Plans in place for US firm's Belfast Harbour cybersecurity centre

  • US health insurance firm Aflac has signed a 10-year lease with Belfast Harbour to create its Global IT and Cybersecurity Innovation Centre at City Quays.

    The Fortune 500 company aims to create 130 jobs at the 11,000 sq. ft. office space by 2023.

    Aflac announced the plans for the new centre in October 2019 as part of its multimillion-pound investment in Northern Ireland. It stated then that the average salary of the upcoming job roles would be £45,000 per annum.

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    When fully operational, the jobs are expected to contribute nearly £7m in wages to the Northern Ireland economy. The Belfast headquarters will work alongside the firm’s cybersecurity and innovation teams in the US and Japan.

    Headquartered in Georgia, USA, Aflac ranks 143 on the Fortune 500 list and provides financial healthcare protection to more than 50m people worldwide. The group assists people to cover medical expenses outside of their standard health insurance schemes.

    Belfast Harbour's Joe O'Neill & Aflac's Keith Farley

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    “City Quays offers an ideal location for technology innovation with its modern facilities and amenities,” said Keith Farley, managing director and vice president of Aflac Northern Ireland. “This lease is another sign of our commitment to the long-term success of this centre and the community of Belfast.”

    Belfast Harbour’s CEO Joe O-Neill is “delighted” to welcome the firm which will help “create an economic hub with like-minded tenants”. He continued: “There are currently over 5,500 workers based in City Quays and Clarendon Dock, and our ambition is that City Quays on completion will accommodate 13,000 people living and working on Belfast’s waterfront.”

    The development already has a wide range of tenants, including broadcasting corporation ITV, the Marriott Hotel group, and law firm Baker McKenzie.

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    Aflac currently employs around 4,700 employees in the U.S. and 11,000 globally. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognised it as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 20th consecutive year.

    For more information about Aflac Northern Ireland and the roles available, please visit

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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