65 jobs on the line at Cognotec as Barclays appoints receiver
EFFORTS are being made to save up to 65 jobs at Cognotec companies, the foreign-exchange systems-software firm that is headed by Irish businessman Brian MacCaba.
Barclays Bank has appointed Kieran Wallace of KPMG as receiver to Cognotec Holdings, Cognotec Ireland and Cognotec Ltd. He said yesterday that he hoped to sell the business as a going concern.
The group has substantial contracts in place but has experienced cash-flow difficulties due to cutbacks in the financial-services industry, its main source of business. The company did not respond to requests for comment from Mr MacCaba.
He set up Cognotec more than 20 years ago, while working with a section of the organisation now known as IBEC.
In recent months, Cognotec has been seeking to restructure its finances and organisation and has reduced its staff numbers. About 40 of its employees are in its Ely Place office in Dublin and the others are overseas.
In its annual accounts, which were signed off on December 17, Cognotec Holdings reported that it had slashed its pre-tax losses from $9.9m (€7m) in 2007 to $1.76m (€1.25m) in 2008, when turnover exceeded $18.5m (€13.2m).
It also said the company's biggest customer had cancelled a new project and so Cognotec had breached its covenants.
Nevertheless, the product development was completed and its Real Stream Margin product had gone live with multiple clients. This brought accumulated losses to $48.5m. (€34.6m).
The firm had about 140 of its 200-strong payroll based in Dublin in mid-2006. Cognotec had revenues of $28.1m in 2005 and made a profit of $3.7m.
It expected revenues of more than $40m in 2006. It has operations in Dublin, London, New York, Tokyo and Singapore.
In May 2006, Cognotec launched an integrated, web-based solution for banks seeking to target the increasing growth in flows originating from investors trading foreign exchange as an asset class.
Cognotec said it was targeting the top 100 banks in the world, which it has divided into three categories. Contracts with so-called 'tier one' banks can be worth more than $20m over three years, tier two deals are worth about $10m and tier three are worth up to $5m.