29/11/2001

Alexander Forbes sites regional centre in Belfast

Financial services group Alexander Forbes has chosen Belfast as the site for its new Regional Centre for Ireland, marking the first phase of a development programme to deliver risk management skills.

Graeme Kerrigan, Group Chief Executive of Alexander Forbes joined over two hundred clients and staff at the opening reception, where he described the company’s decision to invest in the Belfast office as “a major statement of confidence in the quality of both staff and clients in the province”.

The occasion received the official seal of approval from Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, who unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the opening of the new offices, which are based in Linenhall Street.

Sir Reg Empey commented: "Alexander Forbes has recognised that Northern Ireland is an ideal business location and the company's presence here undoubtedly raises the profile as an investment location. This investment represents confidence in Belfast and the Northern Ireland economy and can only benefit the consumer by being able to offer an even greater range and scope of financial services".

Speaking about the expansion and job creation planned in the context of the move, Regional Managing Director Billy Bennington, added: "The Belfast team is delighted with this important first phase of our development programme which very visibly benefits our clients and staff alike. In an increasingly challenging insurance environment, Alexander Forbes's particular blend of risk management skills, innovative products and service delivery, plus technology driven competitive solutions will differentiate us from the conventional insurance broking role."

Specialists in providing independent advice to corporate and individual clients around the world to find solutions to their risk management and financial planning needs, Alexander Forbes employs over 5,700 people, with operations in over 30 countries.

With an average annual increase in headline earnings per share of 33 per cent over the five years since listing in 1996, its international risk services operations are headquartered in London. (CL)

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