I often talk about how bringing in an outside, white-labeled enhanced/voluntary benefits team can help a small boutique firm appear larger and allow it to meet the needs of a growing client base. But the same holds true for larger, more established benefits advisory firms as well.

I met Jim Blachek, partner at The Benefits Group out of the Scranton, Pennsylvania area, at the ASCEND conference in 2018. Yes, Scranton, PA, home of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, as made famous in NBC’s hit show, The Office. Oh, and I’m well aware that “Jim” was one of the most popular characters on the show, as well. Anyway, “benefits Jim” and his partner, Jeff, have hundreds of group clients, and many employees who help service and take care of their client base.

Jim and I had a blunt conversation from the get-go and we immediately hit it off. “How can you help our firm?” he asked. So, I started asking questions of my own. Turned out, he was pretty much ignoring voluntary. He dabbled here and there, but wasn’t making much money with it and it wasn’t a big deal, as he was focused with growing group benefits, the bread and butter of his business.

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