Over the next three to four years, the Unum offices will take on the new look for the more than 2,500 employees who work in
"We want to make sure that our business offices are representative of the modern attitude we have about our company," McKenney said. The company began renovations in
The new offices include more light and facilitate more team decision making, said
"We think physical space is important to bringing teams and the company together," Sabourin said. "The engagement and interaction allos employees to cross learn other roles among the team, which facilitates a quicker customer response and issue resolution."
McKenney said Unum is investing "tens of millions of dollars" in its office facilities in
The 48-year-old Unum CEO also is eager to be more open about his company in
"We want more people to know about us," McKenney said in a recent interview at the corporate headquarters in
Poised for growth
After rolling up a record-high profit of
With the prospect of higher interest yields on the company's
"I think we are positioned better now than we have ever been to grow the company," McKenney said.
Among a half dozen industry analysts who follow Unum, most expect Unum profits to top
Unum's stock is up about 60 percent in the past year and has more than quadrupled from the low point reached in the market at its worst point eight years ago.
But Unum's stock still remains well below its 1999 high reached when the former
But McKenney said Unum is a growing company again.
Unum earnings rise, beating analysts' expectations
Growing voluntary insurance at work
Unum has been the world's biggest disability insurer for more than 30 years. But disability insurance is now only about 20 percent of the company revenues. Over the past couple of years, Unum has acquired dental and vision companies to expand its work-based employee benefit offerings.
Dental and vision was a gap in coverage that Unum moved to fill by buying National Dental Plan in the
"We see dental and vision as a great growth area for us and we see the potential for us to be a top player in the next five to 10 years," McKenney said. "There are more opportunities, which could involve more acquisitions. But some of it is pure organic growth."
Unum, which is also the nation's third biggest provider of voluntary insurance and the fifth biggest overall insurer of group life insurance plans, will continue to sell its products in the work environment where employees typically are most able and desirous of buying and getting insurance and other employee benefits, McKenney said.
The company sells its workplace plans through more than 5,000 independent brokers.
"We're at the workplace and, while we don't want to do health care or retirement savings, we do want to meet other employee needs for benefits and coverage for everything else," McKenney said. "We want to be a one-stop broker for all of the other ancillary benefits."
Economy, political winds of change
Unum has benefited by the rebound in employment growth in recent years and the company should benefit as wages rise and more workers are able and willing to buy more volunteer benefits at work.
"We've seen some of the employment growth come back in the past few years, and now we're starting to see some more wage inflation," McKenney said. "Both of those are good for us."
The debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, has created more uncertainty about health insurance benefits by many employers, and the trend toward higher deductibles has forced a bigger share of workers to pay for the first dollar costs of illness and diseases. More than one fourth of health insurance plans now have high deductibles for health insurance.
That shift has created some employer and worker anxiety, but it also is creating opportunities for Unum by encouraging workers to consider other income replacement and other types of voluntary insurance options.
"We're going to keep adapting and changing," McKenney said.
The economic changes have also put Unum's headquarters into a new physical environment in its home town.
Although Unum has outsourced some of its jobs, such as
Unum has adequate parking for all of its
"Whatever is built, we want to make sure it fits with our overall campus downtown," McKenney said. "We can envision our employees during lunch time having a nice stroll around our offices, especially if these areas develop in an attractive way with opportunities for our workers and others to eat or shop or enjoy a walk around downtown. That matters to us as opposed to just getting top dollar with something that is not what we want in our surrounding property."
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