American-based insurer will concentrate growth plans on Quinn’s depleted share of the market

Liberty Insurance is planning to open a commercial insurance office in Belfast over the next six months which will employ five to 10 people.

The Boston-based mutual company has been operating in the Republic of Ireland since it bought Quinn Insurance with the then Anglo Irish Bank – now IBRC – two years ago.

But its official entry into Northern Ireland’s insurance market has been slower, as it is classed as a separate side of the business, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Chief executive Patrick O’Brien said he will concentrate growth plans on Quinn Insurance’s depleted share of the market of 4–5% and will keep jobs in the areas of Cavan and Fermanagh most closely linked with Quinn.

Quinn Insurance has continued to write business in the north of Ireland and UK under the administration, but now the 300 staff in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, will be selling Liberty products.

As a result of the purchase Liberty owns 51% of Quinn, while the IBRC owns 49%.

And around 285 people left Quinn, including 70 in Enniskillen, towards the end of last year as part of the redundancy programme.

All assets were transferred to Liberty, including the buildings and IT systems.