Investor services group IQ-EQ today announced plans to expand its Irish operations with the launch of a dedicated funds business in Ireland.

The company said the move signifies the increasing importance of Ireland as a funds domicile, particularly in light of Britain's recent exit from the European Union and the changes to the Irish Investment Limited Partnership (ILP) legislation.

Ireland is already popular among U.S. fund managers, having cemented its status with the Irish Connective Asset Management Vehicle (ICAV), which complements U.S. tax planning.

The IQ-EQ Group, which includes Blue River and Constellation Advisers in the U.S., is an established provider of one of the most comprehensive service offerings to alternative fund managers globally. The group has also been active in Ireland for over 30 years, providing corporate administration and structured finance solutions from its offices in Dublin and Shannon.

In expanding its Funds service segment into Ireland, IQ-EQ will be transferring a number of experienced key personnel from the group's wider UK & Ireland cluster, including Belfast-based Eoghan Harney, who will hold the role of director and head of fund accounting.

Added to this, the firm is hiring multiple expert external candidates to bolster local knowledge and complete the senior leadership of the new business. This includes Gary Palmer, former Chief Executive of the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA), who is on board as Chairman and Non-Executive Director.

Commenting on the launch, managing director of IQ-EQ Ireland, Joanne McEnteggart, said: "Establishing a funds business in Ireland was a logical next step for IQ-EQ, which has operated in Ireland for the last 30 years. In fact, taking this step was very much a client led initiative, with many of our clients and intermediaries looking to us to set up a funds operation in what is recognised as a key funds domicile."

Justin Partington, IQ-EQ's group head of funds, added: "As a group we're receiving an increasing number of requests from both clients and intermediaries for Irish fund administration solutions. Large numbers of fund managers have already set up Irish operations, partly in response to Brexit, and many clients looking to set up a Europe-domiciled fund increasingly expect administrators to provide them with both an Irish and Luxembourg option to choose from.

"In response to this demand, IQ-EQ is delighted to be able to expand its existing global Funds segment and build upon its strong Irish Corporate business to introduce a fund services offering in Ireland. We have the global infrastructure, technology and know-how, and are delighted to be bringing that to the Irish market."