IT leader's £2.9m Belfast move set to create 31 high-level jobs
A company which provides outsourced IT services to financial firms has opened a new branch in Belfast, bringing 31 new jobs in an investment worth £2.9m. Options provides information technology managed services and infrastructure products to hedge funds, global investment banks, private equity firms and exchanges and has located its Northern Ireland base at Lower Crescent off Botanic Avenue.
The financial technology positions will be based at Options' new offices and the recruitment drive has already begun for client support, account management, marketing and engineering.
The move has been supported by a grant of £249,000 from Invest Northern Ireland with the move the latest in a series of global expansions for the London-based company.
It follows expansion in the US and a the launch of a second London office with the global workforce, including at its branches in Hong Kong and Singapore, now exceeding 100.
Selecting Belfast to open another branch, Options joins a number of other leading financial services firms to launch here, including CME, Citi Group and NYSE.
Options' chief operating officer is Danny Moore, the former head of NYSE Technologies, who is also involved with Lough Shore Investments.
He has also branched out into the film industry through Lough Shore Investments, taking on the role of executive producer for Terry George's 2012 Oscar-winning short film, The Shore, starring Ciarán Hinds, through Lough Shore Investments.
The entrepreneur was also head of the Belfast and New York-based trading technology firm Wombat Financial Software.
Mr Moore said Belfast was the perfect fit for Options.
"The breadth of local talent, both technical and non-technical, is the reason we brought Wombat to Belfast, and later NYSE, and I've no doubt that it was this talent that helped propel Wombat to its ultimate success."
He also paid tribute to Invest NI: "This last decade has seen Belfast, and Northern Ireland, become a significant player in the global financial services sector and it certainly would not have been possible without their continued support."
Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: "The company's rationale for selecting Northern Ireland includes the availability of skilled support engineers, the high-speed telecommunications links between Northern Ireland, North America and Europe, and the support offered by Invest NI.
"Options was also influenced by the positive experience of other financial IT companies here, such as Citi and CME, and by the strong links between industry and our university research groups in Belfast and Londonderry."
Options styles itself as the main provider of infrastructure products to the global financial services sector.
It was set up in 1993 as a hedge fund technology services provider focusing on the London market.
It then moved into providing cloud services to the financial sector. Now its clients include investment banks, hedge funds and proprietary trading firms.
The news follows another IT job-creation boost when 10 positions were announced for Belfast this week by US firm Leardon Solutions, from San Diego.