Date21 Sep 2023
PRESS: Professional services firm, Azets Ireland, has today announced that it has invested in the development of a new financial services division with the recruitment of experienced international and local industry experts in place to service the needs of local funds and other financial services market.
Azets Ireland aims to grow its presence in the financial services sector significantly over the next three years. Market estimates suggest that Funds totalling €6.6 trillion are managed in Ireland, yet there are only a handful of firms providing dedicated audit and advisory series to investment fund leaders.
Through the establishment of the new department and the appointment of senior industry leaders, Azets will focus on supporting the needs of the funds industry based in Ireland, enabling them to operate and succeed in a highly regulated, complex, and ever evolving industry.
Azets Ireland will offer audit services, compliance services, regulatory and advisory services, and tax advice to investment managers and advisers, fund service providers, insurance brokers and investment intermediaries as well as e-money and payment services firms.
The new financial services department will be led by Darren Shipp, an accomplished Senior Partner with over three decades of financial services industry experience. The former CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority, Joe Gavin, has also joined the Azets Ireland financial services team bringing with him an extensive legal and regulatory track record. Having provided hands-on compliance consultancy services to funds for many years, Yvonne O’Connor also joins the senior financial services management team at Azets Ireland. Tax Partner, Kate Prendiville, will leverage her expertise on regulated investment vehicles, securitization and tax planning.
Today’s announcement will support the ambitious growth of the firm that is underway as it both expands the depth and breadth of its services and also expands its presence in Dublin and key regional locations throughout Ireland. Azets Ireland currently employs a team of 125 people in Ireland and operates out of Dublin and Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in the Southeast.
Darren Shipp, Head of Financial Services, Azets Ireland, said: “I’m delighted to join Azets Ireland and to lead the new financial services department within the firm.
“Ireland’s investment and asset management sector has grown in size and scale over recent decades. Indeed, Dublin has emerged as a centre of excellence in the provision of accounting, administrative and shareholder services to investment funds.
“However, the level of regulatory oversight over the sector has risen significantly since the financial crisis – a trend that is set to continue with new rules coming down the track from a national and EU level.
“As one of the most regulated industries within the Irish economy, investment fund managers and providers are increasingly looking for the support of experienced professionals who are well versed in the nuances of regulatory compliance.
“At Azets Ireland, we believe there is no substitute for experience or expertise. Our new team of senior practitioners have a combined 10 decades of experience and know and understand the unique challenges and issues funds in Ireland face. We can help our new and existing clients to navigate the high regulatory barriers and complexities of the investment and asset management sector.
“I look forward to working with Neil and the broader team at Azets as we meet the needs of ambitious investment managers and advisers, fund service providers, insurance brokers and investment intermediaries in Ireland.”
Neil Hughes, CEO, Azets Ireland, said: “The creation of our new financial services department is an important milestone for Azets in Ireland. It marks an exciting new chapter in our growth story and the broadening of our capabilities as we support the growth ambition of Ireland’s vibrant SME ecosystem.
“The financial series industry represents one of the largest sectors in Ireland’s economy. Yet, the needs of many within the sector have been neglected in the past. They struggle to access the high quality advise and services they need to operate successfully.
“The audit, legal, regulatory, compliance, and tax expertise we’ve assembled within the financial services department at Azets Ireland will help address that gap.
“Darren brings over three decades of experience in the financial services industry and a track record of high standards and quality advise. He will be supported by Joe Gavin, who is a regulatory and legal expert, while Yvonne O’Connor will help leaders ensure compliance with Irish and EU regulation and Kate Prendiville will provide her expertise in tax planning.
“Through Darren’s leadership, we aim to expand to a team of 20 financial services advisers within 24 months with the ability to meet the needs of funds of all sizes in Ireland.
“It’s clear that the financial services sector will continue to grow in size and importance, particularly as an alternative source of financing for the real economy, and the nature of activities undertaken in the sector will also evolve and expand.
“Through the creation of our new financial services team here in Ireland and our connection to the global financial centre in London, Azets is well positioned to advise our clients and to take advantage of the growth opportunities that this presents for our firm.
“As we look ahead, we will be relentless in our pursuit to support the needs of the financial services industry and ensuring that funds have access to the kind of resources and expertise they deserve.”