LISTEN - US FinTech company creates 100 jobs in Northern Ireland

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Left to right - Garvin McKee, Agio Chief Revenue Officer, Kevin Holland, Invest NI CEO, and Gordon Lyons, NI Economy Minister)

By David Young, PA

A New York cybersecurity company is to set up a new technology centre in Belfast, creating 100 jobs.

Agio provides artificial intelligence tech for the financial services sector.

Nineteen of the roles – a team of tech engineers – have already been filled.

The additional roles, which will be filled over the next five years, will be a mix of home-based positions and jobs located at Agio’s new tech centre at Urban HQ.

Stormont business support agency Invest NI has offered £650,000 to support the project, which will generate £4.5 million worth of annual salaries to the economy.

The move represents somewhat of a homecoming for Agio’s chief revenue officer, Garvin McKee, who is originally from Northern Ireland.

“We’ve got great customer feedback on their experience with our Belfast engineers,” he said. “We are confident that a Northern Ireland base will continue to add excellent talent to our service organisation.”

The company operates a “follow the sun” model so it can provide a 24/7 service to customers from employees based at locations around the world.

(Left to right - Garvin McKee, Agio Chief Revenue Officer, Kevin Holland, Invest NI CEO, and Gordon Lyons, NI Economy Minister)

Mr McKee made clear that the investment was not influenced by Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol, as the services sector in which Agio operates is not covered by that trading arrangement.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons welcomed the announcement at Invest NI HQ in Belfast on Monday morning.

He said Agio will add to the growing cluster of FinTech companies operating in Northern Ireland.

“Agio’s investment here will add to our pool of expertise, and will lead to the creation of 100 high-quality technology jobs over the next five years,” he said.

“Investment such as this will play an important role in building our economic recovery.”

Invest NI chief executive Kevin Holland said: “We’ve been working with Agio since 2019 to showcase our local tech talent through introductions to universities, colleges and existing investors.

“I am delighted that this has led to investment in Northern Ireland. It is clear that technology will play a significant part in Northern Ireland’s growth, and this project will make an important contribution to the ICT sector as we move forward post-pandemic.”

Left to right - Thomas Raju, Belfast Site Lead, Kevin Holland, Invest NI CEO, Gordon Lyons, NI Economy Minister, Ray Hallen Managing Director of Cybersecurity, Garvin McKee, Chief Revenue Officer

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: I am delighted to welcome Agio to our impressive cluster of FinTech companies; and to announce its first-time investment in Northern Ireland.

“Agio’s investment here will add to our pool of expertise, and will lead to the creation of 100 high-quality technology jobs over the next five years. The investment will contribute £4.5million in annual salaries to the local economy once all of the roles are in place.

“Investments such as this will play an important role in building our economic recovery. My Department’s 10X Economy vision is centred on focusing on the core technologies and clusters where Northern Ireland can be a global leader within the next decade. Cybersecurity and FinTech are two areas where we have seen the emergence of significant capability and capacity with the potential to drive the economy forward.”

Invest Northern Ireland has offered Agio set up expertise and £650,000 of support towards the creation of the new jobs. The roles will be a hybrid of home based and located in Agio’s Belfast technology centre at Urban HQ.

Pictured - Gordon Lyons

Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO, said: “We’ve been working with Agio since 2019 to showcase our local tech talent through introductions to universities, colleges, and existing investors. I am delighted that this has led to investment in Northern Ireland. It is clear that technology will play a significant part in Northern Ireland’s growth, and this project will make an important contribution to the ICT sector as we move forward post-pandemic.

“Our people, and their skills, are our most valuable resource. We are working with businesses, academia and government to help future-proof the ICT skills pipeline, to enhance Northern Ireland’s already strong proposition as a prime location to establish or grow a business. There are also initiatives to help attract-back talent currently working elsewhere to ensure we have the right talent to meet the needs of this growing sector. We look forward to following and supporting Agio’s business journey in Northern Ireland.”

Recruitment is already underway, with 19 roles in place. Jobs such as network, server and public cloud engineering, end user analysts, cybersecurity consultants, and business development roles are available.

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