Alera Group Acquires Wilson Albers & Company, LLC

Posted on February 13th, 2018

DEERFIELD, IL (February 13, 2018) — Alera Group, a leading national employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firm, has acquired Wilson Albers & Company, LLC, located in Anchorage, AK. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Wilson Albers & Company, LLC, parent company of The Wilson Agency, LLC (Anchorage, AK), Albers & Company, Inc (Tacoma, WA) and ConnectHR, LLC headquartered in Anchorage, AK, provides a variety of employment resources in the areas of insurance, retirement and human resources.

“We are excited to join Alera Group due to their remarkable collaborative culture and extensive network of industry resources,” said Lon Wilson, CEO of Wilson Albers & Company, LLC. “As an Alera Group company, we have an exciting opportunity to offer our clients industry-leading resources with partners across the country.”

Wilson Albers has operated The Wilson Agency in Alaska for over 50 years and Albers & Company in Washington for over 30 years and holds a robust legacy of industry experience and customer satisfaction. Through their core values of unquestionable integrity, dedication to excellence, caring for people, family, community, and lifelong learning, the firm strides toward their collective vision: empowering people to lead a life of significance.

“Wilson Albers & Company is a terrific addition to our presence in the Northwest,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Lon Wilson and the entire Wilson Albers team enjoy a tremendous reputation in the industry and bring a great deal of expertise to Alera Group”.

Alera Group continues to grow organically and through acquisitions since its formation in December 2016. For more information on partnering with Alera Group, visit Partnership Opportunities at www.jmjwebconsulting.com.

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About Alera Group
Based in Deerfield, IL, Alera Group’s over 900 employees serve more than 20,000 clients nationally in employee benefits, property and casualty, risk management and wealth management. Alera Group was created by merging 24 high-performing, entrepreneurial firms across the U.S. It is the 14th largest independent insurance agency and the 7th largest independent employee benefits firm in the country. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow Alera Group on Twitter: @AleraGroupUS

 

Alera Group Acquires Wilson Albers & Company, LLC

Posted on February 13th, 2018

DEERFIELD, IL (February 13, 2018) — Alera Group, a leading national employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firm, has acquired Wilson Albers & Company, LLC, located in Anchorage, AK. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Wilson Albers & Company, LLC, parent company of The Wilson Agency, LLC (Anchorage, AK), Albers & Company, Inc (Tacoma, WA) and ConnectHR, LLC headquartered in Anchorage, AK, provides a variety of employment resources in the areas of insurance, retirement and human resources.

“We are excited to join Alera Group due to their remarkable collaborative culture and extensive network of industry resources,” said Lon Wilson, CEO of Wilson Albers & Company, LLC. “As an Alera Group company, we have an exciting opportunity to offer our clients industry-leading resources with partners across the country.”

Wilson Albers has operated The Wilson Agency in Alaska for over 50 years and Albers & Company in Washington for over 30 years and holds a robust legacy of industry experience and customer satisfaction. Through their core values of unquestionable integrity, dedication to excellence, caring for people, family, community, and lifelong learning, the firm strides toward their collective vision: empowering people to lead a life of significance.

“Wilson Albers & Company is a terrific addition to our presence in the Northwest,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Lon Wilson and the entire Wilson Albers team enjoy a tremendous reputation in the industry and bring a great deal of expertise to Alera Group”.

Alera Group continues to grow organically and through acquisitions since its formation in December 2016. For more information on partnering with Alera Group, visit Partnership Opportunities at www.jmjwebconsulting.com.

# # #

About Alera Group
Based in Deerfield, IL, Alera Group’s over 900 employees serve more than 20,000 clients nationally in employee benefits, property and casualty, risk management and wealth management. Alera Group was created by merging 24 high-performing, entrepreneurial firms across the U.S. It is the 14th largest independent insurance agency and the 7th largest independent employee benefits firm in the country. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow Alera Group on Twitter: @AleraGroupUS

 

Financial Market Commentary

Posted on February 9th, 2018

Which is scarier?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping about 2,250 points?

The S&P 500 Index dropping about 7.7%?

Both recently happened and both are effectively the same thing.

After more than 2 years, of record-breaking low (no) volatility, the market is suddenly very volatile. There are a number of potential reasons for this sell-off but the most likely culprit is that we have enter a new phase of the economic cycle – when “good news is bad news.” Since the financial crisis ended, we have been looking forward to the economy returning to “normal” – as in, normal short term interest rates of 2-3% and normal inflation of 2-3% and normal economic growth rates of 3-4%. After 9 years of waiting, normal seems to be finally returning. This also means that we are entering the maturing stage of the economic cycle when the market becomes more concerned about rising interest rates and rising inflation. Hence, improving employment, higher wages and economic growth (good news) means higher interest rates and inflation (bad news). Rising interest rates means that the market has to reset valuations.

Couple that with the fact that the stock market has tripled in value since the crisis ended and that we haven’t had a real 10% correction in over 2 years (and counting), and the market was bound to be more volatile. We have said that the longer the market goes without correcting, the bigger the potential correction. The average market correction is 10-15%.  Given the strong economy, we don’t expect much more than that. 2017 was tied for the least volatile year (1995) since World War II. In the year following the 10 least volatile years since WWII, the average drawdown/correction has been 12%. The good news is that 7 of those 10 years finished positive. It’s still early in the year. No reason to think that it can’t happen this year. The last correction was in January 2016. Despite a 12% drop early in that year, the market finished up 12% for the whole year.

You may have noticed we are talking about a correction, not something worse. Based on the fact that the economy is still growing and seems to be growing at a faster pace, the current market decline should be viewed as an opportunity to rebalance and re-assess risk. As you know, we make a big deal about getting the client’s risk profile correct.  These are the markets we are talking about. As we could have predicted, bonds actually went up in value today as investors looked for safer havens. However, no one could have predicted when this was going to happen. Our clients don’t have to make drastic moves to try and ease the pain. They should already have the appropriate amount of risk protection built into their portfolios. If they’re not comfortable with 100% of the downside risk, great, about 80% or 60% or 40%?  A client in a 60/40 allocation has lost less than 5% during the sell-off. Still a loss, but not nearly as scary – by design. More importantly, long-term investors should always be looking for the opportunity to take advantage of temporarily lower prices.

The numbers may sound scary to some. Those clients that stay invested through the volatile markets are rewarded for their courage and patience in the long run. Your job as an investor is to make the right decisions, at the right time, for the right reasons.

Alera Group Continues Growth Streak with Four New Acquisitions

Posted on February 7th, 2018

DEERFIELD, IL (February 7, 2018) — Alera Group, a leading national employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firm, acquired four firms effective February 1, 2018. This new round of acquisitions brings the total number of acquisitions since launching in January 2017 to 20. Alera Group continues to expand and increase its internal expertise and presence across the nation through strategic acquisitions.

The four new firms include:

Aisling Partners Insurance Brokerage, LLC, located in Worcester, MA, is an independent employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm that has been providing advice, guidance and counsel to clients in the Northeast for more than 15 years. Aisling, Gaelic for dream or vision, has evolved in to a premier boutique firm specializing in the design, implementation and administration of innovative health and welfare programs.

Davidson Benefits Planning (DBP), headquartered in Tigard, OR, was founded in 1983 and is recognized by industry leaders for their excellent business standards and full dedication to their clients. The Davidson Benefits Planning team uses their expertise to assist their clients in strategic planning, cost management solutions, employee communication, compliance management and improving benefits value.

HR Benefit Advisors, located in Rochester, NY and founded in 1993, focuses on offering products and services to help businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape of the employee benefits industry. They provide a plethora of services including consulting, population health management, benefits administration, communication and compliance solutions. The firm implements creative strategies to implement effective solutions for their clients.

Spring Consulting Group LLC, located in Boston, MA, is a multidisciplinary employee benefits and risk management consulting firm. Their expertise covers the full spectrum of organizational risk, from small group health insurance to captive insurance for large multi-national corporations. Through innovative risk financing and wealth creation strategies, Spring works to provide long-term measurable financial benefits for each of their clients.

“We are excited to welcome each of these four firms to Alera Group, where their unique and personalized approaches will be strengthened by the resources of a national firm,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “The industry expertise and cultural values of each of these firms enhances our ability to grow Alera Group through a culture of collaboration.”

Alera Group continues to grow organically and through acquisitions since its formation in December 2016. For more information on partnering with Alera Group, visit Partnership Opportunities at www.jmjwebconsulting.com.

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About Alera Group
Based in Deerfield, IL, Alera Group’s over 850 employees serve more than 20,000 clients nationally in employee benefits, property and casualty, risk management and wealth management. Alera Group was created by merging 24 high-performing, entrepreneurial firms across the U.S. It is the 14th largest independent insurance agency and the 7th largest independent employee benefits firm in the country. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow Alera Group on Twitter: @AleraGroupUS.

Alera Group Acquires Spring Consulting Group

Posted on February 5th, 2018

National Firm Enters Massachusetts with Recent Acquisition

DEERFIELD, IL (February 1, 2018) — Alera Group, a leading national employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firm, has acquired Spring Consulting Group LLC, located in Boston, MA. This acquisition expands the national presence of Alera Group, establishing locations of the firm in 17 states. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Spring is a multidisciplinary employee benefits and risk management consulting firm. Through innovative risk financing and wealth creation strategies, Spring works to provide long-term measurable financial benefits for each of their clients. Their expertise covers the full spectrum of organizational risk, from small group health insurance to captive insurance for large multi-national corporations.

“Our firm is focused on innovation and collaboration between associates to meet the needs of our clients. With the national resources of Alera Group, we will be able to increase the creative solutions and resource offerings available to our clients,” said Karin Landry, Managing Partner for Spring Consulting Group.

“Spring Consulting Group is an excellent addition to Alera Group. We look forward to sharing the consulting and captive management expertise of Karin and her team across our entire platform,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Adding the Spring location to Alera Group is a great way for us to enter Boston and further strengthens our presence in the northeast.”

Alera Group continues to grow organically and through acquisitions since its formation in December 2016. For more information on partnering with Alera Group, visit Partnership Opportunities at www.jmjwebconsulting.com.

# # #

About Alera Group
Based in Deerfield, IL, Alera Group’s over 850 employees serve more than 20,000 clients nationally in employee benefits, property and casualty, risk management and wealth management. Alera Group was created by merging 24 high-performing, entrepreneurial firms across the U.S. It is the 14th largest independent insurance agency and the 7th largest independent employee benefits firm in the country. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow Alera Group on Twitter: @AleraGroupUS

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