IRELAND – The Irish fund industry has seen a 30% growth in net assets over the 12-month period up to end June this year, says fund researcher Fitzrovia International.

There are now 2,334 Irish funds, with 375.4 billion dollars (321.4 billion euros) in assets. When all funds serviced in Dublin (i.e. including non-domiciled funds under custody or administration) are included, total net assets reached 558.9 billion dollars (478.5 billion euros – a marked increase from the total of 68.5 billion dollars (58.6 billion euros) six years ago.

In an international context, says Fitzrovia, all Dublin-domiciled funds now exceed those of UK-domiciled funds, both in terms of assets and number of funds.

Dublin is increasing the competition as a cross-border fund servicing centre. Dublin accounts for around 38% of all fund assets serviced in Luxembourg and Dublin. Six years ago this figure was 15%.

David Dillon of legal advisers Dillon Eustace, the largest legal adviser of Dublin-serviced funds, believes the next twelve months will be a challenging time for the industry in Ireland from a competition point of view: “With signs that there may be light at the end of the tunnel so far as performance is concerned, expect to see jurisdictions and service providers competing very aggressively for business opportunities presented by the upswing which will require foresight and agility from the regulators as well as from market players. UCITS III is only the tip of the iceberg.”

In terms of individual company performance, Barclays Global Investors is the largest fund promoter of all Dublin-domiciled funds, with assets under management of 41.9 billion dollars (35.9 billion euros). Indeed UK promoters as a whole account for the largest proportion of the 279 fund management companies domiciled in Dublin, with 153.6 billion dollars (131.5 billion euros).

For fund servicing companies, Fitzrovia shows that the joint venture between Allied Irish Banks and Bank of New York (AIB/BNY) has maintained its position as the largest administrator of fund assets in Dublin, with 81.6 billion dollars (70 billion euros). For custody services, Bank of Ireland is ranked number one, with 75.3 billion dollars (64.5 billion euros) under custody, ahead of AIB/BNY 69.7 billion dollars (59.7 billion euros).