Argonaut Group Inc. is relocating its corporate headquarters to San Antonio as a cost-cutting measure, and creating about 80 new jobs at the new base. The company plans to leave its home base in Menlo Park, Calif., by April and add staff in San Antonio over the next nine months. The company has not determined how many of the 110 workers at its California headquarters will be given the opportunity to relocate to San Antonio.
Mark E. Watson, Argonaut’s CEO, has ties to San Antonio, having served as executive vice president and general counsel of Titan Holdings Inc., a San Antonio-based insurance firm purchased for $240 million in 1997 by Baltimore-based property and casualty company USF&G Corp. His father, Mark E. Watson Jr., was Titan’s founder and chairman. Argonaut’s decision to relocate was the result of an operational review by the company that included a search for a new, less expensive headquarters site.
The company considered Phoenix, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas and Houston as possible relocation sites and met with economic development officials from San Antonio and the other cities. Argonaut, formed in 1948, once served only the California market, but now operates in all 50 states.