Why senior traders should want to work in Dublin, not Frankfurt
Bank of America is going to have a trading floor in Dublin. The Irish Times and Bloomberg report that the U.S. bank has passed over Frankfurt and chosen the Irish capital for its European hub after Brexit.
Bank of America's traders should be pleased. Especially if they're old enough to have families. - If you're facing mandatory relocation out of London because of Brexit and you have children, Dublin is the place to be.
As a German-speaking country, Frankfurt only has a handful of international schools where the teaching is in English - and they're hugely over-subscribed. The same applies to Paris. Traders who don't secure places for their children soon in either city are likely to struggle if they wait until 2019.
By comparison, Dublin headhunters and traders already working in the Irish city say it offers a broad range of excellent schools run by the state, plus excellent and cheap private schools, plus a new 800 pupil international school which is opening in south Dublin in 2018. "The standard of schooling here is very strong," says Shay Dalton, managing director of Dublin-based financial search firm Lincoln Recruitment Specialists. "- Accessing state schools is usually no problem if you live in the right area and fees at private schools are a lot lower than in London."
Dublin's new international school will be the most expensive in the country, charging around €20k a year for day pupils in line with the international school in Frankfurt. However, the cost of most Irish fee-paying schools is a lot less: Blackrock College, a day and boarding school for boys in Dublin, costs around €7k a year for day pupils. By comparison, fees at Westminster School in London are nearly £9k per term - or €29k a year. If you have several privately educated children, the savings can be enormous.
Bank of America isn't alone in locating some of its trading operations in Dublin in response to the Brexit eventuality. Barclays plans to place around 150 traders there too. Credit Suisse already has traders in the city. So do the likes of Citadel Securities, Susquehanna and Virtu Financial.
However, although Dublin has excellent technologists and quantitative talent, recruiters say market-making talent can be thin on the ground. "Candidates for trading jobs usually come from the UK or mainland Europe," says Cathal O'Reilly at Dublin recruitment firm Paragon Alpha. "You can always find very good traders to work here," says Dalton. "But it may be a question of persuading them to come to Ireland."
This shouldn't be a problem. A senior Dutch trader who moved to Dublin from London three years ago says the Irish capital definitely has advantages: "The schools here are great, it's a lot cheaper than London, you can bike into work and walk in the parks." Dalton says Dublin is popular with London-based traders who want a similar standard of living in an English-speaking city, but with a shorter commute. He adds that the Dublin 4 district is one of the most prestigious, and from there you can walk into work in the centre.
What about the (notoriously bad) weather? "It can get a bit depressing," the Dutch trader admits. " It rains a lot in short bursts and the temperature's almost always between 5 and 18 degrees centigrade. People get very happy if it hits 21 or 22. I would prefer colder winters and hotter summers. Recently, though, it was 29 degrees, so global warming might be a good thing for Dublin's prospects."
Photo credit: guinness by Lyrical Lemongrass is licensed under CC BY 2.0.