Friday 24 January 2020

Web Summit announces 'return' of finance off-shoot to Ireland

Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave is bringing his MoneyConf event to Dublin. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave is bringing his MoneyConf event to Dublin. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Paddy Cosgrave is to bring one of his Web Summit conferences back to Ireland.

The entrepreneur has chosen Dublin as the next venue for Moneyconf, the company's financial technology conference currently held in Madrid.

"We're returning to Dublin," a company statement said.

"Brexit is transforming Dublin as a financial centre. It's in this moment that we're moving MoneyConf, which is already one of the world's leading financial services and fintech conferences, to our hometown Dublin."

The event is considerably smaller than other conferences held by the company, with 1,000 attendees. However, it is attended by global companies such as Goldman Sachs, Visa and Alipay.

The return to Dublin also marks a thawing in the relationship between Mr Cosgrave and Irish authorities.

"The timing of return has nothing to do with Enda Kenny's departure," said the company statement. "Major banks, credit card companies and fintech startups have all signed leases in recent months. JP Morgan is moving up to 1,000 bankers alone to Dublin from London. It's an incredible moment."

Recently, the Web Summit announced 40 new jobs for its Dublin office, including a new position for an Irish government affairs manager.

"We're back working with the Irish government," Mr Cosgrave said in recent weeks. "The Web Summit's most important supporter from the start, by a wide margin, was the IDA. They're back as one of our partners. There's a lot of positivity and a lot of change. It's an interesting time for Ireland and not just because of Brexit."

The Web Summit's three-year deal with Portuguese authorities to host the event in Lisbon is extendable to five years. However, such an extension has not yet been discussed, Mr Cosgrave said.

The company is also to provide €1.5m a year in free tickets to its events to students from Irish schools and colleges.

Irish Independent

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