Business Irish

Saturday 24 August 2019

IFG to keep Dublin base after the sale of its last Irish assets

IFG chief executive Paul McNamara
IFG chief executive Paul McNamara

Paul O'Donoghue

Irish financial services group IFG plans to keep its headquarters in Dublin even though it is selling the last of its operations here and focusing completely on the UK.

Chief executive Paul McNamara, inset, added that the company is currently on the lookout for acquisitions in the financial services sector, saying that IFG would consider looking at large scale deals if the right opportunity was available.

Mr McNamara was speaking after the company, which provides financial solutions through its subsidiaries, James Hay Partnership and Saunderson House, released an interim management statement yesterday.

In the statement the company signalled it is trading in line with expectations. Last year the Dublin and London-listed firm had revenues of £65.1m while adjusted operating profit was £7.9m.

The company said it is on track to deliver "meaningful growth in profitability" compared to 2014.

The firm also said it expects to finalise the sale of its final Irish asset, insurance broker ARB Underwriting, by the end of the year.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr McNamara said IFG plans to fully focus on the UK market.

"We are very focused on the high end wealth management market in the UK, which is the space we are looking to expand into," Mr McNamara said.

"We will look at other transactions and may look at large ones, it is at the top end of the financial planning and platform market that we are looking to build scale."

As of the end of June IFG had cash and cash equivalents of just under £24m, according to its half year report, which Mr McNamara said gives the company "opportunities to invest".

However, he said the firm has no plans of moving its headquarters from Ireland, where it employs about 20 people.

"It is not something we need to do immediately because the Irish office supports our shareholders, our investor base and our governance structure."

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