Posted on Wednesday 28 May 2014 by Ulster Business

Spence & Partners create 107 new pension and IT jobs in Belfast

Pictured (left to right) at the firm's Belfast office are: Neil Copeland and Brian Spence, Spence & Partners, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and David Davison, Spence & Partners.

A new piece of pensions software is behind the creation of 107 new jobs by Belfast firm Spence and Partners.

The Great Victoria Street company will be taking on the new staff over the next five years in actuary and IT roles as it expands its business, most of which is focused on serving the pensions industry in the rest of the UK.

Known as Mantle, the new cloud based software, offers a quicker and less expensive way of valuing a company's pension pot, according to Mike Selby, the program's creator.

"It's a brand new software system for looking after final salary pension schemes which enables far more competitive and premium services to our clients," he told Ulster Business. "The skills we require to grow Mantel aren't to found anywhere in the UK so we're having to train graduates to work on the system and in Belfast the calibre of graduates is extremely high."

Of the jobs, 25 are already in place and the total 107 will generate salaries of £3.5m a year, part of an £8m investment overall of which Invest NI has offered £1m of assistance.

The new hires will bring the total headcount at the company in Belfast to 145 while it also employs 30 people in Glasgow and 10 in London.

Spence & Partners is part of Ellcon Investments, an indigenous financial services group based in Belfast with offices in London, Glasgow and Bristol.

"We are excited by the opportunities opening up for us on the back of our Mantle product, which is the only software system on the market that combines actuarial functionality and related administrative processes," director Neil Copeland said.

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster welcomed the new posts.

"The new jobs, 25 of which are already in place, will bring new skills to the important financial services sector and will generate £3.5m a year in salaries. As well as providing an employment grant, Invest Northern Ireland is supporting training for the new staff and has also supported the Mantle research and development project."

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