From the world’s largest tech giants like Google and Amazon to home-grown tech companies, there is a wealth of innovation on-going in Ireland’s tech industry today. And leading the pack in the financial service industry is aqmetrics, who provide a fully automated risk and compliance solution for this sector.
Innovating in Tech in Maynooth
Based in the picturesque university town of Maynooth, Co. Kildare – just 30mins from Dublin city – aqmetrics boasts a dynamic and agile start-up feel. CEO and founder Geraldine Gibson explains how it all began: “Since 2008, the financial industry has been hit hard by regulations and it was clear that a software solution was needed. I decided to combine my previous industry experience with software and my expertise with trading and banking to come up with a solution. Very few people in the marketplace have seen both sides. So putting our experience of the two things together gives us a very good niche.”
Collaboration is Key
It’s this merging of tech, finance and regulation that makes aqmetrics so strong. Geraldine notes: “We have a blend of people with financial, legal, maths and programming backgrounds who can apply their skills. You need that blend.” This kind of collaborative environment is something Geraldine feels is exceptionally evident in Ireland. She explains: “I think in Ireland we are genuinely very good at blending learnings across different industries. Perhaps it’s because Ireland is quite small, but collaboration in this country is really strong especially with the tech scene collaborating with other industries.”
As a start-up, it’s important to be scalable and this has been at the heart of aqmetrics from the beginning. Geraldine explains: “We started out as a cloud-based company from day one and as such, were able to use all of the emerging tech, open source and advantages of cloud scalability from the start. We’ve built aqmetrics, so we are able to bring emerging technologies into our platform quite rapidly. This means we’re never working off legacy software.”
To stay on top of tech trends the team regularly attend different tech events. Geraldine explains: “We go to lots of tech meetups. For example, there’s a really good one in the funds industry called FinDig where tech meets the funds industry.” These meetups are also a useful way of staying on the cutting edge of the tech industry: “We’re always working off the newest technologies and the latest concepts and we continually watch what’s happening in the marketplace. For example, blockchain is something we watch as we may need it in the future so we need to understand that type of thing,” she adds.
Scaling the Business
As we chat, Geraldine points across the street to the larger building they will shortly be moving to. The company are scaling with plans to expand into the US market and have recently opened an office in New York. The atmosphere in the office is very friendly with great staff morale. Geraldine explains: “Everyone from the original team is still here.” One such team member is Andrew Fox, who is the team’s Quantitative Analytics Developer. He explains why he enjoys the job so much: ‘‘It’s a wonderful thing that someone can apply the two lines of thought, Mathematics and Software Development, that they have spent years studying and are passionate about to their day job. So, in a sense I feel quite lucky to have been one of the first people in the door at aqmetrics.” The expansion means they are always looking for new talent. Geraldine notes: “We’re looking for front-end engineers, DevOps, back end analytics and in particular, any people who come from a trading room environment.”