The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has marked Ireland Day, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, ringing the opening bell, and Ireland’s Green IFSC initiative launching the Global Green Asset Management Network on Wall Street yesterday.
The aim of the initiative is to allow Ireland to take a global lead in the fast-growing US$260bn global green asset-management sector.
In addition, the lobby group Ireland Inc launched at the NYSE yesterday.
According to research conducted by PwC and KPMG on behalf of the Irish Government-supported Green IFSC Initiative, green assets under management in Ireland have doubled in the past year and tripled in the past four years. As a result, Ireland now manages or services more than US$10bn in green assets.
The aim of the Global Green Asset Management Network is to accelerate the growth of Ireland’s green asset management cluster. The Green IFSC steering group said it would set out to develop a forum for all market practitioners in the industry through which a consensus on regulatory, legislative and educational needs can be addressed through engagement with government, state bodies and other industry groups, both in Ireland and internationally.
The green asset management sector is predicted to grow fourfold to more than US$1trn by 2020, according to figures from the Green IFSC.
Towards a low-carbon economy
Green asset management refers to capital markets, investment banking activities and related advisory services that support the development, finance and promotion of a low-carbon economy. It includes the funding of renewable energy generation, energy efficiency measures, trading and management of carbon and clean-tech/sustainable funds.
Speaking at the NYSE yesterday, Kenny spoke about how the IFSC strategy for Ireland up to 2016 is committed to making Ireland a green finance leader.
"Irish green asset management and green enterprise firms are active all over the globe, from China to Chile and Ireland to Africa, and, with US$10bn in green assets managed or serviced, Ireland is already emerging as a world leader in green finance," he said.
Ambitious green goals
Michael Hayes of KPMG, a member of the Green IFSC steering group, said there was no reason why Ireland could not repeat the success it has had in the financial services sector with the IFSC.
"Ireland has emerged as a global leader for international financial funds, with some €2trn assets under administration and is the world’s No 1 hedge fund centre and the fastest-growing UCITS domicile – up 500pc in 11 years," he said.
Hayes said the fact that Ireland offers a regulated structure would be important in helping funds managed by US managers attract EU institutional investors.
The first US meeting of the Global Green Asset Management Network will take place in New York in May in partnership with the Irish Consulate.