Posted on Wednesday 16 May 2012 by Ulster Business

Financial services jobs

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster with executives from Augentius

Outsourced fund administration business Augentius is to establish a centre in Belfast, which will employ up to 164 professional staff by the end of 2014.

The firm, which provides its services to the private equity and real estate sectors was formed 10 years ago and has offices in London, Guernsey, New York, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Singapore and The Netherlands.

It is to set up an ‘Operational Centre of Excellence’ in Belfast in an investment worth over £14m, backed by £2.8m of support from Invest NI.

Seventeen new jobs have been created by Augentius in the new Belfast office in recent months and this is expected to grow to 30 by the end of the year, supporting clients in both onshore and offshore locations, the company said.

David Bailey, Managing Partner and one of the Founders of Augentius, said: “There are clear strategic benefits for us in establishing an operation in Northern Ireland. We anticipate that it will help us increase our competitiveness and we are confident that we can recruit high calibre staff, who will help us to continue to provide the high quality service that our clients expect from us and on which we have built our business.”

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the investment, the first ever from a London based fund administration company, was a significant milestone in the development of the financial services sector in Northern Ireland.

“Augentius considered several other locations for the centre, including Canada, China, India, Dublin, and other UK cities,” she said.

“Its decision to locate here reflects a desire by the company to maintain core service centres within the UK and the very strong reputation that Northern Ireland has built up as a cost-effective working environment with access to a skilled and educated workforce.”

The news came the same day as the latest labour market figures showed another 700 people in Northern Ireland started claiming unemployment benefits last month.

Minister Foster noted the positives in the latest jobs figures, which showed Northern Ireland’s unemployment rate falling to 6.7%, below the UK’s 8.2% rate and Republic of Ireland’s 14.7% figure.

But she acknowledged that the April claimant count showed Northern Ireland “cannot expect to remain immune” to continuing pressures in the global economy, particularly in the Euro Zone.

The seasonally adjusted number of people claiming unemployment related benefits stood at 62,500 in April 2012 – up 700 from the revised figure for the previous month.

The Northern Ireland claimant count rate of 6.8% for the month was the second highest among the twelve UK regions, with the UK rate standing at 4.9%.

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