Irish Funds industry net sales reach record levels

Originally published on 10 November 2017

At its 5th Annual UK Symposium in London today, Irish Funds, the representative body for the cross-border investment funds industry in Ireland, has announced that net sales for the eight months to end August 2017 of €207bn have reached record levels, according to the latest figures from the Central Bank of Ireland.
2016 net sales across all fund types stood at €139bn, which was the previous record figure in the seven years since data became available. This year’s figure of €207bn, has already surpassed that, but only accounts for the first eight months of the year, with further growth expected to make this a bumper year for the managers who have chosen Ireland as a base for their cross border funds. In 2016 Irish authorised funds attracted more net sales than any other European country, accounting for about 30% of the total, and this rate has continued in 2017.
Ireland is already the third largest global centre for investment fund assets and the Irish Funds industry continues to go from strength to strength, as the fastest growing of the 5 largest fund domiciles in Europe over the last 5 years. Between 2011 and 2016, net assets held in Irish domiciled funds has doubled; an increase aided by year on year increases in the number of funds (including sub funds) deciding to locate in Ireland.
This growth comes as the Irish Government continues to support the industry in delivering a responsive business and regulatory environment for the wider investment community. This work remains a key part of the government’s International Financial Services 2020 strategy.  Michael D’Arcy, Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance addressed  the Symposium “…to highlight to you the Irish Government’s commitment to not only international financial services as a whole but also the funds sector [in Ireland].”   
Demonstrating this support, the Minister of State added “[I am] seeking that pre-legislative scrutiny for the [Investment Limited Partnership Amendment Bill] legislative proposals be facilitated as soon as possible.”
Irish Funds has also seen an increase in membership of nearly 30% among asset managers during 2017, as the trade body builds strong relationships in Europe and beyond. Of the 125 member companies, Irish Funds now boasts 50 asset managers making it the largest Irish Funds member group. Wider membership is made up of depositaries, fund administrators, transfer agents, professional advisory firms and specialist service providers.
As Brexit negotiations continue, Irish Funds are continuing to see managers from around the globe looking at domiciling their funds in Ireland. Currently, over 880 fund managers from 50+ countries have funds domiciled or administered in Ireland and 17 of the top 20 global asset managers have Irish domiciled funds.
Ireland’s popularity spans the different fund types, with 40% of global hedge fund assets serviced in the country. More than 50% of all European ETFs are also established in Ireland, while accounting for more than 90% of all reported net sales into European ETFs for 2016. In respect of Irish AIFs, there has been more than €50bn of net sales into Irish AIFs during the first 8 months of 2017, this is more than twice the amount for all of 2016.
Commenting on the new record, Pat Lardner, Chief Executive at Irish Funds, said: “Ireland has firmly established itself as a leading destination for a wide range of fund strategies and structures and these record figures are testament to that fact. The Irish Funds industry is currently responsible for €2.25 trillion in domiciled assets with the amount of assets under administration over €4.3 trillion and we expect that trend to continue. A clear message from our event today is that all industry participants want to maintain and further develop a market place that enables access to the best global expertise and product choice for the end investors.  The strong flows into European investment funds underline the effective and well-functioning role of this market in providing capital into economies and supporting personal and institutional savings and investment.  We will continue to advocate strongly for the measures and market developments which support the essential role that investment funds play.
The growth in our membership is also a demonstration of ongoing international interest in locating/servicing funds in Ireland. Our members are at the core of everything we do and are central to enhancing and developing the investment funds industry in Ireland. This is welcome news and a key part of our commitment to supporting Ireland’s local economy and the 14,000 highly skilled professionals the industry employs throughout the country.”