Glasgow Finance Centre for US insurance firm

FM announces Scottish Finance Centre and 67 new jobs during Scotland Week

Chicago based insurance brokerage firm, Arthur J Gallagher & Co, will create a Glasgow finance hub for UK activities and generate 67 jobs, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today (Monday April 7, 2014)

First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed the new jobs as he met senior representatives of Gallagher in New York as part of his Scotland Week programme aimed at encouraging inward investment.

This expansion will anchor the existing Glasgow operation as the central finance operation for the organisation’s UK activities. The creation of the additional jobs over the next two years will take the number of staff in Glasgow to 172.

The project is being supported by a RSA grant of £500,000 from Scottish Development International (SDI).

Speaking from New York, the First Minister said:

“AJG Insurance’s choice to run all their UK operations from Glasgow is testament to Scotland’s world renowned financial services sector. AJG Insurance has committed 40 of the 67 new jobs announced today will target school leavers, recent graduates and those currently unemployed looking to get back into the jobs market.

“International companies estimate general cost savings of around 30-40 per cent can be achieved in Scotland when comparing similar operational, property and employment costs to London. In fact, the most recent Ernst and Young survey revealed Scotland once again as the top destination in the UK for foreign direct investment, outperforming every other part of the UK.”

Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Enterprise, Lena Wilson, said:

“We are delighted that we were able to support AJG’s expansion strategy through Regional Selective Assistance, leading to the creation of 67 new jobs at their Glasgow base.

“The decision to locate their central finance operation in Glasgow not only demonstrates our competitiveness to inward investors but also positions us well to play into the company’s global strategy for growth. We look forward to continuing our work with AJG as they expand their operations here in Scotland.”

Alastair Hessett, Gallagher’s International Chief Accounting Officer, commented:

“We enjoyed an excellent meeting with the First Minister and Dr. Lena Wilson of Scottish Enterprise in New York. The support provided by Scottish Development International, together with the outstanding talent pool of Finance candidates in Scotland, were key factors in Gallagher’s decision to base our Finance operations in Glasgow.”

“We are excited by the opportunity this provides us to expand our Centralised Finance Centre of Excellence in Glasgow to support our enlarged organisation.”

Notes to editors

While in New York, the First Minister will hold a number of strategic business meetings with existing and potential new investors in order to further boost foreign employment in Scotland.

To date, as part of his Scotland Week programme, the First Minister has:

  • Announced a trade mission to New York:
  • Announced US sales of Innis & Gunn beer has increased by 9,000% since 2009
  • Announced 130 new jobs for Ceridian
  • Spoke at an event to mark Edinburgh Napier University’s 50th anniversary
  • Fired the starting gun at the annual Central Park Scotland Run
  • Officially opened Smart Grid Solutions first overseas office in New York
  • Announced 103 new jobs for Kaiam
  • Announced 400 new jobs for PRA

As well as a programme of trade meetings to further the successful engagement with North America’s business community, the First Minister will:

  • Deliver the inaugural Caledonian Lecture at Glasgow Caledonian University’s new New York City campus (Monday)
  • Participate in an audience interview and Q&A session with the Wall Street Journal (Tuesday)
  • Deliver a keynote address at the annual Bloomberg Energy Investment Summit (Tuesday)

The First Minister is in New York to take part in the annual Scotland Week programme. This visit formed part of Scottish Development International’s trade and investment programme to support Scottish businesses and develop new opportunities.

Get news from Scotland Week as it happens by following the new First Minister feed @ScotGovFM and @AlexSalmond on twitter.

Scottish Development International (SDI) works to attract inward investment and knowledge to Scotland to help the economy grow. It also helps Scottish based companies to trade overseas and promotes Scotland as a good place to live, work and do business. It is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and its work is guided by the Scottish Government’s strategy for economic development in Scotland.

Arthur J Gallagher acquired London HQ’d Giles Insurance in November 2013. Giles Insurance has 43 branches across the UK and 11 in Scotland.

The 2013 Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey on foreign direct investment (FDI) described Scotland’s performance in attracting inward investment as “sparkling”:

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