FundForum International: Ireland Bids to Become Domicile of Choice Post-Brexit

Ireland’s Global Footprint initiative announcement by Michael Collins, Irish Ambassador to Germany became one of this year’s FundForum International Conference defining moments.

Ireland’s bid to boost its reputation as a major funds hub post-Brexit took center stage at this year’s FundForum International, held in Berlin. Just announced on Monday, the Irish Government has launched an initiative to double the country’s global footprint by 2025.

“Global Ireland – Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025” includes a range of far-reaching measures, such as expanding Ireland’s diplomatic presence in Europe; launching a digital communications strategy to enhance Ireland’s reputation around the globe; and creating a US diplomacy, trade, business, and cultural hub in Los Angeles, California. The initiative also aims to encourage more funds to set up shop in Ireland seeking to position itself as the international fund domicile of choice post-Brexit.

Industry participants at the forum emphasized that the responsibility for enhancing Ireland’s status does not solely lie with the fund services industry, nor funds themselves. Rather, there is significant government backing and a real impetus from ambassadors to ensure investors see Ireland as a fund center of excellence. There is a strong willingness among Ireland’s ambassadors to connect and collaborate with cross-border funds until 2025 and beyond. With managers moving to implement post-Brexit planning, whether setting up Irish Management Companies, relocating staff to Dublin, or simply finding office space, the announcement increased the urgency to establish a substantive presence and engage with the CBI.

Whilst the agenda of panel discussions covered topics ranging from AI to transforming the middle and back office to ESG, much of the talk amongst attendees debated the cross-border post-Brexit merits of Luxembourg and Dublin. Collins’ announcement certainly threw down the gauntlet.