Limerick can become new financial services hub, says Michael Noonan

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has said Limerick can become a hub for the financial services industry after 400 jobs were announced in Plassey this week.

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has said Limerick can become a hub for the financial services industry after 400 jobs were announced in Plassey this week.

Limerick has received its biggest jobs boost since the closure of Dell’s manufacturing division in 2009, after financial services provider Northern Trust unveiled plans to create 400 positions over the next five years - a move which will make Plassey one of its biggest offices in the world - as well as its European headquarters.

And Mr Noonan has been backed by Barry O’Leary, the chief executive of the IDA, who says they will use the presence of Northern Trust, and the Shannon-based firms GE Money and Genworth to bring further investment to the region.

At Wednesday’s announcement, Clive Bellows - Northern Trust’s most senior representative in Ireland - said 50 of the new jobs will be filled by the end of this year, and a further 100 next year.

A variety of roles will be created for accountancy and business graduates, including in hedge fund accounting, financial reporting, pricing, private equity, client reporting, and real estate administration.

Although the jobs are slated to be created over a five year stretch, Mr Bellows told the Limerick Leader: “This is rapid growth, it is going to happen relatively quickly. We believe we are an established employer of choice. We continue to be the only employer of our type in the financial sector in this region.”

He also praised the support the firm has received from both UL and LIT, revealing that 200 of the 300 staff currently on site are graduates of these institutions.

“Limerick is our major growth area anywhere in the world right now. The jobs we have just announced will take Limerick to being third, if not second in terms of size, from a fund administration perspective,” he confirmed.

Mr Noonan said the investment represents a significant day for the country. “I would hope with the help if the IDA, the expansion of Northern Trust will act as a magnet to attract other financial services companies into Limerick and the surrounding area.”

Gearoid Costelloe, of business advisory firm Grant Thornton, said: “This is a real watershed moment for Limerick. We are hopeful that it will breathe new life into the city and the region. Limerick has a dynamic and highly educated workforce that will be perfectly suited to these positions and we look forward to seeing the fruits of this investment.”

For full coverage of this week’s jobs announcement see this weekend’s Limerick Leader, print editions.