Ireland’s fund services industry grew 36% in the last year and now manages assets worth €1.9 trillion.
This growth makes Ireland the largest hedge fund administration centre in the world, with 63% of European and 43% of global alternative investment assets now administered in Ireland.
The growth in Ireland’s funds market has had a big impact on jobs. 400 were created in 2010 and over the next 6 months according to recruiter Marks Sattin an additional 1,000 jobs will be created in the fund administration sector by March 2012.
Salaries are rising at all levels, with Fund Accountants receiving 12.5% rises this year on average and Heads of Operations getting 8% more.
Matthew Fitzpatrick, manager of financial services division at Marks Sattin Ireland said, “The investment funds industry in Ireland is going from strength to strength. Ireland’s consistent regulatory approach, strong knowledge base and existing fund services experts are proving very attractive to potential investors. The continued low corporation tax rate has also helped Ireland stay ahead of European and Global competition.
“The global economic recovery means fund volumes have grown consistently since 2010. As fund volumes grow, they require a larger workforce to service them and as Ireland is able to offer a talented and highly specialised fund services workforce, the country is in a prime position to take advantage of this growth”.
Bonuses, which were negligible following the credit crisis, have risen to an average of 12% and for those earning more than €90,000, the average 2011 bonus was 20%. This means total remuneration for the top positions is now in excess of €159,000.
These pay rises follow salary cuts in the fund services sector in 2008 and 2009 during which salaries in the sector fell by between 10 – 20%.
Matthew Fitzpatrick continues: “As the value of holdings dropped, it became harder to maintain returns, and a lot of people were made redundant from the fund services industry. That not only meant immediate job losses, but also cuts in salaries offered to anyone lucky enough to find a new job. Many talented fund management/services candidates moved abroad in the search for work.
“But the lightning quick reactions of market forces within the industry are now playing in its favour. Reduced wage costs along with a favourable tax system mean Ireland is one of the most competitive places in the world to manage and service funds. Global fund administrators and managers are now returning to Ireland and the rate of jobs growth is accelerating. In the next two quarters, we expect circa 700 new jobs to be created.
“Employers are now competing to secure the top talent in the industry and this is pushing up both salaries and bonuses. Fund services professionals are also anxious to push forward their careers and in many cases salary increases at different levels are being accompanied by promotions too.