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Finance Magazine - August 2007 Issue

Broker expands service
Collins Stewart, the global stockbroking firm, is set to expand its Irish equities offering, by appointing a new head of Irish equities sales and launching an independent weekly technical analysis of Irish equities.
Irish firms gear up for European expansion
The introduction of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) on November 1st will present Irish spread-betting firms with a massive opportunity to significantly grow their businesses.
Dublin debt players see opportunity in credit storm
The current turmoil in the global credit markets sparked by defaults in the US sub-prime market is creating opportunity for Dublin based credit investors, who cite the tumult as being a 'healthy correction', while there has been no fall-off in debt products looking to list on the Irish Stock Exchange. They say the recent sell-off in products such as CLOs and leveraged loans is now 'over-done', and with overall fundamentals in the market remaining strong, they are preparing for a busy Q4..
Comment from the editor
FSA maintains industry focus with new appointment
The appointment of Hector Sants as the new CEO of the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) indicates the regulatory body’s on-going commitment to hiring staff with extensive industry experience. Should we expect a similar ethos at the Financial Regulator?
Party is over as absolutely nothing is moving
With two large debt offerings from private equity-backed Chrysler in the US and Alliance Boots in the UK both facing difficulties, William Gross, America's 'most prominent bond investor' argues that a growing lack of confidence has frozen future lending and backed up the market for high yield new issues such that, 'it resembles a constipated owl: absolutely nothing is moving'.
Merrill Lynch leaps into top 1000
Merrill Lynch is one of three IFSC banks on The Banker magazine’s top 1000 world banks, alongside Depfa Bank and WGZ-Bank Ireland, on a list which also includes the main Irish domestic banks.
New firm aiming for €2 bn in AUM
GlobalReach Securities, a new Irish investment and asset management company, is planning to increase its assets under management from its current total of €550 million to €2 billion in the next six to nine months, following its recent launch.
Merrion expands its funds offerings
Merrion establishes itself as a fund manager.
Remuneration is up at the Financial Regulator
The seven non-executive members of the board of the Finance Regulator saw their fees rise by a substantial amount in 2006, almost doubling on the figure for 2005, to reach €172,083 in total.
Market volatility boosts CFD sales
Sales in contracts for difference (CFD) products, as well as the volume of financial spread bets placed, have soared over the past month, as investors look to make money out of falling markets.
Busy H1 for M&A market
Deal value tops €7 billion as CRH drives deal volumes.
Regulatory delegation to ISE
Following the transposition of the Transparency Directive on June 13th, the Financial Regulator has delegated certain functions to the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) for the purposes of the Transparency Rules.
Commodity bull run is coming to an end - but can gold escape the fall?
Despite concerns that the global commodity bull run is set to come to an end, Mark O’Byrne argues that gold is set to continue its period of growth and that reduced supply and increased demand will only help increase gold’s price.
Ireland flies high as aviation finance centre
Ireland emerged as a centre for aviation in the 1980s on the back of the GPA phenomenon. Today, the industry continues to go from strength to strength, buoyed by a global boom, and P?draig Rushe writes that it is no surprise to find the top three aviation lessors present in Ireland. However, he warns that to maintain and grow this business further, the tax environment must remain competitive, and skill sets must be appropriate to support industry developments and growth.
Over 25 p.c. of Irish firms seek growth via M&As
Fee income per partner is up by over 15 per cent in over a quarter of Irish law firms in 2006, and over a quarter of Irish law firms expect their company to expand via a merger or acquisition, are some of the key statistics arising out of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Irish Law Firm Survey 2007. Billy O’Riordan looks at the survey and examines the problems of managing growth, controlling costs, managing working capital and rewarding and developing talent.
Outsourcing is changing the shared services environment - Irish operations need to adapt if they are to survive
Shared services operations in Ireland must realign themselves if they are to continue to play important roles, as companies consider the benfits of outsourcing, according to the Deloitte global shared services survey. Shane Mohan outlines the major findings of this study.
Regulation is insurance industry’s biggest ‘banana skin’
Too much regulation is the biggest risk facing the global insurance industry, according to the 2007 Insurance Banana Skins survey. Garvan O’Neill says that while risk is clearly at the heart of insurance business, growing compliance and competitive pressures are creating fresh headaches for the industry.
‘Who’s afraid of the ECJ?’ - not Ireland any more!
Over the past number of years the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has become a major force in determining Irish tax policy, as indicated in numerous cases such as Cadbury Schweppes and Marks & Spencer. However, a new book, ‘Who’s Afraid of the ECJ’, by Rosemary Healy-Rae and Dr. Frank Barry, challenges this assumption, and the authors find that going forward, ECJ cases are not likely to make much difference. In this review, Aidan Walsh agrees with the book’s main conclusions, but notes a perverse attitude to financial services in its economic analysis, which declares that the sector has, ‘little impact on the productive potential of the economy.’ Moreover, Walsh adds that Ireland’s taxation policy needs to move on from its past, and look beyond opportunities offered by our network of tax treaties.
Using coaching to reduce staff turnover and workplace stress
Many top executives struggle to keep control over their working lives, while also managing a healthy lifestyle outside the office. Eibhlin Johnston looks at some of the key issues that can hamper the an executive’s performance, and offers some helpful tips on how coaching can help keep a handle on some of the workplace’s more stressful aspects, while at the same time reducing staff turnover.
Preparing for the next money laundering regulations
With the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive due to be transposed into Irish legislation by December 15th of this year, and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform currently drafting the heads of the bill, Paula Kelleher and Yvonne Keating take a look at the implications for Irish companies.
Alternative energy investment grows with ecological concern
As fears about global warming and carbon emissions escalate, many investors are looking at the area of eco investment as an opportunity to make an ethically sound investment, but do they offer healthy returns? Jens Peers examines the investment opportunities that climate change is presenting.
Individual retirement accounts are less efficient than state pensions - Government needs to reassess its strategy
The Pension Board’s latest report on mandatory pensions recommends an increase to the current system of state pensions plus individual retirement accounts. Shane Whelan, however, writes that some of the figures in the report are ‘blasphemous’, and argues that the higher administration charges associated with moving to individual retirement accounts will ultimately reduce a pension by about 20 per cent. Instead, he recommends that the Government uses the current state pension system as a starting point, which ‘enjoys near optimal economies of scale and the efficiencies of simplicity’ and restructures it along the lines of a financial contract.
Green paper or amber light for pensions?
With the Government’s Green Paper on pensions due to be published in September, the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) is holding a conference on October 2nd to discuss the issues arising from the paper.
Accounting and legal skills key for listings career
Having undertaken a business and legal studies degree, and subsequently qualifying as an accountant, Joanne McEnteggart believes she was equipped with a fantastic foundation for the skills required in listing, which has seen her become director of investment funds and debt securities at NCB.
Prejudicial pensions regime?
Some important changes were made to the taxation of pensions in recent years. Other changes have been contemplated. Brian Daly argues that these changes have served to further penalise high achievers in a system biased by fundamental misconceptions about pensions taxation.
VAT treatment - negotiating financial services
The recent decision or the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Ludwig case provides useful clarification on the scope of the VAT exemption for financial services performed by agents/intermediaries says John McGlone.
New VAT on property regime - will it impact the market?
The Revenue's Pro-Forma text, published in March, clarifies detail around the proposed new system of VAT on Property. Whilst some aspects of the proposals are positive, there are also practical concerns which need to be addressed to avoid adverse market implications. The recent announcement of some 'grandfathering' provisions is welcome however.
A Day in the Life: Terence O' Rourke, Managing Partner, KPMG
As managing partner of KPMG, Terence O'Rourke leads a team of 76 partners and over 1,600 people providing audit, tax and advisory services to a range of clients from privately owned Irish businesses to leading multinational corporations.
People on the move with FinanceJobs.ie
Comings and goings in finance
BOI hopes to repeat Parisian coup
Bank of Ireland will be hoping to repeat its recent success in the Parisian property market, whereby it made almost €100 million in profit in just 18 months, with its latest commercial property offering for investors.
Dublin’s new ‘law quarter’ expands
Another law firm, BCM Hanby Wallace, is set to move its operations to Dublin’s south docklands. The area already houses a number of large corporate law firms and is fast becoming the legal district of the financial services industry.
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