Saturday 23 September 2017

IDA targets Brexit-boosted First Derivatives

First Derivatives – headquartered in Co Down – was founded by current CEO Brian Conlon
First Derivatives – headquartered in Co Down – was founded by current CEO Brian Conlon
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

First Derivatives, the AIM-listed firm that makes financial-analysis software for global investment banks, is expanding its Dublin and Belfast operations as the IDA seeks to further tempt the Newry-headquartered firm across the border in the wake of Brexit.

First Derivatives, which employs 1,800 - largely recruited on the island of Ireland - is in final discussions to acquire a new site in Newry, a move that will create an additional 200 jobs on top of the 400 graduate jobs it has created this year.

First Derivatives has offices in London, Dublin, New York, Stockholm, Philadelphia, Palo Alto and other global locations, while maintaining its Newry HQ. It became one of the first beneficiaries of Brexit when a Japanese bank moved a function from London to cut costs - outsourcing it to Newry - and has enjoyed huge growth with its data-analysis technology 'Kx', which is now used by 19 of the world's top investment banks.

It is understood that the IDA is keen for First Derivatives and other Northern firms to expand in the Republic to serve banks and financial institutions that may relocate all or part of their operations here post-Brexit.

Founded in 1996 by chief executive Brian Conlon, First Derivatives has confirmed that it is undertaking a series of new investments on the island, which will see its headcount surpass the 2,000 mark.

First Derivatives, which recorded a 30pc rise in sales last year to £151.7m, is in final discussions for the purchase of a 0.75-acre site in Newry. The firm is also set to become the lead commercial tenant at The Weaving Works, the former historic 'Armagh House' linen warehouse in the heart of Belfast.

The company, which floated in 2002, said that the expansion of its Belfast-based operations - which will accommodate up to 300 staff - mirrors similar investments being made in Newry, Dublin, London, Toronto and Singapore.

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