Dublin confirms his position of major cross-border investment fund domiciliation hub in Europe after Irish Funds, the representative body of the Irish fund industry, announced a new net sales record of €206bn has been reached.
This figure, achieved over the first eight months of 2017. already exceeds the previous record of €139bn of net sales set at the end of December 2016.
The Irish investment fund industry had €2.25trn of assets under management as at end of August 2017, with over 6,600 funds domiciled locally of which 75% are Ucits funds and 25% AIFs.
A record is also ongoing for the Irish AIFs as they have recorded over €50bn of net sales between January and August 2017, representing more than twice the level of sales during the full year 2016.
Currently, over 880 fund managers from 50+ countries have funds domiciled or administered in Ireland. In that, 488 asset managers run Ireland-domiciled funds and around 65% of them are either US or UK-based firms, said Kieran Fox, business development director of Irish Funds, during a London media briefing held on 9 November.
Fox added that Ireland remains the leading jurisdiction in Europe for establishing an ETF with about 56% of all European ETFs set up in the country.
About the net sales record, Pat Lardner, chief executive at Irish Funds, said: “Ireland has firmly established itself as a leading destination for a wide range of fund strategies and structures and these record figures are testament to that fact. The Irish Funds industry is currently responsible for €2.25trn in domiciled assets with the amount of assets under administration over €4.3trn and we expect that trend to continue.”
Regarding Brexit and the possible attraction of new asset managers and funds in Ireland, Lardner argued Ireland is happy to compete with other countries but that he wishes for no disruption in the fund industry once UK’s departure from the EU will be effective at the end of March 2019.
“What have we done for the last 25 years? We have supported the growth of EU and non-EU asset managers. What will we do after Brexit? We will support the growth of EU and non-EU managers. The way we do it may change. There will be developments that will occur naturally and potentially, there may be political developments through Brexit discussions. We want to make sure there will be as little to no disruption to savings patterns. We believe that investors should continue to have access to the best product offering and expertises,” Lardner said.
Among other plans, Irish Funds is looking to attract Asian asset managers which consider to expand their geographical footprint in Europe. Lardner said the Irish representative body will visit China next January after a delegation of Chinese asset managers visited Ireland and a guidebook was published to their attention last May.
Another hot topic for the Irish fund industry remains the Brazil issue. Since the South American country blacklisted Ireland because of its low corporate taxes in September 2016, returns from Brazilian bonds and shares achieved by Dublin-domiciled funds are taxed at a higher rate.
Lardner said he has not seen any disruption in the Irish fund industry around the matter and that Irish Funds, together with representatives from the Irish government, hope that the situation will change soon by defending Ireland’s case towards the Brazilian authorities.
Irish Funds has seen an increase in membership of nearly 30% among asset managers during 2017.
Of the 125 member companies, Irish Funds now boasts 50 asset managers making it the largest Irish Funds member group.