- Richie Boucher, the CEO who led Bank of Ireland back to profitabiity, is to step down this year
March 24th 2017: Minister for Finance Michael Noonan says: 'Under Mr Boucher's stewardship, Bank of Ireland navigated its way successfully through these difficult times and, most notably, returned to profitability in 2014 and exited its EU mandated Restructuring Plan in December 2016. In addition, as the financial position of Bank of Ireland improved, the State was in a position to monetise its debt investments in the bank at a price that maximised the return for the taxpayer with the State's remaining equity stake in the bank continuing to be a valuable asset.'
- ECB SSM chair Nuoy responds to Hayes PQ on concerns that Brexit competition might result in race to the regulatory bottom amongst EU hubs, as 'broker dealer' loophole highlighted
March 24th 2017: The Chair of the ECB's Single Supervisory Mechanism Daniele Nouy confirmed that the SSM is 'watching closely the competition for attracting business as a result of Brexit.MEP', in reply to a question from FG MEP Brian Hayes. Hayes said today: 'It is reassuring to know that the SSM is closely watching the hunt for business arising out of Brexit. If it is the case that financial institutions are being offered the incentives of a light regulatory regime in certain locations, we need the Eurozone watchdog to take a tough stance against this'. Inside, see: video of Brian Hayes Q&A with Daniele Nouy in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee
- Post Brexit location choices not likely to be based just on tax and regulatory arbitrage - CBI deputy governor Donnery at Chatham House
March 23rd 2017: The importance of factors other than taxation in driving non-bank FDI location decisions mitigates concerns that FDI in the non-banking financial sector simply flows to low tax locations or to those with less stringent regulation, according to the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Sharon Donnery. The bank's deputy governor (Central Banking) was addressing Chatham House, the London discussion institution that gives its name to the famous 'rules', today, on the topic of Brexit.
- Automated loan pioneer Kabbage Inc sets up European HQ in Ireland, and FSI welcomes inflow of new fintech jobs
Kabbage Inc., has chosen Dublin as the location for its European headquarters. Kabbage Inc is a portfolio company of US-based Reverence Capital partners and is a pioneer of automated lending (primarily small business loans) which it delivers to through its technology and data platform. And, welcoming the announcement of hundreds of new jobs by financial services companies Circle and Fenergo, Marc Coleman Financial Services Ireland, Ibec, Director said that strong jobs growth in the so-called FinTech sector point to the potential of Brexit to rejuvenate inner city areas in Ireland and help regional jobs growth.
- Accenture showcases fintech start-ups at Citi's innovation lab in Dublin
The six companies participating in Accentures FinTech Innovation Lab Accelerator programme for 2017 have been showcased at Citi's innovation lab in Dublin. Of the six companies that have been chosen to take part in the 12 week mentoring programme three will be mentored by Citi and based in its Dublin innovation lab.
- Cronin: Insurance firms are not waiting for Article 50 to be triggered
March 9th 2017: Sylvia Cronin, Director of Insurance Supervision at the Central Bank of Ireland says that insurers are not waiting for the UK Government to begin formal exit discussions with the EU and are already implementing post-Brexit location decisions. Cronin was speaking at a KPMG event where she said the Central Bank has been contacted by approximately 30 insurance companies since November with 5 already making applications and five more making it known they intend to apply for authorisation.
- Legg Mason set to launch UCITS management company in Ireland to add to Brexit options
10th March 2017: Baltimore-Maryland headquartered asset manager Legg Mason is to open a fund management company in Dublin to serve clients in the European Union after Brexit. Legg Mason's portfolio of management companies includes Edinburgh-based Martin Currie. Legg Mason is an active asset manager with over 360 investment professionals amongst its worldwide staff of 3,400. This will add to Legg Mason's AIFM in Dublin, Legg Mason Investments (Ireland) Ltd, which dates originally back to 1997.
- Brian Hayes MEP calls for the Central Bank and Department of Finance to set up a regulatory sandbox, as UK and other EU states are doing
March 9th 2017: It is time that the Central Bank, in collaboration with the Department of Finance, developed a regulatory sandbox for Irish financial firms to test new and innovative products before they go to market said Brian Hayes MEP today in an adddress at an FPAI conference in Dublin. 'The great thing about a sandbox is that small businesses who are unauthorised can test their ideas before they go through the long authorisation process.'
- 'If we approach Brexit as a zero sum game, we will have a very difficult and disorderly outcome' - Minister Eoghan Murphy in video with Lord Jonathan Hill
Lord Jonathan Hill, former UK EU Commissioner for Financial Stability, says that while he personally was a 'remainer' 'the thing has happened', and that the Brexit vote was not "an accident or a fluke" and he dismissed outright the idea of a second vote on the issue. Lord Hill is interviewed with the Irish Minister for Financial Services, Eoghan Murphy, in the House of Lords ahead of speaking at a Brexit Briefing in London for over 200 Financial Services sector attendees hosted by Irish law firm Matheson. The interview video can be seen on the Matheson Brexit Forum at Matheson.com, also hosted on the www.financedublin.com homepage (opposite).
- Wm Fry M&A Review for 2016 sees deal values down, volumes up slightly, but Brexit a possible factor in second half slowdown
3rd March 2017: William Fry's annual M&A Review in conjunction with Mergermarket, despite recording a falloff in deals volume in H2 2016, sees the level of M&A activity levels as having 'normalised'. The easing out of inversion deals has reduced deal values, but volume levels remained robust for the year as a whole with deal volume in 2016 up 3%, from 125 to 129 deals. The Brexit factor may have worked to inhibit incoming UK acquisition activity, because of the depreciation of sterling against the euro (certainly affecting overall deal values). On the other side, UK businesses may appear less attractive from a business proposition point of view to Irish acquirers, despite their relative cheapness, because of the brexit uncertainty cloud hanging over their trading outlook.
- Irish Funds and Deloitte team up on blockchain
2nd February 2017: Irish Funds is working with industry participants and Deloitte to develop a blockchain proof of concept for Regulatory Reporting. The project will focus on the Resident Investment Fund Returns (Money Market & Investment Funds Returns Reporting- MMIF) regulation and its aim is the design and development of a proof of concept leveraging blockchain and smart contract technology to create a platform for regulatory reporting accessible to the reporting entity as well as a regulator.
- Standout corporate banking deals and transactions for 2016
Finance Dublin asked a panel of Ireland's leading corporate bankers to detail their highlights for 2016. Highlight areas include project finance and PPPs; global M&A transactions; debt issuances; syndicated debt raises; private placements and refinancings. High demand for growth capital is also evident while corporates with strong credit ratings took advantage of favourable market conditions and low interest rates to issue bonds and notes.
- Bankruptcy remote vehicles have a valuable role to play in EU Capital Markets Union and securitisation plans
Gary Palmer CEO of the Irish Debt Securities Association provides an important overview of Ireland's securitisation industry. He also points to an interesting consequence of securitisation companies using trust structures for charitable purposes: "When the Trust has served its specified and limited purpose, it is wound up and when this happens there is usually a small residual left in the trust. With 1,400 such securitisation companies this provides an amount available for distribution and I'd personally prefer this distribution to go to local charities, where it wouldn't if an alternative type of trust was available".
- Legal Tech: Baker McKenzie to headquarter Artificial Intelligence innovation committee in Belfast
The Baker McKenzie AI innovation committee is headquartered in Belfast and has members from Baker & McKenzie offices worldwide. They will address the question of how the firm may offer the legal services using self-learning AI software. One of the first opportunities explored is self-learning software for due diligence which could cut down time spent on DD tasks by 20 to 40%.