Morgan Stanley has had a presence in Ireland since 2006, initially providing offshore investment services. It now plans to expand its asset management activities in Dublin. O'Healai said the location decision for the new activities had involved due diligence in a number of jurisdictions. This is a project that has been targetted by IDA Ireland for some considerable time since the Brexit vote. Speaking at the Irish Funds Annual Global Funds Conference 2018, O'Healai gave particular credit to the IDA for the assistance it had provided during the due diligence phase.
O'Healai added that Luxembourg will continue to be the firm's largest product base in Europe.
Two other firms, Legg Mason and Standard Life Aberdeen, also confirmed their plans for their Dublin operations.
Speaking at the conference, Joe LaRocque, Managing Director, Affiliate Strategic Initiatives, Legg Mason, said his company was 'close to' signing a lease in Dublin, 'where we intend to put some folks on the ground.' In March 2017 the company announced plans to set up a fund management company in Ireland to maintain access to investors in the EU after Brexit but has so far declined to indicate how many jobs may be involved.
Gareth Murphy, Chief Risk Officer at Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) and the former director of Markets Supervision at the Central Bank of Ireland, said that SLA had signed a lease for new premises in Dublin. Earlier this year SLA’s investment arm, Aberdeen Standard Investments, confirmed that it plans to establish an EU investment and distribution business in Dublin. It indicated at that time that the new entity would become one of its key EU business hubs, overseeing investment management services in Europe and the company’s network of offices across the continent.
Murphy said ASI's EU business would be serviced out of Dublin and Luxembourg. He added that Standard Life Aberdeen had made its plans on the assumption of a 'hard' Brexit and still had concerns in areas such as continuity of clearing, for example, for which it was now looking for solutions to be delivered.