Ireland is now the European domicile of choice for investment funds amongst Asia-Pacific based asset managers, according to an independent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey of global asset managers, commissioned by Matheson, writes Michael Jackson, chairman, Matheson.

The independent survey, published in March 2014, places Ireland far ahead of its nearest rivals, meaning Ireland is now a key hub in the thriving global funds industry.

Worldwide, 71pc of global asset managers said that they would now choose Ireland as one of their top-three European fund domiciles, if starting over.

The survey found that the views of Asia-Pacific asset managers are in line with their international colleagues, as 69pc said they would now choose Ireland as a top-3 fund domicile if starting over with their fund ranges.

Ireland placed far ahead of the next best jurisdiction for Asia-Pacific managers, which was Germany, with top-three preferences from 46pc of managers.

The UK came third for Asia-Pacific managers with top-three preferences from 42pc of managers. Luxembourg came fourth, receiving top-three preferences from 41pc of managers while France came fifth with 33pc.

While the managers surveyed by the EIU were selected independently by the EIU without input from Matheson, the importance of the Asian market global asset managers and the importance of the European market to Asian managers has been evident to us for many years and has resulted in Matheson's involvement in the registration of Irish funds across Asia, in establishing the first Irish fund to invest in China A Shares, in structuring of Irish funds to invest in Asia and in the authorisation of Asian managers and promoters to act in respect of Irish.

For the vast majority of managers surveyed to choose Ireland as a favoured jurisdiction to domicile funds is a clear vote of confidence in the maturity and competitiveness of the Irish funds industry. This helps explain Ireland's performance as the fastest growing European UCITS domicile in recent years. It also helps explain why we are now seeing a clear trend of funds moving to Ireland from competing European domiciles such as Luxembourg.

On our recent visits to Hong Kong and China, our discussions with clients have focused on the prospects afforded to the funds industry by the imminent mutual recognition of funds by China and Hong Kong and the potential for Irish funds' investment in the Chinese interbank bond market.

These opportunities are exciting both for the Asian and Irish industries, and we are actively exploring the possibilities for our clients. The value of Irish domiciled funds is currently €1.3tr and the funds industry accounts for over 12,000 jobs in Ireland. Remarkable growth rates are now widely predicted for the global funds industry – largely due to key growth regions such as Asia.

The survey findings can be found here.

This article first appeared in the 'Ireland Asia Business Yearbook 2014', published by Asia Matters in association with Business & Leadership (B&L).

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