New Ireland Capital Partners, which brings together business leaders from the U.S. and Ireland, is seeking to raise $250 million to invest in a range of projects and companies across Northern Ireland and the border counties.
Earlier this month, fund partners were in New York to meet with officials in the offices of New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Last May, Comptroller Thompson pledged $150 million to the Emerald Investment Fund which has already opened an office in Belfast and is actively seeking investments in the north of Ireland.
Now, New Ireland Capital Partners believe they can offer U.S. investors a “different and complementary strategy” to get a return for pension holders while bolstering the peace process with economic activity.
New Ireland Capital Partners founder Brendan McGinn, a native of Belfast with long-term business interests in New York, says his group has been impressed by how the Emerald Group has gone about its business.
“Our proposition to invest in local companies in Northern Ireland and the border counties, while co-investing in bigger projects, can allow U.S. pension funds to have another string to their bow,” he said.
“We also feel that we can ensure the areas which suffered most during the Troubles can benefit from this new wave of U.S. pension fund investment by locating new initiatives in those very areas.”
Among the principals in New Ireland Capital Partners are former AIG vice-president Ned Cloonan and John Cahill, a former adviser to Governor George Pataki.
McGinn says his fund will have a $250 million ceiling.
“We’re looking at a fund which will go after different opportunities. In tough economic times, pension funds are seeking out pastures new and we believe that the phenomenal amount of government spending which is continuing to go into the north of Ireland, combined with the blossoming peace process, means we have an unbeatable proposition to offer pension funds in the U.S. … a return on their investment and help secure the peace,” he said.