Belfast Telegraph

Investment management firm shuts Belfast office as part of global cuts

Office space at Glandore has been used by the world’s biggest tech firms
Office space at Glandore has been used by the world’s biggest tech firms
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

US financial services giant State Street is in the process of pulling out of Belfast with the loss of around 40 jobs, it has emerged.

The investment manager had started recruiting last year for a technology centre.

However, it's now understood to have vacated its offices in Glandore, the shared office facility in Arthur Street where it had set up a Northern Ireland base.

State Street, which is based in Boston, said yesterday it had been carrying out a consultation into its IT infrastructure operations in the US and Europe.

According to the Boston Business Journal, a total of 250 workers have now been laid off.

State Street said: "We are continually reviewing our information technology capabilities to ensure we have the right resources in the right locations to drive excellent client outcomes and innovation as well as to deliver on our commitments to shareholders and stakeholders.

"In line with this, we are currently undertaking a collective consultation process with regard to our operations in Belfast, Northern Ireland."

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The company would not confirm how many posts had been filled in Belfast, but it's understood there were around 40 people at the Arthur Street base.

Invest NI confirmed that while it had made an offer of funding to the business none of the funding had been released.

A spokeswoman for the economic development agency said: "It is Invest NI's understanding that State Street has made a decision to reduce headcount across a number of locations globally and that this may include the Belfast office.

"Invest NI had made an offer of support to the company but none of this had been released."

Claiming Brexit had not influenced its decision to pull out of Belfast, a State Street spokeswoman said: "We remain committed to the UK and maintain a strong presence in both our London and Edinburgh sites."

Company spokesman Brendan Paul told the Boston Business Journal that the changes "streamline our IT organisation and removes unnecessary layers that get in the way of our overall success". He added: "With these changes we will ensure our culture of innovation is more readily focused on delivering against our strategic objectives in the near and long term."

Two months ago the firm said it was having to take "urgent" action to cope with challenging conditions.

At the time, Ron O'Hanley, president and chief executive, said: "State Street is acting with urgency to adjust to a challenging external environment.

"We remain laser focused on steps we can immediately take both to improve financial performance and strengthen client service, including enhanced productivity, process re-engineering and greater resource discipline.

"Our 2019 expense programme has delivered $175m in savings year-to-date and we now expect to achieve a total of $400m by year-end."

The company has a workforce of 40,000 around the world, including around 2,500 people in four offices in the Republic at Dublin, Drogheda, Kilkenny and Naas.

State Street has operated in the Republic since 1996.

Four years ago US software firm Revel Systems closed its offices in Belfast - where it was to have built up a workforce of 89 - seven months after opening.

It was to receive £445,000 from Invest NI and a further £245,000 in support from the-then Department for Employment and Learning.

Belfast Telegraph