Financial Services Cluster in South-West Anticipates Continued Growth in the Future

  • Ireland’s South-West region home to approx. 40 international financial services companies
  • Growing sub-sectors include asset management, fund administration and fintech
  • Upwards of 3500 people are employed across the financial services (FS) ecosystem in the SW
Ireland’s South-West region is home to a significant and growing cluster of approximately 40 international financial services (IFS) companies with particularly strong activity in sub-sectors of FS including asset management, fund administration and fintech. An event held recently to showcase the Financial Services (FS) cluster in the South-West was addressed by keynote speakers Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Seán Fleming TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance and Deirdre O’Connor, native of Cork who has carved out an exceptional 25 year career in the asset management and investment fund industry in New York.

Described by Minister McGrath as a key pillar of the Irish economy, the growing cluster in the South West region now supports a broad ecosystem which employs upwards 3,500 people.

Speaking at the event, Eoin Motherway, Chair of Cork Financial Services Forum said “The sector is supported by a robust enabling environment which includes a significant number of leading audit, accountancy and legal firms with specialised FS teams, and a vibrant business support environment, including the state agencies IDA and Enterprise Ireland. The sector has grown steadily over the last 10 years. Companies across the FS ecosystem in the SW region are now significant employers, with international employees from across the globe in many of these companies who have made South-West Ireland their home. The long-established ICT cluster and the growing cyber cluster in the region provide an ideal environment for complementary activities and exchange of expertise in areas such as AI and cybersecurity, which will dominate the future of the FS industry in subsectors like fintech and regtech.”

At the event, Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber remarked: “Availability of talent is top of the agenda in every conversation we are having with businesses at the moment, and the FS sector is no exception. In the South-West, the financial services industry is supported by a strong talent pipeline of highly-educated potential future employees from the two regional universities. University College Cork (UCC) and Munster Technological University (MTU) have a combined total over 40,000 students, and 2,000 graduate in business or finance disciplines each year. Along with industry-focused programmes and research collaborations such as FINTECHNEXT (a collaboration between UCC and FEXCO, supported by Science Foundation Ireland) and the newly launched Funds Academy (a collaboration between MTU and Waterford Institute of Technology), the sector really has a great opportunity to harness the emerging talent here.”

“It is vital, however, that the government commitments made in the national and local development plans are delivered upon in order to truly support the private sector investors. Investment must continue in our housing and other infrastructure if we are to enhance the accessibility and attractiveness of the Cork and Kerry regions in order to maintain and grow our reputation as top-class locations for quality of life.”

Concluding, Mr Motherway added: “Our FS Forum has been making a focused effort to raise the profile of the IFS sector in the region for the last few years, engaging with the Department of Finance, providing feedback to government submissions and committing to collaborate on actions such as the showcase event being held here today. It is testament to that work, that we have representatives of the Department here today, including both Minister Michael McGrath and Minister of State Sean Fleming, both of whom have been extremely supportive of our activities.” 
View video “International Financial Services, Growth and Talent in the South-West Ireland”