Concord Group moves HQ out of the city after 95 years, heads to Bedford

 By DAVID BROOKS

Monitor staff

Published: 03-30-2023 9:01 PM

Concord Group Insurance, one of the city’s oldest companies, has moved its headquarters out of its iconic mid-century building facing North State Street and gone to Bedford, seeking more access to workers and a more modern building. 

The company will maintain several offices in and around Concord, including about 80 workers at Granite Place in Concord.

“We have been and are continuing to talk to local realtors and developers. We appreciate the city and the history, it’s something we don’t take lightly,” said Kevin Ferreri, vice president of corporate marketing. 

Concord Group, which has been based in Concord since starting as a farm-insurance company in 1928, is a major insurance carrier for independent agents in the four northern New England states. It is expanding its presence in Massachusetts, Ferreri said. Moving the headquarters to Bedford is designed to get closer to that area and draw more employees. 

“We’re relatively new in Massachusetts, still adding a lot of agents. That’s where a lot of the growth is coming from,” Ferreri said. “We’re not trying to move away from” northern New England, “just moving closer to growth.” 

Concord Group dates back to a small insurance company founded by George Putnam, one of the founders of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation. Over the decades it has moved several times among downtown buildings as it grew into a major insurance carrier for independent agents in four states.

It built its Concord headquarters on Bouton Street facing North State Street in 1958. The green mid-century building has become something of a landmark in the area.

Ferreri said fewer than 100 people were working there when the move began last week. Some groups, including the mailroom, are still operating there. The eventual plan is to empty the building and sell it.  

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The company’s new headquarters is at 35B Constitution Drive, in an industrial park off Route 101 in north Bedford, not far from the Everett Turnpike.

“The need for a new facility was top priority for us as our previous corporate office no longer fit the growing needs of the company. With most of our forward-facing departments now under one roof, it has created a more dynamic, collaborative and welcoming work environment for our staff,” Daniel McCabe, President and CEO of The Concord Group, said in a prepared statement.

The company said the new site “provides greater access to a larger employee pool, accommodating for both current and future growth needs.” 

Ferreri said the company is deciding what to do with the Concord Coach that has been displayed in the Concord building. The coach, built by Lewis Downing & Son in 1850, is No. 80 of the iconic horse-drawn coaches built by Abbot-Downing Co., and was once owned by Henry Ford.

“The goal is to keep it in Concord, keep it visible and available to the public. We’re not quite sure where that will land,” he said.

The move comes as many firms are shrinking their office space due to an increase in working from home, triggered by the COVID pandemic. Concord Group operates with a hybrid program, combining work-at-home with in-office work, Ferreri said, but even so it needs more space because of its growth plans.

“We’re moving people around, trying to bring departments and groups together and under one roof,” he said.

The age of its Concord building was also a factor. “It’s hard to renovate a building like that,” he said.

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