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BANKING expand and diversify its services within its existing product range. HSBC’s global fund service led by Ian Stevenson, began to target insurance and asset managers. By 2002, the Funds Services model was introduced and this provided Ireland with new technology, services and the opportunity to build on existing relationships with other locations. By the end of the first year of operation, assets under their administration were over the $5 billion mark. “By 2002, the Funds Services model was introduced and this provided Ireland with new technology, services and the opportunity to build on existing relationships with other locations. By the end of the first year of operation, assets under their administration were over the $5 billion mark.” Two years later in 2004, HSBC acquired the then Bank of Bermuda, which had begun to grow significantly. The overall HSBC business at this stage had a mature traditional fund business and there were natural synergies in the combination of the two businesses. This again transformed the business in Ireland. The acquisition also allowed HSBC Ireland to trade with the newly developed offering, explore new client opportunities and grow significantly. Corporate banking era The success of the IFSC was mirrored by the country’s quite astonishing track record in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) over the same period. Ireland currently boasts more than 1,200 multinationals that have chosen Ireland as their strategic European base and the country has deservedly become a recognised global hub for international technology and life science firms. Globally, Ireland is now ranked as the number four location for overall US FDI investment, number one for the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector, and number two for the information technology sector. But Ireland’s FDI landscape has also changed significantly over the course of these three decades. From a position where international industry located in this country was mainly engaged in low value assembly or bulk manufacturing, compared with today the operations of multinationals located here are now characterised by high value activities such as research and development, treasury, and international supply chain management. This means that Ireland is now a key strategic location for any corporate bank targeting international banking business. In 2006, as part of a Europe wide expansion of HSBC Banking footprint the decision was taken to establish a fully-fledged corporate banking business in Ireland based in Dublin. The Irish Corporate Banking business brings the full suite of HSBC products and 72 country network capabilities to Irish corporates both locally and overseas. The open nature of the Irish economy and the well- established trade links with the US and Europe have ensured the Irish corporate ‘The Great Architect’: Sir Thomas Jackson, an Irishman banking business has from Co. Leitrim, led HSBC to become the leading bank in Asia and is honoured with a statue outside the bank’s expanded rapidly. With an Hong Kong premises. experienced local team of international bankers the Irish branch provides corporate and outsource solutions for transparency and multinationals with lending, capital regulatory reporting reasons. markets access, trade, treasury, and HSSI has grown substantially, with tailored liquidity management solutions. assets under management more than doubling over a five-year period to €140bn today. Much of this growth has “As a result of continued been in the hedge fund sector, where investment over the last Ireland has become a key location from number of years, the HSBC which to service clients from Asia, Securities Services Europe and North America. Ireland has operation in Ireland (HSSI) also become a global centre for niche areas such as aviation finance and has is well positioned to react become a hub for a variety of operations to changes now taking supporting the management of the full place in the asset range of asset classes. management industry.” Although there have been economic hurdles in Ireland since HSBC began Looking towards the future trading here in the late 1970s, HSBC Ireland has been firmly embedded in the The Irish economic downturn, which coincided with a series of banking scandals Irish market and is proud of its place as a leading international bank and as a core and the collapse of the property market part of the Irish financial services industry. changed the financial landscape in Ireland Ireland has an exceptionally strong dramatically, however after a period of international financial services sector stabilisation, new opportunities emerged. with particular strengths in its As a result of continued investment over administration and management of funds. the last number of years, the HSBC For its part, HSBC in Ireland sees a bright Securities Services operation in Ireland future as it continues to develop its (HSSI) is well positioned to react to service offering in both the funds space changes now taking place in the asset and in corporate banking. management industry such as the increasing desirability of China access; higher demand for tax transparent funds Paul Heffernan is Head of Cross and exchange traded funds (ETFs) across Border Sales, Europe for HSBC Europe and; fund managers seeking to Securities Services. 35 FINANCE DUBLIN YEARBOOK 2017