The Federated Insurance headquarters in Owatonna. The company is opening a Mankato office and hiring about 200 employees in the next couple of years. Federated photo

MANKATO — Federated Insurance is opening a large office in Mankato that they expect to have staffed with about 200 employees over the next couple of years.

It is the first entrant of the insurance industry — beyond individual agents — in the Mankato market.

Julie Rethemeier, vice president and director of public affairs for Federated, said the company is still analyzing sites for the new office and whether to purchase or lease space.

Based in Owatonna, this will be the ninth remote office location for Federated. She said the office will have a property and casualty services team and an underwriting processing team.

"The positions are primarily focused on customer service and insurance processing responsibilities," she said.

"Mankato is a great fit for us. You are a thriving community with a diverse and talented workforce."

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

"Federated Insurance has seen phenomenal growth in business and has plans for continued growth in the years ahead," Rethemeier said.

The company’s other remote office locations are in Minneapolis, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, Sacramento, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Tampa.

Greater Mankato Growth has been assisting Federated as it plans its office here.

"It's great news," said John Considine, director of regional business intelligence at GMG.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for the greater Mankato marketplace to have an employer of this caliber taking a look at our community. They're part of an industry segment that's not present in our marketplace."

He said GMG believes a company like Federated can attract more recent college graduates to work and live here rather than moving elsewhere.

Considine said holding on to college grads is increasingly important as the workforce tightens. "With our continuing rise in employment and our unemployment rate remaining low, it's important to hold onto more of those college graduates. I think Federated will be offering a good salary and be able to do that."

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. They 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.

Follow Tim Krohn on Twitter @TimKrohn

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