The Ireland Conference

Euromoney Conferences held its inaugural Ireland conference in Dublin on 12 March, and were delighted to welcome over 170 delegates from Ireland, Europe and beyond to debate and discuss the country’s economic outlook and its strategy to become an international financial services hub. 

Expectations are great for Ireland, the poster-child of the European Union, with an estimated growth of 3.5 percent in 2015, according to the European Commission’s figures. With improved fundamentals and banks back to profit, investors are now expecting the return of the government’s holdings to shareholders in 2015. Finance Minister Michael Noonan TD opened the conference saying that the Government will list 25 percent of Allied Irish Bank- AIB on the London Stock Exchange. The Minister’s ease with the Irish banks results were echoed at the conference by the CEO of Ulster Bank Jim Brown, and Fergus Murphy the Director of Corporate and Institutional Banking of AIB.

Minister Noonan also discussed the importance of political stability for his country, his concerns over populist parties emerging in Europe and the negative impact they could have on Foreign Direct Investment. Ireland’s privileged relationship with the US was spoken about by the President of the US National Foreign trade Council Bill Reinsch, who explained the reasons why American companies prefer Ireland as their European outpost. Simon Harris, the first Minister of State in the Department of Finance spoke of the clear mandate of making Ireland an attractive place for business. Minister Harris outlined his strategy to make Ireland an appealing financial destination, including a push for technological developments, a favourable tax regime and regulatory environment, and quality of life to retain the best talents.

In the wake of the ECB’s programme of bond purchases, which started two days before the conference, delegates interacted with Brendan McDonagh, CEO of the Irish National Asset Management Agency on their funding strategy and the expected outcome of the quantitative easing.

We would like to thank the conference sponsors, speakers and delegates without whom this event would not have been possible.