Grand opening of IT firm's new offices brings 100 jobs to region
The latest milestone in Northern Ireland's transformation into a global financial services hub has seen the official opening of new high-tech offices in Belfast.
The First and deputy First Ministers opened the CME Group's Technology and Support Services centre on Great Victoria Street where 30 employees are already at work with another 70 set to join over the next year.
The CME Group - parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, one of the world's biggest stock, commodity and money markets - announced it was setting up an IT hub here in January after securing help from Invest NI and the Department for Employment and Learning.
Speaking at the opening, Mark Bennett, executive director of 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.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness welcomed the new offices and said: "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."
And Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "This new centre will help deliver a number of benefits to the Northern Ireland economy, not least the creation of 100 first-rate technology roles within the next year."