An independent, privately owned global fund administration company which has its headquarters in Bermuda has officially announced it's expanding its Irish base to Enniscorthy where it plans to develop 100 new positions over the next five years.
The announcement was made at an IDA organised launch in the Riverside Park Hotel last week.
The setting up of the Enniscorthy office will be overseen by the company's Regional COO, Mark Atkinson.
Speaking exclusively to this newspaper following the launch Mr Atkinson confirmed that a temporary office will be set up 'immediately' [late on Tuesday the first two positions for the Enniscorthy office were advertised on the company website].
The temporary office will be set up in the Templeshannon area of Enniscorthy but Mr Atkinson confirmed that the company will move into the refurbished courthouse building as soon as it becomes available.
'We will move over to the courthouse once it's ready,' he said.
When asked if the long term plan is to move the office to the Enniscorthy Technology Park he said that could happen when expansion of the company necessitates it.
'The courthouse building could accommodate around 50 to 60 people but anything bigger than that and we would likely look at other options,' he said.
He then said that at such a point the technology park would be considered.
'There will be two initial roles advertised here and over the next 12 months that will grow to around 10 positions,' said Mr Atkinson.
The company's Regional CEO, Christian Pollard, also spoke to this newspaper at the launch and said that the number of people employed in the Dublin office of the company will be capped at 20.
'The Dublin office won't be expanding further than that but our plan is to develop here in Enniscorthy,' he said.
Mr Pollard commented on the advantages of Enniscorthy over Dublin with the expense of living and operating in the capital city being an obvious factor.
Both Mr Pollard and Mr Atkinson said that in time the Enniscorthy office could become the main European base of operations for the company.
The company is conscious that many people commute from north Wexford, in particular, to Dublin on a daily basis and it's confident that suitable candidates for the positions likely to become available in the Enniscorthy office will be found locally.
Among the other people in attendance at the launch was the Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council, Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan, who described the announcement as very significant for the town and county.
She said Enniscorthy is in a prime position to exploit the potential offered by the opening of the M11 motorway because it means access to-and-from the town and county is now easy.
'Phase one of the new technology park is nearing completion and hopefully later this year we will have the first building under construction,' she said.
She also said county Wexford is at the centre of financial services in Ireland and she acknowledged the work of the IDA and Wexford County Council in bringing Opus Fund Services to the model county.
Minister Michael D'Arcy also welcomed the announcement and addressing those present he said there is already a significant cluster of financial service companies in Wexford and commented there is 'great potential for further growth in the coming years'.
Minister D'Arcy caused a ripple of laughter when he acknowledged that the company's began in Bermuda and hinted at the comparison between there and Enniscorthy.
He also caused amusement but admitting that since first meeting the company's Regional CEO, Mr Pollard, in Croke Park he had constantly called him 'Sebastian' rather than Christian in the interim.
'I have called him Sebastian since then for some reason,' said Minister D'Arcy.
He also highlighted the significance of the new motorway in terms of opening up Wexford to new business.
'In Dublin people have to commute for two hours and here in Wexford the commute for most people to work is around 20 minutes,' he said.
Highlighting that 22 per cent of corporate tax in 2018 came from the financial sector - amounting to €2.2bn - Minister D'Arcy said it's a 'huge sector'.
He also said there is a significant need for joined up thinking in County Wexford.
'We have always had four different districts and that has to end and we have to start thinking about one Wexford,' he said.
In his address to the attendees Mr Pollard said it was a great pleasure for him to be present.
'It's exciting to be here in historic Enniscorthy for the second chapter in our [Irish] story,' he said.
He highlighted that from very humble beginnings in Bermuda the company had grown into a global leader operating on three continents.
'Four years ago we explored opportunities to expand outside of Bermuda and North America,' he said. 'We always look to have the right people, doing the right work, in the right place,' he added, referring to the company's decision to set up an Enniscorthy office.
'County Wexford offers a strong pool of well educated, fund administration professionals and we are looking to speak to individuals that will thrive in a fast-paced business who are keen to join our mission to build the fund administrator for the future.'
He acknowledged the help and assistance the company received from Wexford County Council in finding a suitable location and in particular he praised the CEO of the local authority, Tom Enright, for his work in that regard.
IDA Ireland's Divisional Manager, for international financial services, Kieran Donoghue, said the organisation was delighted for Enniscorthy and county Wexford.
He also said the development was significant for the wider south east region.
'Opus Fund Services join a growing number of international finance service firms operating in the south east and across Ireland,' he said.
'Their presence will provide significant local employment opportunities and increase the attractiveness of the region for further investment by the funds sector and broader financial services industry,' he added.
Minister Paul Kehoe was unable to attend the launch as he was out of the country with his family, however, he said the development was 'a significant endorsement of not only Enniscorthy, but Wexford and the South East region'.
'Opus Funds Services Ltd is a highly successful company going from strength-to-strength, and the fact the company is expanding beyond Dublin signals a vote of real confidence in the South East,' he said.
However, he said the company opening an office in Ennsicorthy could prove pivotal for the town in terms of job creation and the overall economic impact it will have in the general Enniscorthy area.
Minister Kehoe also acknowledged the role played by the IDA in attracting the company to Enniscorthy and the role played by the local authority CEO, Tom Enright, in encouraging them to set up an office there.
To find out about job opportunities with the company log onto www.opusfundservices.com