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Digital insurer Branch moving HQ to Capitol Square

Digital insurer Branch moving HQ to Capitol Square

A digital insurance startup that recently adopted a more widespread remote workforce approach nonetheless has leased a new home office in a renovated historic building on Capitol Square in Columbus.

Branch Financial will move into 4,300 square feet on the 12th floor of The Hayden, 16-20 E. Broad St. next to the Rhodes Tower.

The company won a state tax incentive in December to add 150 Ohio-based jobs over three years, starting from a base of 22 in the state in a total staff of 47. Last fall the insurer called itself "natively remote," widening the talent pool in which to search during the coronavirus pandemic. Still the bulk of growth is projected to be local.

Branch is expanding rapidly following a $24 million venture capital round in July.

The 3-year-old company bundles home and auto insurance in five states, and aims to be available to 80% of the U.S. population this year. Working through lender websites, its technology combs troves of data to generate quotes quickly for policies with an outside underwriter.

A partnership announced last week grants a discount to homeowners with security systems by ADT, which has about 6 million nationwide customers.

Columbus beat out Austin, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham for Branch's move in 2019, after a data-driven search of American cities. CEO Steve Lekas had been in suburban Cleveland and his co-founder, CTO Joe Emison, was in Asheville, North Carolina.

The two-building Hayden complex underwent a $20 million historic renovation completed two years ago. Branch is going into the 13-story building built in 1901. Its four-story neighbor, dating to 1869, is the oldest surviving building on Capitol Square.

“We’re thrilled to have Branch as the newest tenant in the building,” owner and developer Michael Tomko said in a news release. “Not only are they a fantastic company with an important mission, their vision for the 12th floor buildout is exceptional."

Agents Andrew Jameson and Daniel Dunsmoor with Colliers International represented Tomko Co. in the deal, while Dave McKee and Paul Tingley of CBRE represented Branch.

Branch representatives were not immediately available for comment.

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Andrew Jameson

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Andrew Jameson has 25 years of experience in the sales and leasing of office space as well as investment sales and tenant representation. Andrew’s primary focus has been in the Columbus suburban and downtown office market. Through creativity, efficiency and extreme persistence, Andrew simply gets results for clients.  His work ethic has led to being awarded virtually every year Co-Star Power broker award, Columbus Board of Realtors – Top 10 producers, and even Colliers national awards (top 5% in the country in production).

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Daniel Dunsmoor

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Dan is recognized as a market leader in the Columbus, Ohio commercial real estate market, specializing in the lease and sale of Class A and B office space.

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