At 178, Hanover Insurance Group finds strength in brand and community investment – ​​InsuranceNewsNet

worcester celebrates its tercentenary in 2022. The Telegram & Gazette features some of the city’s oldest businesses over the years.

WORCESTER — Few companies can claim to be 178 years old, but Hannover insurance group can, benefiting from both a “long history and a solid financial trajectory”.

These are the words of the President and CEO of Hannover jack rockwho has worked at Hannover for nearly two decades – first joining the group to help run part of its business lines – and took on the role of CEO four years ago.

Hanover is a national provider of property and casualty insurance, distributing its products and services through a select group of independent insurance agents in 40 offices across the United States. WE

“I’ve really enjoyed helping us take all the good work from the past and start turning it into really industry-leading financial results, and most importantly, beyond financial results, really building a brand within the industry,” said Roche.

This brand established its roots March 16, 1844with the creation of State Mutual Life Assurance Co. of worcester — four years ago worcester was incorporated into the city.

In 1968, it merged with manhattan-based Hannover Fire Insurance Co.renamed Hannover insurance group and moved to its current headquarters in 440 Lincoln Street in 1969.

Through WE, Hannover insurance group has 4,400 employees, including approximately 1,750 Massachusettsof which 95% are in worcester.

40 offices in the United States and growing

The group has 40 offices across the country and continues to grow steadily, “developing thoughtfully every year,” Roche said.

reaching more than $5 billion in revenue and market capital, Hannover saw its profits increase by 9% in the first quarter of last year, and the group has set targets for the next five years to include growth above a figure and a growth of 12% to 14% of profit per share.

Roche said Hannover is a much different business today than it was when he joined 16 years ago, but “more worthy of investment and able to navigate a much more sophisticated business environment. “.

He said the group stands out from the competition as a leading employer and responsible corporate citizen, exemplified by the level of investment Hannover has taken in the city and community over the years.

During its decades in the city, the group has shown its dedication to worcester through donations and investments. Hannover donated $1.5 million last year at United Way of Central Massachusettssupported efforts to build the Pediatric Trauma Center in UMass Memorial Medical Center and invested in community landmarks such as the Worcester Public LibraryEcoTarium and DCU Center.

“This is what the next generation is looking for: a company that succeeds, grows and offers career opportunities, but which, beyond that, offers them the possibility of feeling good in the company for which they work. and to make a significant contribution to the community,” said Roche.

“It took a lot of hard work to get here, but I think that’s what sets us apart, not just in worcester but widely in our industry,” he added.

Footprint visible throughout the city

His mark is visible everywhere worcesterfrom Hannover Insurance Park at Fitton Field where the Worcester Bravehearts play, to Hannover Theater.

More than ten years ago, the group began to lead efforts to develop the former Poli Palace theater at 2 Southbridge Hannover Theater and Performing arts conservatory. Today it is one of the most popular theaters in Central Massachusetts.

Roche said the group had contributed more than $3 million to the restoration of the theatre, as well as to developing the $40 million project with financial and political support.

Hannover also took part in worcester CitySquare project, the purchase of the land in 2010 and the development of the 12-acre mixed-use project, which included the Unum Building and Cancer of St. Vincent and Wellness Center.

Roche said Hannover bought the land after the previous developer encountered problems at the site. The group leveraged its investment portfolio to create a subsidiary that essentially became the developer of the CitySquare project, which has now seen the sale of its last unused plots of land.

“I like to believe that we are not only a great corporate citizen, but also a meaningful part of the business community and the community at large,” Roche said.

Roche said he finds it interesting to see how a 178-year-old company can transform over the many decades it has existed, showing resilience in the face of change.

“When I think of today’s business environment and the rate at which capital is being deployed and business models are changing. We are not just a sleepy insurance company based in Worcester (Massachusetts)“Roche said.

“We are a 170-year-old company with a great heritage and we have great evidence that we are increasingly nimble and frankly better prepared than ever for the changing industry around us.”

Jill E. Washington