Press Release 08 Feb 2008

08/02/2008

The supportive environment for enterprise created by the Irish Government, the overwhelmingly positive experience of other US companies operating in Ireland, the country’s excellent education system, and the excellent work of IDA Ireland were all part of what attracted us to Ireland.Ms. Kathy Owen, Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice-President, Unum US

Unum

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today (Friday 8th February 2008) announced that Unum is to establish a strategic software service centre, with the support of IDA Ireland, in Carlow town. Unum is a US-based industry leader in employee benefits and the largest provider of group and individual disability income protection insurance in the US and the UK. The new investment will create up to 200 new high-level positions.

The software service centre will provide support to a range of activities, such as IT and quality assurance, associated with Unum’s US operations. Recruitment is to begin immediately and Unum intends to recruit 100 people by the end of 2009 and up to a further 100 subsequently. Initially, the positions in software development and quality assurance will primarily suit experienced software developers followed by opportunities suited to recent graduates.

Minister Martin said “The arrival of Unum to Ireland is excellent news and again underlines the strength of our inward investment offering in the global marketplace. Unum is the market leader in the US group income protection market and works with more than 40% of the Fortune 500 companies. It has been chosen by almost one in every five US employers who offer group disability insurance cover.”

“The investment is a further success for the Government and IDA Ireland in their commitment to deliver leading-edge global investments to regional locations throughout Ireland. Carlow has expanded considerably in recent years with a population growth of over 9% in the period 2002-2006 and significant infrastructural developments such as the impending completion of the bypass, improving journey times. Unum’s investment will create new jobs that will allow more people living in Carlow and the hinterland to work in the town. It is particularly positive that the new positions to be created will require skilled people and the availability of graduates from Institute of Technology Carlow and the services of FÁS were key elements in the company’s decision to locate its investment there.”

“Carlow is a place where people want to live and work. This is my third visit in the past six months and each was to mark a happy occasion. Last September I was proud to open the new offices for 100 civil servants from my own Department who have decentralised here. In November I returned with IDA Ireland to announce a major investment by Merck & Co, which will lead to 170 jobs in the Business Park. The fact that Carlow is a location of choice shows the Government’s investment in infrastructure and in training people for the jobs of the future is working.”

Ms. Kathy Owen, Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice-President, Unum US, speaking at the announcement in Carlow said the company was excited to be establishing an important business presence in Ireland. “We now operate in a truly global economy and Unum already has substantial teams employed at several locations in the US and the UK and – through a third party relationship – in India. For this next investment in our future, we looked at numerous countries and regions when evaluating locations. The supportive environment for enterprise created by the Irish Government, the overwhelmingly positive experience of other US companies operating in Ireland, the country’s excellent education system, and the excellent work of IDA Ireland were all part of what attracted us to Ireland.”

“In Carlow, we encountered positive and proactive politicians and public officials along with an Institute of Technology that we found to be genuinely interested in partnering to meet our business requirements - especially around graduate recruitment. We are also very aware of the trend whereby many people working in and around Dublin live in Counties Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois and Wexford and we see potential to recruit skilled and experienced people from among this group – allowing them to work far closer to home without sacrificing their careers,” added Ms. Owens.
About Unum US

Unum employs 10,000 people worldwide and has total annual revenues of over US$10.5 billion. In the voluntary benefits market, Unum and its subsidiary Colonial Life & Accident hold two of the top three US market positions. Products include disability income protection insurance, voluntary benefits, life and long-term care. Unum’s Irish operation is to be headed up by Mr. Brendan Maher, who has considerable industry experience in the southeast region.

The recruitment campaign for the positions being created by Unum in Carlow is to get underway immediately; further information is available at www.unum.ie, while wider company information can be accessed at www.unum.com.
Media contacts for further information –

Unum Ireland - Brian Nolan, Director, Bance Nolan Ltd, Tel: (051) 845403; 086 8191730.

Unum US -MC Guenther, Director - Corporate Communications, Unum, Tel: (001) 423 2946108.

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment – Press Office, Tel: 01- 6312200
Jerry O’Connor, Press Advisor, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, 087 6630338/016312200

IDA Ireland –
Ruth Croke, Press & PR Manager. Tel: 087 4195051, ruth.croke@ida.ie
Brendan Kenny, Press & PR Officer, Tel: 087 9036126