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Finance Magazine - September 2007 Issue

Fee income soars as mid-tier firms shine
Fee income amongst the top Irish accountancy firms has increased by almost 20 per cent, according to this year’s annual FINANCE accountancy survey, with mid-tier firms posting an even higher growth rate of almost 30 per cent due to merger activity, which saw Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon become this year’s ‘fastest mover’. While skills shortages remain a massive problem for the profession, an additional 2,260 people are expected to be recruited over the coming year, and the industry is hopeful that the introduction of the Green Card system earlier this year will help.
Fund managers beef up services
Against a background of volatility in global equity markets, the past month has seen increased activity in the Irish fund management sector.
Credit crunch sees cost of funding soar
Cost of credit for Irish corporates continues to rise.
Business as usual for corporate financiers
No slowdown for Irish M&A market over the coming months.
Independent trustees to become the norm as trustees are put ‘on the spot’
Now more than ever before good pension scheme governance is critical in terms of regulatory compliance, employee relations and market perception, writes Elma Fox, who expects independent trustees to become the norm in Ireland.
Comment from the editor
Financial reporting challenges for re/insurers
Challenges faced by insurance and reinsurance companies operating in Ireland in relation to changes in financial reporting, corporate governance and compliance, will be top of the agenda at a forthcoming Ernst & Young and The Insurance Institute of Ireland & The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland conference.
First performance review for NPRF
The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) is to undergo its first independent investment performance review. The fund, which was established in 2001 to supplement the current public pension system from 2025 until at least 2055, had grown to over E21 billion by the end of June, 2007, and latest figures show it grew by seven per cent in the first half of 2007.
Leveraged loan market sees massive repricing
The market wobble in the leveraged loan and high-yield markets that began in June, accelerated in July, and peaked in August is moving toward a full-blown market repricing, according to Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
Fee income of top 20 firms passes €1 billion
It was another year of strong growth as the top 20 accountancy firms in the Annual Finance Accountancy Survey surpassed fee income of €1 billion for the first time. The top firms returned an annual growth rate of 19.6 per cent while none of the firms reported a drop in fee income. Deloitte, once again, is the most ‘efficient’ top accountancy firm, returning the most income per employee.
Unlimited liability a major concern for the sustainability of auditing function according to industry chiefs
Exposure to unlimited liability in auditing and the ongoing troubles with recruiting suitable employees are the main concerns for managing partners according to this year’s survey. In particular, unlimited liability in auditing may lead to it becoming an unsustainable area of business for some firms.
Midlands accountancy firm offers something different
Russel Brennan Keane (RBK) is the only accountancy firm outside of Dublin to feature in the top 10 firms in this year’s Accountancy Survey. With its midlands base, RBK is able to offer its employees a dynamic and competitive working environment in less congested surroundings outside the capital.
BoI looking for a slice of the Big Apple’s media action
Since it set up a media finance team in 2005 after hiring an already successful team from Barclays Bank, Bank of Ireland’s media operation has gone from strength to strength. Bill Greaves talks to Ronan O’Connor about the experience of establishing Bank of Ireland in the sector and the challenges in this competitive sector.
Severe risk aversion to lead to increased default rates
The knock-on effect of the sub-prime crisis in the US is being felt worldwide as a direct result of globalisation, says Daire Ferguson. He argues that the unrpecedented events of the current market upheaval – namely the distribution of risk throughout the market via financial innovation – could likely have further unforeseen effects on all areas of global economics.
From the mouth of a dragon
As one of the ‘dragons’ on BBC’s hit business show ‘Dragon’s Den’, Australian Richard Farleigh has achieved fame on this side of the world as a ruthless ‘business angel’, always looking for a bigger share in the contestant’s company than entrepreneurs are willing to give. However, Farleigh is first and foremost a trader, having run a proprietary trading desk for Bankers Trust as well as a hedge fund in Bermuda. In his new book, ‘100 Secret Strategies for Successful Investing’, Farleigh shares the knowledge which enabled him to achieve such a level of success that he was able to retire by the age of 34.
The IEX - a success story for the ISE
Since its launch over two years ago, the Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX) has swelled to include 30 firms, while also forging a strong bond with its English counterpart the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Des Carville and Stephen Barry chart this success and describe the benefits of listing on the IEX.
Top 20 accountancy firms aim to hire 2,260 people in the next year
Based on the findings of FINANCE’s Annual Accountancy Survey, the top accountancy firms are looking to hire an additional 2,260 staff, bringing the total number of employees in the top 20 firms to over 10,000 people. This is set to a background of a skills shortage in the industry where many partners see the lack of skills as the number one threat to the industry.
Candidates really are calling all the shots’
As the financial services sector continues to suffer from skills shortages, the power of job candidates continues to grow says a new survey.
Skills shortage deterring firms
Global reinsurance firm Hannover Re has decided against headquartering its European operations in Ireland, due to the on-going skills shortage in the financial services sector. This is in direct contrast to Partner Re, who has just announced that it will be headquartering its European operations in Ireland, citing the quality of staff as a factor behind its decision.
Changing finance in changing times - Islamic finance and Irish tax
Brian Daly asks if it is time to seriously consider introducing tax rules to deal with Islamic financing products and to position ourselves at the forefront of the inevitable emergence of related products on the secondary financial markets?
Global trends in corporate tax and VAT rates
This year’s KPMG Corporate and Indirect Tax Rate Survey provides evidence of the continuing downward trend in corporate tax rates worldwide. It also suggests that some governments may contemplate making up tax revenue shortfalls by increasing indirect taxes.
SIVs, ABCPs and conduits unmasked
With structured finance continuing to dominate the headlines, in the midst of the credit and liquitidy crisis, FINANCE presents an overview of some key terms.
Using tax policy to promote green investment
Tax policy could be critical to foster the investment needed to achieve Ireland’s climate change commitments and financial institutions could play a pivotal role in such investment, says Mike Hayes.
Super Hooman investment manager
Hooman Kaveh is chief investment officer of Mercer’s investment management business in Europe. In this role Kaveh is involved with the management of almost $17 billion of assets globally on behalf of pension funds and other institutional investors using a combination of international specialist investment managers together with advanced portfolio construction and risk management techniques.
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