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‘Northern Ireland remains an excellent place for us to do business’

'Northern Ireland remains an excellent place for us to do business'

Leigh Meyer, Citi’s site head in Belfast, says Northern Ireland is still an excellent location for Citi to work and do business 25 years after signing the Good Friday Agreement

In remarks following his speech at the University of Ulster in April, Joe Kennedy III, US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, said: “Companies in the United States are aware of the people, talent and work ethic available here. “

Meanwhile, President Biden reflected on the willingness of corporate America to bet on peace [in Northern Ireland] 25 years ago and reaffirmed America’s commitment to continuing to invest in Northern Ireland.

“Confided by the lasting peace in Northern Ireland, Citi arrived in Belfast in 2005 with the original intention of recruiting 375 technology professionals. Nearly 19 years later, the US-headquartered global bank employs approximately 3,700 people in Belfast, with teams spanning a variety of disciplines including technology, legal, human resources, operations and internal audit. These functions support our markets, banking and wealth operations in more than 100 countries, living locally and operating globally.

“A key focus for us remains on increasing diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) within our teams, as well as breaking down barriers and challenging common stereotypes for financial professionals. Within our workforce, we are proud to have over 40 different nationalities on our team, with 52% of our leadership positions across the site being held by women. We also benefit from five active inclusion networks representing: Women, Pride, Families Matter, DisAbility and Multi-Cultural, who work to shine a light on and advocate for our DE&I goals.

“Citi is one of the largest private sector employers in Northern Ireland. As we have grown so has the financial and business services business in Belfast. We have worked closely with both universities to strengthen the talent pipeline, as well as other partners who are building bridges for students, drop-outs and returnees to enter the industry.

“Our internship and graduate program has been developed in partnership with Queen’s and Ulster University to provide graduates with early career opportunities. Our annual intake has grown to over 80, creating an established, award-winning talent pipeline.

“Established in 2018, our Apprenticeship program has grown significantly since then, with over 60 individuals working in ten different roles, and in 2021 we launched a FinTech Apprenticeship in partnership with Ulster University. We have also partnered with Belfast City Council to create a new pipeline of talent through Belfast City Council-sponsored initiatives, enabling careers at Citi.

“These successes have been achieved through longstanding partnerships and collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland, the local universities, Belfast Met, as well as local schools and more laterally with social enterprises and charities.

“We are excited to continue to share what we have learned along the way with local and international companies as we continue to improve our programs. We are committed to developing new talent in Northern Ireland and remain committed to growing as the region continues to thrive.”

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