New head for BOIGM
Austin Jennings is to replace Mick Sweeney as chief executive of Bank of Ireland Global Markets. Sweeney was recently appointed deputy chief executive of the bank’s Asset Management Division(AMS), and chief executive of Bank of Ireland Asset Management (BIAM).
Date for your Diary: Covered Bonds seminar
IXIS Corporate & Investment Bank, a major player in the European capital markets, will be holding a Covered Bond conference in Dublin on 28th April, ‘European Covered Bonds: Investing in a Dynamic Asset Class’.
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