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Risk management firm creating 100 jobs with its first base in Belfast

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Economy Minister Diane Dodds with Kevin Holland, Invest NI CEO, and Andrea Brady, chief marketing officer with Riskonnect

Economy Minister Diane Dodds with Kevin Holland, Invest NI CEO, and Andrea Brady, chief marketing officer with Riskonnect

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Economy Minister Diane Dodds with Kevin Holland, Invest NI CEO, and Andrea Brady, chief marketing officer with Riskonnect

A US risk management firm has announced it is creating 100 new jobs, paying an average of £30,000, as it sets up for the first time in Belfast.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds announced the investment by Riskonnect, which is based in Atlanta, during a visit to the US.

Around 25 of the 100 new engineer and developer roles have already been filled by the Georgia company, which is making the move here with the support of Invest NI.

It has based itself in serviced offices on Arthur Street in the city centre.

Northern Ireland has developed into a hub for fintech companies, with homegrown financial software and consulting firm First Derivatives leading the way.

Riskonnect provides software technology to approximately 1,000 global customers to help them cope with "strategic and operational risks".

In recent weeks the company has been discussing how risk and insurance managers should cope with the dangers posed by coronavirus.

As its move into Northern Ireland was announced yesterday, Jim Wetekamp, Riskonnect's chief executive, said: "We are making this major investment in response to an increase in demand for our services.

"Northern Ireland's burgeoning fintech sector, together with a dynamic and highly educated workforce, makes Belfast an obvious choice for us.

"We were highly impressed by the local talent offering and by the strong links forged between industry and universities.

"We are confident that we can find the workforce we need amongst Northern Ireland's talent base to support our ambitious global strategy."

Riskonnect has offices in the US, London and India. The investment in Belfast follows expansion after the firm's acquisition of Marsh ClearSight in 2018.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds met the company on day two of a visit to the US.

She said: "Riskonnect is a global leader in integrated risk management and this project represents a significant investment into the economy, secured with Invest NI support.

"Riskonnect is offering roles for engineers and developers. These are well-paid roles and the company has already recruited 25 of the positions.

"These are high-quality jobs contributing over £3m in additional annual salaries to the Northern Ireland economy."

Kevin Holland, chief executive of Invest NI, said the announcement reflected an ability to draw in global businesses.

He added: "We are a significant player in the global fintech sector. Indeed, Belfast was recently ranked third after London and Singapore overall in fDi magazine's Fintech Location of the Future for 2019/20.

"Invest NI will support the company with expert advice and an offer of £416,000 towards the creation of the jobs."

The Belfast team of engineers and developers will support the firm's global operations and help with ambitious growth plans.

Riskonnect has clients in sectors including healthcare, retail, manufacturing, financial services and transportation.

Riskonnect's arrival in Belfast is the second investment announcement resulting from the Economy Minister's visit to the US.

Commercial property firm Squarefoot is also opening in Belfast, with 25 new jobs.

The acquisition of Marsh ClearSight increased Riskonnect's cover to 45 countries.

Speaking at the time, Mr Wetekamp said: "As Riskonnect looks to deepen customer engagement and expand our value to our customers, acquiring Marsh ClearSight's deep industry expertise, technology and global scale was a clear choice.

"Together, we'll deliver a comprehensive integrated risk management solution suite unmatched by any other vendor."

Belfast Telegraph