United Benefit Advisors Sees Growth in 2013, Welcomes Three New Partner Firms

In the Face of Health Care Reform, UBA Continues to Expand, Representing 5 million Employees and Their Families

INDIANAPOLIS, IN [July 22, 2013] ⎯ United Benefit Advisors, the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization, recently welcomed three new Partner Firms into its network of more than 140. Insurance Consulting Group of Tennessee, Shepard Walton King of Texas, and A.I. Group of Atlanta join the UBA family, recognized for innovation, quality of work, professionalism and contributions to programs that enhance business practices for the greater good of the entire organization.

The criteria to become a UBA Partner Firm is very stringent; Independent Health and Wealth advisory firms can only be considered for Partnership after they have been recommended and or vetted by existing Partner Firms and approved by the UBA Board and Partnership Committee. Partner Firms must meet specific financial requirements and a minimum standard of service that includes providing educational information and advice to employers. UBA Partners represent the best in the marketplace and are viewed as successful in their category by vendors, carriers, clients and peers.

“Despite the extreme challenges our industry has seen since the introduction of The Affordable Care Act, UBA has seen a dramatic increase in demand for our knowledge, compliance content, and high standards in service,” says Thom Mangan, CEO of UBA. “Insurance Consulting Group, Shepard Walton King and A.I. Group are the perfect additions to our family of independent benefits advisors. Together we offer employers the entrepreneurial spirit, speed and innovation of the best local market experts, while at the same time providing superior carrier negotiation power, back office systems and data.”

Insurance Consulting Group
Insurance Consulting Group, Inc. provides a full range of brokerage services including employee benefits, individual benefits, financial, retirement products and services. Insurance Consulting Group has 33 years’ worth of involvement in the industry and boasts a specialty focus of innovative group benefit solutions for small- to mid-size companies.

Insurance Consulting Group’s expertise in one singular area has made it one of western Tennessee’s largest benefit brokerage firms, encompassing a wide array of accounts in many diverse industries. More than 300 employers currently use the firm’s services, and its 94 percent client retention rate is a testimony to Insurance Consulting Group’s dedication to its clients’ current and future needs.

Company owner Steve Rodgers says, “When a chance comes along to pair up with an entity such as UBA, you have to take it. We’re excited about this new partnership: what we bring to the table and what we will gain. Our premier status with top-rated insurance companies has evolved over decades and provides our clients a value-added benefit. We’re always learning more, doing more and becoming more. As a UBA Partner, we will continue in this tradition.”

Founded in 1986 and incorporated in 1999, ICG, Inc., has a reputation for excellence in the products and services offered. Learn more at www.employeebenefits.com.

Shepard Walton King Insurance Group
The Texas-based agency, which serves 325 clients with a staff of 50 employees, calls Harlingen, Texas home but boasts additional locations in Austin and McAllen. Known as great thought leaders in the benefits advisory industry, Shepard Walton King draws its history from more than 80 years of combined experience and expertise. To ensure the company stays on the cutting edge of the industry, the firm requires staff to receive at least eight hours of continued education yearly.

Bob Shepard, Shepard Walton King President, says, “We’re extremely happy to call ourselves a UBA Partner. At a time when things are changing rapidly and information and services are at a premium, an alignment with UBA serves to broaden our reach as a firm, and elevate our status within this industry. This was an easy decision.”

Shepard Walton King Insurance Group was formed in 1995 when Bob Shepard, Neal King and Bob Walton bought the South Texas insurance business of Alexander & Alexander. The success of this progressive insurance group was in part due to a clever mix of the best and most competitive agencies in the Rio Grande Valley. To learn more visit www.shepardwaltonking.com.

A.I. Group
From its beginnings as a benefits division of a regional Property Casualty firm, A.I. Group’s philosophy has been to provide clients with strategic, professional advice coupled with unique and value added services tailored to meet each client’s specific needs. In addition to full service benefits consulting, the firm has been providing administrative services and support since 1992, a point in time when the term ‘outsourcing’ was in its infancy.

The Atlanta, Ga.-based firm celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and boasts a staff of 45 employees, six of which are producers. A.I. producers have more than 15 years experience in the industry, and five of the six have spent their entire careers in employee benefits. Seven of the firm’s nine account executives are also insurance carrier trained, six of those have in excess of 25 years experience. The firm also employs a wide range of other professionals, from HR and IT to wellness coordinators and a nurse practitioner.

“We believe we’re a good fit with UBA because we are a progressive firm, constantly looking for the opportunities in challenges,” says David Woodruff, one of the two Managing Partners at The A.I. Group. “While we believe we have put ourselves in a prime position to capitalize on the uncertainty and changes ahead in the benefits business, we also believe there is strength in numbers. Being part of a strong, independent and professional consortium can provide us both the tools, and more importantly, the intellectual capital to explore and understand where these opportunities lie. We have seen how UBA has contributed to the success of its Partners, and we look forward to the opportunity to learn, share and ultimately contribute to the organization as we both constantly seek better ways to support and guide our clients in these uncertain times.” Learn more about the A.I Group at www.theaigroup.com.

About United Benefit Advisors
United Benefit Advisors(R) (UBA) is a unique community of more than 140 of the most successful and most trusted independent employee benefits advisory firms in North America and Europe. With more than 200 Partners in over 46 states, Canada and the United Kingdom, UBA is the nation’s leading employee benefits advisory organization. Learn more at www.ubabenefits.com

Media Contact:
Carina Sammartino
Fisher Vista