The lone Irish firm on the over-subscribed €5bn government bond deal

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International investment banks have flocked to Ireland since the financial crisis hit to gain a foothold in what was expected to be a lucrative supply of government bond issuance. One local player stands alone in securing a mandate for the first deal since 2010 – Davy – and it has the biggest local team.

This morning the National Treasury Management Agency announced that it was issuing a 10-year bond maturing in the 2023 as Ireland looks to move away from European Central Bank support.

Davy is the one local institution mandated for the sale, which also involves Barclays, Danske Bank, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC and Nomura. It’s also the single Irish institution among 17 firms recognised as primary dealers in Irish government bonds and certainly the one with the biggest base of employees locally.

Davy has 12 people working in its primary dealer team, according to sources within the firm, while most international firms operate satellite offices in the Irish capital.

Barclays has a small team led by Rob Roughan, Alan Duffy heads the corporate and global banking team at HSBC in Ireland, Hugo MacNeill is a managing director in charge of investment banking services at Goldman Sachs in Ireland and Danske Bank employs a handful of people within its advisory functions. However, most banks operate a suitcase banker model, suggest local headhunters.

“Having a significant local presence in Ireland certainly gives us an advantage,” said one Davy employee working on the deal who declined to be named because he’s not authorised to speak to the media. “The new deal has been well-flagged, over-subscribed and we expect it to trade well.”

Morgan Stanley was the latest bank to secure primary dealer status for Irish government bonds in October last year, with the remaining 16 firms all signing up before 2010.

The 17 primary dealers are Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, Danske Bank, Davy, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale and UBS.