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Stellar line-up of politicians open software firm's US headquarters

By Margaret Canning

Ireland's biggest financial software company has opened new North American headquarters in New York.

Brian Conlon, chief executive of Newry-based First Derivatives, was joined at the opening by First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, speaker of US City Council Christine C Quinn and former US special envoy George Mitchell.

Mr Conlon, who founded the company in his mother's Newry home in 1996, said the North American market held "huge potential".

"Whilst we have been doing business in the US and Canada for many years, this opening represents another milestone in the company's development.

"By making this significant investment, and by employing exceptional talent in the US we can fulfil our goal to establish a world-class consulting and software company which satisfies the demands of our clients on Wall Street and beyond.

"We welcome the economic leadership shown by political leaders in Northern Ireland and the can-do approach adopted by Invest Northern Ireland in supporting local businesses. Their support has been key to our growth story."

Around 40 staff will work at the office.

In total, the company now employs 600 people working for clients including financial institutions, hedge funds and investment banks. It has also developed its own financial analytics software.

Senator George Mitchell said: "Peace is the foundation of prosperity, and I am heartened to see companies from Northern Ireland like First Derivatives now competing at a global level, employing people both in Ireland and here in the US."

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