The head of a US multinational said he ignored advice that he should not come to Ireland when he was looking to set up a base in Europe due to the poor state of our telecommunications.

Phil Heasley, president and CEO of ACI Worldwide, said its Irish operation in Limerick was such a success they had decided to expand their workforce from 82 to 150.

ACI processes over 35m payment transactions worth $14tn (€12.7tn) each day for nearly 5,000 banks, retail companies, restaurants, and hotel groups worldwide.

ACI, which is based in Florida, has a workforce of 4,500 worldwide.

Mr Heasley said 10 years ago they decided to set up in the EU and were looking for a country to locate to.

“We do business in over 100 countries and we have a basic belief to respect the culture of the places we do business in.

“At that time Ireland was a very interesting place to go when we were looking for a major presence in the EU.”

Mr Heasley said its requirements included a well educated workforce and the opportunity to pair up with a university.

“We could have built any place in Europe and we were told Ireland would not work because of problems including its telecommunications network. But we were also told not to underestimate the University of Limerick and we came here. I am every bit as impressed as I was then and it made me so happy walking in here today at the work done here in Limerick,” said Mr Heasley.

ACI is a high-end graduate employer.

“We are very excited about our new centre and the tremendous overall opportunities for ACI in this region.

“As more organisations embrace private cloud solutions to gain a competitive edge, they’re turning to ACI. Our dedicated cloud payments offerings provide the security, privacy and reliability that customers need and expect for mission- critical payment solutions,” he added.


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