Posted on Tuesday 14 May 2013 by Ulster Business

Allstate

Technology company Allstate Northern Ireland is to create up to 650 high quality jobs in Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane over the next three years, it was announced today.

Allstate Northern Ireland, a subsidiary of the US insurance giant the Allstate Corporation, currently employs over 1,900 employees in the three locations.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered just over £4.5m of support towards the expansion, which it said will deliver £20m annually in additional salaries through the creation of up to 650 jobs across Allstate's three sites in Northern Ireland.

Almost 200 of the software development, software testing, infrastructure services and analytics posts have already been filled and the remaining 450 will be recruited by 2016, the company said.

Established in Belfast in 1998 as Northbrook Technology, the firm provides software development services and high end business solutions in support of its US parent, which is one of the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurers in America.

The expansion is the latest in a string of positive stories in Northern Ireland's IT sector, which has seen the likes of Deloitte and Merchant Warehouse recently announce new jobs. Financial and capital markets technology has been one of Invest NI's most successful sectors for foreign direct investment in the past few years, with key players such as NYSE Euronext, CME Group, CITI and Liberty IT all growing their workforces in Belfast.

The latest announcement was welcomed by First Minister Peter Robinson, who said: "This announcement of hundreds of new high quality jobs by a top Fortune 100 company sends out a clear and unequivocal message to international investors to have confidence in Northern Ireland as a competitive location from which to grow their business.

"I am delighted that Invest NI was able to secure this major expansion for Northern Ireland and that the recruitment process is already well under way."

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness added: "These jobs will benefit people in Belfast and the North West. The high quality positions and associated salaries are further proof that we have the people, skills and technology to support the business needs of major companies like Allstate.

"This is truly great news for our economy. Such investments bring quality salaries and new opportunities for local people so it remains vitally important that we continue to seek out investment projects in key markets and strengthen our relationships with new and existing investors to ensure that we maximise every opportunity to build a positive future for all."

Bro McFerran, Managing Director of Allstate Northern Ireland highlighted that the firm already employs 1,900 people in the province.

"Many of those people are non-IT graduates who have received advanced training and now have new skills and regarding careers with Allstate," he said.

"Allstate Northern Ireland remains an integral part of Allstate Insurance, and today's announcement is testament to the talented people we have here and the significant contribution that people in Northern Ireland have made to Allstate's operations."

Momentum, the voice of the Digital sector in Northern Ireland also welcomed the jobs announcement. Momentum Chairman Rob McConnell said that it was further evidence of the positive future for the Digital sector in Northern Ireland.

“In January, Momentum launched its new manifesto which painted a bright future for Northern Ireland’s Digital sector, and predicted that Northern Ireland could create thousands of new jobs in the next decade if we all worked together to make it happen. Today’s and other recent announcements are proof positive of the potential success of the sector, and we would like to offer our congratulations to all involved at Allstate," he said.

"The Minister Arlene Foster, and her team at Invest NI have done a fantastic job to help secure this investment, and we look forward to working with DETI, DEL, INI and all the relevant stakeholders so that announcements like today’s become the norm in the future. It’s a great day for the Digital sector and for Northern Ireland.”

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