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Vanguard and Merian get green light for Dublin offices

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Vanguard and Merian get green light for Dublin offices

Two more asset managers have received permission to open offices in Ireland, joining a wave of rivals seeking to ensure access to clients ahead of Brexit.

Having received approval to proceed under the Ucits license, ETF specialist Vanguard is set to open an office in Dublin in 2019, as the firm seeks to improve its ability to oversee and administer over $115 billion (£90 billion) in Irish domiciled assets.

Merian Global Investors, rebranded from Old Mutual Global Investors in July, has also received regulatory approval to set up an Irish management company, which it plans to open in early 2019.

It follows similar moves by fund groups including First State, Ashmore, Baillie Gifford, Morgan Stanley and LGIM, which are seeking to ensure continued access to EU-based clients.

Vanguard head of Europe Sean Hagerty sought to emphasise his firm’s move as being part of a wider long-term strategy rather than directly tied to Brexit.

‘The opening of our Irish office is something we have been considering for a number of years, and should be understood as part of our wider, long-term commitment to lowering the cost and complexity of investing across continental Europe and the UK,’ he said.

‘We will continue to invest in the people and processes necessary to serve investors from both our regional headquarters in London and our growing network of offices outside of the UK, which now includes Dublin, Amsterdam, Zurich, Paris and Frankfurt.’

Merian said it was yet to decide whether to establish a physical presence in Ireland, with this being influenced by Brexit developments.

A spokesperson for the firm said: ‘Europe is a core market for Merian Global Investors and will remain so post-Brexit.

‘We are committed to servicing our existing European client base, which is primarily invested in our Ireland-domiciled fund range, and growing assets in the region.‘

In August, the government admitted that it would not be able to ensure that UK fund houses would be able to service European clients under a no-deal scenario, saying firms would have to ensure they had delegation rights.

Asset management firms including M&G and Columbia Threadneedle have transferred billions in funds out of the UK since the start of the year, citing the uncertainty posed by Brexit negotiations.

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