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Irish Prepare Welcome Mat for Bankers in Wake of Brexit Vote

  • Ireland contacts 1,200 companies within hours of Brexit result
  • Ireland may be top choice for fund management companies

Ireland will step up efforts to woo overseas finance and technology companies, in the wake of the U.K.’s decision to exit the European Union.

IDA Ireland, the state agency charged with winning investment, will unleash an advertising drive in Europe and the U.S. in coming weeks, Martin Shanahan, the organization’s chief executive officer, told reporters in Dublin on Wednesday. The campaign won’t explicitly refer to Brexit, but will underline Ireland’s advantages, Shanahan said, adding the country can handle increased investment.

“An influx of city bankers would be a nice issue to be dealing with,” Shanahan said. “We will fight Ireland’s corner as hard as we can.”

Before the vote, the IDA had pitched Ireland to companies including Standard Chartered Plc as they prepared contingency plans for a potential Brexit vote. The agency contacted clients within hours of the result, Shanahan said, adding it had seen heightened levels of activity since the vote. The IDA will step up client visits immediately, he said, with fund management companies among its targets. More than 1,200 foreign companies, including State Street Corp., Apple Inc and Citigroup Inc operate in Ireland already.

“Similarities between Ireland and the U.K. and attributes such as being English speaking, a common law system and geographic proximity means that Ireland will be the first choice for many companies that require a base within the EU,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan declined to say how much would be spent on the advertizing campaign.

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