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Finance Magazine - April 2008 Issue

Credit crisis lessons
‘Deals of the Year’ nominations for 2008
2007 and so far in 2008 have seen a record number of deals nominated for the FINANCE Capital Markets Deals of The Year awards. The eight different categories: corporate finance, equity linked deals, capital issues, securitisations, private placements, project finance, loans and bonds all show the high level of expertise in the Irish market, evidenced by the innovation in many of the deal structures and efficiency of execution. Dislocation in credit markets could indicate a slower year ahead, yet deal volumes at 54 are significantly ahead of both quarter one 2006 and 2007, according to Ion equity’s M&A tracker in quarter 1 2008. With potential deals in the pipeline like the takeover of FBD by Eureko, deal activity this quarter has proved resilient showing that funds are available and trade buyers are completing strategic deals in current market conditions.
Getting the best of both worlds: Norkom’s listing on AIM and IEX
Twenty months on from its public launch on the AIM and IEX markets, Norkom Technologies, provider of financial crime and compliance solutions and one of Ireland’s shining software success stories, continues to pursue a strategy of solid growth. Paul Kerley, Norkom’s CEO, examines the route to their IPO, along with the challenges and benefits of life in the public domain.
Selling a business in a bear market
Conor McCarthy director at NCB looks at the challenges facing vendors in the current bear market. Valuations are different with buyers like private equity less active in the market. McCarthy says, that in this current climate, focus needs to be given to the ability to execute and fund a deal.
Regionalisation: maintaining Ireland's competitiveness as a financial centre
Dublin's skills shortage has proved to be a major thorn in the side for international financial services in Ireland. Companies based in Dublin have seen growing salary costs and human resource problems with increasing levels of attrition in staff. Lower costs has seen a number of firms set up offices in centres around the country. The National Spatial Strategy has identified new areas for potential growth within Ireland with population of young skilled workers available to financial services companies.
Northern Ireland’s role in an ‘all island’ financial services industry
Belfast offers a workforce of 700,000 and is Ireland’s second largest financial services centre with the Titanic Quarter, a 185 acre mixed use development based in the Belfast’s docklands in its historic ship-building area the location the industry.
Regional centre profile: Northern Trust, Limerick
Limerick was chosen as the location for Northern Trust’s satellite office. Influencing the decision were its sizable population, central mid-west regional location, its excellent transport infrastructure, and its access to a highly-skilled labour pool.
Regional centre profile: BNY Mellon, Cork
Since it opened in February 08, the Cork office of BNY Mellon has offered a solution to the challenge of hiring quality financial employees. The company’s new business growth supported the expansion of its business in Ireland and the supply of high quality candidates in the region may lead the Cork office to nearly double the current level employed during the next two years
Regional centre profile: Apex, Midleton
Apex Fund Services (Ireland) Limited chose a location for their European headquarters out of Dublin. It was seen to be the most favourable option available considering the growing unease in the Dublin labour market and economic pressures on corporate rents and extra staff costs within the capital.
Regional centre profile: Citi, Waterford
Citi Hedge Fund Services (Ireland), Limited, located in Waterford, houses 90 full time staff. Staff retention in the region is higher than Dublin with plenty of well educated professional graduates from the Waterford Institute of Technology. Plans are set for expansion with a new lease taken on more office space that could fit up to another 100 staff.
Regional centre profile: Halifax, Shannon
Since 2001, Halifax Insurance Ireland Ltd has grown from 55 to over 300 staff at the end of 2007. Good infrastructure in the region such as the airport; and grants and support from Shannon Development have resulted in the continued growth of Halifax’s Shannon office.
What asset class best meets my requirements?
Frank O’Brien, in an interview with FINANCE, outlines and analyses all asset classes. He says, in this bear market there is a hunger for alternative investments. He outlines the advantages and pitfalls alternative assets such as hedge funds and private equity pose.
Chinese banks: a new opportunity for the IFSC
Cormac Murphy and Aidan Walsh identify the opportunity for the IFSC presented by Chinese banks. They say the Chinese banks are starting to see the same opportunity as the US and continental institutions who already operate here in Dublin with Ireland’s attractive low tax and an uncomplicated double taxation agreement between Ireland and China.
Intellectual property protection for financial services
Intellectual property may in the past have been the preserve of the music, luxury consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries. However, financial services is not immune from attack and must therefore assess the litigation exposure and overall IP position to avoid ‘piggy backing’ on another company’s technology.
HSBC’s Irish agenda
Simon Wainwright, the new country head of the island of Ireland for HSBC, describes the challenges in banking during the credit crunch. He outlines the challenges in it’s corporate banking business and the opportunities for HSBC in the Irish market. Wainwright details the different aspects of HSBC’s Irish operation and the challenge of integrating diverse Irish businesses - such as the securities servicing business that employs 550 people and the newly launched private banking business.
Pensions Reform and the Commission on Taxation
Brian Daly urges the Commission on Taxation to reverse the trend of tax policy discrimination against the private sector when it considers how best the tax system can encourage long term savings to meet the needs of retirement.
VAT on Fund Management - a changing European landscape
Niall Campbell comments on where Ireland sits in a changing European VAT landscape with regard to choice of fund management location.
Could UK’s expatriate loss be Ireland’s gain?
John Bradley takes a look at the fundamental changes which the UK Chancellor has announced in relation to the tax regime applicable to non UK domiciled individuals who are resident in the UK and asks what opportunities, if any, they raise for Ireland.
People skills as important as accounting qualifications in mergers & acquisitions
Rosemary Heydon is director in the corporate finance department of accountancy firm Farrell Grant Sparks, and is also active in the establishment of the firms new wealth management department.
Regionalisation: career and job opportunities
FinanceJobs.ie in its monthly financial careers and jobs symposium examines regionalisation and the opportunities available to financial services professionals.
Managing one of the funds industry‚€ôs biggest integrations
Susan Dargan, chief operating officer at State Street Ireland, discusses her role heading up the IBT integration from the State Street side and the challenges it poses for the operations of the company. This deal has added an additional 450 people to the company‚€ôs employee base and $85 billion in assets.
In appreciation: Richard Keatinge
R?is?n Brennan pays tribute to Richard Keatinge.
The ongoing credit crisis and Irish finance
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