Posted on Wednesday 10 October 2012 by Ulster Business

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CME Group's Mark Bennett welcomes Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.

The First and Deputy First Minister have officially opened CME Group's new state-of-the-art offices in Millennium House on Belfast's Great Victoria Street.

Thirty members of staff are currently in place at CME Group's Technology & Support Services centre with an additional 70 employees expected to be recruited over the next year.

The jobs are expected to generate around £400,000 a year in salaries.

CME Group – which operates the famous Chicago Mercantile Exchange - offers a wide range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agriculture commodities, metals, weather and real estate.

The company's investment in the Belfast centre, announced in January 2012, has been supported by Invest Northern Ireland with further assistance from the Department for Employment and Learning under its Assured Skills Programme.

Speaking at the opening, Mark Bennett, Executive Director Software Engineering at CME Group Belfast, said: "We made the decision to open an office in Belfast this past January to provide our global operations with information technology support. Belfast appealed to us because it has a highly educated and committed workforce within an attractive business environment and is supported by solid telecommunications and transport infrastructures.

"These technology positions range from graduate level to senior and lead software engineers and will help with the software development and programming for our website, market data, order management and other web-based tools our customers and employees use.

"All of these jobs will in some way help our customers to manage their risk and will be vital to our business. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Ministers and Invest NI for their support and guidance during our decision making process and all those involved in making today's reception a success."

First Minister Peter Robinson added: "This state-of-the-art development facility is a fitting home for a company that is at the forefront of the financial services technology sector. CME Group is the kind of high quality inward investor that Invest NI seeks to attract to Northern Ireland in order to help develop a knowledge-based economy with long-term sustainability."

The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, also said: "The financial services technology sector is hugely important to our economy in its potential to create wealth through high value jobs and export focused trading. CME Group's decision to locate here reflects the availability of our talented IT and financial services staff and the high quality, yet cost effective, business environment."

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