| -0.3°C Belfast

Region now ticks all the right boxes

Another day, another announcement of new jobs for Northern Ireland. If you had just arrived in the country from, oh I don't know, Mars, you'd be forgiven for believing our economy was in rude health.

Well it seems in some industries, such as IT and financial services, it is. You only have to look at recent investments from the likes of Kana and Heritage Administration Services to see we're continuing to carve a niche for ourselves in these two areas.

Little surprise then to see a company which specialises in both those sectors raising the bar when it comes to job creation. Even less surprise when you find out it's First Derivatives, a company which has blazed a trail in the area of financial software not with customers here but with top investment banks and software firms the world over.

If you were to come up with a blueprint for the type of company which is going to help pull the Northern Ireland economy back to the heady heights of 2007 then First Derivatives would be it. A homegrown company? Check. Employing hundreds of local people in high-end jobs? Check. Focused on exports? Check. Run by a self- effacing chief executive? Check.

It's not often a local company commits to employing nearly 360 people over the next three years. There'll be those naysayers who point to the £4m worth of Invest NI cash which was the trigger for yesterday's announcement but given the number of posts, that's not a bad rate of return.