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Allstate planning to grow Northern Ireland operations

By John Mulgrew

Insurance giant Allstate wants to grow its Northern Ireland operations to include legal services and finance, its boss has said.

John Healy, managing director of Allstate NI - which employs 2,200 staff here - told the Belfast Telegraph he wants the business to grow its reach and role in Northern Ireland.

Allstate is a global insurance firm, with headquarters in Chicago. The company specialises in IT and support in the province.

"We are looking to see what else we can do for the corporation - opportunities in legal services, the finance and accounting side of things," Mr Healy said.

The Londonderry-born company boss also said Brexit remains constantly on the agenda at Allstate.

In a Belfast Telegraph interview, he said: "Brexit is undoubtedly a big issue for the business community. As a large foreign exporter, the fall in sterling has been advantageous. From a cost perspective, we are 15% cheaper than we were before the vote.

"The medium to long-term concern is the access to talent.

"If anything happened from an investment perspective that damages that, it would have major impact," he added.

"One of the risks could be (staff reconsidering coming to work here).

"On the flip side, there may be advantages. If there is a relaxing of visa requirements, we get an element of rationality into that and we might do better.

"I think it would be very beneficial to all businesses in this situation for there to be a statement (on what will happen to EU workers)."

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