UK asset manager Hermes Investment Management has set up an Irish subsidiary as it ramps up Brexit planning in a no-deal scenario.
The £36bn fund manager has recruited Carol Mahon, a former chief executive of Fidelity International's Irish subsidiary, to head the new operation, the company announced on January 14. The Dublin office was authorised to run Ucits funds — European mutual funds — in December. Aoifinn Devitt, formerly chief investment officer at Chicago's police pension fund, will serve as head of investment at the new company.
The move comes as part of the Brexit Mitigation Project, based on the presumption of a ‘hard Brexit' without any transitional arrangements, which is also shaping the firm's broader strategic outlook.
Chief executive Saker Nusseibeh said: ‘Since the referendum in 2016, we have always planned for a ‘hard Brexit'.
'We recognised early on that we had to make appropriate contingency plans in the absence of certainty, in order to ensure, to the extent possible, that we remain able to manage our clients' assets in line with their expectations of us.'
The announcement follows investment firm Pantheon's decision to establish a five-strong team in Dublin and comes as MPs prepare to vote on prime minister Theresa May's Brexit vote, which is widely expected to be rejected.
Other well-known City names to make the leap to Dublin include Legal & General Investment Management, Barings and Ashmore. Other companies have chosen Luxembourg for EU sales operations.
HFM Ireland is currently recruiting for additional roles, including head of compliance.