Kennedy announces £3.8m investment by US company Frontline
Pictured L-R are Mel Chittock, Interim CEO, Invest Northern Ireland; Ivan Roche, Chief Technology Officer, OpenData Belfast; Joe Kennedy III, US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs; Kurt Bonigut, CIO, Frontline.
Joe Kennedy III, the U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, has announced that Florida-based insurance technology company Frontline is establishing an engineering development team in Northern Ireland in a £3.8m investment that will create 31 high-quality jobs.
Invest Northern Ireland is supporting Frontline’s investment, which will generate an additional £1.9m in annual salaries for the local economy. The announcement comes as Joe Kennedy III leads a delegation of senior U.S. business and investment leaders on a four-day visit to Northern Ireland.
Announcing the investment, Joe Kennedy said: “When President Biden came here in April, he spoke of plans for a trade delegation to Northern Ireland. I’m delighted that we have realised that ambition and that during our visit I can announce this investment by Frontline.
“Frontline is joining the many US investors who have experienced success and growth in Northern Ireland and is setting up its new engineering development team, taking advantage of the excellent skills available and the business-friendly environment. This investment underscores the compelling proposition that Northern Ireland offers.”
Frontline was made aware of Northern Ireland’s attractive business environment by Invest NI’s U.S. office and through meetings with NI Connections, both of which are championing the strengths of the region.
Ivan Roche, Chief Technology Officer, OpenData Belfast
Frontline’s core business is property and casualty insurance focused on both personal and commercial lines. Frontline is one of the largest carriers in the Southeast United States with a presence in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and soon-to-be Virginia and Colorado. It will operate in Northern Ireland under the brand OpenData Belfast.
Ivan Roche, originally from Co. Cork, seamlessly brings his extensive experience together with his deep-seated commitments to innovation and sustainability in his role as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of OpenData Belfast, located in Belfast’s Gasworks. “I’m excited to lead this new team who will create innovative products to support the next stage of Frontline’s growth using the best of local talent,” says Roche.
“Frontline was made aware of Northern Ireland’s attractive business environment by Invest NI’s U.S. office and through meetings with NI Connections, both of which are championing the strengths of the region. Before confirming the investment, our leadership team visited Northern Ireland and were impressed by what they saw and by the confidence that other U.S. investors have in the region,” Roche adds.
Frontline joins 1,200 international companies currently operating in Northern Ireland, which are helping shape the region’s economic future by contributing significantly to raising productivity and innovation activity.
Mel Chittock, Interim CEO, Invest Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland team will deliver data analytics, data science, product development and operational support to Frontline. 26 of the 31 roles are already in place.
Welcoming the investment, Mel Chittock, Invest NI’s Interim CEO, said: “Northern Ireland’s impressive credentials across skills, our cost-effective business environment, R&D strengths and government support have once again won out over other regions considered for this new operation.
“Frontline joins 1,200 international companies currently operating in Northern Ireland, which are helping shape the region’s economic future by contributing significantly to raising productivity and innovation activity. These new jobs will add to Northern Ireland’s skills base and enhance our reputation in the fintech sector.
“Moreover, the company’s hybrid business model makes it possible for people across Northern Ireland to avail of the high-quality employment opportunities so helping to rebalance our economy in line with the Department for the Economy’s 10x vision.”
Frontline’s CIO, Kurt Bonigut said: “Frontline’s objective is to continue to create new technologies to stay ahead of the market and the competition.
“Having learned of Northern Ireland’s strengths, we were keen to tap into the opportunities for investment here to create a team to support that objective, and we have been impressed with the caliber of staff we’ve already taken on board and are already evaluating expansion of our presence here in the future.”