Aflac Incorporated, a US-based insurance company, plans to create 150 jobs as it opens a new technology innovation centre in Northern Ireland.
Georgia-headquartered Aflac 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 US and Japan and will support customers and market growth in both of these current Aflac markets.
Aflac is a supplemental insurance provider in the life and health category in the US and Japan, providing financial protection to more than 50m people worldwide. It currently employs around 4,700 employees in the US and 11,000 globally.
Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest NI said: “The team here will provide technical expertise and operational support to complement its US 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.”
Aflac will recruit for the new roles over the next five years, offering opportunities in IT and cybersecurity with an average salary of £45,000.
When fully operational, the jobs will contribute nearly £7m in wages to the Northern Ireland economy.
Virgil Miller, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Aflac US, 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.”
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, vice president 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.”