Second global bank finds Clonakilty niche after JP Morgan raises $680m


CLONAKILTY in West Cork lives up to its nicknames ‘Clondyke’ and ‘SiliClon Valley’ as two global banking names, JP Morgan, join another global banking giant to invest in office space and jobs there.

Cloud-based Global Shares, which manages employee share schemes for large multinationals and Fortune 500 companies, is seeking additional office space at West Cork Technology Park this year: the expanding fintech was
acquired from JP Morgan last month in a whopping €687 million deal.

Tim Houston, CEO of Global Shares

The secured deal means that global shares owners/investors and a wide range of shareholders, many of whom will become millionaires, are assured of financial good fortune.

Several hundred employees are also lined up for sizeable paychecks, said the company’s CEO, Tim Houstoun, who multiplied the company’s value through cloud-based and software development to make it an independent global leader in its field.

Clonakilty was the headquarters of the
Global Shares company founded in 2005 where it has grown to 10,000 square feet,
and will likely double to at least 20,000 square feet as employment continues to grow this year and beyond. The workforce doubled to 600 during the global pandemic.

And on the smaller end of the scale, local sources say for now that another major global investment bank (unofficially identified but which employs 17,000 people worldwide) has also found a young footprint at West Cork Technology Park for its green energy investment company.

This unconfirmed spin-off, currently investing €28 billion in renewable energy, has major solar and wind projects around the world including Scotland.

(Meanwhile, plans for a Clonakilty solar energy farm in Shannonvale were announced last year by another company, Amarenco, aiming to make Clonakilty Ireland’s first off-grid town.)

Local reports say this second global financial giant is about to sign a lease for a first foothold in West Cork Technology Park (about 1,000 square feet to start with). It will join others at Clonakilty Park, which is currently home to 1,000 jobs, including Global Shares, PGI (which reduced its workforce at the park last year), South-Western and others.

Founded in the late 1990s by local entrepreneur/developer John Fleming, the technology park was visionary at the time to bring fiber optic broadband to a ‘remote’ environment.

While the park has been vacant for several years and some buildings and additional lots were part of a forced sale eight years ago, there may now be a new wind in the sails, driven largely by the tremendous success and sale of the home -grown global fintech- Shares.

Beginnings: At the start of West Cork Technology Park in 2000 were Kieran Calnan, CEO, South Western Services;  John Connolly and developer John Fleming.
Beginnings: At the start of West Cork Technology Park in 2000 were Kieran Calnan, CEO, South Western Services; John Connolly and developer John Fleming.

West Cork Technology Park is managed by Lisney, Cork, who said this week there are currently around 25,000 square feet available within the park, at rents from €10 to €12 per PSF, depending on size, quality and configuration.

Meanwhile, investors and employees sharing part of the €680 million Global Shares Windfall will have a number of new companies in town hoping to snag some of the additional cash available, which is expected to come in the second half of the year 2022 after the JP Morgan deal will leak to them.

Dunmore House, Clonakilty, West Cork
Dunmore House, Clonakilty, West Cork

Clonakilty’s main hotels are already investing in expansion and modernization, such as Dunmore House, Inchydoney Lodge and Spa and Fernhill House. Meanwhile, shops, bars and restaurants are also investing in Clon’s post-Covid-era hospitality sector.

These include the new Bert’s restaurant on Wolfe Tone Street, which opens this week and takes over the former Richy’s, which closed three years ago, while new owners Kirby’s opened the Whale’s Tail restaurant next to the distillery next year in the waterfront development last year new Aldi bought in the current construction.

Also new for the upcoming tourist season is Revel, a coffee and concept store on McCurtain Street, while on Ashe Street next to Kerr’s bookshop is Hunter & Bloom, a bespoke interiors and men’s tailors shop run by a married couple Dublin, which will be open all day after a ‘pop-up’ in 2021.

DETAILS: Lisney 021-4275079


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