FinTrU is a Financial Services company which helps leading global investment banks comply with regulations in areas such as legal, risk and compliance. Founded in 2013 and based in Northern Ireland, the firm employs just under 450 people and has aggressive plans to grow this number over the next few years.
We spoke to Darragh McCarthy, Founder and CEO, about the company's long-term growth plans and the attractions of being based in Northern Ireland.
What does your company do?
FinTrU was set up in 2013 following significant changes in the regulatory landscape in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. We are based primarily in Northern Ireland though we do have a sales office in London.
We work with investment banks across legal, risk, compliance, know your customer, operations consultancy and technology but with a really big focus on new regulations.
We have been a real beneficiary of the increased regionalisation of centres of Financial Services regulation and expertise across the UK.
Tell us about your company's UK operations and its UK history.
We employ just under 450 people at the moment across multiple sites in Belfast and also in Derry/Londonderry.
When I set up FinTrU in 2013, I saw the opportunity of the new regulatory landscape which needed a keen focus on costs. I felt there was a need for other regions outside London with a talent pool. Northern Ireland represented a very compelling location within the UK from both a talent of people perspective but also from a cost of real estate. It was a marriage of multiple factors.
“Northern Ireland represented a very compelling location within the UK from both a talent of people perspective but also from a cost of real estate. It was a marriage of multiple factors.”
What advantages and attractions are there to your company being based in the UK?
The UK is a logical place for a business such as FinTrU. Historically the UK has been a very open country, it has a well established legal regulatory framework and it has a very impressive education system. People are well used to having the UK as their European centre for an awful lot of operations. Historically the UK has been among the dominant locations for service providers such as ourselves and the City of London obviously has a dominant role as a Financial Services centre.
The vast majority of our clients are based in London or are part of major banks with large centres in London. Being in the same regulatory jurisdiction as our clients is a key advantage. Many of our clients' regulators are well aware of FinTrU and the services we provide. I think the UK regulator has also been very comforted by the fact that we are in the United Kingdom from a regulatory perspective.
“The UK is a logical place for a business such as FinTrU. Historically the UK has been a very open country, it has a well established legal regulatory framework and it has a very impressive education system.”
Outline your company's growth plans and how you see the UK featuring in these.
FinTrU has very aggressive growth plans. We are expecting to more or less double our current number of staff in the next three and a half years. And if we can go even higher we will. That is being fuelled by the business opportunity but also by the availability of the people and the systems and the success we have had to date.
We probably have a target landscape of 25 clients globally that we would like to serve. We currently have 12 global investment banks as our clients. To put that in perspective, we had five clients 12 months ago.