Benefits administration and related technologies have become pervasive across organizations. To this end, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman (BKS) Partners —founded by industry veterans Lowry Baldwin, Elizabeth Krystyn, and Laura Sherman— have honed decades of technical and strategic expertise in the traditional areas of commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits, and private risk. BKS’s holistic approach ensures optimal protection across the entire organization and its people. The company helps build a long-term plan that meets every employers’ goal to become someone that nurtures employees by giving them the benefits they deserve. Since its conception in 2006, they have produced double-digit growth and unprecedented client retention.

In conversation with Manage HR magazine, Nicole Negvesky, Senior Director of Business Development at BKS-Partners, shares her insights on the company’s unique value proposition in the market.

Could you give us a brief overview of Baldwin Krystyn Sherman (BKS) Partners?

We were founded in 2006 by three insurance and risk management consulting veterans. BKS partners is an award-winning insurance brokerage firm, and we provide employee benefits, private risk management, commercial risk management, and retirement plan advisory services to clients throughout the country. We’re currently one of the 25 largest insurance brokerage and consulting firms. We take a holistic and tailored approach to insurance, risk management, and employee benefits. We also examine our clients’ lifestyles, passions, professions, and business objectives to map what we call a 360-degree view of their unique risk typography.

What are some of the unique challenges that your customers face as it pertains to benefits administration?

Technology is an integral part of today’s business environments. Surprisingly, however, we see that technology is still one of the larger challenges business face today. Providing a simple and easy to navigate technology platform that can maximize employee engagement and protect personal health information is the need of the hour. As a result, we have a team of professionals whose sole focus is on understanding technology platforms within benefits administration and identify the best solutions for our clients’ technology objectives. This, in turn, will help improve the benefits experience and increase employee engagement. We have turnkey solutions for employers equipped with automation capabilities that we are currently working on, providing more robust options for employers and integration, technology, and engagement capabilities.

Could you walk us through some of the solutions you offer to your clients and their more salient features and functionalities?

We believe that bringing a holistic perspective to the management of risk helps achieve better outcomes. Susceptibility to various losses or risks in the ordinary course of business, intertwined with your personal, professional, and enterprise objectives, makes each BKS client unique.

We take a holistic and tailored approach to insurance, risk management, and employee benefits, which is our unique differentiating factor

Thus, rather than looking at these endeavors in traditional silos of “personal,” “professional,” or “business,” BKS sees things in a 360-degree view from our clients’ risk profile. Our interdisciplinary teams eliminate and address the all too common gaps in employee benefits redundancies and coverages to ensure and find risk mitigation strategies holistically.

Using that knowledge, we designed a proactive insurance and risk management architecture aligned to our clients’ objectives, which brings them peace of mind. Specifically, with benefits administration, we have a seamless process of data collection, implementation, onboarding, and maintenance. We also centralize their HR records online and provide integration to help our clients spend less time on administrative work. This helps them focus on what’s most important to them, which is running their businesses and creating a cognitive work environment for their most valuable asset, i.e., their employees. And since we are insurance geeks who haven’t lost the ability to speak plain English, we’ll even make the whole process simple to understand.

Could you walk us through a recent customer success story?

We recently had two clients that had no benefits administration technology in place. They were both struggling with paper enrollments. The challenge of keeping personal data secure put an overwhelming burden on their HR team. Both of these employers had over a hundred employees, which made it surprising that they still had not embraced benefit administration technology. They knew the platforms existed, but their current partner did not have the resources to deploy them or provide the support to help them get that up and running. We were able to engage them on our turnkey solution, and they’ve been very satisfied. The employees are satisfied with how easy it was to navigate the platform, and we’re seeing sky-high employee engagement.

What would you say is your most significant differentiating factor?

Our vision is to be the premier benefits advisory firm in all the markets we serve. To achieve this, we need to help our clients achieve better outcomes while their employees are engaged and productive. Our holistic approach, best in class industry professionals, and entrepreneurial spirit promote finding solutions on the vanguard and keeping our clients happy. We have been growing at an industry-leading rate since 2006.

What does the future hold for BKS Partners?

In 2018, we set an intermediate goal of being in the top 10 brokers in the United States. Over the next eight years, supported both by industry-leading organic growth, we are looking at a focused partnership strategy, our nomenclature for mergers and acquisitions. And as evidenced by a number of partnerships we completed this year, this will include expanding our geographic presence beyond our legacy Southeast footprint. We aim to become a leading national broker, growing our middle market operating group.

We believe we bring the best thought leadership, innovative trends, and industry insights to help our clients craft and execute a multi-year strategy to deliver an on-budget comprehensive benefits programs with the right technology for their firms. And together with our clients, we forge a bespoke program that optimizes their employees overall wellbeing, driven with higher productivity and better outcomes.