Woodbrook announces plans to enter Irish insurance market

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Woodbrook announces plans to enter Irish insurance market

Woodbrook Group, the Cyprus-based firm of financial consultants with offices around the world, has announced it is preparing to enter the Irish insurance market as part of a global expansion.

CEO and founder Michael Doherty yesterday confirmed plans to establish a life assurance company as part of a planned €100m investment in the Irish operation.

Doherty is seeking to headquarter Woodbrook's Irish operation in the south-east of the country, a region earmarked for significant growth over the next decade.

Woodbrook plans to set up a wealth management division in Ireland early in the New Year. The company is currently in talks with a number of small brokerages with a view to rebranding and incorporating them into the new insurance entity.

Doherty said the group plans to employ up to 1,500 people in the insurance arm of the company within the next four years.

The Woodbrook CEO said initial discussions with relevant local stakeholders have been "extremely positive", with a few potential sites identified. Woodbrook will begin an initial drive to recruit 500 employees next year, with similar numbers planned for 2020 and 2021.

He added: "This is an exciting development for the group and we look forward to advancing plans to enter the insurance market in the New Year."

Woodbrook is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The new insurance company will be regulated in Ireland, with the licence passported into other EU territories.

The latest development follows Woodbrook's announcement earlier this month that it is about to make a public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US, foreshadowing significant growth. 

Commenting on the development, Doherty said: "It is a great honour for us to get listed on the Nasdaq, the world's most preeminent and prestigious exchange. Over the past few years we've worked hard to achieve this milestone. This will enable us to grow as an organization and expand in new markets without compromising on our integrity and the bespoke services we provide to our clients."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.