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Symphony to open Belfast hub

New York-headquartered technology firm Symphony has chosen Belfast as the location for a multifunctional hub which will create 17 high-quality jobs over the next year.

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Symphony has developed communications software for global finance with platforms for messaging, voice, directory and analytics. Over 625,000 financial services professionals from over 1000 institutions rely on Symphony.

The investment is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland, which has been engaging with the company since 2021. The agency invited president and CFO of Symphony, Ben Chrnelich, to attend the NI Investment Summit in September 2023 and subsequently organised a two-day inward visit for a senior delegation from the company. They met with existing investors and were impressed by what Northern Ireland had to offer.

Speaking about the decision to establish a hub in Belfast, Ben Chrnelich, said: “The NI Investment Summit was by far the best investment event I’ve ever been to, and I was keen to explore the potential of Northern Ireland for Symphony. After speaking to other investors and to the local universities, we were convinced that Northern Ireland offered a great fit for us.

“The new hub will help Symphony to achieve its growth plans by providing the capacity required to support our rapidly growing business. We are excited about the availability of talent in Northern Ireland and will be partnering with the universities to offer placement and employment opportunities in the future. Our intention is to grow beyond the initial 17 roles and establish a much larger operation in Belfast.”

This is the first inward investment announced as a result of the two-day investment summit in September, which welcomed 200 international delegates from the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The new jobs will span engineering, finance, legal and compliance roles and, while the company’s office space will be in Belfast, hybrid working options will create employment opportunities for people across Northern Ireland.

Steve Harper, Invest NI’s executive director of International Business, commented: “This investment comes as a direct result of the investment summit, and I believe it will be the first of many. The new jobs created by Symphony will all pay well above the Northern Ireland private sector median and will contribute £845,000 in additional annual salaries to the local economy.

“Symphony has indicated that Northern Ireland’s highly skilled talent supply across a number of functions as well as strong business link to academia were important factors in its decision to locate here. The company’s presence here will further strengthen Northern Ireland’s reputation as a centre of excellence for tech and financial services.”

Symphony currently employs over 500 global staff working in New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sophia Antipolis, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Vietnam and Belfast.

The Northern Ireland Investment Summit was hosted by the Department for Business and Trade in partnership with the Northern Ireland Office and Invest Northern Ireland. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton – Harris said: “This jobs boost thanks to the Northern Ireland Investment Summit is great news for the economy, as well as for Symphony, who will be able to take advantage of local expertise and the talent pathway.

“The Summit showcased Northern Ireland’s innovation and technological strengths, illustrating the benefits of doing business here and successfully attracting international investors.”

Minister for Investment Lord Johnson said: “This fantastic news from Symphony choosing Belfast as the location of its hub is a superb vote of confidence for the UK’s financial technology sector.

“Following September’s Investment Summit, I am delighted that this will create job opportunities for people in Northern Ireland and by adding to its office in London, will strengthen the UK’s reputation as Europe’s centre for fintech services.” 

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