The decision by a European financial services giant to move almost 500-staff into a new office block in Cork’s docklands has been hailed as a massive vote of confidence in the city, and in Ireland in the context of Brexit.
The comments were made at the official opening yesterday of Clearstream’s offices at Navigation Square (NSQ1) on Albert Quay. Clearstream is part of trading and securities giant, Deutsche Börse Group - one of the largest exchange organisations in the world. As a post-trade service provider, Clearstream provides a range of services for the Eurobond market, with around €14 trillion in assets under custody.
Dr Stephan Leithner, chairman of Clearstream and a member of the executive board of Deutsche Börse, said that while he recognises the current political uncertainty against the backdrop of Brexit, the decision by one of Germany’s top 30 companies to invest like this in Ireland at such a time is an important statement.
“This is a very special day for Clearstream,” he said. “It is more than just the inauguration of a new office. It is a commitment for us and the community to making our business thrive in what is a great ecosystem for funds, leveraging proximity to customers and talent alike.”
Tánaiste Simon Coveney said whatever happens in relation to Brexit, Ireland’s place in the EU, the customs union and the single market remains absolute, and the government’s policy message is one of stability.
"Clearstream’s investment in Cork is also an important step in the transition and transformation of the city’s docklands," he said.
Cork Chamber, which has been promoting the city as a key location for financial services for some time, through the Cork Financial Services Forum, hailed the investment as a pivotal moment in the development of a financial services hub in the city - where some 2,500 people are already employed in the sector.
“That a leading global financial services organisation such as Clearstream Deutsche Börse has established such a base in Cork with 500 people and commitment to further growth is a clear endorsement of Cork and provides great confidence for future national and international financial services investment,” said Chamber chief executive, Conor Healy.
The company has been based in Cork for several years, with offices at the Airport Business Park and Eastgate Business Park. But last June, it consolidated operations into two floors of the 360,000 sq ft Navigation Square office block on Albert Quay, developed by O’Callaghan Properties.
Its near 500-staff work in funds-processing, product development and several administrative functions, and can handle some two million transactions a month, from thousands of funds types from 48 jurisdictions.
David Brosnan, head of Clearstream Global Funds Operations and the Cork location, said the move to a city location is important not just for the company, which plans to hire another 100 people, with business, commerce and finance qualifications, over the next 12 to 18 months, but also for the city’s financial services sector.
"Coming into the city, to this location, for us, will provide that visibility. We’re looking to attract the best and the brightest, whether from Cork or globally, to come here and work.
"And for us to be in this location shows that it’s good to be in the city, to be part of the city environment. The building here is right next to the train station, the bus station and just 15-minutes from the airport. It’s the perfect location.”
The IDA’s head of international financial services, Kieran Donoghue, said having a company such as Clearstream based in Cork will help attract more similar investment from around the world.