At its 21st Annual Global Funds Conference yesterday, Irish Funds, the representative body for the global cross-border investment funds industry in Ireland, reported an increase in assets in Irish domiciled funds of 9% over the last quarter, to an all-time high of €2.64 trillion according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).
Net sales for the quarter across all funds, stood at €32.3 billion – of which €25.7bn were into exchange-traded fund (ETFs). This, along with positive market movement helped drive an increase in assets in Irish domiciled ETFs to €429.8bn, representing 17% growth in the first quarter.
The strong performance of Irish domiciled funds, combined with €2.0 trillion of non-domiciled funds administered in Ireland, puts the total value of assets under administration in Ireland at €4.7 trillion.
Irish Funds say these figures underscore Ireland’s continuing attractiveness as a funds centre – with the Central Bank of Ireland completing its highest-ever number of fund authorisations — 1,117 — in 2018. This includes a growing presence of asset managers and management companies in Ireland, with a 29% increase in ManCo registrations from the beginning of 2018 to date and seven new entries so far in 2019.
The group says this reflects ongoing Brexit contingency planning, but also a more general trend as global managers choose Ireland as their EU base and launchpad to provide solutions to a range of European and global clients.
Since 2017, ETFs have made huge strides as a tool for institutional investors as well as a providing retail investors access to asset classes which were previously beyond their reach. Ireland has emerged as a leading global centre for the product attracting over 50 per cent of all European-domiciled ETFs – and the largest outside the US.
In his keynote address to the conference, Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy said, "Ongoing successful collaboration between public and private stakeholders is essential if we are to harness the talents and expertise of both sectors. I want Ireland to be at the fore-front of policy developments at EU-level, both from a Government and an industry perspective, to ensure that we can once again secure the ‘first-mover’ advantage which characterised our early successes. Under the Strategy, I will be putting initiatives in place to ensure that the State and industry are fully equipped to successfully undertake this work."
Irish Funds Chief Executive, Pat Lardner added, "By enabling global savings, supporting greater capital market integration in the EU and delivering tangible economic benefits to communities across Ireland, the funds industry plays a pivotal role in showcasing what this country has to offer, and we are very proud of that. Maintaining our competitiveness is equally important so it was very welcome to hear from the Minister today that the draft Investment Limited Partnership Bill is scheduled to go before Cabinet on June 11th, after which we hope to see it published. This will provide a further boost in Irish funds industry efforts to establish Ireland as a European domicile for funds which want to invest across infrastructure, renewables and private equity."