Financial News

GUEST BLOG: Why Dublin is the number one choice for fintech

By Business & Finance
27 May 2016
Ifsc dublin William Murphy

By Anne-Marie Walsh, partner with Brightwater Executive

Dublin is already positioning itself well and is coming out on top in the race to become location of choice for fintech organisations.

It’s not surprising that given the scale of opportunity that the fintech industry offers, the competition to become a hub of excellence for fintech has become incredibly intense.

With a vibrant technology environment created by incredibly innovative entrepreneurs and a rapidly recovering financial services sector in the IFSC, Dublin is a great place for the fintech industry.

Throw into the mix substantial financial services technology organisations (including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mastercard, Citi, AIG) and a vibrant start-up sector and you can see why investors see the potential for future growth.

Deloitte has just announced plans to create 50 new jobs in their Dublin Blockchain Lab for EMEA and other organisations won’t be too far behind.

Dublin’s bid to stay the number one choice for fintech is massively helped by the official backing and support of the Irish Government. Over the next five years, industry experts are confident that over 5,000 jobs could be created in the fintech sector here.

The Government and official bodies are backing programmes to encourage the perception that Ireland is already an innovation hotbed for fintech. The IFS2020 strategy is hugely supportive of the fintech industry and focuses on policies that will drive growth in this area.

IDA Ireland has prioritised job targets in three main areas: local start-ups, corporate R&D centres and international firms establishing European hubs here.

Enterprise Ireland is also providing equity funding for start-ups. In the last 18 months alone, three accelerators also launched programmes in Dublin with the sole purpose of assisting start-ups in fintech, the NDRC pre-accelerator, the 12-month Mastercard programme and the Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab in Dublin.


The fact that Dublin’s Digital Hub and the Financial Services Centre are so physically near each other does actually help. This is in glaring contrast to other larger cities such as London or New York where the start-ups and financial services companies tend to be located considerably further away from each other. We have the advantage of geographical proximity, which aids in co-operation and collaboration.

With a vibrant technology environment created by incredibly innovative entrepreneurs and a rapidly recovering financial services sector in the IFSC, Dublin is a great place for the fintech industry

One key thing to note is our proximity to London, which is a global centre of finance. Companies based in Dublin can easily operate into London (e.g. Barracuda FX, an Irish fintech company whose core clients are large international banks based in London). Dublin does also have an added advantage over London in terms of the relative ease of doing business here.


The well-known achievements of Stripe and its founders the Collison brothers is just one of several Irish success stories in this arena. TransferMate, CurrencyFair and Fenergo are all on impressive growth trajectories and are ones to watch in a rapidly evolving fintech climate.


A highly educated technology and financial services workforce is one of Ireland’s most attractive advantages for foreign investment. With all of the strong fintech organisations here, we are nurturing a growing pool of talent.

The recession and the subsequent need to skill-up and adapt to different needs of the market has also brought out the entrepreneurial streak in many professionals. This has helped drive innovation further.

To add to this pool of homegrown talent, both the arrival and expansion of financial services and technology companies in Ireland in recent times has encouraged the influx of foreign talent, which in turn creates a wider resource.

Dublin and therefore Ireland is uniquely positioned to become the leading global centre of excellence for fintech.

Photo (main): William Murphy

About the blogger

Anne-Marie WalshAnne-Marie Walsh is a partner at Brightwater Executive. Anne-Marie graduated with a BA Psychology from UCD and a first class honours MBS in Management and Organisational studies from the Smurfit School of Business.

She has 10 years’ experience working across a range of industries including HR, marketing and education. She has worked in IT recruitment since 2012 specialising in data, business intelligence, account management and senior IT roles.

Anne-Marie joined Brightwater in December 2015 as a partner in Brightwater Executive.

She recruits for CIO, CTO, head of IT and IT director roles on behalf of clients ranging from SMEs to large multinationals.