The UK-headquartered fund management firm Willis Towers Watson is to create up to 40 jobs through the opening of an asset management operation in Cork.

The new roles will come on stream over the next few years and will be across areas such as service provider oversight, risk & data management, investor on-boarding, and compliance.

Willis Towers Watson already employs more than 300 people in Ireland, across its offices in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, and Belfast.

The company manages assets in excess of €6 billion through its Irish subsidiary, Towers Watson Investment Management Ireland.

In a statement the company said: “The expansion of the activity in Ireland arises from the creation of a managed funds platform domiciled in Ireland and a clear decision by the firm to place additional operational substance in the jurisdiction.

“The platform went live with its first suite of funds on the 1st February with a strong pipeline forecasted.”

The establishment of the new operation is a very welcome addition to Ireland’s funds industry, according to Pat Lardner, CEO of industry trade body Irish Funds.

Mr Lardner said: “Ireland is the third largest fund centre in the world with €2 trillion of assets in Irish domiciled funds and today’s announcement by Willis Towers Watson is another example of the benefit of having a strong cluster of funds expertise in Cork which can serve global clients while making a positive contribution to the local community at the same time.”

Head of Investment Operations in Ireland for TWIMI Eoin Motherway said the company “chose the region for its financial services experience, availability of top class graduates from the surrounding third level eco-system and its competitive base”.

The company is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.