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Finance Magazine - December 2007 Issue

In a sell-off year Merrion mounts major challenge
The twenty first Finance Stockbroking Survey shows an advance by Merrion Stockbrokers to challenge the dominance of the other three major stockbroking firms, with Davy just about retaining its overall dominance in terms of number of categories won in the Finance Stockbroking Survey 2007. However, with sixteen overall categories won, Davys had to rely on victories in the bond categories to retain its overall category wins against Merrion’s thirteen.
Citi to launch European private equity fund servicing team in Q1 2008
Citi is to launch a European private equity fund servicing team in Dublin in the first quarter of 2008. The move comes on the back of Citi’s successful launch of an Asian private equity fund servicing unit in Hong Kong in early 2007.
OECD predicts further house price falls in Ireland
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in its influential half yearly Economic Outlook report, predicts that Irish house prices are likely to have further to fall in an economy which, it points out, has the highest share of housing output as a share of GDP of any country in the 30 nation OECD area.
How banks ceded control of term deposits
After years of successful trading, the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (Libor) has seen dramatic increases since the beginning of the credit and liquidity crisis. John Coffey outlines the market’s dependence on this rate and explains what more could be done to remedy the situation.
Regulator increases cooperation
The Financial Regulator is to work in closer cooperation with its European colleagues to assess the issues of the credit and liquidity crisis, according to the Financial Regulator’s Strategic Review of 2008-2010. The announcement comes days after Charlie McCreevy criticises the existing financial services regulatory framework.
Regulator says it will significantly increase securities regulation
The Financial Regulator has stated that it will be increasing supervision of the authorised securities markets, by developing a new system of monitoring trades, according to the Regulator’s Strategic Plan 2008-2010. The Regulator is also in the process of conducting a review of fund administrators, in light of the credit and liquidity crisis.
KPMG Ireland 10 p.c. ahead of firm’s global results
KPMG’s Irish office has made an above average contribution to the global accounting firm’s end of year results. The firm reported growth of $19.8 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30th, representing a global growth of 17.4 per cent.
Russell Brennan Keane and Cremin McCarthy merge
Russell Brennan Keane, Ireland’s only top-10 accountancy firm based outside of Dublin, continues to grow its business through a series of acquisitions.
Swiss firm opens Dublin office
Swiss wealth management firm, Helvetia Wealth, has set up a Dublin office to expand its European offering to private investors. The new company, Helvetia Wealth AG will create bespoke portfolios to suit individual clients’ needs.
Strong IFSC will not be troubled by global financial concerns
The IFSC has evolved to such a degree that it should not see the current developments in the market as a threat. Padraig Rushe points out that the centre was born during a period of major turbulence in financial markets, and is now well placed to prosper.
Sector will return to basics in 2008
Despite the credit and liquidity crisis impacting severely on the securitisation market in 2007, the general consensus of delegates and speakers at the 6th Finance Dublin Securitisation Conference was that the industry needs to return to basics to go forward from the crisis, but that the sector will recover some time in 2008. Governor of the Central Bank, John Hurley, delivered the keynote address to delegates, calling for a reassessment of the securitised model of capital markets saying it would ‘help create a more robust securitisation model, thereby ensuring that the many important benefits of this model are preserved’.
Convergence gathers momentum
The development of the credit crisis and the creation of hubs by administrators would see capabilities which require client proximity or which represent value-added services remain in Ireland, says Brian Clavin, co-author of the report Convergence and Divergence: new forces shaping the investment universe.
Legal issues could lead to liability over a fund
The rise in litigation against financial services companies has led many firms to examine their requirements protect themselves from the most common types of claims, say Rosaleen Byrne and Grahame Walsh.
Davy hangs on despite Merrion surge
The twenty first Finance Stockbroking Survey shows an advance by Merrion Stockbrokers to challenge the dominance of the major stockbroking firms, with Davy just about retaining its overall dominance in terms of number of categories won in the Finance Stockbroking Survey 2007. However, with sixteen overall categories won, Davys had to rely on victories in the bond categories to retain its overall ‘blue riband’, against Merrion's thirteen.
Analyst rankings reflect excellence and new focuses
Merrion and Goodbody have tended to dominate the individual analyst rankings in recent years and this trend is continued this year, with Goodbody capturing four individual analyst ‘firsts’, while Merrion captured 9 (four of which were won by John Mattimoe). Davy analysts headed the list in two categories, and NCB in one.
Brisbourne nets third report win
For the third year in a row Merrion’s Robert Brisbourne has won ‘Research Report of the Year’ for his ‘C&C Magners Survey’.
Mattimoe reigns supreme
John Mattimoe has emerged as analyst of the year for 2007, having secured top rating in four analyst categories.
Collins Stewart & Citi Smith Barney are the global winners
The international category saw Citi Smith Barney place strongly in every category.
O’Leary wins for second year running
Dermot O’Leary of Goodbody has retained his title as ‘Best Research Economist’. O’Leary won for the first time last year taking the title from Robbie Kelleher of Davy who won in 2005.
Priority switches to Day to Day Sales Service
Fund managers have changed their top priority for choosing a stockbroker in this year's survey with Day to Day Sales Services pushing last year's top prioirty, Quality of Equity Research into second place.
Davy and Bloxhams dominated this year's bond categories with Bloxhams being edged out by Davy who won five and six categories respectively.
Fitzpatrick wins for the first time
Laura Fitzpatrick of Merrion takes first place with last year's winner Alan Duff of NCB pushed back into second.
Foreign investment peril
The fall in Irish equities in recent months has been exacerbated by a flood of foreign investment flowing out of the country, according to top stockbrokers.
Murphy takes equity sales title
Davy return to top of this category as Seamus Murphy takes first place followed by Liam Boggan and Enrique Curran, both of Merrion.
Foreign investment raises the stakes for Irish firms
Since the adoption of the euro, the Irish investment market has become increasingly dominated by foreign investors. Conor O’Kelly argues that the bearish outlook for Irish equities has forced many investors to come back to Irish brokers.
Quality research for clients is the key
Clients are looking for a clear message from their broker; one that is delivered with conviction and backed by compelling data, says Enrique Curran. International and domestic investors alike await evidence that earnings forecasts in Ireland are robust, he says.
In-depth analysis needed to navigate dislocated market
With unprecedented levels of volatility in Irish equities, it is more important than ever for stockbrokers to offer clients an in-depth, case-by-case analysis of domestic companies, writes Roy Barrett.
The changing challenges of the Irish equity market
Having enjoyed a decade of growth and diversification of investors, Irish equities are now suffering from a flight of investment to other jurisdictions, writes Robbie Kelleher. He says that the dramatic events of late have left Irish equities undervalued.
Funding to reach €3 billion in Ireland in 2008
With a combination of funding available to Irish venture capital (VC) companies and international co-investment, the VC industry in Ireland could have €3 billion available over the next five years, says Michael Donnelly. He argues that with the right legislative intervention and tax regime, Ireland could become a world leader in the sector.
Business owners should ring-fence their wealth with a pension
For any business person with a long-term business exit plan, leveraging the most wealth possible out of their pension should be the first step in wealth management, writes Brian Sullivan.
Career Profile: managing an insurance firm
People management, excellent communication, tenacity, relationship management and strong contacts within the broker and business community are key elements of Ronan Foley's job as managing director of Ecclesiastical Insurance in Ireland. He enjoys seeing change for the better in people and being successful in attracting new staff and clients. Working in Northern Ireland and all of the opportunities that exist there has also been a welcome addition to his island-wide role.
Budget 2008
Against a backdrop of unstable financial and property markets, it was important that the Budget did not create further instability or contribute to inflation. It succeeded in both of these objectives. That said, there were areas where it fell short of what is needed, writes Brian Daly.
Budget delivers on VAT
The Minister announced the introduction of the new VAT on property regime following an extensive period of consultation. He also made welcome increases to VAT registration thresholds, writes Terry O’Neill.
Is tax on your board’s agenda?
Liam Lynch comments on the increasing stature of tax in the corporate governance arena and on what this really means for group tax functions.
At the coal face of regulation
Being a partner and head of the regulatory and compliance unit at Dillon Eustace, Paula Kelleher is faced with challenges such as the concern in the industry at the moment regarding the provisions of the MiFID and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 2007.
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