New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland Joseph Kennedy III, and Managing Director of 57 Stars Bernard McGuire announced a new $50 million commitment to invest in Northern Ireland companies from the New York State Common Retirement Fund while in Belfast on Tuesday, October 24.

The investment from New York's state pension fund’s private equity program will be managed by 57 Stars, a Washington, DC-based investment manager.

“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,” DiNapoli said on Tuesday.

“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.”

In Belfast w/ Special Envoy for N. Ireland @JoeKennedy + asset manager 57 Stars and pleased to announce a new $50M commitment. Our investments here get solid returns + can foster employment for all communities + support the peace process.

— Tom DiNapoli (@NYSComptroller) October 24, 2023

Kennedy underscored: “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.”

For years @NYSComptroller DiNapoli and members of the NY pension system have bet on the people of NI and invested their pension dollars in NI’s future. Their faith in the people and business opportunities have been rewarded. I’m thrilled that the Comptroller & people of NY are…

— Joseph Kennedy III (@USEnvoyNI) October 25, 2023

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris hailed the announcement as "fantastic news."

Northern Ireland's innovative economy has huge investment potential, as the New York State Pension Fund's $50m announcement @NYSComptroller illustrates.

The NI Investment Summit showed NI's expertise in key growth sectors

Welcome to the US delegation!@USEnvoyNI @USAinNI

— Northern Ireland Office (@NIOgov) October 24, 2023

McGuire added: “Northern Ireland is a smaller market that possesses numerous hidden gem businesses. Companies there 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.

"In this landscape, 57 Stars has found compelling investment opportunities. This investment addresses the historical challenge of accessing capital and it validates the market’s potential returns.

"We are excited to continue our relationship with the Fund and create partnerships with more companies in Northern Ireland to help them realize their growth ambitions.”

57 Stars will seek out investment opportunities in companies in Northern Ireland across an array of sectors, a statement from the Office of the New York State Comptroller said on Tuesday. The $50 million earmarked for Northern Ireland is part of a larger $175 million commitment to 57 Stars for international markets in Europe and elsewhere.

Including this week's announcement, the 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.

The $50 million investment announcement was made during this week’s four-day visit from a Senior US Business Delegation to Northern Ireland.

Welcoming the delegation, the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Jayne Brady said this week: “Building on September’s Investment Summit, this visit will highlight to the most senior of US business leaders what makes Northern Ireland a compelling investment proposition."

On Wednesday, Special Envoy Kennedy separately announced that the Florida-based insurance technology company Frontline will be establishing an engineering development team in Northern Ireland in a £3.8m investment that will create 31 high-quality jobs.   

NEWS I Joe Kennedy III has announced a £3.8m investment by Florida based insurance tech company #Frontline.

The company is well on its way to establishing an engineering development team in Northern Ireland with the creation of 31 jobs.

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— Invest NI (@InvestNI) October 25, 2023