Chris Goodall, CEO of Continental American Insurance Company (Aflac Group Insurance), was joined today by Governor Mark Sanford, Mayor Steve Benjamin, Insurance Commissioner Scott Richardson, Central South Carolina Alliance CEO Mike Briggs, local dignitaries and elected officials, in announcing that Aflac , the company that pays you cash fast when you have been hurt or become ill, will lease an additional 27,000 square feet of office space in the City of Columbia’ central business district to accommodate anticipated expansion at Aflac Group Insurance.In January 2011, Aflac Group Insurance will shift 120 of its existing employees from the Aflac Group main office on Devine Street to the newly leased space at 400 Laurel Street. The company plans to double the number of workers at the new location over the next three to five years by adding new employees, while continuing its full operations on Devine Street.
The seven-year lease ensures that Aflac Group can accommodate its anticipated growth with new office space at a convenient location for employees and customers to come and go with easy access and ample parking. Aflac Group Insurance, formerly known as Continental American Insurance Company, has a 30-year history in the city of Columbia and Richland County, and remains committed to the area, as was promised when the company merged with Aflac Incorporated to form Aflac Group Insurance.
We couldnt ask for a better location in Columbia’ business district as we renew our dedication to expanding our business right here in Richland County, Goodall said. We are excited to demonstrate our strong commitment to our employees and customers, to the city of Columbia, Richland County and the state of South Carolina. We appreciate the tremendous enthusiasm that our state and local officials have shown us here in Columbia.
What made Continental American Insurance, now Aflac Group Insurance, such an attractive partner is our shared values, dedication to community, and strong commitment to the people we serve, Aflac President and COO Paul S. Amos II said. With this expansion, Chris Goodall and his hard-working team have given us every reason to believe that we were right, and that Aflac Group is poised for tremendous growth in the future.
Aflac’s plans to expand their footprint in South Carolina, and Columbia in particular, are yet another telling dividend of our state’s continued efforts to improve business soil conditions, Gov. Mark Sanford said. Today’s news speaks highly of these efforts, and indeed is another notch in what has become a string of economic development successes lately on the recruitment and investment fronts. While immense economic challenges remain for our state, I’d join many in celebrating Aflac’s announcement and welcoming them to downtown Columbia.
“We are honored a company of this stature is increasing their presence in South Carolina, State Insurance Director Scott Richardson said. The people of South Carolina are best served when government and the private sector share a mutual trust, so we are extremely pleased to continue the relationship that we have developed with Aflac Group Insurance to ensure that they remain a valued part of the economic engine of Columbia and South Carolina.
We are delighted that an international, Fortune 500 Company, with a history like Aflac’, chose our city to build its group insurance operations, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said. Aflac’ long-term commitment to Columbia is a great sign that our economic development plans are on the right track and sends a strong message that Columbia is an attractive city for any business to locate and grow.
Aflac Group will occupy the entire fifth floor of the five-story building; however, the terms of the lease provide Aflac Group with the first opportunity to lease any additional space that becomes available in the future. The building currently houses offices leased by AT&T.
South Carolina’ burgeoning reputation as a preferred business location continues to attract the most well respected and globally recognized companies in the world. Aflac has received numerous recognitions, among them Fortune Magazine’ global designation as No. 1 on the magazine’ Most Admired Companies list. The fact that Aflac has chosen to invest and grow in South Carolina is a compliment to our skilled workforce and to the state’ efforts to focus on the fundamentals necessary to help businesses compete and succeed. We congratulate Chris Goodall and the entire Aflac team on today’ announcement and wish the company much success in Columbia, said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.
Richland County is extremely proud that Aflac Group Insurance has chosen to expand its operations here in the capital county. This is a great testament to the county’ continued focus on a pro business environment. We look forward to Aflac’ continued presence, and wish them many more successful years in Richland County, said Richland County Council Chairman Paul Livingston.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For 55 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force. Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for four consecutive years and has been named by the Reputation Institute as the Most Reputable Company in the Global Insurance Industry for two consecutive years. In 2010, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the twelfth consecutive year. In addition, Fortune magazine ranked Aflac No. 1 on its global list of the Most Admired Companies in the Life and Health Insurance category. Aflac was also named by Forbes magazine as America’s Best-Managed Company in the Insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.