Vote of confidence in Irish economy as Genworth invests €15mn in new base

Business | Wed 11 Dec | Author – Business & Finance

The economy of the mid-west has received a welcome boost with global insurer Genworth stating its long-term commitment to the region with a €15mn+ investment in a new base in Shannon.

The investment will see Genworth’s International Service Centre in Shannon located in the Westpark Business Campus following its purchase of the facility from global biopharmaceutical leader UCB.  The overall investment will include the development of a high specification data centre to support Genworth’s global operations.

The move, which is planned for 2014, has been welcomed by the Shannon Group plc as a statement of intent by Genworth with regard to its commitment to the region.

The new Service Centre for Genworth’s global Lifestyle Protection business will occupy 103,000 square feet of office space and will boast world-class facilities, providing a flexible working environment for Genworth staff.

Genworth established operations in Shannon in 1997 and has nearly 400 people employed at the current site. The Shannon base, which is the largest concentration of Genworth staff outside the US, is a centre-of-excellence for operations, information technology, finance and human resources teams.

Rose Hynes, chair of Shannon Airport Authority said:  “This is a very significant statement of intent by Genworth in Shannon.  It will anchor Genworth in the region and given the strength of its business and employment levels locally, this bodes very well for the future.

“Having a Fortune 500 company make a commitment like this in the region sends a very positive message about the operating environment in Ireland and Shannon in terms of attracting further inward investment.”

Bob Brannock, president and CEO of Genworth International Protection said: “Genworth’s operation in Shannon is crucial in supporting the company’s growing base of international clients across Europe and our growing presence in new markets in Latin America and China. This move underscores our long-term commitment to Shannon and Ireland, and gives us the capacity to meet future business needs.

“This will give Genworth a significant asset which allows us to upgrade our space and reduce costs simultaneously. Our decision to remain in Shannon for our International Service Centre is due in no small part to the continued support of the new Shannon Group plc and reflects our commitment to providing the best possible working environment for our employees.”

Andrew Flaherty, senior vice president, Genworth International Protection said that the commitment to Shannon is further affirmation of the improved operational environment in Ireland. “This is a significant investment by Genworth and is very much a vote of confidence in the Irish economy as a place to do business in.  Five years ago this type of commitment would have been harder to get as competitiveness, in particular, had eroded somewhat.
“We were not in the slightest surprised to see Ireland rated last week by Forbes as the best country in the world to do business in. That article talked about Ireland attracting some of the world’s biggest companies over the past decade and Genworth is among those.
“Our new facility will give our team a world class working environment and provides Genworth with the space to grow our business into the future.”