Spence & Partners is part of Ellcon Investments, an indigenous group based in Belfast with offices in London, Glasgow and Bristol.The company decided to significantly expand its workforce following its development of Mantle, a highly innovative cloud-based software solution for the pensions industry, which is driving the company's growth in export markets.The new jobs will bring the number of staff at the Spence & Partners Belfast office to 145.Announcing the investment during a visit to the company, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "This substantial expansion is creating highly skilled employment opportunities in the IT and actuarial sectors, and is the result of the firm's investment in research and development to create its ground-breaking Mantle product."The new jobs, 25 of which are already in place, will bring new skills to the important financial services sector and will generate £3.5m a year in salaries."As well as providing an employment grant, Invest Northern Ireland is supporting training for the new staff and has also supported the Mantle research and development project.She added: "This investment by Spence & Partners will contribute to the development of Northern Ireland's skills base by creating a home-grown talent pool of financial services specialists in a key growth sector."Invest Northern Ireland has offered Spence & Partners over £1m towards its investment, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.Spence has ambitious plans to grow turnover significantly in the next five years with the aim of becoming one of the top ten firms operating in the UK defined benefit pensions market.Commenting on the investment, Director Neil Copeland said: "We are excited by the opportunities opening up for us on the back of our Mantle product, which is the only software system on the market that combines actuarial functionality and related administrative processes."Without Invest NI's support the development of Mantle and the expansion of the company would have taken much longer and we would have risked losing momentum and missing out on market opportunities."