Currently under construction and due for completion in March 2015, it will enable all of CLI’s 140 Castletown-based staff on the island to be re-located to one bespoke building. CLI has close to £9bn of assets.
Near neighbours on the business park include RL360°, which was formed at the end of last year by the private equity-backed management buyout of the Royal London 360° life business, and actuary and consultancy firm Boal & Co, which currently provides international pension plan solutions to 14 FT ‘Global 500’ companies.
Sean Christian, CLI’s managing director, said: “We have seen tremendous growth in our business over the years and this has naturally translated into increased staff numbers. Whilst our existing office accommodation has served us well it is far from ideal being split across two separate buildings. We have set an exciting growth strategy for the business over the coming years and with that in mind our new offices on the business park have been designed to cater for a potential future headcount of up to 200.”
He said the search for a new headquarters began back in 2008: “Our preference was always to remain in the south of the island as Castletown has served us extremely well since opening to business in 1987 and I would like to think we have become an important part of the local community.”
“Sadly, after considering the limited number of potential options over the last five years we concluded that there were no viable new developments or existing premises to accommodate our future needs in the south of the Island. The new development at the Ballacottier Business Park provides us with the flexibility to design a bespoke headquarters to cater fully for our future needs as well as providing ample car parking facilities which are not always possible with town centre developments.”
Christian said that when Canada Life set up its Dublin based sister life company last year, which outsources most of its administration back to the Isle of Man, there was understandably a number of questions asked by staff as to where the offshore business would be headquartered going forward.
“The major investment in a new corporate headquarters by our Canadian parent, Great West Lifeco, is an extremely positive statement not only to our loyal workforce but also to the Isle of Man, our customers and the UK advisory market we serve”.
Canada Life International, or Albany International as it was originally called, began in Castletown in 1987 with five staff, occupying the top floor of the old St Mary’s church in Castletown Square and taking over the whole building a few years later as the business grew.
In 2000 the business outgrew St Mary’s and expanded into a second office, Canada Life House on Alexandra Road. At the end of 2010 the company exited St Mary’s and moved into Mill Court while retaining Canada Life House.
The developer of the new headquarters is Dandara Commercial.