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Finance Magazine - August 2006 Issue

Credit/lending professionals are most difficult to find in tight Irish labour market
Professionals with credit and lending experience are the most difficult candidates to recruit, according to financial services recruiters. The boom in property development and growth in lending, low interest rates and demographics, are fueling this demand for credit professionals. Structured finance, corporate finance, venture capital and wealth management all show a continuing demand for high calibre candidates which far outstrips current supply.
IFS employment up 8 per cent in 2005
Ireland’s international financial services (IFS) sector created 1,485 net new jobs in 2005, the just published Finance Dublin Yearbook 2006 reveals. Total employment in the three core sectors of banking, funds and insurance stood at 19,095 at end December 2005, up 8.4 per cent from 17,610 on the same date a year earlier.
New ID systems proposed
The Irish financial services industry is calling for the introduction of a national identity card system in order to facilitate the implementation of anti-money laundering measures complying with the Third Anti Money Laundering Directive, which, in the absence of such an identification system, makes the system much more complicated and expensive for Irish financial institutions.
Sharp fall in VC funding
The 21 per cent fall in venture capital investment in Ireland in the first half of 2006 is a ‘slightly worrying trend’, according to Ion Equity director David Fewer.
Is there enough choice in the Irish audit market or are joint audits needed?
Drawing on Oxera’s consultancy report on ‘Competition and choice in the UK audit market’, Joe Carr examines whether or not there is enough choice in the Irish audit market. He concludes that the risks identified by the Oxera report apply equally in the Irish context, and ‘joint audits’ might be a solution to this problem.
A vibrant finance sector
The Irish international financial sector has shown an active pulse according to the Finance Dublin Yearbook survey of IFS companies, which attests to the great contribution of the financial services sector to the economy. The financial services sector proves its innovation and ingenuity in its development of sophisticated products and strategies for the consumer in the area of foreign exchange risk management and wealth management.
Decline of defined benefit continues
Almost 40 per cent of all Irish defined benefit pension schemes are now closed to new entrants, and this is expected to rise to 60 per cent over next three years, according to a survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.
Conference - innovations and new products for the investor
Building on the success of the fourth Finance Dublin International Securitisation Conference in November 2005, this year’s conference will be a must attend event on the European ABS markets diary. The 2006 conference will have an investment focus as its theme. This will reflect Ireland’s niche position as an investment centre, and will hence also look at issuance topics, as well as structural, and legal and trustee topics with an investment/trading perspective.
Northern Ireland gears up for Irish business
Northern Ireland’s investment body is gearing up to attract Irish based financial services companies to outsource some of their functions up north.
Volatile economic environment increases need for treasurers to have an active hedging strategy
With the dollar taking a pounding, interest rates on an upward trajectory, and global oil reaching new highs, the summer of 2006 is a challenging time for corporate treasurers. A treasurer’s best protection in a volatile environment is to have an extensive hedging strategy in place to mitigate currency, interest rate and commodity risks, and in this issue, we examine the options for Irish corporate treasurers.
Product profiles: FOREX
A wide variety of FOREX products are available in the Irish market-place to corporate treasurers. Below are some of the services offered by the main banks
Versatile products emerge to meet corporate treasurers’ hedging demands
While conventional treasury management products are well established, the past few years has seen a range of alternative solutions become more common-place. In this article, Ciaran Cash, reviews this progression in the foreign exchange market, examining in particular the role of FX linked deposits.
Bespoke interest rate risk management is best option
The key to good funding and interest rate risk management strategies is to align the debt and interest rate profile with the objectives of the business writes Declan Fitzgerald.
Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) project set to fix inefficent payment services in Eurozone
Whereas previously goods could be physically moved across Europe in one or two days, payment in relation to these goods takes longer. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) hopes to solve this problem and is set to allow businesses and consumers to make a payment between Dublin and Madrid as easily as from Dublin to Mallow, writes Paul Daly.
Financial regulatory authorisation: doorway or barrier to the Irish market?
Sin?ad O’Loghlin and Tom Carney discuss the general Irish and EU legal framework within which the Financial Regulator is required to exercise its statutory authorisation function, in respect of the Irish financial and insurance services markets.
Can the CCD achieve its laudable aim?
The Consumer Credit Directive seeks to harmonise key aspects of the consumer credit markets of the 25 European Union Member States to facilitate the creation of an integrated credit market. However, the current proposal raises many concerns from both the industry and consumer perspective, writes Louise O’Mahony.
Wealth management: stockbrokers to benefit from expected increase in asset allocation by HNWIs to equities
With recent statistics indicating that there are now 30,000 millionaires in Ireland, it is no surprise that the provision of wealth management services is big business. Traditionally offered by the private banking arms of the big banks, or by specialist financial advisers, stockbroking firms now account for a sizable portion of the market. Apart from the share trading services one would expect such firms to offer, stockbrokers have expanded their suite of services to meet demand, and now offer a host of products to high net worth individuals (HNWI). As HNWI's reliance on creating wealth through property diminishes, stockbrokers can look to grow their share of this market, with asset allocation to equities expected to grow from the current rate of 16 per cent, to 22 per cent by 2015, according to a recent report from Bank of Ireland, writes Fiona Reddan.
Investors benefit from wide range of wealth management services now offered by stockbrokers
As the number of HNWIs (high net worth individuals) continues to grow in Ireland, stockbrokers are increasingly offering services beyond those that would be traditionally offered by a stockbroking firm, and expertise that traditionally was available to only institutional investors, is now being made available to a wider market. Here, Eamonn Glancy profiles the changing face of Goodbody Stockbrokers, which continues to evolve from traditional stockbroking, to providing a wide range of wealth management services to match the diverse needs of today’s investor. Some of the services offered by the broker, and assessed by Glancy in this article, include range trading, retirement planning, alternative investments, and pooled investment vehicles.
The Twin Engines of the EU
The first half of 2006 has seen significant action by two of the EU institutions, in the area of tax. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has given a number of landmark judgements which generally favour tax competition amongst Member States. In contrast, the EU Commission is working away on a number of projects aimed at the harmonisation of tax rules within the community, and the consequent reduction in tax competition.
Nurturing smaller businesses
The report of the Small Business Forum has analysed the position of small and growing businesses in Ireland, and made recommendations for government measures to assist the sector. The analysis and recommendations echo the findings of a report produced by KPMG for the Inland Revenue in the UK, writes Mike Gaffney, partner, KPMG Tax Department.
Pensions reporting - moving towards full recognition
With standard-setters moving towards converging on a full recognition basis there are still multiple underlying issues with regard to measurement and disclosure of pension obligations. Brendan Sheridan weighs up the debate which standard setters globally are heavily engaged in.
Finance Jobs in Ireland: banking on a career with corporates
As a senior relationship partner, and head of AIB Corporate Banking Ireland's international financial services sector, Diarmuid O'Neill has worked with corporates in a variety of sectors such as telecoms, medical device, software, food & beverage and Asia Pacific. Key to success in such a role is continuous professional development, says O'Neill, who has just graduated from the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development.
Finance Jobs in Ireland: profile of a financial services lawyer
A lawyer working in financial services needs to be able to think laterally, says Michael Barr, a partner with A&L Goodbody, as 'clients do not want just a legal answer but rather someone who will work with them to get their product into the market in a successful and cost effective way'. Other attributes required include being able to take in and understand quickly new concepts and ideas, and the ability to work well with people at all levels within an organisation, to get the deal done.
A Day in the Life: Vincent Leonard, senior portfolio manager, Bloxham Stockbrokers
Vincent Leonard, senior portfolio manager with Bloxham Stockbrokers in Limerick, traces the highs and lows of a day, which juxtaposed the celebrations of Munster's victory in the European Cup with a nighmare day on global equity markets.
Third RMBS for Irish market
Ireland’s largest life insurance and mortgage company, Irish Life & Permanent plc, (IL&P) has issued its second residential mortgage backed securitisation (RMBS), Fastnet Securities 2 PLC. It is the largest ever residential mortgage backed securitisation programme undertaken by an institution in Ireland.
CFA exams opens doors for candidates
Two hundred and ninety-five Irish investment professionals sat one of three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst? (CFA?) examination on June 3rd, out of a total of 84,491 candidates worldwide.
Living the ‘Good Life’ in Dublin
Vittorio Lacagnina, a managing director at DEPFA Bank, has worked all over the world, including six years with Goldman Sachs in New York and London. Now based in Dublin, Lacagnina enjoys ‘the warmth of the Irish’, but argues that Dublin needs to move away from its servicing reputation, and develop a broader appeal to the financial services industry as a whole.
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