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New firm absorbs 24 brokers and wealth managers

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A long-time GCG Financial L.L.C. executive is leading Alera Group Inc., an insurance distributor with private equity financing it can use to bring other insurance agencies, benefits firms and wealth management firms into its fold.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based company and 23 other firms have used backing from Genstar Capital L.L.C., a San Francisco-based private equity firm, to form Alera.

Alan Levitz, the chief executive officer of GCG Financial, which is also based in Deerfield, is now the CEO of Alera.

Alera has about 750 employees in 40 offices in 15 states. The firm is generating $158 million per year in revenue through relationships with about 20,000 per client, or about $8,000 per client.

The terms of the arrangement were not immediately available.

Alan Levitz is the son of Bob Levitz, who founded GCG in 1975 and is now the chairman emeritus of the GCG board. Alan Levitz has been working for the firm together with his brothers, Rick Levitz and David Levitz.

Related: Benefit plan maximizing: How to keep a benefit program attractive during difficult economic times

Rick Levitz, who has been president of wealth management at GCG, will become the firm’s managing partner, the company says.

Rob Lieblein, will be the Alera chief development officer. He said in a statement that Alera hopes to grow “both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

Alera wants the firms it acquires to keep their own identities and operate as separate subsidies, the company says.

Who’s in there?

The founding firms in the Alera organization are:

  • A&B Insurance and Financial Inc. of Tampa, Florida.

  • American Insurance Administrators Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

  • Ardent Solutions of Sugar Land, Texas

  • Beacon Retiree Benefits Group L.L.C. of Plantsville, Connecticut

  • Benefit Advisors Network of Solon, Ohio.

  • Benico Ltd. of Huntley, Illinois.

  • CBP of Stamford, Connecticut.

  • C. M. Smith Agency Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut.

  • Centennial of Costa Mesa, California.

  • Coury Health Services Inc. of Pittsburgh.

  • CPI-HR of Solon, Ohio.

  • Forum of Greenville, South Carolina.

  • Group Services Inc. of Bettendorf, Iowa.

  • HMK Insurance of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

  • INGROUP Associates Inc. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

  • JA Counter of New Richmond, Wisconsin.

  • Pentra Inc. of Villanova, Pennsylvania.

  • PWA Insurance Services of Gold River, California.        

  • Relph Benefit Advisors of Fairport, New York.

  • Shirazi Benefits of Greeley, Colorado.

  • SIG of Baltimore, Maryland.

  • TRUEbenefits L.L.C. of Seattle, Washington.

  • Virtus Benefits L.L.C. of Nashville, Tennessee.


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