Fire-hit Queen Group moves into new home
The Queen Group of companies has moved into its new home in Hamilton six weeks after its previous base was destroyed by fire.
The group, which operates Bermuda Executive Services Ltd, Atlantic Caregiving Ltd, Island Shippers, Atlantic Media and Atlantic Relocators, is now based on the third floor of Cedar House, 41 Cedar Avenue, Hamilton.
The July 22 fire gutted 77 Front Street, where the businesses had been based for 16 years. Since then the group has continued to function out of a temporary office space donated by Bermuda Container Line.
“While our staff has pulled together magnificently since the fire, we are all relieved to be in a new permanent location,” said Dawn Zuill, president of the Queen Group.
“This new office location provides The Queen Group and all of our companies with the opportunity for business expansion where we can thrive in a superior working environment.”
Ms Zuill said much had been accomplished in a short time to enable the move to a new home, but through a trying period the 12-strong workforce had performed superbly. “We have found out what we're made of,” Ms Zuill said.
While the company had managed to retrieve most of its intellectual property, many personal items had been lost to the blaze, she said.
Bill Zuill, a director of The Queen Group, said: “If there is a silver lining in all this, it's that we are accelerating improvements to the business that we were working on anyway.
“For example, we have been able to simplify and upgrade our IT — if we were dealing with changing our legacy system it would probably have taken longer. Also, we have moved on quickly with changes to the branding of our companies under the name of The Queen Group.”
Ms Zuill said the new space would allow the group to build up its serviced offices business, aimed at start-ups and small firms, and to better tailor solutions to individual needs.
Ms Zuill also expressed thanks for the widespread support from the community since the fire. She highlighted Bermuda Container Line for providing temporary office space, BetaTech for seamless IT support, and the efforts of Rego Sotheby's International Realty and Cedar Holdings Ltd in expediting the move.
The group has benefited from an uptick in the economy, but growth appears to be very gradual, Mr Zuill said.
Reflecting on the BES business, he said: “Three or four years ago, we were not replacing people who left, unless they were in key positions. We have come through the phase when roles have started to be refilled again and this year we are seeing some growth in terms of new positions.
“There are some start-ups but they tend to be small operations with three to five employees.”
He added that the negative impact on jobs from mergers in the insurance industry was not proving to be so great as many had feared.