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So far Keaton Alexander has created 32 blog entries.

TPG’s Personal Insurance Referral Program Winner

Takahiro of Tualatin, OR is the winner of the personal insurance referral program for the fourth quarter of 2018. As part of our referral program, they have received a $100 VISA Gift Card. Also, The Partners Group makes a $10 donation for every referral received to the non-profit of the quarter. This quarter, The Partners Group will be donating to Raphael House.

To learn more about the personal insurance referral program, click here.


TPG’s Personal Insurance Referral Program Winner

Rachel of Vancouver, WA is the annual winner of the personal insurance referral program for 2018. As part of our referral program, they have received a $250 VISA Gift Card and a $250 donation to their chosen charity. Rachel has selected to donate to the YWCA of Vancouver.


To learn more about the personal insurance referral program, click here.


When Water Goes Where it Shouldn’t

If you live in the beautiful Northwest, you are likely mentally preparing yourself for the next few months of our rainy season! Many of you might be researching a sunshine vacation now.  As a homeowner, water damage can be challenging, frustrating and expensive. Read here to understand how your homeowners insurance works with water losses and tips on how to prevent water damage from occurring. 


Read this article about protecting your home from water damage




Carrie McHale

Managing Director, Personal Lines

Contact: cmchale@tpgrp.com / 503.726.5668

Carrie McHale is affiliated with Geneos Wealth Management, Inc.





Investment Committee Fourth Quarter Update

From the TPG Investment Committee: 

The fourth quarter has been ugly for stocks around the world. After a wonderful third quarter, U.S. stocks (as represented by the S&P 500) have declined around 15% from the high in October. As unsettling as that may sound, the magnitude of this selloff isn’t out of the ordinary for typical intra-year declines:

The chart above shows how the size of any given drop in a year (red dot) doesn’t often predict how the full year will turn out (gray bar). While a drop near the end of the year certainly leaves little time to recover, there are years shown above where intra-year drops of 20-30% still result in a positive return for the full year. The takeaway is that swings in the stock market – even big ones – are a normal part of a healthy market.

While the exact cause of this selloff can be debated (and constantly is on TV), one of our jobs is to decipher the signal from the noise. This could be another correction like we saw in January/February that ended up recovering and heading higher or the start of a new season in stocks. Regardless, we build client portfolios to endure downswings, not avoid them, and your particular time horizon and financial plan matters more than the swings of the stock market over a few weeks. As always, we are monitoring our indicators and will make portfolio changes if necessary.

We encourage your comments and questions at any time. 


Michael W. Gallagher, CFA
Director of Investments





Health Matters: to Your Employees, to Your Bottom Line, to the Health of your Company

Problem: Rising Health Plan Costs and Undetected Health Issues are Continuously Escalating to High Cost Claims

HR executives, CFOs, and CEOs must continually find new ways to manage health plan costs to keep up with increasingly competitive markets. They are forced to do more with less while offering dynamic benefits packages to attract and keep the best industry talent. What can employers do when facing these challenges? Is a large claims crystal ball the new tool required for successful HR and Benefits leaders? Even if we could predict the future, how would we change it? Click below to gain access to this whitepaper and about possible solutions for your organization.







12 Days of Christmas – The Partners Group version!

Employees gather together for a rendition of this Christmas classic. Wishing you a safe, happy, and FUN holiday season from all of us at The Partners Group. Happy Holidays!

As the largest benefits broker in the Northwest, we believe local commitment and service is only a starting point. Our core values include having FUN and spreading joy throughout the year. Check out our holiday video to see our wonderful teams putting these values in action!

When we’re not coming together for holiday shenanigans, The Partners Group serves the financial and insurance needs of employers, medical professionals, and successful individuals with services including employee benefits and healthcare analytics, retirement planning, wealth management, commercial and individual insurance. The Partners Group has offices in Portland, Lake Oswego, and Bend OR; Bellevue, WA; and Bozeman, MT.

About Us Subscribe


Employment Practice Liability: Coping with the Growing Risks of Workplace Misconduct

Featuring The Partners Group, HR Answers and Tonkin Torp

Click image to view video. Double click for larger video.

Oregon Business hosts a panel discussion on how to assess your risk and protect your organization against potential lawsuits and reputational damage. Community members also gathered to network and share insights on their business and experiences with workplace misconduct. Below are 5 key takeaways from this discussion followed by an audience Q&A.

Read an overview of the discussion published by the Oregon Business Magazine by clicking here.



Linda Baker, Editor, Oregon Business


Laurie Grenya, co-President of HR Answers, a provider of Human Resources training and consultations. HR Answers supports attorneys in their preparation for litigation as well writing policies and investigating harassment claims. Laurie brings 15 years’ experience in harassment in both private and public sectors.

Haley Morrison, partner with Tonkon Torp, primarily counsels on harassment and discrimination practices. Tonkin Torp provides litigation, advice and counsel including all employment defense work for a number of different employers of all sizes. Haley started her practice in California and focuses on employers on the West Coast.

Roxanna Jessen, Account Executive at The Partners Group, who focuses on commercial insurance markets and employment practice liability. The Partners Group is among the largest independent benefits brokers in the Northwest with services including commercial insurance, employee benefits analytics, wellness programs, wealth management, retirement plan consulting and personal insurance.

Contact The Partners Group Subscribe […]


FMI Webinar part 1

Webinar Series
Passing the Baton: Taking the Mystery Out of Succession Planning

December 12th, 2018 / 10am 11am PST


The Partners Groups welcomes FMI to this webinar series. Session 1 will introduce attendees to the options available for company owners and leaders for transferring ownership of their business. We will discuss both external and internal options including topics such as the current M&A market, valuation, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other stock transfer techniques.

Register Now

Subsequent webinars in this series include: 
Part 2 – December 19th, 2018 / 10 am to 11 am PST- Succession Management. Register here
Part 3 – January 3rd, 2018 / 10 am to 11 am PST – Personal Leader/Emotional. Register here
Join a happy hour to meet the FMI and TPG Teams – January 22nd, 2019 / 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm PST, The Harvest Wine Bar, Lake Oswego, OR.


RSVP for Happy Hour

Presented by:

Presented by-
Matthew Drake, Director, FMI Capital Advisors
Matt Drake is a Director with FMI Capital Advisors, FMI’s registered investment banking subsidiary. 



Healthcare Industry Employer Fights Rising Health Plan Costs

Success Story: Healthcare Industry Employer Fights Rising Health Plan Costs

By Helping Employees Detect and Treat Serious Health Conditions in Advance

Every year employers analyze the previous year’s cost data and find that five percent of the insured population drove 50% of plan costs. Often, one percent of insureds are responsible for 25% of total costs! What is driving their need for medical services? What can be done to manage their medical costs, while maintaining or even improving their treatment and outcomes?

Typically, the top five percent of health plan costs can be attributed to catastrophic accidents and new cancer diagnoses. Identifying large claimants from the previous year is a standard practice in the healthcare industry. However, it is reactive. While measures can be taken to manage the cost of continuing treatment for these hardships, initial costs have already been incurred. Future interventions will have limited impact. The money has been spent. Plus, in a given year, it’s not unusual for more than 50% of high-cost claimants to turn over.

Would early detection have improved their outcomes and cost? You bet it would have! Individuals who fail to practice preventive care may be unaware of existing or developing health conditions that, left untreated, have a high probability of adversely impacting their health and productivity. For example, detecting and treating cancer at an early stage can and does save lives, as well as money.1 But how can employers possibly foresee large claims? Is a large claims crystal ball the new tool required for successful HR and Benefits leaders? Even if we could predict the future, how would we change it?

Employers need programs to help employees identify unknown and emerging health risks and direct them to the right care at the right time, early, and ideally […]


Three Strategies to Manage Health Insurance Renewal Increases

As January approaches, approximately 70% of employers who offer health benefits to their employees are getting ready to begin their renewal process. Most organizations feel like they have very little control or insight into why premiums continue to rise which makes budgeting for health benefits very difficult. Experts agree that heading into 2019, the medical cost trend should remain stable around 6%*, however many employers continue to see double-digit premium increases from their insurance carriers. With the right strategy in place, you can keep costs down for your organization and your employees without slashing your benefits program.

1) Know your options and negotiate
Many employers going through their renewal process are faced with the imminent question “to bid or not to bid”. Insurance carriers will often offer a reduction to their renewal if an employer is willing to forgo a market review. But how do you know if you are getting the best deal? If you have access to your claims data and work with a sophisticated insurance broker, there should never be a surprise at renewal time. However, many employers don’t have access to their data or work with a broker who relies on the insurance carrier to do the underwriting for them.  Insurance carriers will typically provide very rational reasons for requesting premium hikes such as “you had a large claim” or “your population is getting older” however a good broker should be able to point out considerations the insurance company should take to lower your premiums. In addition, they should be well versed in market trends to ensure you are getting the best pricing, terms, and conditions based on your employee demographics. Plus, they should try to lock those terms in under a multi-year rate guarantee.

2) Consider a refundin[…]


The Partners Group Welcomes Stuart Croff to the Employee Benefits Washington Team

Bellevue, WA – The Partners Group (TPG) announces it has added Stuart Croff as a consultant in the Employer Services Division.

Stuart brings over seven years of experience working for major health insurance carriers in the Pacific Northwest to TPG. He recently worked as a Senior Sales Executive at Regence BlueShield. His expertise includes benefit plan design and alternative funding strategies. Prior to working in insurance, Stuart focused on payroll and human resource information systems. Stuart has a passion for helping employers achieve their strategic goals by delivering creative solutions which cater to their long-term needs.

“Stuart brings versatile benefits experience with an understanding of the HR technologies necessary for implementation. His addition to the Employee Benefits team continues our mission to provide innovative benefits solutions to employers.” says Todd Miller, Managing Consultant, Employee Benefits Division at The Partners Group.

Stuart was born and raised in Washington and holds a degree in Public Relations from Central Washington University. In his free time, Stuart enjoys the outdoors with his wife, golfing and participating in water and snow sports. Stuart and his wife welcomed their first child into the world in summer 2018.

Founded in 1981, The Partners Group has been serving the financial and insurance needs of employers, medical professionals, and successful individuals for over 37 years. They are an independent consulting firm with over 160 employees, and services including employee benefits, retirement planning and investment services, commercial and personal insurance. The Partners Group has offices in Bellevue, WA; Portland, OR; Lake Oswego, OR; Bend, OR; and Bozeman, MT. For more information, please visit http://www.thepartnersgroup.com. 877-455-5640.


The Partners Group welcomes Tim Kelly to the Physician’s Advisory Team

Portland, OR – The Partners Group (TPG) announces it has added Tim Kelly as a consultant in the Group Physicians Advisory Services division (GPAS). TPG is one of the few firms in the U.S. to focus on multi-specialty medical groups, serving physicians both as active members of the medical group and as retired members, in addition to the teams that work with them.

Tim excels at helping people and organizations solve complex problems. He guides customers to arrive at the right solution that best fits their needs by conducting a comprehensive appraisal of the underlying details, regardless of the point at issue.  “Tim’s technical acumen and consulting background make him a wonderful addition to the GPAS team. Additionally, Tim greatly contributes to our mission of serving physician groups with innovative solutions.” says Brad Nantz, Executive Vice President of Physician Services at The Partners Group.

Tim began working in the employee benefits industry in 2009. As a leading sales consultant for one of the nation’s largest disability insurance providers, Tim amassed a highly-technical understanding of risk, the impacts of disability on employer organizations, strategies to combat absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace, enhancing corporate leave processes, and helping employers remain compliant in a rapidly changing regulatory environment.  Tim’s unique insights into disability and leave best practices allow him to guide employers as they optimize their programs, while helping them shift the focus away from the complexities of disability and back to improving their bottom lines.

Tim has a Business degree from Oregon State University where he also competed as a student-athlete. He is engaged with several charitable organizations and loves spending time with his wife and their son. When he is not working or spending time with family, Tim enjoys playing the guitar, snow skiing, mountain biking, golfing, […]


The Partners Group Green Team Receives Gold Status for Both the Leaders in Sustainability (Clackamas County) & the Green Business Award (Washington County) Certification Programs

The Partners Group, a leading Northwest based provider of employee benefits, insurance and financial consulting services, is excited to be named as one of Washington’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, an award based solely on employee feedback.

TPG's Employee Team Building Day

Picture 1 of 7

Seattle Business Magazine salutes Washington’s award-winning companies who set the standard for leadership, benefits, work environment, training programs and more. The 100 Best Companies to Work For award is achieved by employees participating in an anonymous, extensive survey that focuses on company qualities such as: values, execution, leadership and culture.


The Partners Group Welcomes Tim Deggendorfer to the Portland Commercial Insurance Team

Commercial Insurance Portland ORPortland, OR – The Partners Group (TPG) announces it has added Tim Deggendorfer as Team Lead, Commercial Insurance Division – Portland. Tim brings extensive industry knowledge to TPG after 20 years’ experience in sales and account management. Most recently he was Managing Principal at RiskPoint Insurance advisors. Previously, Tim started and developed a full-service agency focusing on commercial markets in addition to providing employee benefits and personal insurance. In his role at TPG, Tim focuses on developing commercial business organically and integrating current clients into TPG’s suite of commercial services. He is also responsible for identifying new producers to grow the Portland Commercial Insurance team. Tim has a B.S. in Economics from Lewis and Clark College and is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). When away from work, Tim enjoys traveling with his daughter, exploring central Oregon, and staying involved with Youth Sports.

“Tim provides TPG with a strong Commercial presence in the Portland market and is a cornerstone of our continued growth in Oregon.” says Craig Pankow, Managing Director of Commercial Insurance Division at The Partners Group.

Founded in 1981, The Partners Group has been serving the financial and insurance needs of employers, medical professionals, and successful individuals for over 35 years. They are an independent consulting firm with over 140 employees, and services including employee benefits, retirement planning and investment services, commercial and individual insurance. The Partners Group has offices in Bellevue, WA; Portland, OR; Lake Oswego, OR; Bend, OR; and Bozeman, MT. For more information, please visit https://www.thepartnersgroup.com. 503-241-9550.



New Webinar on Employee Benefit Legislative Updates

The Partners Group is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, February 27th from 10:00am – 11:00am PST / 11:00am – 12:00pm MST, entitled “Employee Benefits Legislative Update”.

Register Now for Webinar

This webinar has been specifically designed for CFOs, HR leaders and employee benefits professionals. The webinar will provide a national legislative update in addition to state updates specific to employers headquartered in Oregon, Washington and Montana. We will discuss:

  • The potential impact of the new tax plan on employee benefits
  • EEOC wellness rules update
  • State legislative updates
  • Updates to the ACA including:
    • Shared responsibility payments
    • Employer reporting
    • Elimination of individual mandate
    • Minimum essential coverages

Join our team on February 27th for a one hour webinar that will address what you need to know
about the new legislative updates.

Our Presenter:

Sarah Friend
Executive Vice President, The Partners Group
Click for bio





Register Now for Webinar



The Partners Group Expands Bozeman, MT Office with New Hire in Employee Benefits

employee-benefits-bozeman-montanaBozeman, MT- The Partners Group (TPG) is excited to add Joshua Lever as an Employee Benefits Account Manager to the Bozeman, MT team. TPG’s Employer Services Division specializes in providing employee benefits, retirement plan consulting, data analytics, plus health and wellness services.

Josh brings extensive knowledge and industry insight to TPG after working with a large independent health insurance brokerage in Montana. During that time, he led the sales team and became an insider expert in small group funding strategies and group disability benefits. Josh holds a Montana Life & Disability Producer License and is ACA certified. A University of Western Australia alum, Josh has over three years of benefits experience in Montana.

Outside of work, you can find Josh spending the winter skiing at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. In the summer months he often goes hiking and wildlife spotting around Yellowstone National Park. An Aussie at heart, Josh is keen on exploring the great outdoors and recently took up fly fishing.

Founded in 1981, The Partners Group has been serving the financial and insurance needs of employers, medical professionals, and successful individuals for over 35 years. The Partners Group is the largest independent employee benefit firm in the northwest. In addition to employee benefits, TPG specializes in retirement planning and investment services, commercial insurance and personal insurance. The Partners Group has offices in Bellevue, WA; Portland, OR; Lake Oswego, OR; Bend, OR; and Bozeman, MT. For more information, please visit https://www.thepartnersgroup.com. 425-455-5640.


TPG’s Personal Insurance Referral Program Winner

David Lucas and Lori Hedgecock

David Lucas of Portland, OR is the winner of the personal insurance referral program for the fourth quarter of 2017. As part of our referral program, David has received a $100 VISA Gift Card. Also, The Partners Group will make a $10 donation for every referral received to the non-profit of the quarter. This quarter, The Partners Group will be donating $260 to Friends of the Children – Portland. 

Friends of the Children started with three friends committed to transforming the lives of our most vulnerable children and ending cycles of generational poverty. Today, Friends of the Children – Portland has 50 Friends guiding, supporting and mentoring almost 500 children across the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area.

To learn more about the personal insurance referral program, click here.


How Bitcoin Measures Up as a Currency

The excitement over Bitcoin is hard to miss. Countless articles in the popular press have brought the new investment device to the forefront, and the stories of astronomical returns over the past year (week!?!) have enticed untold thousands to spend their hard-earned money on the mysterious electronic “coin.” As exciting as that is, we wonder how closely Bitcoin matches the expectations of an actual currency.

For those of you who ever had to take an Econ 101 class, you may recall that true money serves three functions: 1) it is a store of value over time, 2) it is a medium of exchange – it is used in financial transactions and 3) it is a unit of account – it used to measure the value of goods. Let’s see how Bitcoin measures up to these three tasks today.

Store of Value.  For people to have faith in a currency it must be a dependable way to store value over time. Most of us think this means the currency should not lose value (and that’s true), but the opposite is also true: it shouldn’t be prone to dramatic increases in value, either. The truth is that volatility (a measure of risk) is influenced by changes in prices, be they positive or negative. In the case of Bitcoin, the recent run-up in prices has shown Bitcoin to be quite volatile. What’s the big deal if price jumps up dramatically? Imagine for a moment that you want to sell something valuable and want to accept Bitcoins as payment. And what if that valuable item involves a relatively long sales cycle? What price do you set? If you pick 1000 bitcoins today and the sale takes 60 days to complete, will your buyer still want to pay you 1000 Bitcoins if […]


Is Your Family A Cyber Crime Target?

Tips and precautions to ensure you’re not an EASY target. 

Everyone is aware how prevalent cybercrime is today. There’s identity theft, phishing emails, phone scams, identity fraud and more. The reality is, you are likely already a target and it’s just a matter of time until you become the next victim.

The sophistication of cybercrime against individuals is increasing at exponential rates. According to Christie Alderman, Vice President, Client Product and Service Manager at Chubb Insurance, “We used to see that somebody would just steal a credit card. Now we see situations like people stealing your medical identification and your insurance coverage and going to get medical services under your name. Now their blood type is on your records”. This is scary stuff!

For families that prefer to take precautions, here are some tips to ensure you are not an EASY target:

Be wary of public Wi-Fi. Always use secure connections when connecting online in public places. If you must use an unsecure connection, never check your bank account balances or log into credit card sites. This information can easily be stolen over an unsecure network. It’s also a best practice to turn off Bluetooth and other connectivity features when using Wi-Fi in public places.

Turn off your home computer when not in use. While it’s convenient to leave your computer on all the time, an always-on computer is more at risk to hacking.

Get a spam blocker. Spam doesn’t just mean annoying ads – it introduces several new threats, such as phishing scams.

Install anti-virus software. Digital bugs are still the most common and damaging threat to most computers.

Don’t open unknown emails. Never open attachments or click links in emails from senders you do not know. Oftentimes, attackers will embed malware in these attachments or links. You may also receive […]


The Partners Group Employees Encourage Your Support of the Union Gospel Mission

The Partners Group employees prepped and served lunch at the Union Gospel Mission’s Hope Place Shelter as a part of the TPG holiday volunteering initiative. Hope Place is a one year residential recovery program for women and children caught in cycles of abuse and addiction. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission is committed to serve, rescue and transform those who are hurting and homeless. We encourage community members to join us in support of the Hope Place Shelter and the Men’s Shelter throughout the year. 

How you can support the Union Gospel Mission:

  • Donate goods! Food, socks, blankets, toiletries. TPG Bellevue has 3 bins to fill with donations for Hope Place and the Men’s Clothing Drive.
  • Volunteer! View and register for upcoming opportunities
  • Donate financially! No matter how you give, your gift will make a difference

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission started in 1932 as a soup kitchen serving those affected by the Great Depression. That same building is now the Men’s Shelter and is supplemented by innovative programs such as Hope Place and Search and Rescue. Today, the The Union Gospel Mission provides over one million meals a year to homeless people. They are dedicated to serve, rescue and transform those in need until they’ve solved the root causes of poverty and homelessness.


Employee Benefits

The Employee Benefits Division of The Partners Group serves the employee benefit needs of over 500 West Coast employers, with offices in Portland, Lake Oswego, and Bend, OR; Bellevue, WA; and Bozeman MT. Our benefits consulting team specializes in providing a highly-consultative approach coupled with problem-solving wellness analytics, to help employers reduce healthcare costs, improve employee health, and create long-term health plan stability.

Business Consulting

The Business Consulting Division of The Partners Group is dedicated to consulting with healthcare systems and jumbo employers to manage the health and well being of their employees, families, and communities. Our focus is to provide an innovative, solution-oriented service that capitalizes on data to pinpoint potential problems. Whether it be uncovering potential sources of escalating healthcare costs, or other anomalies in data, this service provides endless, problem-solving advantages to a variety of industries.

Commercial Insurance

The Partners Group Commercial Insurance Division manages the business risks for hundreds of employers. We provide an unmatched depth and breadth in commercial insurance and risk management services combined with extraordinary people who possess an unusual ability to connect on a personal level. We work hard to understand the unique risks and exposures of your business, and identify the solutions to provide the right coverage for the right price. As an independent company The Partners Group can tailor solutions to work specifically for you, even creating new policies and programs, if that’s what you need.

Private Client Services

The Partners Group Private Client Services Division advises business owners and high income shareholder groups comprising just over 3,200 successful individuals, families and medical professionals on investment services, retirement planning, and personal insurance. We’ve been in business for over 30 years as a privately held company based in the Northwest, and we’re here to stay. Additionally, we are not tied to products and plans. We provide various platforms and a multitude of options to fit your needs, which can change over time as your life changes. When you work with TPG Private Client Services, you’re dealing with the shareholders of this firm, and we are honored to play a role your life, your family’s lives, and your next generation’s lives.