DUBLIN Feb 25 Ireland's central bank will
examine corporate governance and outsourcing in the investment
funds industry this year, putting the world's biggest centre for
hedge fund administration under a spotlight.
Ireland has built itself up as a major international funds
hub with some 2.5 trillion euros in assets administered in the
country, more than double the level of 2009 and around 15 times
the country's annual economic output.
The industry's rapid rise has highlighted the stewardship of
those funds, particularly those who chose to be domiciled in
Ireland, not just administered there. An Irish domicile requires
that the fund have two Irish residents as directors.
A Reuters report last year showed that some people have been
accumulating a sizeable portfolio of directorships, raising
questions over their ability to devote enough attention to each
The central bank cited on Tuesday corporate governance of
investment funds and fund managers as one of a number of its
areas for review this year, including also lending to small and
medium-sized firms and anti-money laundering compliance.
A person can take any number of funds directorships in
Ireland, but under a voluntary code effective since 2012 a
fund's board must ensure that its members can discharge their
responsibilities, given all their other directorships.
Last month, the central bank sent out a survey to a sample
of funds asking for details about how many directorships their
directors held as well as other questions about conflicts of
interest and corporate governance generally.
In an interview with Reuters last year, Gareth Murphy, the
head of markets supervision at the central bank, said some
people were taking on too many directorships but he said it was
better to focus on the time directors devote to their duties
rather than cap the number of directorships.
(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Pravin Char)