Irish funds industry breaks new record of €298bn, fastest growing in Europe

Irish Funds, the representative body for the global cross-border investment funds industry in Ireland, has announced that net sales across all fund types stood at a record €298bn in 2017, according to the latest data released by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).

This new record level is the highest net sales ever of Irish domiciled funds, more than twice the amount of the previous record in 2016 and representing over 30% of net sales of all European funds. These strong figures have continued into 2018, with €54bn of net sales into Irish domiciled funds in the first quarter.

The figures were unveiled at Irish Funds’ 20th Annual Global Funds Conference, which opened this morning.

The record in net sales contributed to an increase in assets in Irish domiciled funds to a new high of €2.4 trillion, representing growth of 16% in 2017. Given the strong performance of Irish domiciled funds, coupled with €2.3 trillion of non-domiciled funds administered in Ireland, the total value of assets under administration in Ireland now stands at €4.7 trillion. These figures reflect the underlying growth in assets-under-management (AUM) for managers who have established funds in Ireland.

Today, Ireland is the domicile for 5% of worldwide investment fund assets, making it second largest centre in Europe. The Irish funds industry is the fastest growing of the five largest fund domiciles in Europe over the last 5 years.

The growth comes as the Irish government continues to support the industry in delivering a responsive business and regulatory environment for the wider investment community. This work remains a key part of the government’s International Financial Services 2020 strategy.

Paschal Donohoe, TD, minister for finance and public expenditure and reform, who will address at the conference, said: “The funds industry has been a successful and significant element of the Irish financial services landscape for many years. This success has been underpinned by changes in the legislative landscape that have made Ireland an attractive domicile for promoters in Hong Kong and Asia, across Europe, the U.S. and beyond. Alongside a regulatory regime providing a robust and consistent approach to the supervision that promotes confidence in Ireland as a location for investment funds.”

In what was seen as further testimony of the Irish funds industry’ strength, the Irish Funds Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) Working Group published a paper in March 2018 outlining Ireland’s excellence in ETFs. While data from the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) confirmed Irish domiciled funds accounted for 58% of all European ETF assets and more than 87% of all ETF net sales in Europe in 2017, making the country the leading domicile for ETFs outside of the US.

As Brexit negotiations continue, Irish Funds are continuing to see managers from around the globe looking at domiciling their funds in Ireland. Today, Irish domiciled funds are sold to investors from 90+ countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Over 900 fund promoters from more than 50 countries have funds domiciled in Ireland. There are 38,000 people employed in the financial services industry and in excess of 16,000 directly in investment funds industry.

Commenting on the new record, Pat Lardner, chief executive at Irish Funds, said: “Our Annual Global Conference has expanded significantly year on year in lock-step with the industry’s overall growth. This reflects the success of the funds industry in Ireland over the years and its significant contribution as a source of highly skilled employment right across the country. Today as we celebrate our 20th Annual Conference, we are delighted to welcome more than 450 delegates from 18 different countries.”

Christopher Copper-Ind
Christopher Copper-Ind is Publisher and Editor of International Investment. His previous publishing experience focused largely on the Middle East and emerging markets, and he was Editorial Director of The Business Year, based in Istanbul, for three years before moving back to London in 2017. He is the author of How to Negotiate, to be published by Macmillan in 2019.

Read more from Christopher Copper-Ind

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