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December 1, 1999

Susquehanna Heads for Land of the Shamrock

By Sanford Wexler

The birthplace of Jonathan Swift, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett will soon be home to Susquehanna Financial Group's newest trading office. Early next year, the Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based broker dealer will open a trading operation in Dublin, Ireland. According to Leslie Murphy, a spokeswoman at the Dublin-based Irish Industrial Development Authority, the desk will primarily trade futures and will be staffed with both U.S. and Irish personnel. The new office will be spearheaded by David Proctor, a managing director at Susquehanna.

"I might get a chance to look up the family ancestral farm in County Mayo," quipped a manager of Irish descent at Susquehanna. Officials at the firm declined, however, to comment on specific details about the Dublin plan.

Susquenhanna is a relatively small investment bank. The firm has just over 20 employees, handling OTC and listed executions, as well as executions in options and derivatives securities. Susquehanna's average daily advertised executions is nearly 5 million Nasdaq and 2,500 listed shares, according to AutEx BlockDATA.

Thanks, in part, to sweeping reforms that were instituted by the Irish government, Dublin is experiencing an economic renaissance.

Over the past ten years a slew of U.S. financial services firms have opened offices in the Irish capital. Many non-financial firms have established outposts in the city region to gain access to the European markets. The country's low corporate tax rate at 10 percent is also attractive.