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Trump and Brexit boost Silicon Docks

The rapid growth of Dublin’s Silicon Docks is being fuelled by a combination of US president Donald Trump’s stance on immigration and ongoing uncertainty in relation to the attitude of the UK authorities to foreign workers post-Brexit.

That’s the message Hibernia Reit CEO Kevin Nowlan says his company has been hearing from its tech-sector tenants as they seek to navigate the twin challenges of doing business both in Trump’s America and in Britain as it prepares to leave the EU.

Referring to the drivers of demand from global technology companies for office space in the Dublin Docklands and beyond, Mr Nowlan said: “We’ve been getting feedback for over a year from our occupiers that they have been having difficulty getting people into the US to work in their organisations.

“And other people are nervous that this is going to happen with the UK post-Brexit.

“That’s one of the drivers that’s coming on with the tech sector in Dublin. It’s only one of them. Dublin is ticking a lot of the boxes for these organisations.

“Brexit is definitely providing a tailwind for Dublin at the moment,” he added.

The Hibernia chief’s observation came in the course of questions from reporters following his company’s AGM yesterday.

While much of the focus in the lead-up to the meeting centred on calls for Hibernia’s shareholders to vote against the re-election of non-executive director Colm Barrington and to oppose salary increases for Mr Nowlan and chief financial officer Tom Edwards-Moss, neither issue gained any traction. Just over 30pc of Hibernia Reit’s stock voted against the company on each of the two proposals.

Regarding the recommendations from proxy advisers, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, Hibernia chairman Daniel Kitchen said the idea that investors should be told how to vote was “nonsense”.

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