CGI Boosts Presence in Nova Scotia

Sep 23, 2004

HALIFAX (September 23, 2004) – CGI Group Inc., Canada’s largest independent information technology (IT) services firm, today announced it will begin hiring 200 information technology professionals for its International Systems Development Centre in Halifax. The mission of this centre of expertise will be to provide systems development, maintenance and integration services for Manulife Financial and other CGI clients worldwide.

“CGI is committed to growing its presence in Halifax to support its global delivery model by building a life insurance and wealth protection platform to serve Manulife Financial as well as other CGI clients,” said Michael Roach, president and COO of CGI. “Expanding our Atlantic Canada operations is critical to our growth as a company.”

CGI was recently awarded a major outsourcing contract with Manulife Financial. The contract was a result of the recent Manulife takeover of John Hancock and its subsidiary, Halifax-based Maritime Life. CGI currently employs 400 at its Halifax operation.

“In our economic strategy, Opportunities for Prosperity, the IT industry is highlighted as a key growth sector for the province,” said Economic Development Minister Fage, on behalf of Premier John Hamm, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate CGI’s official opening of their new Halifax facilities. “There is global demand for competitively priced IT services, and CGI is a leader in this field and expanding right here in Nova Scotia.”

In support of CGI’s continued commitment in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) is partnering in the company’s growth. Although the company currently expects to hire 200 people in the next two years, NSBI has agreed to a payroll rebate with CGI that could see the company hire up to 500 people by the end of the five years, over-and-above the CGI’s existing 400 employees. Provided the company hires the additional 500 people, it would be eligible to receive a total of $7.9 million over the five-year agreement.

The agreement also contains a clause to encourage CGI’s growth into a rural area. If the company establishes a location outside Halifax by the end of the five years, CGI is eligible for an extra payroll rebate for the rural jobs, to a maximum total of $592,000. If the rural location is established, the total rebate could then be $8.5 million at the end of five years.

“This growth is the result of hard work by everyone involved, including the Greater Halifax Partnership, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and NSBI,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. “We worked together to showcase the strength of Nova Scotia’s IT sector and competitive business environment. CGI is harnessing those advantages to attract additional clients, and global companies such as Manulife are just the beginning.”
Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s business-development agency, an organization that works with companies to deliver business solutions. The private sector-led organization works to attract new businesses to the province and helps those already in Nova Scotia expand, through services such as export development and financing.