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Tara Doyle Looks Back on her Year as Chair of Irish Funds

AUTHOR(S): Tara Doyle
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Asset Management and Investment Funds
DATE: 17.05.2018

Tara Doyle, partner and head of the asset management department at Matheson, officially completes her tenure as Chair of Irish Funds today handing over to Brian Forrester of Deloitte.  Tara looks back on a year in office discussing the achievements of the organisation as well as her highlights from 2017 / 18.

A year as Chair of Irish Funds – Tara Doyle

I have been privileged to serve as Chair of Irish Funds for the past twelve months. It has been a wonderful experience and looking back over the year we can be proud of what we achieved. As I hand over the baton to a new incoming Chairperson, I feel it is an opportunity to reflect on some of our significant achievements and highlights from 2017/18:

  • It has been a period of significant growth for our association on a number of levels.  The membership of the Association has grown, as have the assets serviced and people employed.  We now have over 16,000 people working in our industry in Ireland, servicing assets in excess of €4.4 trillion.
  • Ireland has been the fastest growing European fund domicile in every year of this decade and this continued during the year recording 126% growth in 2017 alone, with net sales into Irish funds in 2017 accounting for more than 30% of European net sales.
  • Ireland has unrivalled experience and expertise in the cross-border fund servicing market and this is contributing to our growth and success, which was evident throughout the year.
  • Brexit was and is a significant theme in our industry.  As an organisation we continued to work closely with the Central Bank and the Irish Department of Finance in order to provide clarity to managers and investors.
  • A key area for me was to ensure that the advantages of Irish funds were promoted to investors and managers around the world.  I was honoured to represent Irish Funds at overseas seminars including, UK, US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland and for the first time Spain.
  • We also made significant progress in developing relationships with China, including hosting Chinese asset managers at our annual conference in May 2017 to build on the RQFII quota granted to Ireland.
  • We actively participated in EFAMA (the European Fund and Asset Management Association) in order to strengthen our relationships with our European neighbours. It is important that our voice is heard not just in Ireland but across Europe as well
  • This year we held our first Irish Funds Council meeting outside of Dublin, in Cork.  This gave us an opportunity to meet with local employers and universities, and see the excellent work that is being done to attract financial services companies to the region.

Our industry has thrived over the past 27 years because of our competitiveness. We are a competitive nation, as the sporting success of our rugby team, golfers and rowers demonstrate.  As an industry, while individual member firms compete against each other for business, through our association we come together to compete against other fund domicile and servicing centres. This competitive nature will be fundamental to successfully harnessing the opportunities and minimising the threats presented by Brexit.  A sophisticated and efficient regulatory environment is a key component of our competitive advantage and it is imperative that our government and regulator continue to work with us to achieve this for our member firms, the people employed by them and the managers and investors we service.

I have been very fortunate to serve on a Council with such excellent industry leaders, as I hand this position over to our new Chair Brian Forrester, I want to thank him for his support this past year and wish him the very best in his new role.  I would also like to thank the team within the council for their tireless work to ensure continued success within the industry.

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