USA: Aviva USA selects West Des Moines site for new US headquarters

29 Aug 2007

  • Project to result in $135-150 million initial investment and hundreds of new jobs contingent on state and local approvals

Aviva USA, the US unit of London-based Aviva plc, the world's fifth largest insurance group, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 71 acres of undeveloped land in West Des Moines, Iowa as the potential site for its new US headquarters facility. The project is contingent upon successful completion of the development process and receipt of state and local approvals. Assuming requisite approvals are received, Aviva USA will consolidate its operations from the company's three current locations in downtown Des Moines to the new West Des Moines site in early 2010. The 71-acre parcel is located on the southwest corner at the intersection of Jordan Creek Parkway and Mills Civic Parkway.

"Our expected investment of $135 to $150 million demonstrates our commitment to the Greater Des Moines area as the hub of our growing US operations," said Thomas C Godlasky, CEO of Aviva North America. "In the past seven months we have added approximately two hundred jobs and we expect to add at least four hundred more high quality jobs here in the Greater Des Moines area over the next three years if state and local approvals are received."

Aviva USA worked closely with The Staubach Company, a nationally-known commercial real estate advisory firm, Knapp Properties, Inc., the company's local commercial real estate experts, and Commercial Midwest, a local commercial real estate firm, to evaluate more than 25 sites in the Greater Des Moines area and explored opportunities in other states as well.

"We currently have selected the site in West Des Moines as the future base for our US operations because it best accommodates our business needs, provides flexibility to support our long term growth plans, allows for increased operational efficiencies and is the most cost-effective solution," Mr Godlasky said.

It is expected that Aviva USA's decision to build a facility in West Des Moines will generate substantial economic benefits for the Greater Des Moines area through employee wages and salaries, tax revenues, construction costs of the new facility and future investments.

"We are delighted that Aviva has selected West Des Moines for its new national headquarters," said Steven K Gaer, mayor of West Des Moines. "Their decision will benefit the Greater Des Moines community today and for years to come."

"We welcome Aviva's announcement that it will build its US operations headquarters in central Iowa. This is very good news and is a testament to our state's top notch workforce, favorable business climate and qualify of life," said Iowa department of economic development director Michael Tramontina. "Iowa's insurance industry continues to grow, creating high quality career opportunities for Iowa workers."

Aviva expects to close on the acquisition of the West Des Moines site later this year and shortly thereafter will begin construction of a 360,000 square foot corporate campus. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2009 or early in 2010.

Aviva will work to complete the planning and development for this new corporate campus with The Staubach Company, Knapp Properties and two architectural firms who have been selected by the company for this project- SVPA Architects, Inc and HKS, Inc.

Aviva's current headquarters and national operations occupy three different leased locations in downtown Des Moines: 611 5th Avenue, Capital Square and the Hub Tower on Walnut Street. In addition, the company currently has locations in Woodbury, New York, Topeka, Kansas, Indianapolis, Indiana and Quincy, Massachusetts.

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For more information:
Christopher J Littlefield
Executive Vice President
Telephone: 515-362-3658
E-mail: chris.littlefield@avivausa.com

Notes to editors:

About Aviva
Aviva is the leading provider of life and pensions to Europe with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world's fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums as of December 31, 2006. Aviva's principal global business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £41.5 billion and assets under management of £364 billion at December 31, 2006.

In 2006, Aviva grew its existing U.S. presence by acquiring AmerUs group, a national leader in indexed annuities and indexed life insurance. Nationally, Aviva USA is ranked number one in sales of indexed life insurance and number two in sales of indexed annuities.

Aviva USA had $38.4 billion in assets as of June 30, 2007. Aviva's US employees are committed to helping customers meet their long-term savings, insurance and retirement income needs. www.avivausa.com