Dublin has been losing out to Frankfurt in the battle for front office jobs as banks move headcount out of London after Brexit. Now, a planned hiring spree by a $105.7bn Asian asset manager has just been put on hold.
Mirae Asset Financial Group, a South Korean investment group, chose Dublin as a base for a new ‘global trading centre’ earlier this year, and had plans to open a new office housing 20 people including seven or eight traders. We now understand that Mirae has postponed its move into Ireland for the moment, but may still open up there in the medium-term.
Mirae, announced that it had chosen Dublin over London as its new European trading hub because of the Brexit vote in an interview with a local paper in June. The promised hiring spree, while relatively small, caused a buzz locally because Mirae has a prop trading operation. This is relatively unique in the Irish market and would have attracted international talent.
Dublin has been successful at luring asset management firms over from London after the Brexit vote – Legal & General Investment Management chose Dublin, while Blackrock has shortlisted the city for its post-Brexit hub. Most major banks have decided to shift trading jobs to Frankfurt, although Barclays has said that it would move 150 jobs to the Irish capital, and Citigroup has said that Dublin is one of the European hubs it would expand after Brexit. J.P. Morgan has agreed to pay $137m for a new Dublin office that could house 1,000 staff.
This week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it was deciding between moving jobs to either Frankfurt or Dublin. TD Securities said yesterday that it had chosen Dublin as its EU trading hub, and will be initially creating 10 bond trading roles in the Irish capital.
IDA Ireland did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Ireland’s ability to attract big banks in the wake of the Brexit vote was described as “disappointing and underwhelming” by Michael McGrath, a finance spokesperson at the main opposition party Fianna Fail in an interview with Bloomberg. Meanwhile, despite expanding its headcount to deal with an influx of new business after Brexit, the Central Bank of Ireland has been criticised by some for not being welcoming enough to big banks looking to shift trading jobs.
Dublin has long been a hub for back office functions, with some of the biggest banks and fund managers employing thousands of people in its International Financial Services Centre in the East Wall parts of the city. Brexit was viewed as an opportunity for Dublin to increase its reputation as a location for front office activities.
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