Reed Elsevier, parent company of the legal and insurance information giant LexisNexis, plans to more than triple the size of its Cary workforce by adding 350 high-paying jobs over the next five years.
The company, which currently employees 145 in Cary, announced Wednesday that it will use the new hires to bolster its LexisNexis division, which provides a range of information to governments, insurance companies and law firms.
"LexisNexis is building a 'center of excellence' in Cary in large part because of the area's highly educated and highly skilled local workforce who will be instrumental in helping our business expand over the next several years and beyond," the company said in a statement.
Company officials declined to comment further on the growth plans.
State officials approved an incentives package Wednesday that could pay the company nearly $8.9 million if it meets hiring and investment goals.
Reed Elsevier is the second employer to announce a significant Triangle expansion this month. Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar plans to add 199 jobs at its plant in Johnston County over the next five years.
Reed Elsevier, a publicly traded holding company, has multiple corporate headquarters in London, Amsterdam and New York. Its LexisNexis division, which the company acquired in 1994, is based in Dayton, Ohio.
Until Wednesday, it had kept a low-profile in Cary. Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said he wasn't aware that the company had a significant presence in the town.
The company also has offices in Charlotte, where it employs 150.
Reed Elsevier will invest $1.75 million at its offices in Cary's Regency Park. The new jobs will be in marketing, sales, customer support and product development. The positions will have an average salary of $91,644 plus benefits. The Wake County average is $44,980.
Reed Elsevier also considered sites in Virginia and Illinois.
Reed Elsevier's LexisNexis division provides legal, tax, regulatory, and business information to clients.
It also supplies insurance carriers with data, software and screening systems, called LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
According to Reed Elsevier's 2011 semi-annual report, LexisNexis accounts for about 35 percent of the parent company's operating profit. The company's risk solutions business was responsible for most of the growth in LexisNexis, while the legal sector saw flat revenues and operating profits.
Net profits were about $590 million through the first half of last year.