Minister for Enterprise in Northern Ireland Arlene Foster announced yesterday that Augentius Fund Administration is to establish a centre in Belfast, which will employ up to 164 professional staff by the end of 2014.
Augentius Fund Administration provides outsourced fund administration services to the private equity and real-estate sectors. At 10 years old, the UK-based company is now expanding internationally, opening offices in New York, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Singapore, The Netherlands and, now, Belfast.
“As a business, we have continued to grow throughout the recession and needed to create a second operational centre to increase our capacity,” said David Bailey, managing partner and one of the founders of Augentius.
A significant milestone
Augentius’ plan is to establish an operational centre of excellence in the Northern Irish capital, with support from Invest Northern Ireland. Other locations were considered for the centre – including ones in Canada, China, India, Dublin and other UK cities – but the decision to locate in Belfast is a significant achievement for the city.
“This investment, the first ever from a London-based fund administration company, is a significant milestone in the development of the financial services sector in Northern Ireland,” said Foster. “Its decision to locate here reflects a desire by the company to maintain core service centres within the UK and the very strong reputation that Northern Ireland has built up as a cost-effective working environment with access to a skilled and educated workforce.”
These deciding factors were confirmed by Bailey: “The availability of high quality people along with a strong educational sector was one of the important factors to us when considering the locations for our investment and we are looking forward to working with Queen’s University and the University of Ulster going forward.”
A strong reputation for staff development
The Belfast office will support clients locally and internationally and, while 17 jobs have been created there in recent months, this is expected to grow to 30 before the end of this year, and up to 164 by the end of 2014.
Bailey also gave some indication of the opportunities the company can offer: “Augentius has a strong reputation for the development of its staff. We take junior and part qualified accountants, train them in our sector and support them to obtain their professional qualifications. We have people who joined us as trainees and are now fully qualified accountants responsible for their own teams and clients and I am very proud of this achievement.”