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BRUIN Ireland

IRELAND MARKET COMMENTARY, Q4 2019

• Article by BRUIN Financial

IRELAND MARKET COMMENTARY, Q4 2019

MARKET OVERVIEW

Q4 continued on trend with previous quarters; hiring mangers wanting to grow their teams to meet demand for automation, efficiencies and increased productivity, meet hesitation and procrastination when it comes to the sign off on permanent hires.

Talent in the areas of Compliance, Risk, Regulatory Reporting, Operations roles (in Insurance and Asset Management specifically) and project/change management continue to remain in high demand.

 

Some notable financial services news in the last quarter included:

Eirtech Aviation Services has been acquired by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Vance Street Capital for an undisclosed sum. Eirtech founders Niall Cunningham and Gerry O’Shea are reported to be retaining a “material ownership position in the company”.

The proposed sale of Goodbody Stockbrokers to the Bank of China (UK) Limited has been cleared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in a deal said to be worth around €150m.

The Payzone acquisition by AIB and US firm First Data from Carlyle Cardinal Ireland has been given the regulatory approval in a deal worth an estimated €100 million.

APT Wealth Management has reached an agreement to be acquired by Irish Life. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

MML Capital Partners has acquired a reported 50% stake in DMS Governance for an undisclosed sum.

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin announced the completion of the acquisition of Investec’s wealth management business in Ireland in a €44 million acquisition.

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) has been sold to EML payment for AU$526m (€327m). PFS is one of the fastest growing financial services technology companies and e-money payment institutions in Europe which currently operates in 25 countries.

The Irish insurance broker Arachas has been acquired by two US private equity funds, HPS Investment Partners and Madison Dearborn, for consideration which reportedly exceeds €250m.

Wright Insurance Brokers, with offices in Wexford and Carlow has been acquired by UK-based Aston Lark, which is controlled by Goldman Sachs. The financial consideration for the deal was not reported.

Belfast-based Willis Insurance and Risk Management (Willis IRM) has acquired Leeds firm Hale Kavanagh Insurance Brokers Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

Innovu, which is backed by MML Growth Capital Partners, has moved to acquire Wexford Insurances for an undisclosed sum. Innovu acquired Sheridan Insurances last year and plans to be an active player in the consolidation of the insurance broker markets. This deal brings gross written premiums at Innovu to €40m.

St. James’ Place’s proposed acquisition of Harvest Financial Services Group has fallen through. St. James’ Place is a British-based wealth manager while Harvest is a Dublin-based financial adviser.

The deal had previously been agreed and was subject to approval by the Central Bank. However, St. James’ Place has now exited the deal due to “strategic decisions”.

The above highlights the considerable consolidation activity in both the insurance broker market and the Fintech/Payments space.

 

ROLE PROFILES

Some current assignments across our Dublin and Cork clients include:

  • Compliance Manager – Asset Management – €75K
  • Product Manager – Investment Manager – €90K
  • Head of Section Manager – Transfer Agency – €Neg
  • CFO/FD – Asset Manager –Renewable energy – €130K
  • Private Equity Funds Manager – Asset Management – €Neg
  • Sales Operations Manager – Insurance – €80-90K
  • Fund Accountants (Various Levels) – Asset Management €Neg
  • Operations Risk Analyst – Insurance –  €60K
  • Claims Process Manager – Insurance –  €90K

 

PREDICTIONS

2020 will likely be the year where decisions are finally made and previous Brexit related commitments to hiring in the Irish market are realised.  Given the tight timeframes being imposed on the transition period companies will no longer be able to procrastinate.  The early movers in 2020 will realise the real talent, while late movers will find it increasingly difficult to find available talent to meet key skills gaps and key compliance and regulatory requirements.

As the labour market continues to tighten during the year we expect to see local employers falling back to relocating internal talent from overseas and then shifting to international (rather than local) markets to fill critical roles.

 

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Merian Global Investors (MGI), formerly known as Old Mutual Global Investors, has secured four senior hires for its new Dublin office, which opens in two weeks’ time as the firm advances plans to prepare for Brexit.

It has hired Link Fund Solutions Ireland’s managing director, Paul Nunan, to become its country head for Ireland.

The new Irish unit has also hired KPMG Ireland associate director for financial services audit Geraldine Gleeson as the financial controller, while MGI’s current head of legal and compliance for its Asia-Pacific business, Irishman Shane O’Sullivan, is transferring to head up compliance and enterprise risk in Dublin.

Funds specialist Ross Allen, who was hired by Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) last year as it built up its Dublin base ahead of Brexit, is set to join MGI as a senior investment risk manager.

Fidelity Investments has appointed Al Riviezzo as the general manager of its Irish operations. Mr Riviezzo, who has spent more than 20 years working for the company, will lead the 1,000-plus employees in Dublin and Galway.

Michele Greene has been appointed to the board of Bank of Ireland, effective from December 5.

Former PKF executive, Patrick Dooley, has been appointed Associate Director at Focus Capital Partners.

Deepbridge Capital has announced the appointment of Adrian Neilan as COO and also Investment Director of its portfolio of over 35 technology growth companies located across the UK, USA and Australia.

Sarah Dineen has been appointed as chief risk and compliance officer with investment firm BlackBee Investments.

Current People & IT Director at Tesco Ireland, Geraldine Casey, has been appointed as AIB’s next Chief People Officer.

Eversheds Sutherland has appointed Aaron McGarry as a consultant in the firm’s international aviation team based in Dublin.  Mr McGarry has over 15 years’ experience in aviation financing at Irish and international law firms.

Keith Butler has been named as CEO of life assurance company Acorn Life. With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, he is a qualified actuary and a qualified financial adviser.

Edward Yusko has been appointed to oversee business development with office investment group Elkstone. He has over 30 years’ experience in high growth Financial Services and Technology companies, both in the US and Ireland.

Private Equity firm, Cardinal Capital, has appointed Mike Maloney to its senior executive team.  He was CEO at Payzone until recently which is a former portfolio company of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland.

Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors has announced the appointment of Lisa Killeen as a partner in the banking team.  Ms Killeen joined the firm in 2013, having previously worked at William Fry.

Elkstone, has appointed former KPMG executive Tanner O’Connell as Investment Director in Ireland.

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For more information about the market or current opportunities please contact one of our Consultants.