Sunday 8 December 2019

IFG founder's software firm rustles up €1.3m

Roisin Burke

Another Cork software firm in that red-hot fintech space has bagged €1.3m in fresh money.

Run by former IFG boss Richard Hayes, Global Shares handles millions in transactions for over 100 major international customers and keeps 50 high-skill staff employed at its headquarters in Clonakilty.

The company developed a technology that calculates stock award payouts for executives – the ones that really sprinkle magic dust over the gigantic pay packets we've written about in our chief executive earnings survey – at some of the biggest companies in the world. Those include Cargill – the world's biggest private company – Telefonica, SAP and Ambev. It also did some work for web giant Yahoo and was involved in some groundwork for the investment bank running Facebook's IPO ahead of that listing, Hayes tells me. And his team have met with Google, LinkedIn and Intel to discuss providing the service to their Irish-based operations.

It handles stock option calculations and transactions for vulture funds like Apollo and Oaktree, and for Italian banking group Unicredit, gambling operation Bwin and Liam Casey's PCH International.

"Only two other firms in the world do this," said Hayes. "One bank spent €50m and three years trying to do it."

Its new funding is from existing shareholders, who include financier and Larry Goodman associate Ron Bolger, several present and past KPMG partners, and Jersey-based IFG Trust. Directors include former KPMG partner Gerard Flood and Robert Neill, whose Duke House Properties was a major developer and investor in the Eighties and Nineties.

"Ireland is a significant market and we have a plan," Hayes said.

In the Nineties, he and Joe Moran founded financial services company, IFG, one of the few firms to weather the financial bust. Hayes was CEO there until 2006. As well as its Irish base, the company also has offices in the US, Britain, India and China.

Turnover in 2013 was in the region of €4m.

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