Leading US insurance company Aflac to create Technology and Cybersecurity Innovation Centre in Northern Ireland
Aflac Incorporated, a U.S. based insurance company with business in the United States and Japan, plans to create 150 jobs as it opens a new technology innovation centre in Northern Ireland.
The Georgia-headquartered company, listed at No. 143 on the Fortune 500, is setting up a Global IT and Cybersecurity Innovation Centre as part of a multimillion-pound investment in Northern Ireland. The new centre, to be located in Belfast, will be in addition to the existing teams in the U.S. and Japan and will support customers and market growth in both of these current Aflac markets.
Aflac is the leading supplemental insurance provider in the life and health category in the United States and Japan, providing financial protection to more than 50 million people worldwide.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered just over £1 million to help secure the project and create high-value jobs for Northern Ireland, establishing itself as a fintech hub.
This new centre will ensure Aflac remains at the cutting edge of technology with access to global excellence in cybersecurityAlastair Hamilton, Invest NI.
Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest NI said: “Aflac operates in the two largest insurance markets in the world, the U.S. and Japan. The increased safety of its customers is central to its business, and this new centre will ensure Aflac remains at the cutting edge of technology with access to global excellence in cybersecurity. ”Hamilton added.
“The team here will provide technical expertise and operational support to complement its U.S. cybersecurity and IT operations. With a constant drive to innovate and exploit new emerging technologies, this will be an exciting addition to our cybersecurity and ICT sector, ”Hamilton added.
Aflac will recruit for the new roles over the next five years, offering opportunities in IT and cybersecurity with an average salary of c£45,000. When fully operational, the jobs will contribute nearly £7 million in wages to the Northern Ireland economy.
Virgil Miller, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Aflac U.S., and president of Aflac Group Insurance, said: “What is particularly attractive about Northern Ireland is the existing expertise in areas such as mobile and cloud development and intelligent surveillance technology. Investing in advanced technologies is at the heart of our strategy to deliver an exceptional service experience to our customers, and in Northern Ireland, we know that we can drive world-class innovation for our company. We are also pleased that the new centre will provide an additional time zone, enabling expanded threat monitoring and response.
What is particularly attractive about Northern Ireland is the existing expertise in areas such as mobile and cloud development and intelligent surveillance technology...and in Northern Ireland, we know that we can drive world-class innovation for our company.Virgil Miller, Aflac.
Miller added, “We conducted extensive research in Europe to identify a location that not only has the expertise in IT development and cybersecurity to support our business strategy, but also complements our company culture. We believe we have found that here.”
Keith Farley, managing director of Aflac Northern Ireland, said: “It’s not every day that you can join a 64-year-old company on the ground floor, but that is exactly what we are offering. We are looking for great talent to help build a presence here in Belfast as a company that puts people first with a history as the leading innovator in our industry. And at Aflac, we understand how our products provide solutions for our policyholders in their greatest times of need, which means that employees in Northern Ireland will be able to share in that satisfaction, taking pride in the work that they are doing each and every day.”
Aflac currently employs c4,700 employees in the U.S. and 11,000 globally. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognised Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 20th consecutive year.