5 years later, Aflac’s Midlands presence has ballooned
“Moving the product into the workplace … gives them a new niche,” said Ernie Csiszar, an insurance professor at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business and former S.C. insurance commissioner…
..In Columbia, the company has been able to grow rapidly for several reasons, Csiszar said. For one, “Their timing with their products in the market was perfect.”
As the U.S. population ages, Csiszar said, people are going to need more products like the ones being offered by Aflac, a major competitor with Columbia’s Colonial Life…
…In addition to timing, the company’s success also boils down to good choices, Csiszar said.
When Aflac bought Continental – its first acquisition in more than five decades in business – it got a “crown jewel” with a solid management team, employee base and business systems in place. Then, Aflac’s leaders basically let the team grow – backed by the Aflac name and capital – without making major changes or overwhelming them with bureaucratic processes.
“That, I think, is a smart, smart acquisition strategy,” Csiszar said.
Also helping Aflac’s success in Columbia is the Midlands’ deep talent pool in the insurance-and-technology sector, thanks to the long-established Colonial Life and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, he said.
As Aflac continues to expand in Columbia, leaders will be looking to hire, including for claims-processing and call-center jobs, and jobs in its accounting, legal and human resources departments.
While the company’s expansion goals over the next couple of years remain modest, Csiszar sees far greater potential.
“I do think that their foothold in South Carolina … is going to grow,” he said. “They could double and triple (in size) in two, three years.”