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Financial, Legal and Business Services 

A world-leading destination

Northern Ireland is a leading global location for financial services investment. With a combination of world-class talent, highly competitive operating costs and research excellence in a low-risk, pro-business environment, has fuelled the growth of Northern Ireland’s financial services sector. 

Global financial services

Northern Ireland is host to global financial services institutions including Citi, CME Group, Visa, Vela and TP ICAP. It is also a dynamic cluster of home-grown entrepreneurs such as First Derivatives, Datactics and FSCOM thrive in a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in which collaboration and innovation is encouraged and supported by the government. Belfast is ranked as the world’s top destination for financial technology investment projects and has been ranked in the top 3 Fintech locations of the future after London and Singapore. 

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Research, expertise and global leaders

Northern Ireland’s two prestigious universities, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are producing highly skilled graduates with a depth of skills. Both universities have trading rooms, offering students a dynamic learning environment and first-hand experience of the high-pressure atmosphere of a trading room.

Global Leaders

  • Allstage
  • CITI
  • CME Group
  • Fintru
  • First Derivatives
  • TSYS 
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A flourishing sector

With local talent and expertise, government incentives and low operating costs, the region’s legal sector has flourished in recent years. There are over 16,000 people employed in Professional and Legal services in Northern Ireland, and the region offers a ready pool of culturally compatible, highly educated talent. Three of the “Big 4” accountancy houses have located their UK Delivery centres, providing client-facing services, in Belfast and both Deloitte and PwC’s Belfast centres are their largest centres in the UK outside of London. The NI cluster also includes global companies such as BDO, Grant Thornton and PA Consulting. Many of the global investors to Northern Ireland have chosen to locate their finance functions in NI including Allen & Overy and Baker McKenzie.

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Innovation and development

Belfast benefits from a strong talent pipeline, with almost 3,000 STEM students and 700 law students graduating from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University each year. Ulster University has partnered with Baker McKenzie and Allen & Overy to establish the Legal Innovation Centre at UU, which is at the forefront of understanding and facilitating the innovation of legal services and legal technology.

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The Royal Statistical Society