INVESTMENT PLEDGE: Comptroller Tom DiNapoli of New York State is welcomed to The Duncairn arts centre in North Belfast by director the Rev Bill Shaw. Thomas McMullan

New York's 'Billion dollar man' pledges additional funds for local companies

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is doubling down on his support for local companies by pledging an additional $50m in investment funds from the New York State pension kitty.

The Comptroller is the sole trustee of the $250bn New York state's Retirees' Fund and has previously made investments in a raft of successful Belfast businesses including Andor Technologies, Datactics and Fusion Antibodies of Poleglass.

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News of the fresh cash injection comes as a delegation of US business leaders arrives in Belfast with President Biden's Special Economic Envoy Joseph Kennedy III. 

Speaking before visiting community projects today in North and East Belfast, Comptroller DiNapoli said his previous investments had performed well. 

PLEDGE: Comptroller DiNapoli with Rev Brian Anderson of the Skainos Centre in East Belfast earlier today

PLEDGE: Comptroller DiNapoli with Rev Brian Anderson of the Skainos Centre in East Belfast earlier today

“Northern Ireland’s dynamic economy has proven a good investment for our state pension fund and I am gratified that we have the opportunity to expand on our long-standing economic relationship,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “Our commitments in Northern Ireland have provided a solid return and that’s good news for the 1.1 million working and retired members of our pension system. But I am equally pleased that we can continue to participate in Northern Ireland’s economic growth, to help foster employment for all communities under the MacBride principles, and support the peace process.” 

“Northern Ireland is a smaller market that possesses numerous hidden gem businesses,” said Bernard McGuire of 57 Stars which makes on-the-ground investments with the New York State funds, who is also joining the economic mission.  “Companies here are globally competitive and boosted by a highly educated workforce. Having a foot in both the UK and European customs zone further enhances Northern Ireland’s competitiveness and its significant advanced manufacturing industry is poised to benefit."   

Special Envoy for Northern Ireland Economic Affairs Joseph Kennedy III said that, “for years, Comptroller DiNapoli and the members of the New York Pension system have bet on the people of Northern Ireland and invested their pension dollars in Northern Ireland’s future.

"Their faith in the people and the business opportunities have been rewarded, and I’m thrilled that the Comptroller and the people of New York are set to renew their investment given the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.” 

New York state’s pension fund has committed almost $110 million to private equity investments in Northern Ireland since 2005. To date, approximately $48 million (£39 million) has been allocated to investments in Northern Ireland’s manufacturing, tech and healthcare sectors. Including DiNapoli’s newest commitment, approximately $58 million is available for investment.