AIG picks uptown for technology center, 230 jobs

Insurance giant American International Group will put its new technology center uptown in the BB&T Center, the company announced Friday.

AIG announced in December that it would bring 230 jobs to Charlotte in a unit that would develop software and technology to support the company’s U.S. insurance business. Elected officials and economic development leaders gathered at the Charlotte Chamber on Friday to praise the company for choosing to put the jobs in Charlotte.

Gov. Pat McCrory also said the new jobs were a sign of the financial industry’s resurgence.

“Who would have imagined in the 2008, 2009 time period the quick comeback of the financial industry in Charlotte?” he asked.

Later, to reporters, he said the state would do everything it could to support the industry. “When the financial industry comes back, that means there’s more investment in areas like manufacturing and energy.”

AIG has leased 31,000 square feet in the BB&T Center on South College Street, effective Jan. 1, Chief Administrative Officer Michael Cowan said. The company spent $5.5 million to upfit the space and should move employees in over the summer.

The company described the jobs as highly skilled. Earlier, AIG said the average salary would be about $100,000, though pay would vary by job function. AIG is eligible for up to $4.9 million in state incentives over the course of a decade, but did not ask for any local incentives.

“It was the talent here in Charlotte and the way we were welcomed and the ascension of the city ... that led us to believe this is where we can put down roots and stay,” Cowan said.

The move expands AIG’s presence in North Carolina. The company’s mortgage insurance division, United Guaranty Corp., is based in Greensboro, where it employs about 700.

It also marks the latest success for the chamber and Charlotte’s Center City Partners, which looks to draw business uptown. Last month, Irongate Home Finance said it would bring its headquarters and 125 jobs to the First Citizens building on South Tryon Street.

The U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve committed $182 billion to rescue AIG during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, one of the largest bailouts of a private company in U.S. history. In late 2012, the Treasury announced the company had fully repaid the government, plus a profit.

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