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In Praise of Limassol’s Remarkable Talent Pool

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Paul Broaderick heads the Cyprus office of MUFG Investor Services, the fund administration arm of Japan’s MUFG, which oversees more than US$1 trillion in assets. Here he discusses the rapid growth of the firm’s Limassol base and its pivotal role as a launchpad for regional expansion.

Since coming to Cyprus two years ago to establish the Cyprus office of MUFG Investor Services, how would you assess Limassol as a place to do business?

Paul Broderick (PB): Moving to Cyprus in 2022 was as exciting as it was daunting. I had never been here before, so it was a leap of faith. From a professional perspective, I knew the funds services industry was relatively small here, and as Head of Business Operations, I believed it would be challenging but what I discovered within the first few weeks put all my fears at ease. Limassol is an amazing place to live in; it’s a city that has it all and the welcome from my Cypriot colleagues was exceptional. My dear friend and colleague, Yannis Matsis, who was then Head of the Cyprus office and is one of the best people I have worked alongside, made me feel right at home. In a short time, I embraced Cypriot life and culture—which I found very similar to Irish—so it ended up being a very easy move.

On a professional level, I was very impressed with the talent we hired locally. We relocated colleagues from other offices to establish training and to carry the MUFG Investor Services culture to this new location. Their hard work, along with the exceptional talent that joined the MUFG Investor Services team, is the main reason for our success today. I would rank Limassol as one of the best locations to do business and attract local talent that I have worked in globally.

The Cyprus office has grown significantly—the latest numbers suggest a workforce of nearly 200. How crucial has the availability of talent in Cyprus been to achieving your targets?

PB: Actually, we surpassed the 200-colleague mark recently and we are continuing to grow. This is testament to the remarkable talent available here, along with their professionalism and strong academic backgrounds. Talent really has been the key to this journey for our firm. Without the available talent pool here, and their superb skillsets, our work would have been much more challenging.

How has establishing a strong base in Cyprus helped you realise your regional expansion plans?

PB: Our “follow the sun” service model is a key element of our global strategy, and we ensure a 24/5 service model for our clients. To execute that strategy, we needed to expand in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Cyprus has top talent, excellent infrastructure and a strong regional presence, so it easily met all our needs.

Our Cyprus office is an operational hub and centre of excellence for many of our business lines, as well as a key location for our global IT and software engineering teams. Our access to fintech and IT talent in Cyprus has been a major factor in our growth. We are projecting that the office will have doubled in size by 2027 to service new and existing clients. So, with anticipated staff numbers of 400-450, Cyprus will become one of the main offices for MUFG Investor Services globally. And as we expand our presence in the Middle East, Cyprus is perfectly located to service the region.

Limassol is currently facing a severe shortage of residential and commercial spaces, as well as high electricity costs affecting the entire country. Have these issues impacted your employees and/or your operations?

PB: These issues are not limited to Limassol; we are seeing them in many of our other locations. The availability of affordable accommodations, an effective infrastructure with schools, roads, etc. are priorities, not just for MUFG Investor Services but for Cyprus as a whole. The political and business communities are very focused on resolving these issues, and I have great confidence in their ability to find viable solutions.

Proposed fund administration legislation awaits parliamentary approval. How can a dedicated regulatory framework boost the local industry and potentially attract more players?

PB: There are many advantages of having a regulatory framework in place for the alternative investment industry. It gives confidence to all stakeholders and makes it a much more attractive jurisdiction for everyone. I very much welcome the legislation that has been proposed and look forward to its successful implementation.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give investors and companies considering establishing a presence in Limassol?

PB: I highly recommend Limassol as a place to do business. Its people and talent pool are the keys to our success. For MUFG Investor Services, establishing a presence here has been a seamless, very positive experience all around. I believe firms that assess the talent pool for their businesses and find excellent commercial space will have a successful journey here as well.

This article was originally featured in Gold Magazine.