There’s no doubt that the Irish US relationship is one of historic and economic import. With emigration, ancestral ties and shared values forming the bedrock of the two countries storied past.
Ireland’s success in attracting companies from the pharmaceutical and technology industries is due to a combination of factors including
- our highly adaptable workforce,
- our location,
- our competitive tax regime
- and a pro-business environment.
The Financial Services sector is no different, with the country becoming a location of choice for the industry’s global players.
The data speaks for itself
Firms based in Ireland, provide Financial Services to every major economy in the world. International banks, insurers, investment managers, aircraft leasing operators and an array of other financial firms employ over 42,000 people and contribute €2.3bn to the economy each year in taxes.
More than 50% of the world’s leading financial services companies have a presence here. These include: Liberty IT, State Street, Fidelity International, YapStone, Bank of American Merrill Lynch, Stripe, Fidelity Investments and Pramerica.
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A pro-business environment
In many ways our attitude to business reflect those in the US. Modern Ireland’s economy is one built on innovation, hard work and creativity. Ranking 10th of 127 countries in the 2017 Global Innovation Index, and firmly positioned in Forbes top 10 Best Countries to do Business, the country consistently scores high in areas such as foreign direct investment (FDI) and tech exports.
In 2018, the Irish government launched a €116 billion investment plan – ‘Project Ireland 2040’ – to cater for an anticipated workforce increase of 660,000 people with the overall population swelling by one million. This strategic focus on infrastructure, planning and innovation is certainly a major incentive for firms looking for an EU base.
The Irish tax regime is known to be open and transparent and complies fully with OECD guidelines and EU competition law. With a low rate of corporation tax rate of 12.5%, combined with an extensive double tax agreement network of 62 countries, Ireland’s transparent tax system is a major attraction for US firms.
Ireland’s broader corporation tax strategy, includes a knowledge development box, a 25% R&D tax credit, relief for expenditure on intellectual property (IP) and an attractive holding company regime.
An outward looking workforce
While much is said about Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate, many US financial services companies cite its workforce and the country’s stability as the main reason for their long-term investments.
Decision makers will look at a broad range of skills when assessing their labour needs. While many of these are technology driven, other attributes also play a part. Irish workers score highly on flexibility, adaptability and problem-solving capabilities which are in high demand given the nature of the work involved.
With close to one million people in full time education, the Irish workforce, likely to be the only English-speaking labour force in the Eurozone post-Brexit, is an excellent resource for US firms.
More than 8 out of 10 of those employed in the sector have at least a bachelor’s degree while the country has the youngest population in Europe with 50% of the population under the age of 34.
A strong skill base
The development of skills and training specific to financial services is an integral part of Ireland’s success in attracting US firms. The Summit Finuas Skillnet, a national network of financial services companies and industry associations, ensures the necessary skills, expertise and training are available to companies setting up here. This has helped maintain Ireland’s position as a top international Financial Services centre.
Ireland also has a large pool of talented, experienced multinational executives. They generally have strong experience in the set-up phase which ensures firms establishing operations here can ensure a smooth transition with world class talent at the helm.
The IFSC – the cornerstone of our international financial services success
Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) has emerged as a globally significant financial centre. Since its creation in 1987, the sector has grown from less than 60 people employed in the IFSC in Dublin’s Docklands to a truly national industry, with approximately 42,000 people directly employed across the country. A range of international financial services companies service the IFSC.
Their activities include fund management, banking and administration, corporate treasury, aircraft and equipment leasing and insurance services.
World Leaders in FinTech
FinTech is changing the world of finance and Ireland has positioned itself as a key player. With a proven track record both in the Financial Services and Technology arenas.
With the world’s top 10 global software companies and the top 10 ‘Born-on-the-Internet’ companies operating here the country is in a unique position as a global centre of excellence for FinTech innovation. Ireland is currently the fourth-largest exporter of financial services in the world, which serves as a huge incentive to prospective US Financial Services companies.
Government support and a plan for the future
US Financial firms choosing to do business in Ireland know they’ll have a robust public policy-making framework behind them along with the support of state agencies like the Industrial Development Authority of Ireland (IDA).
State bodies ensure a wide range of professional and technical services are readily available to landing teams. This ensures firms can hit the ground running quickly. Enterprise Ireland’s network of over 30 overseas offices also provide unparalleled practical assistance to world markets for US start-ups setting up here.
The Irish government has prioritised specialised international financial services as a strategic focus through a dedicated Programme, the IFS2025, adopted in 2015. This will now be succeeded by a new plan, the IFS2025, which is to be launched at this year’s European Financial Forum (EFF).
With the onset of Brexit, Ireland looks set to become an even more appealing location for US Financial Services companies. As the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone and soon to be the only one in the EU, Ireland is the logical choice for US firms looking to access the EU market.
Far from resting on its laurels, the country looks well positioned to build on our strengths to ensure a bright future for any US Financial Services looking to the Emerald Isle as its next home.
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You can find out more about Ireland as a location and Smart MBS as a company in our eBook, available to download below.