Insurance Firm Announces Fort Wayne Expansion

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Fort Wayne-based Ash Brokerage Corp. is planning to add up to 115 new jobs by 2018. The firm plans to invest nearly $20 million into the expansion, which includes constructing a new downtown headquarters by August 2015. September 23, 2013

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Ash Brokerage Corporation, a wholesale insurance brokerage partner to insurance agents, financial advisers and career agents, announced plans today to expand its headquarters here, creating up to 115 new jobs by 2018.

The homegrown-Hoosier company, which has grown to 17 locations, will invest $19.6 million to relocate its current Fort Wayne headquarters into a more than 90,000 square-foot facility located at the corner of Harrison and Berry Streets in the downtown area. The expansion, which will be complete by August 2015, will allow the company to centralize its core processing into one location.

"Indiana's business climate is ripe for investment," said Governor Mike Pence. "Ash and other growing Indiana companies know this is a state that works for business. Our growing economy is bolstered by a skilled workforce, robust infrastructure and limited regulations. We passed the largest state tax cut in our history earlier this year, showing companies here and around the world that Indiana is open for business."

Ash, which currently employs approximately 225 associates in Fort Wayne and more than 315 across the country, plans to begin hiring for sales, new business administration, mobile application development and information technology positions by the end of this year. Interested applicants can apply by visiting www.ashbrokerage.com/share/cm/careers/index.php or contacting an Ash human resources representative at 260-478-0600.

"The Ash team is committed to creating opportunity for our clients, our partners, our employees and our communities," said Tim Ash, president and chief executive officer of Ash. "As a hometown company, we're proud to add to Fort Wayne's growing momentum by generating high-quality jobs in an expanding industry sector. We're equally proud to be bringing nearly $20 million of private investment and a new national headquarters in the heart of the city. Our roots are firmly planted here. We believe our choice sends a powerful message to businesses everywhere about the welcoming climate in the Hoosier State."

Founded in 1971, Ash is a full-service firm that provides clients with access to more than 80 insurance carriers and products such as life insurance, long-term care, disability income, annuities and advanced markets. Ash currently provides services to more than 10,000 insurance and investment professionals in nearly every state in the country. With additional locations across 15 states, Ash will occupy up to three floors above a new city parking garage, with expanded retail and business properties available on the ground floor.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Ash Brokerage Corporation up to $4,900,000 in conditional tax credits based on its capital investment plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until investments in Indiana are made, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Fort Wayne will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance.

"The city of Fort Wayne is experiencing unprecedented positive momentum as a destination place for business growth, jobs and mixed-use developments," said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. "We're looking forward to working with the IEDC and our project partners in Fort Wayne to build a world-class development in our downtown. Collaborate efforts between state and local government and the private sector position us for future growth and success."

Ash's announcement caps a strong summer for business expansion plans in Allen County. In June, specialty contractor Shambaugh & Son announced plans to invest $4.37 million into its headquarters, creating up to 110 new jobs. This was quickly followed by Ground Effects in July, which plans to invest $3.4 million and add up to 160 new jobs, and Vera Bradley in August, which is planning to invest $26.6 million into its Allen County design and distribution centers, creating up to 128 new jobs.

About Ash

Ash Brokerage is a family-owned insurance brokerage general agency that offers hands-on expertise through consultative approaches to product solutions, concept evaluation, underwriting negotiation and business development. Ash's nationwide footprint is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with regional offices and marketing consultants located throughout the United States.

Over the past 40 years, Ash has become the largest independently-owned brokerage agency, serving insurance agents, financial advisors, registered representatives and career agents through a business-to-business relationship. Utilizing industry-leading processing capabilities, a team of in-house underwriters and a medical director, Ash specializes in an objective analysis of your clients' Life Insurance, Annuity, LTC, DI and Advanced Market needs. Through partnerships with more than 80 insurance carriers, Ash Brokerage provides support to take your business to the next level. For more information about Ash Brokerage, visit www.ashbrokerage.com.

About IEDC

Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.

The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.

Source: Indiana Economic Development Corp.