Why Ireland for Corporate Treasury?
By John Bennett, Head of Treasury Relations, IDA Ireland
Foreword by Lorcan Travers, 2017 President of the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers
The world of the treasurer has changed dramatically in the last ten years since the global financial crisis shone a spotlight on the need to manage risk and secure liquidity effectively. Ireland, a small, vibrant, open economy took the full impact of this financial and economic crash, creating an enormous challenge for all sections of society. Thankfully the economy is now on the road to recovery from the worst excesses of austerity, driven by a vibrant corporate sector. The corporate treasury profession has played a vital role in this recovery, as its members steered companies of all sizes through the worst of the crisis.
Ireland has always been blessed with an active and engaged corporate treasury community. At its heart is the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers, which in the last year celebrated its 30th birthday. The Association reflects all that is great about corporate treasury in Ireland; it facilitates the networking of ideas and conversations across a close-knit community as well as actively contributing to the work of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT) and International Group of Treasury Associations (IGTA).
With the opportunity offered by the economic recovery, the potential promised by vibrant financial technological progress and the challenges of regulatory change, we answer the question ‘Why Ireland for Corporate Treasury?’
Today’s Ireland is in expansive mode, with an economy that regularly ranks among the fastest-growing in the world. Our place in the global international financial services sector is strongly-established. Our place in the EU and the Eurozone is central to the success of our open, competitive economy. The Irish government provides the necessary infrastructure and our people provide the impetus for best-in-class companies to locate and operate their global networks here.
Ireland is the seventh largest provider of wholesale financial services in the EU. With more than 500 international financial institutions, Ireland has become a world-leading centre for a variety of activities ranging from treasury to aircraft leasing. Firms located in Ireland provide financial services to every major economy in the world. International banks, investment managers, insurers, aircraft leasing operators and an array of other financial firms employ over 38,000 people and contribute €2bn each year in taxes.
More than 350 treasury entities have been approved to operate in Ireland.The activities carried out here include: inter-group lending/financing; cash pooling, netting, cash management; exchange and interest rate risk management; debt factoring; active management of group liquidity; cross-border leasing; and bond and commercial paper issuance.
Key incentives for companies locating treasury operations in Ireland:
- Ireland has a well-developed and experienced corporate treasury industry and is a centre of excellence for treasury managers
- Highly skilled and educated workforce that remains comparatively inexpensive
- Time-zone allows companies to obtain maximum use of corporate funds in the global 24-hour trading day from Asia to Europe and to the United States
- The euro currency is a significant advantage in dealing with other Eurozone countries
- The only English-speaking jurisdiction in the Eurozone
- Common law legal system similar to the US and UK and ability to prepare accounts in non-euro currencies
- Fully compliant with the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) regulations
- Fully committed member of the European Union
- Ireland is a trading and financial hub
“Doosan established its EMEA corporate treasury in Dublin, Ireland 10 years ago. When tasked with establishing new treasury processes and banking relationships, I found it quite helpful to tap into the network of the close-knit treasury community in Ireland to assist with issues, recommendations and best practice. Having easy access to such a wealth of knowledge is a major advantage when conducting treasury activities in Ireland.
The Doosan Bobcat EMEA treasury department has evolved with the business since its establishment in Ireland 10 years ago. While continuing to conduct the standard operational duties such as cash management, liquidity management, intercompany loan and payment processing, the team has taken the lead in areas such as global foreign exchange risk management and has also been a key participant in projects such as capital structuring, refinancing, disposals and legal entity consolidation.”
Keith Lynch, Director, EMEA Treasury, Doosan