Insurer Becomes Latest In ‘Next Five’ Program, Moving Headquarters To Stamford

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A specialty property-casualty insurer is moving its headquarters to Stamford from Rye Brook, N.Y., and adding 200 jobs in exchange for up to $11.5 million in state assistance, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday.

The Navigators Group, Inc. is taking part in Malloy’s Next Five program. The company will receive assistance for the $25 million move in return for adding 200 jobs in the state over the next five years, according to Malloy’s office.

“Today’s announcement is another indication that we are not taking the title of Insurance Capital of America lightly,” Malloy told media during the announcement at the former G. Fox & Co. building on Market Street in Hartford, which houses the state Insurance Department. “We are not resting on our laurels. We can’t afford to. We are taking proactive steps to ensure that we maintain our competitive edge.”

The insurer plans to make the move late this year to a location that has been chosen, but has not been announced publicly.

The state’s assistance includes a 10-year, forgivable loan of $8 million at no interest and as much as $3.5 million in a state grant. The financial assistance provided by Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development will help Navigators purchase equipment, upgrade a facility, train employees and offset relocation expenses, among other costs related to the move.

Navigators is an international specialty commercial property-casualty insurer with offices the United Kingdom and Europe. The company has insurance, underwriting and other operations at Lloyd’s of London. It began in 1974 as New York Marine Managers, a managing general agency for marine insurance, in New York City.

Last year, Navigators reported net income of $63.8 million on total revenue from gross written premiums of $1.29 billion. Gross premium revenue increased 16 percent last year over 2011, and net income last year was 2-1/2 times what it had been in 2011.

As a specialty insurer, as opposed to a standard-lines insurance, Navigators takes on more unusual or complicated risks that regular insurers tend to avoid. About one third of Navigators’ business is marine insurance, which includes cargo moving across the ocean, said Stanley A. Galanski, CEO of Navigators.

Growth for Navigators has come from energy production, such as off-shore oil rigs, as well as cargo business and a collection of “micro-niche” businesses, he said. For example, it’s difficult to insure a home builder in California because there’s a lot of litigation alleging construction defects, but Navigators has been insuring that type of work since 1995 and has expertise in it, Galanski said.

“We’re all about severity and complexity where the quality of the intellectual capital makes a difference,” Galanski said. “What’s driven our growth is having a lot more very seasoned hands in key markets, like in Atlanta and L.A. where we physically didn’t have a lot of people.”

The publicly-traded company had 14.3 million diluted shares outstanding as of Dec. 31. The company’s share price was up $1.16 to $58.16 at midday Friday.

Check back for an update on this later today.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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29 thoughts on “Insurer Becomes Latest In ‘Next Five’ Program, Moving Headquarters To Stamford

  1. Joanie W.

    This works out to $58,000 per employee. At the State Income Rate of 5%, the state will break even when each employee on average earns….$1,150,000.00 (Not going to happen )

    1. DR

      Not exactly. You also need to look at corporate taxes, unemployment taxes and other taxes/fees paid by the employer; sales taxes and gas taxes paid by the employees in the state; and the economic benefits of more employees spending money in the state and potentially living in the state.

  2. Joe

    Good luck! Create some more janitorial jobs like Cigna and ESPN!! Thanks Malloy, for nothing!!

  3. pete

    Interesting isn’t it. DANNY BOY keeps giving the money he STEALS from us and gives it to PIGS to move to Stamford. Why not make them move to Bridgeport DANNY BOY

    1. Marc Romanow

      And you are so against Malloy (probably for political reasons), that you really have no idea how the “Next Five” program works and its big picture economic impact. Also, please tell me what money he is “stealing” from us.

  4. DR

    The comments on here so far are funny – Malloy just can’t win with his critics.

    When metlife announced it would move jobs to NC, he was attacked for not paying them to keep jobs here. Now that he is paying a company to bring jobs here, he gets attacked…

    1. Old capitalist

      The problem I have is rather than strive to have more favorable business conditions for the entire state to encourage business to set-up or transfer here, this policy rewards a select few at the expense of all others. I am sure any stateside competetitors of this insurance company are wondering why they should not get equal treatment…. and I would venture to guess that any other company looking to move will not consider CT unless they are offered a similar sweetheart deal.

      1. DR

        I completely agree that paying firms to move here is not ideal – though I also believe that such payments are the way the game is played now, meaning Malloy has to make such offers.

        When states like Texas and North Carolina are paying firms to move to those states, CT just can’t sit on the sidelines. It has to compete, no matter how unappealing the game is on principle.

        1. Old capitalist

          I agree in part, but I believe most of the companies relocating from the Northeast to the Sunbelt are doing so because of lower taxes, fuel and a better business enviornment.

        1. PatriotInCT

          You must not be paying careful attention when you listen to the evening drive time show on WTIC AM.

      2. NewJeffCT

        It really depends, Old Capitalist. Sometimes, it’s not practical for a company to move.

        But, I’m sure that many companies out there attempt to get better offers from other states and regions. However, the offer might not always make it worth it to move – too big of a move could cause a major disruption in business and employment. The Navigator move is only a few miles, so will likely cause little disruption in terms of employment.

        1. Old capitalist

          True NewJeff, but it would appear that our state seems to lose more than it attracts, and the reasons for that are obvious to most.

          States like Texas and those in the sunbelt, reap the benefits of our investment in education (we train then, they get them) as our college graduates
          unless they are in the health, education or government fields leave as they have fewer and fewer opportunities here.

  5. PatriotInCT

    Those who ask how a company can be paid to move to CT, or to stay in CT rather than move.

    Reduction of income taxes by the legislators translates to such ‘payments’ by reducing the amount the companies pay to the State for their profits.

    Unfortunately, Dannelle and the Democrat controlled legislature raised taxes by the greatest amount in the history of CT.

    The sad thing is that, despite the higher taxes, the announcements of the First Five (dozen?), the State of CT is still going broke due to excessive and wasteful spending on boondoggles. CT is losing people, losing businesses, losing jobs, losing retiring State workers to FL and NC, and losing hope.

    But at least commuters will get a Magic Bus to and from Hartford and New Britain, and a new highway segment to the CT casinos that will eventually lose business to new casinos in Massachusetts. And the exodus from CT will mean fewer traffic jams on state roads.

    1. Mike Robinson

      North Carolina is not a low tax paradise.

      Personal Income Tax: 6% to 7.75%
      Sales Tax: 4.75% to 7.25%
      Gasoline Tax: 56.2 cents/gallon
      Groceries taxed at 2%

  6. Old capitalist

    My last word. I really don’t believe a comapny moving 25 miles is going to create many new jobs in the area. Most likely, the people who will work at the this location would be the same as those who would have worked a 1/2 hour drive away at the prior location.

  7. Carbajal

    I am actually pleased to glance at this blog posts which includes plenty of valuable information, thanks for providing such data.

  8. Former Nutmegger

    Wasn’t Hartford supposed to the former “insurance capital of the world”? Given the zombie companies up there and the vibrance of Des Moines in attracting live companies, I suppose that the Governor really just wants to help those in his back yard in the Gold Coast.

    1. you are clueless

      Lear how to read a chart. It clears shows a net domestic (inter-state) loss of 30,000+. Replaced by 30,000+ legal and illegal immigrants from foreign countries.

      1. Mike Robinson

        I can read a chart just fine. Can you? Overall our population increased slightly over the last few years.

        3,574,097 CT population Apr 1, 2010
        3,590,347 CT population Jul 1, 2012
        16,250 increase in population

        These are the facts from the US Census Bureau. Sorry if the do not match your imagination.

        1. you are clueless

          Duh! read the column headings!
          Domestic migration -33,00+ (people who left and went to other states.
          International migration +33,000 (immigrants from other mostly third world countries).

          I hope you get vision coverage under Obamacare.

          1. Mike Robinson

            I see that. It was less than 1% migration and all were replaced by immigrants who pay taxes, need places to live, eat, buy things. Some are probably professionals recruited by defense companies. What’s your point? That a 1% change in 2 years means the end of Connecticut?

  9. you are clueless

    No end, just a continued decline and fall. Check the records put out by the state, you will see that we have not added any net private jobs in OVER A DECADE.

    I would venture to guess, that Edddie Lampert’s leaving for Florida cost the state more than in gained from half of all the new residents in Hartford.

    .

  10. Old capitalist

    The states’ economic digest reports that the workforce decreased by 23,200 from Jan 12 to Jan 13. Wonder what all those new immigrants are classified as?

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