Verizon call center to be occupied

The former Verizon call center on the east edge of Mankato has been purchased by Federated Insurance, which is opening a processing center there. Employees are expected to move in Jan. 21. File photo

MANKATO — Federated Insurance has finalized its purchase of the former Verizon call center building and will be moving some employees to Mankato on Jan. 21.

Federated, a rapidly growing company headquartered in Owatonna that serves clients across the country, said earlier they expect to bring about 200 employees to Mankato in the first two or three years. The large Verizon complex would accommodate hundreds more.

Julie Rethemeier, vice president and director of public affairs and advertising, said the building is well-maintained, has a prime location on Highway 14 on the east edge of Mankato, ample parking, is turn-key ready and able to accommodate growth.

Verizon announced early this year it was closing the call center.

Federated Insurance has had double-digit property and casualty premium growth in seven of the last eight years and expects the trend to continue. The facility’s opening date and new staff hiring timeline are yet to be determined.

The building, at 2000 Technology Drive, was originally built by startup company Midwest Wireless in the 1990s. In 2005, Alltell purchased Midwest Wireless, which at the time had 630 employees. Four years later Verizon bought Alltel.

Federated employs about 2,400 people nationwide with 1,400 at the Owatonna headquarters.

The company’s other remote office locations are in Minneapolis; Dallas; Phoenix; Atlanta; Sacramento, California; Indianapolis; Overland Park, Kansas; and Tampa, Florida.

Federated is a direct writer of property and casualty insurance products.

During the 1890s, farm implement dealers in Minnesota formed an association and in 1904 the dealers decided to try to reduce their insurance costs by organizing their own insurance company.

Initially, the company was known as the Minnesota Implement Mutual Fire Insurance Co. It would later become the Mutual Implement and Hardware Insurance Co., then Federated Mutual Implement and Hardware Insurance Co. and then Federated Mutual Insurance Co.

In 1948 Federated entered the casualty insurance field and was one of the first major insurance companies to write both fire and casualty insurance. In 1949 accident and health coverage was added. Federated Life Insurance Co. was organized in 1959.

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