Belfast Telegraph

Financial software firm to create up to 360 new jobs

Financial software firm First Derivatives has confirmed its commitment to the Co Down base where the business originated with the announcement of almost 360 jobs.

The firm, founded in the mid 1990s and one of only three Northern Ireland companies listed on the AIM, provides software and consulting services to the capital markets industry - global investment banks and hedge funds.

Chief operating officer Adrian Toner said that between 300 and 320 of the new jobs will be based in Newry and Belfast and, despite lower corporation tax just a few miles away in the Republic, the company could not be tempted to relocate.

The posts will be primarily consulting jobs but also managerial and operational positions across human resources, finance, support and marketing.

"The reasons to locate in Newry are obvious," Mr Toner said.

"It has been our base since inception and we have loyal employees from the city since inception. Newry is on the Belfast-Dublin corridor with excellent transport links and access to two international airports.

"We have excellent relations with Northern Ireland's two leading universities - Queens and the University of Ulster - and proximity to the border facilitates excellent relationships with all Ireland's universities.

"The nature of our business is that we can locate anywhere and Newry has a lot to offer."

He added that the company was continuing to forge ahead despite a difficult financial climate.

"The capital markets industry is vast and truly global," he said.

"First Derivatives occupy a specific niche in respect of the services and products we provide.

"Our unique selling proposition is that we combine deep domain knowledge and technical expertise.

"Within the capital markets industry, increased regulation, compliance and attention paid to derivative trading since the global financial crisis has created greater demand for our products and services. As we have grown so has our credentials and our ability to win larger contracts."

Mr Toner said that there will be opportunities for new graduates and for ex-pats keen to return home after going abroad to find work and has hinted that there could be further expansion to come.

"Graduates who join us will get the opportunity to travel and acquire international and industry specific experience, in addition to not losing touch with home," he said.

"We are always on the lookout for opportunities to expand organically and by acquisition."

And he said that voltatility in the markets fuelled by soaring commodity prices and worries over fossil fuels due to unrest in the Middle East could actually benefit business.

"The more volatility in prices can result in increasing trading volumes across exchanges where our software is installed, which means more business for us."