Could Ireland claim a top 20 global financial centre spot by 2025?

Matthew Fitzpatrick our consultant managing the role

There is no doubt that Ireland's financial services sector has proved its resilience during the pandemic. Many firms maintained employment and operations throughout the health crisis, and digitalisation has played a major part in this. The country could assert itself as an 'international hub for digitally-enabled financial services' which would help to bolster the national economy.

Ireland is on the path to success, but what needs to be done to claim a top 20 global financial centre spot by the year 2025?

Accelerating the 'Ireland for Finance' strategy

Launched in 2019, Ireland for Finance sets out to establish the nation as a 'top-tier global location of choice for specialist international financial services'. As an ongoing endeavour, the strategy is to be reviewed every year and updated through annual action plans, and there's no better time to review the strategy than in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Though it's too early to tell whether there will be any long-term impacts on the market - and what those might be - the government now needs to refresh the strategy and get it into motion.

In the early months of last year, the government unveiled the Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2021, which had four focus areas:

  • Sustainable finance
  • Diversity
  • Regionalisation
  • Digital finance

Created in partnership with the industry, the future-proofing plan sets out to draw on the strengths and successes of the market and earn the nation an enviable reputation on the global scene.

Building a pipeline of highly skilled professionals

What does the government strategy 'Ireland for Finance' mean for financial services recruitment? 

A fresh injection of capital into the sector will create new job opportunities across the country.


The outlined strategy aims to have 50,000 people employed by the international financial services (IFS) sector by 2025.

'Talent' is one of the key action measures in the plan, aimed at ensuring there is a pipeline of professionals who are supported and ready to address the changing needs of the financial services sector, including emerging skills gaps. Working alongside other initiatives, such as Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025, businesses and educational institutions have a framework that will enable them to work together and build a diverse finance talent pool.

These professionals aren't only drawn to the country by the prospect of building a successful finance career, they are more interested in a meaningful career. In 2020, 1,400 professionals upskilled in sustainable finance, and it's projected that figure will consistently rise. The industry is only beginning to see the potential of the sustainable finance market and how investments are contributing to a climate-neutral economy.

Becoming a centre of excellence for ESG Bonds

Furthermore, the strategy is a roadmap for the country to become known as a centre of excellence for ESG bonds. These bonds fund projects with positive environmental, social or governance outcomes and are topping the agenda for more and more investors across Ireland and further afield. Though the shift in focus towards more responsible investment philosophies and practices was seen before COVID-19, the pandemic has turbocharged the transition.

While it might have been thought of as a niche years ago, more and more ESG trends are shaping the investment market, and no nation can ignore sustainable investing. The jury might still be out on whether ESG bonds are more profitable, but there is no denying that this new way of investing is often less volatile and less susceptible to fraud, as well as being associated with a lower cost of capital.

Learn more about how Marks Sattin can help you

We're a leading financial services recruitment agency, with offices across Europe, including a committed team based in Dublin. Our unrivalled experience sourcing talent in the financial services sector means there's no team better equipped to help you find your next accountant, financial analyst or CFO. It's our goal to show our clients and candidates that location is no barrier to finding the perfect person or role. Whatever your needs, our team will work with you to find the best result.

Learn more about financial services recruitment at Marks Sattin and how we're committed to developing careers and connecting companies with talented professionals.

05/01/22
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