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Software firm plans massive R&D boost

Financial software firm First Derivatives today unveiled plans for a multi-million pound investment in research and development (R&D).

The Newry-based company’s plans to invest £4.1m in R&D were announced in New York by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, who is in the US as part of an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.

First Derivatives, which employs 400 people in locations such as London, New York, Singapore and Shanghai, already provides consultancy and software solutions to many of the world’s leading investment banks.

Invest NI is offering £1.3m toward the company’s plans, which will involve two research projects into the development of new products to deal with real time risk and market data management.

Brian Conlon, chief executive of First Derivatives, said: “This latest investment from Invest Northern Ireland will allow us to accelerate our ambitious R&D programme. We have successfully completed three projects with help from Invest NI which have already yielded sales in North America and Asia. We are committed to becoming leaders in innovation in the world’s financial markets and our programme is dedicated to applying the latest theoretical breakthroughs in technology to resolving seemingly intractable problems in finance, especially in the areas of trading, risk and data management.”

Minister Foster added: “First Derivatives is one of our most successful indigenous software companies and is continuing to perform strongly in challenging global markets, including the US. The company’s focus on innovation has helped it secure many of the world’s largest financial institutions as clients.

“As the strategic mission to the US this week demonstrated, there are significant opportunities for local companies in this market and innovation is key to developing a competitive edge.

“Many Northern Ireland companies have discovered how research and development can deliver significant commercial advantages in competitive markets.

First Derivatives has made several acquisitions to boost its global presence in the past year. Last month it announced a £1.2m investment in three R&D projects.