170 jobs to go as Assurant insurance quits Cork

US insurance company Assurant Solutions has confirmed it is to pull out of Cork with the loss of up to 170 jobs.

Before Christmas the company called all 170 staff at its offices on the Model Farm Rd in Cork City to meetings to tell them it was “possible” that a review of its European operations could see the location being closed down.

Last October, it had bought Lifestyle Services Group (LSG), a British mobile-phone insurance provider for £107m (€127m), and it indicated it might consolidate its European headquarters management team, customer care, and support functions, in LSG’s location in Crewe in England.

Yesterday it confirmed it was pressing ahead with that plan. It said the transfer of operations from Cork to Crewe should be complete by September. A further 34 jobs are to be lost at Assurant’s location in Windsor.

The company’s European president Chris Harrison said the Crewe operation “has the capacity to meet both current and future requirements as we seek to achieve our ambitions for growth in Europe.”

“Decisions to close an operation are always tough but must be made to ensure our business can compete effectively, service our clients and deliver value to customers,” he said.

He said that while all options were considered, it made more sense to consolidate the staff in the north west of England where there are already 1,000 employees, rather than here.

Mr Harrison said the company’s human resources team would work with the employees here to develop “transition plans” including outplacement support to help them secure alternative employment. We are working closely with the IDA and local employers to identify potential opportunities,” he added.

He did say the company would run “try before you buy” trips for staff who might be interested in moving from Cork to Crewe, but admitted he did not expect a large number to make the move.


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