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JTC acquires boutique asset manager based in Ireland

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JTC has acquired Ballybunion Capital Limited (Ballybunion), a boutique asset manager based in Ireland. The initial consideration will be settled in cash and JTC equity. A further deferred consideration is available on the achievement of performance targets in the current year.

Founded in 2009, the Ballybunion provides management and regulatory oversight services to investment funds and offers ManCo services as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) as well as portfolio management and risk management solutions. 

Ballybunion has a strong reputation and its solutions based service offering has focused on the premium end of the market, covering both alternative and traditional asset classes, including private equity, loans, real estate, fixed income, ESG and life settlements. Ballybunion has been regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) since 2009 and received its AIFM ManCo authorisation in 2014.

Ballybunion is being acquired from its founder, Patrick O’Sullivan, who will remain with JTC in a leadership role focused on the development of its Irish funds business internationally, especially in North America. All Ballybunion’s management and other staff will join JTC, becoming part of the Institutional Client Services (ICS) Division, led by Jon Jennings. The transaction is subject to change of control and final regulatory approvals and is expected to complete by year end.

Ballybunion will substantially enhance JTC’s fund services presence in Ireland, providing ManCo and governance services for Irish domiciled funds, giving access to new clients and providing a platform from which to drive future growth in the strategically important Irish funds services market.

Earlier in 2021 JTC acquired INDOS Financial, a leading specialist provider of Depositary and other fund oversight services to the alternative funds industry. INDOS has a significant and complementary Irish presence

The funds market in Ireland has experienced strong growth over recent years with Irish domiciled funds amounting to c. USD3.3tn as of the end of 2020. The number of funds domiciled in Ireland is over double that of the UK and the gap is growing.

Continued growth in the Irish funds market is supported by a number of factors, including over 40 per cent of the world’s hedge funds being serviced from Ireland, the English speaking business environment, close cultural alignment with North America, robust legal, tax and regulatory frameworks and a thriving funds services community that includes legal, accounting and tax expertise. In addition, Brexit has made Ireland an increasingly attractive centre for fund domiciliation, as it benefits from access to an EU passport for investment funds, which facilitates the marketing of Irish funds throughout the 27 EU member states.

In the financial year ending 30 June 2020, Ballybunion delivered revenue of EUR1.8 million a 26 per cent increase from the previous year. The business will be accretive to earnings and achieves profits in line with JTC’s medium term guidance of 33 per cent to 38 per cent underlying EBITDA margin and benefits from an attractive cash generation profile. Growth in the business is expected to continue and will be supported by leveraging JTC’s scale, as well as combining Ballybunion’s suite of fund services with those of INDOS Financial. 

Nigel Le Quesne, CEO of JTC, says: “Following our successful fund raise earlier this year, we are delighted to announce the acquisition of Ballybunion, which is a sophisticated and high quality ManCo in the strategically important Irish fund services market. The business has excellent alignment with our existing fund services business in Europe, as well as our expanding US practice. We welcome Patrick, his team and all Ballybunion clients and partners to the Group.”

Patrick O’Sullivan, founder and Managing Director of Ballybunion, says: “Having founded the business in 2009 and developed a successful solution driven AIFM business focused on long life cycle assets, now is the right time to find a partner with a global reach that will take us to the next level and ensure we continue to grow our Irish funds business and deliver a bespoke services in an ever more complex regulatory environment for investment funds. In JTC we have found a combination of strong cultural alignment and an incredibly well built global funds platform that will allow us to significantly accelerate our growth, as well as adding more value for our existing clients.”

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