Hermes Investment Management has set up an Irish subsidiary as it ramps up Brexit planning ahead of this week's make-or-break vote on the government's plan to leave the EU.
The fund house, which has £36 billion under management, has hired Carol Mahon from Fidelity International as local boss. Aoifinn Devitt, formerly chief investment officer at Chicago's police pension fund, will serve as head of investment at the new company.
Once the office is operational, the pair will be based in Dublin.
The government is due to put its exit plan, which is broadly hated by both sides of a highly polarised debate, to a parliamentary vote tomorrow evening.
Despite almost nobody believeing the plan will attract sufficient support, the government has revealed no details of its contingency planning, leaving many businesses in a heightened state of alert.
The company, HFM Ireland, received authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland in December, the firm said.
Aside from overseeing the Irish business, Mahon will also be responsible for any branches in the European Economic Area. She will report to head of business development Harriet Steel.
Mahon was most recently chief executive of FIL Life Insurance Ireland.
Hermes Investment Management chief executive Saker Nusseibeh (pictured) said: 'Since the referendum in 2016, we have always planned for a ‘hard Brexit’. We recognised early on that we had to make appropriate contingency plans in the absence of certainty, in order to ensure, to the extent possible, that we remain able to manage our clients’ assets in line with their expectations of us.
'Hermes has 10 years of investment management activities and service provider relationships in Ireland, with our Ucits range domiciled there. Given this, and our European business growth, we have taken the Brexit opportunity to bolster our presence in Ireland, with the establishment of a management company to lead the management of Hermes’ European product offering and facilitate distribution to European clients...'
Hermes is the latest in a long list of fund management companies setting up subsidiaries in Ireland.
Back in December, Vanguard and Merian Global Investors both received permission to open offices in Ireland. It followed similar moves by other groups, including First State, Ashmore, Baillie Gifford, Morgan Stanley and LGIM.