US tech firm commits to permanent presence in Northern Ireland
A US tech firm has made a long-term commitment to Northern Ireland because of the "rich talent pool".
Vela Trading Technologies is a global leader in high-performance trading and market data technology.
It employs more than 85 people in Belfast and expects to increase its workforce by around a tenth.
Chief executive Jen Nayar said: "For Vela, there were many positive factors that influenced our decision to commit to a permanent presence here in Northern Ireland.
"First and foremost, it was the calibre of graduates coming out of the region's two universities and other higher-level education institutions such as Belfast Met, as well as the rich talent pool of experienced workers in the ICT and FinTech sectors.
"Their knowledge and skill, strong work ethic, and can-do attitude have helped us to remain true to our key values of teamwork, technology excellence, efficiency, focus, integrity, and reliability.
"The region's cost-competitiveness as a place to do business and location in terms of connectivity to London and the US are also very attractive to us, as indeed is Belfast's superfast broadband connectivity - which is essential for ease of doing business between our international offices."
Headquartered in New York City, Vela Trading Technologies - formerly SR Labs, which acquired NYSE Technologies (Wombat) in 2014 - has offices in London, Chicago, Pune, and Manila.
The firm employs 175 people worldwide.
Ms Nayar said Vela hoped to continue growing its Belfast presence in coming years.
She said: "Our Belfast team is an important part of the Vela international network and pays a crucial role in supporting the work that we do globally to simplify how firms interact with the markets."
Vela is predicting an 11% increase in revenue in the first three months of 2017 and recently won seven new global clients.
Ms Nayar added: "As demand for our service continues to increase, we will invest in growing our regional teams with the additional knowledge, skills, and capacity that enable us to develop our offering and respond to evolving market requirements internationally.
"We are currently recruiting for a number of senior and middle-level positions in our Belfast office and anticipate creating more roles in the coming years as we continue to expand."