Henrico insurer to create 72 jobs in $6.2M expansion
Berkley Insurance Co. to expand in Innsbrook
Henrico County-based insurance company Berkley Insurance Co. will invest $6.2 million to expand its office in the county’s Innsbrook area, with plans to create 72 jobs, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Thursday.
A subsidiary of Connecticut-based Fortune 500 company W. R. Berkley Corp., the firm will lease an additional 8,920 square feet of office space from Highwoods Properties to accommodate growth in its Berkley Aspire, Berkley Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group and Verus Specialty Insurance businesses. The new jobs will include underwriters, financial analysts, accountants and C-suite positions, according to a news release. Currently, more than 177 employees are based in the Henrico office.
“Berkley Insurance Co.’s decision to expand in Henrico County demonstrates the continued positive momentum of Virginia’s economy and the business process services industry,” Youngkin said in a statement. “Greater Richmond is renowned for providing the robust talent pipeline that leading companies like Berkley Aspire, Berkley Mid-Atlantic and Verus Specialty require.”
Berkley Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group serves small and middle markets and focuses on six industries: construction, retail, service, wholesale, real estate and manufacturing. It has two additional offices, in Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh.
“We are proud to confirm our expectation for growth and advancement within the Henrico County, Virginia, territory,” Berkley Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group President Michelle D. Middleton said in a statement. “As we reflect on the exceptional talent that Henrico has consistently provided for us, particularly in the realm of excess and surplus lines insurance, we are excited for the future. With the projected expansion, particularly of Verus Specialty and Berkley Aspire, we envision continued growth, bolstered by the incredible talent pool and the invaluable relationships we have cultivated with insurance brokers in this region. Henrico as a hub for our business expansion is undeniable, and we embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Henrico Economic Development Authority to secure the project, which Virginia competed with Arizona and Ohio to secure. Youngkin approved $217,500 from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the county. VEDP will support the insurer through its three-year Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides cash grant reimbursements for associated human resources costs after a company has had new employees on the payroll for at least 90 days.
Berkley Insurance will be the fourth company to receive incentives through Henrico’s Innsbrook Technology Zone, which the county Board of Supervisors approved in April 2022. In it, new tech businesses that invest at least $1 million and create 10 jobs can qualify for waived county planning and permitting fees.
In November 2022, Genworth Financial subleased the former SunTrust Business Center near Innsbrook instead of building a new headquarters. In December 2022, BHE GT&S, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary, moved its headquarters to the former Capital One Financial Corp. complex, which it purchased for $20.75 million, according to a news release. Education technology company EAB invested more than $6 million to relocate, consolidating its Richmond-area operations, in June 2022.
Henrico has a strong labor market for insurers, said Anthony Romanello, executive director of the Henrico County Economic Development Authority. In May, Richmond National Group Inc. announced an an expansion of its headquarters in the county, and in March 2022, Bermuda-based Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd. announced it would establish the U.S. headquarters of its subsidiary in Henrico.
“Henrico has a very strong presence of the insurance industry, and this kind of growth is exactly what we expect, and we’re especially excited to see additional investment in Innsbrook,” Romanello said. “…We have every reason to believe that Berkley and the other insurers are going to continue to see Henrico and Greater Richmond as an area where they’re going to want to continue to expand and continue to grow.”