Up to 10,000 jobs could be created by Ireland's funds industry in the next six years if the country continues to be competitive, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The analysis by PwC of the global funds industry predicts that the value of funds under management here could jump 40pc by 2020 to €3.5trn from the current €2.5trn.
The amount of funds under management here has soared from €489bn back in 2003, according to the Irish Funds Industry Association. Ireland is now one of the top three European locations for the sector. Over 40pc of the world's hedge funds are administered here.
There are currently 20,000 people employed either directly or indirectly in Ireland by the global funds industry, with firms such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, Blackrock and State Street among those with operations here. The sector has also generated a large amount of business for local businesses such as law firms.
"Assets under management in Ireland have the potential to grow to €3.5trn by 2020 if the industry remains competitive, develops strong connections with emerging new funds centres and continues to market itself positively," said Andrew O'Callaghan, asset management partner at PwC in Ireland.
"This growth in assets under management has the potential to yield an additional 7,000 to 10,000 direct and indirect new jobs in Ireland by 2020," he said, adding that "huge opportunities remain" for further job creation and progress in Ireland.
Mr O'Callaghan said the new growth in the sector within Ireland was likely to be generated from emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. He said that PwC expects Hong Kong and Singapore to emerge as strong funds centres and to develop connections with Ireland, Luxembourg and the UK.
PwC has predicted that global assets under management will rise to approximately $101.7trn (€74.6trn) by 2020, from just under $64trn in 2012.
It has also forecasted in its new report that assets under management in Europe will rise to $27.9trn (€20.4trn) by 2020, from $19.7trn in 2012.
Increased globalisation of the funds industry and the rise of middle classes in emerging markets represent a "significant opportunity" for Ireland, Mr O'Callaghan explained.
He also said that Ireland would continue to benefit from having been an early adopter of the EU's directives on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS).
The growing appetite for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) also bodes well for the funds sector, he said.
But he warned that Ireland and Europe needed to remain competitive if the region was to remain attractive to the industry.
"The danger is that if Europe becomes less competitive for a US fund manager to place their funds than Singapore and Hong Kong, then clearly we will be in danger of losing that business," he said.