Friday 23 February 2018

IDA chief hails Brexit 'win' as rating agency Kroll to open Dublin office

IDA CEO Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren
IDA CEO Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The decision by US bond rating agency Kroll to open its European headquarters in Dublin has been hailed as a "Brexit win" by IDA boss Martin Shanahan.

Kroll, a smaller rival to the traditional big three of Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, was born at the height of the financial crisis in 2010.

Since then the firm has published over 8,000 ratings totalling $740bn. It employs more than 275 staff and has offices across the US in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Now it is moving into Europe, and Dublin is to be its first international office. It plans to employ 100 staff here over the next three years.

Founded by multimillionaire Jules Kroll, the agency covers all markets including structured finance, aviation, public finance, financial institutions, project finance, insurance and corporates.

In his late 60s when he started the business, Mr Kroll had spent much of his professional life in the cloak-and- dagger world of corporate intelligence.

According to a 'New York Times' profile of him published in 2011, he had been hired by the Haitian government to track down financial assets linked to the former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. He was also the man tasked by Kuwait to ferret out the oil wealth of former Iraq leader Saddam Hussein.

Mr Shanahan, pictured, said he was delighted that KBRA had chosen Ireland over other European destinations. "This is another Brexit win for Ireland, and indicates that financial institutions that may have previously chosen London now view Dublin as a viable post-Brexit solution," he said.

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