The shroud of uncertainty that surrounded Ireland this time last year now seems like a fleeting memory in the financial services industry as we find ourselves in a period of exciting growth here in Ireland.
In Ireland overall, the Q3 recruitment outlook for Ireland shows a 15% uptake of new jobs for 2021. which is the highest quarterly outlook since 2007 and the Celtic Tiger.
In relation to financial services in particular, a recent survey completed by the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland (ACOI) shows us that 74% of financial services companies expect to recruit in 2021. This is visibly true for the funds industry.
For the last 30 years, Ireland has been a key domicile for internationally distributed investment funds and covers a wide range of fund types and we continue growing. We can see particular growth in Irelands funds industry as assets across Irish-domiciled funds saw a 5% increase in Q1 this year. According to a report by Irish Funds, the industry has been a vital contributor to Ireland’s overall economic growth.
Even more positive than this, Ireland’s ambition to become a key player in this area will be supported by the new Investment Limited Partnerships (Amendment) Bill 2020 which will allow us to grow across real assets and private assets including covering private equity, real estate, venture capital, infrastructure, credit and loan origination and could even be a vehicle used for hedge fund strategy. Furthermore, it will also help Ireland pave the way for the future investing, and green financing and therefore, enhance our position to match EU policy goals in sustainable finance.
This growth will not only increase jobs and growth in Dublin. We can see that an increasing number of counties in Ireland outside of Dublin and a number of asset managers have domiciled their funds here and are now growing their back offices here. Many key players in the industry, such as Northern Trust, BNY, BlackRock, Opus, Fidelity, have a base or started out in Dublin but have been growing their functions outside of Dublin over the past few years. With remote working and hybrid working options becoming more prevalent, there may be a further increase in this trend.
This growth is evident in the jobs market right now where it is particularly important for companies to stay competitive to get the talent hey need. The rapid increased demand from companies for compliance, regulatory, custody and loans as well as private equity professionals, means that the supply of candidates with this experience is somewhat slower. It is a relief to see from the ACOI that 70% say that pay and/or benefit cuts are not on the cards and given the competitive market that we are operating in, this is a relief.
Of course, this rapid growth does bring its own concerns for the future such as inflation, interest rates, unknown impacts of geopolitical issues but for now and after a long year of coping with the pandemic, we will end on a high note and celebrate the current and expected industry attractiveness and growth in Ireland. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this industry!