Development & Alumni Relations Office 



NEW YORK-BASED QUEEN'S GRADUATE CREATES 50 SOFTWARE JOBS IN BELFAST  Gavan Corr (Qarik), Kevin Holland (Invest NI), Diane Dodds (Economy Minister) and Joe Schenk (Qarik) in New York

01 October 2020

A New York technology firm co-founded by Queen's BSc Economics and Business (1996) graduate Gavan Corr from County Armagh, has announced 50 new jobs in Belfast.

Founded in 2019 by senior technology consultants Gavan Corr and business partner Joe Schenk, Qarik provides cloud-based data management and analysis software development services to corporate customers in the US including banks and financial services companies.

Qarik has already recruited almost 40 people – mainly software engineers and data scientists – in its River House base on High Street in Belfast, which brings the company’s total to 55 on both sides of the Atlantic.

The announcement was welcomed by Economy Minister Diane Dodds who said:

“I had the pleasure of meeting Gavan and Joe in New York in March. I am delighted that the discussions with Invest Northern Ireland, which started just over 12 months ago, have not only reached a positive conclusion, but that the company is already up and running with a team in place as part of its new Research and Delivery Hub.

The Minister met Mr Corr and Mr Schenk during her week-long US visit programme in March 2020 to New York and Washington, which included a series of meetings with potential investors, hosted by Invest NI CEO Kevin Holland.

“As well as roles at a senior level, the project also includes 10 positions specifically aimed at new graduates. The combination of opportunities for those starting out in their career and roles for those with experience brings a lot of benefit to our growing software development sector, as well as contributing nearly £2.2million in annual salaries to the NI economy,” she added.

Gavan Corr was Senior Financial Engineer in First Derivatives for six years before moving to New York in 2004 where he has held senior leadership positions in finance and equity strategy, working for GemStone Systems (Global Account Manager), NYSE Technologies as Director, Cowen and Company (Founding Principal, Options Trading Strategy Unit), Cycle Computing, LLC (COO & Chief Strategy Officer), Lucera (Global Head of Sales and Business Development), and most recently Google (Financial Services, Google Cloud), from where he joined Qarik as Managing Partner in 2019.

 Commenting on the decision to set up in Belfast Gavan Corr said:

“I grew up in Country Armagh, graduated from Queen’s University and completed a post-grad at Ulster University so I knew that Northern Ireland was the right place for this research team.

“Not only has this been the right decision, it has been such a positive experience that we have been able to grow the team much quicker than anticipated. Exceeding all our expectations, we already have 37 of the 50 jobs in place.

“This not only gives us confidence in our decision but optimism for future growth here.”

Speaking about the role of the Qarik operation in Northern Ireland Joe Schenk said:

“Traditionally financial institutions have legacy systems that are either inadequate or not capable of handling complex data analytical processes. They also operate in a regulated environment which brings added complexity and sensitivities.

“The team in Belfast will work alongside our US team to research and develop new product solutions to address these issues. These bespoke solutions, hosted in the cloud, will enable these financial institutions to integrate, manage and interrogate large volumes of data in compliance with industry regulations.”

Invest NI’s Kevin Holland said:

“Qarik’s Research and Delivery Hub here in Belfast will support the US team with key research projects to develop new products, as well as service delivery with existing client projects.

“The roles range from graduate level to very senior and are focused on data science, software engineering, DevOps and user experience design. The fact the company has been able to recruit so many of the roles so quickly is testament to both its commitment to this investment, and to the skills on offer here.”

Invest NI has offered £325,000 towards the new roles.

For Department for the Economy media enquiries please contact the Press Office on pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk.

For general enquiries about this story or to submit items of graduate news please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast.

Pictured (from left) in New York in March this year are Gavan Corr (Managing Partner, Qarik), Kevin Holland (Invest NI), Economy Minister Diane Dodds and Joe Schenk (Managing Partner, Qarik). Photo Kelvin Boyes

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