When Apex Fund Services (Ireland) Limited commenced operations in Midleton, Cork at the end of July 2007 it represented a new chapter both in the story of Apex Fund Services and in the growth of the funds industry in Ireland. The office was the first European base and representative office for Apex in Ireland having previously focused on the traditional offshore sectors of Bermuda and then moving swiftly into the emerging markets of Mauritius and Dubai.
In looking for a European headquarters the ultimate decision was driven by qualitative and quantitative factors. John Bohan, group operations director and managing director of the Irish operation, returned from Bermuda having spent 6 years there and decided that a location directly out of Dublin would be the most favorable option available in order to take account of growing unease in the Dublin labour market and economic pressures on corporate rents and extra staff costs within the capital.
'The key for me having made the decision to locate outside of Dublin was to provide an alternative outside of a city and to try and reverse the high turnover trends within the funds industry. I believe that if you provide staff with additional incentives as well as the standard funds package that will enhance their own quality of lives then those staff will commit long term to the company,'said Bohan.
Locating in Midleton provided the platform on which to build that. Living anywhere east of Cork city or indeed on the ring road allows a quick 15 minute commute from anywhere within that region and gives staff an option to avoid the congestion and time spent in traffic.
Apex is one of the few administrators globally that has achieved SAS 70 Type II audit on our internal controls and procedures and has focused on its service standards to ensure that it has grown on the same principles on which the company was founded. Staff from Dublin and Cork are aware that Apex is in the marketplace and the firm is receiving plenty of resumes which falls in line with its need to recruit one to two fund accounting staff per month over the next 18 months.
Apex's focus on service standards and controlled growth means that as a global organization that it has decided to limit staff numbers in any one office to 30-40 staff. Above this we feel that controls can get lost and the same level of management of those controls cannot be maintained properly. This model is however scalable in that when and if the maximum number of staff is reached in Midleton, it will seek to locate elsewhere within the Irish market and open further regional offices when and if the time comes. The selection of those offices will follow the same criteria of a reliable advanced infrastructure in an accessible and suburban location.