Yesterday, some of our team members attended Buffalo I-Day, an annual insurance conference at the Buffalo Convention Center.
The conference was sponsored by Merchants Insurance Group, an investor in our organization. Merchants President Bob Zak gave the opening announcement in a pre-recorded video highlighting the company’s 100-year anniversary in Buffalo.
Earlier this year, Invest Buffalo Niagara commissioned an advanced business services study, leveraging the expertise of consulting firm Ady Advantage. The study consisted of quantitative research of our region, and qualitative interviews with local stakeholders in the advanced business services sector. What we really wanted to get out of the study were a handful of very specific sub-sectors under the advanced business services sector that we could target for further growth in our region. One of the sub-sectors chosen as an area of strength in Buffalo Niagara was the direct insurance market.
Buffalo Niagara has an incredible workforce to support further growth in the insurance market. There is already a robust existing workforce at local companies like Merchants, HealthNow, Independent Health, Walsh Duffield, Univera, GEICO, and more. There is also a pipeline of new talent, ready to secure jobs in the industry, graduating from our 21 colleges and universities.
Buffalo Niagara also has very affordable Class A and B office space, perfect for an insurance company to occupy.
So, knowing all of those strengths heading into the Buffalo I-Day conference, our team was walking the floor, talking to stakeholders to learn more about the industry. We learned of trends, like the growing concern over cybersecurity, and saw anecdotal consistencies, like the comfort offered to a customer when their insurer actually has a presence in their region.
We know the insurance sub-sector is a perfect fit for our region and we are excited to continue to talk to companies in the industry and make the business case for Buffalo Niagara.