Sunday 21 January 2018

Citco invests €11m in redevelopment of Dublin Centres of Excellence

A world leader in fund administration and alternative asset services, Citco Fund Services Ireland has recently completed an €11m redevelopment in IFSC to house its strategic centres of excellence in finance and technology. Currently recruiting for 40 jobs, Elaine Keegan, head of The Citco Group’s Private Equity Fund Services operations in Europe speaks about the importance of Ireland to the company’s future growth.

The Citco group of companies are the largest independent global service providers to the international hedge funds industry with over 6,200 employees worldwide managing over $1 trillion in assets under administration. Ireland is a strategic hub for the Citco group of companies globally, with business units in technology, banking, custody and alternative assets administration.

It is also home to group functions such as finance, human resources, tax, and compliance. Since first coming to Ireland in 1999, Citco Fund Services (Ireland) Limited, and later the Dublin branch of Citco Bank Nederland NV have expanded their operations significantly and employ approximately 550 in the IFSC in Dublin, with another 350 based at Tellangana House in Blackrock, Cork.

We caught up with the winners of the HFM Best Administrator award for the fifth consecutive year (over $30bn – overall) to talk about their recent investment in Dublin and expansion of their operations.

‘When the Citco group of companies established its operations in Ireland it was because we knew the calibre of the Irish workforce could help us achieve our goal of delivering class leading bespoke solutions to our clients. This latest round of investment is really a reflection of the confidence we have in our workforce to manage the diverse and challenging tasks that come with establishing a centre of excellence’ says Keegan, whose private equity division has grown by more than 300% in the past 18 months.

Building a Strategic Centre of Excellence

Speaking on the decision to make Ireland a strategic CoE, Keegan explains that for the Private Equity and Real Estate (PERE) administration division ‘Dublin was a natural choice for us. We had been investing in developing capability in the PERE space for many years. When we commenced operations in earnest in Dublin we brought in specialist subject matter expertise with private equity and real assets background to seed the operation and develop local capability. From there we developed a robust training program to develop this talent and make the transition from other business lines. This foundation enabled us to grow the team from an effective start-up to a world class centre for private equity funds servicing.’

Building on the success of this platform, Citco was recognised as the ‘Best Firm for Fund Advisory (Administration)’ at the Private Equity Wire Global Awards in June this year. From a start-up operation just three years ago, Citco’s PERE team have managed to achieve rapid growth in a hotly contested candidate market, and anticipated hiring will take this to over 100 specialist employees by Q1 2018.

‘We’ve put in a significant effort to get the business to where it is today and while the reward is great in  recognising the success of what the team has already achieved, we are constantly building to improve. With a healthy pipeline of new business and a focused talent development platform, we have the opportunity to strengthen our position further to support our growing business’ says Keegan.

Proprietary FinTech Platforms

‘Underpinning that growth is a suite of proprietary and industry software platforms that we use to support clients’, says David Mullins, Citco's  Director of Technology. The Dublin office redevelopment included a redesign of the workspace to house the firm’s strategic development centre.

‘Dublin is one of three strategic development centres for the Citco Group globally, and is also home to our centre of excellence for data analytics and visualisations’, says Mullins. ‘We have 40 developers, data scientists and engineers here working to support the current suite of programs, including the recently launched Citco One portal. While in Cork we have over 20 working on a best of breed banking software implementation, and a range of IT operations specialists.’

The success of the Irish operation was one of the key factors in Ireland being chosen to establish the strategic development centre for the Citco group of companies’ technology division. Mullins indicates that a new unit within the technology group will be set up that will be dedicated to the development of its next generation software platform, ‘A5’. The new unit in the development centre will create a host of new jobs opportunities for Ireland’s Fin Tech and data analytics communities.

The Citco group of companies reinvests a sizeable portion of its revenues into developing its suite of technology products and infrastructure to maintain its competitive positioning in the market. ‘It’s a really exciting time here in the technology group, says Mullins. ‘We have people working across multiple product streams, including specialisations in trading and custody platforms, DevOps, SRE (site reliability engineering) and strategic monitoring groups, and the team runs local meet-ups on Docker, Blockchain and Design Thinking amongst other things… beer and pizza included!’

Impact of Brexit

‘The decision to grow the business here and expand the scope of services provided from Ireland happened long before the Brexit decision’ says Keegan, who says the firm is watching Brexit unfold closely. We have every confidence in our continued ability to provide interesting and richly diverse roles coupled with world class training programs will help keep the Citco group of companies in the hunt for Ireland’s best talent.

There are currently 40 open positions across operations in Dublin and Cork. Click here to apply via IrishJobs.ie.

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