Benefit Advisors Network expands into Canada

15 April 2021 2 min. read

Benefit Advisors Network (BAN), a US-based network of independent employee benefit firms, has expanded into Canada with the addition of two Toronto-headquartered firms to its membership: The Leslie Group and Owen & Associates.

Founded in 2002 and based in Cleveland, BAN is a network of more than 90 privately held employee benefit brokerage firms. The network offers member firms access to proprietary resources, proven growth strategies, enhanced operating efficiencies, and best practices for learning and knowledge sharing. Because of its scale, BAN’s members can take advantage of preferred pricing arrangements and direct access to underwriters.

The network’s highly vetted member firms also work as peers to pool experience, industry knowledge, and data.

“Demand for BAN to expand into Canada has been high, particularly given the need for firms to be able to work internationally, so I am confident launching our Canadian brand represents a win-win for both our current members and our new alliances in Canada,” said Perry Braun, executive director, Benefit Advisors Network.Benefit Advisors Network expands into CanadaThe two inaugural Canadian member firms are The Leslie Group and Owen & Associates, both based in Toronto.

The Leslie Group was founded in 1992 and helps clients implement and manage group benefit and retirement programs. The firm also provides in-house education and communications services. The Leslie Group has more than 35 employees, according to LinkedIn, with offices in Toronto and Winnipeg.

Founded over 40 years ago, Owen & Associates offers consulting and brokerage services to help global companies establish and manage employee benefit solutions for their Canadian businesses. The company has worked with more than 400 national clients.

Owen & Associates has more than 20 employees across offices in Toronto, Collingwood, ON, and Kelowna, BC, according to LinkedIn.

“Having worked with BAN members over the past decade and been the Canadian resource officially since 2018, we have successfully supported BAN members in their business growth,” Michael Owen, president of Owen & Associates, said. “Collaboration has been effective in winning against the Aons and Mercers by having not just another office in another country, but a best-in-practice partner.”

Shawn Leslie, president and CEO of The Leslie Group, added, “We believe the business planning tools and client resources BAN offers will enhance our firm’s continued growth and enhance the value proposition for our clients. We appreciate the high-quality resources that BAN membership adds to the arsenal of customer solutions that we already provide to our clients, regardless of their physical location.”

Leslie added that joining BAN will help his company service its clients with US operations, who account for 40% of the firm’s roster. With many international companies preferring one organization to handle benefits for their entire enterprise, joining BAN enables the benefit consultancy to meet all of a client’s benefit requirements for locations in North America.