Northern Ireland software entrepreneur marks homecoming from US with 12 jobs on £38K salaries
A US software company is setting up an office in Belfast creating a dozen new jobs at salaries of nearly £40,000.
Crossvale Inc from Dallas, Texas was founded by Northern Ireland man Conor Brankin.
It's now extending its software engineering team with an opening in Carryduff. Customers include a multi-national Spanish banking group and a Saudi Arabian telecoms company.
The company will be paying salaries of around £38,000 to its Northern Ireland recruits.
Economic development agency Invest NI has been under pressure to demonstrate that Northern Ireland can continue to attract foreign direct investors following the vote to leave the EU. Its chief executive Alastair Hamilton has argued that Northern Ireland's talent pool and lower costs are more important selling points to US firms than access to the single market.
Yesterday, he welcomed the arrival of Crossvale to Northern Ireland, and said: "Once again it is the availability of high quality software engineers that has attracted this US company to Northern Ireland.
"This, combined with low staff turnover, low costs and Invest NI support, has secured this mobile project and the new developer roles for Northern Ireland."
He said the new roles will be filled over the next two years - and that Invest NI support at an unnamed sum would go towards generating nearly £500,000 of annual salaries into the Northern Ireland economy.
Conor Brankin, CEO of Crossvale, said: "Our new engineering centre in Belfast will support our company's growth and help service both our existing US clients, as well new clients in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Middle East."
Ian Purdy, Crossvale Europe's managing director, said it had spent a long time considering where its new software centre should be located. He added that the Northern Ireland talent pool helped sway the company's decision. The local talent here is hard to beat and we are keen to recruit both experienced developers and recent graduates."
The Crossvale Group was set up in 2001 by Conor Brankin.
He started his working life with BT in Northern Ireland in 1992 after graduating in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Manchester. Mr Brankin worked for two years at BT as a software engineer.
He then joined DCS Communications, which is based in Texas, before going on to work as a senior consultant at CustomWare and Borland and then setting up Crossvale in 2002. The company also has an office in Saudi Arabia.
Its Northern Ireland base is at Emerson House on Ballynahinch Road in Carryduff.