Portland, OR, Nov. 19, 2020 – The Partners Group (TPG), a leading Northwest-based insurance and financial consulting firm, is on an expedition—one that challenges industry norms. Set to summit in 2030, TPG will spend the next decade journeying toward two major goals, both rooted in the company’s purpose to make a difference in their communities through their work and inspire others to do the same.
TPG’s first goal is to give back $30M in profits to employees and their communities. The second is to expand firm ownership to 100% of their employees.
“We’re calling it Expedition 2030,” said Rod Cruickshank, CEO of TPG. “In order to reach the summit within the next decade, we know we have to be intentional about our growth. We need the right people in the right positions.”
Sarah Friend, EVP of Employer Services and Sales and Marketing, added: “Focusing on team development and growth will allow our people to do what they do best: develop innovative and cost-saving solutions for our clients. If we serve our clients well, our business will grow, and the positive impact we are able to have on our communities and employees will grow as well.”
Just ten months into the new decade, TPG’s journey has already begun.
Getting to Basecamp
“Over the past 38 years,” said Cruickshank, “TPG has been preparing for this expedition. We started out as a small consulting team focused on serving the employee benefits and individual insurance needs of Oregonians.
“Now, we’re one of the largest independent firms in the US, with over 170 employees serving clients based in the west. With 2020 as our basecamp, we’re building out the right leadership teams to help us succeed in the next decade.”
In addition to employee benefits and individual insurance, The Partners Group has developed consulting divisions in absence management, commercial insurance, healthcare analytics, retirement plans, organizational wellbeing, and wealth management.
They call their set of services the One Partner Advantage, explaining that their consultants and support teams work together across divisions as a fully integrated team of specialists, creating a cohesive experience for clients looking to strategize from a big-picture perspective.
Building the Right Team
In line with TPG’s One Partner Advantage, Craig Pankow has been promoted to Market President and Executive Vice President of Property and Casualty. In this expanded role, Pankow will continue to lead TPG’s Property and Casualty Division, while assuming greater leadership responsibilities in their Bellevue office across all products and operations.
“Our revenue and employee expansion in Washington State has been exciting, and we know there is significantly more growth to come given the team’s expertise in industry niches like healthcare, real estate, hospitality, non-profits and entertainment,” said Friend. “Craig will create and implement a common strategic vision with a focus on serving our clients through our One Partner Advantage.”
Tenured employee Kim Seely was recently promoted from Managing Director of the Employee Benefits Division to Managing Director of TPG’s entire Employer Services Division. This transition allows Seely to focus her time, talent, and strengths on operations, as well as strategizing with key division leaders in absence management, healthcare analytics, and organizational wellness.
Seely’s transition leaves space for two consultants to fill sales leadership roles. Zach Fritz (Oregon/Idaho) and Todd Miller (Washington) have been named Employee Benefits Market Practice Leaders for their respective geographies. Fritz and Miller will work to support TPG’s growing number of employee benefit consultants and account executives.
“These team members are well-versed in their respective geographic markets and provide innovative and cost-savings strategies for our clients,” said Friend.
Following the promotion of Brad Nantz to President effective in January 2020, Tim Kelly was promoted to Managing Consultant of the Group Physician Advisory Services division, TPG’s highly specialized team that serves the unique insurance needs of large multi-specialty healthcare delivery systems. The Group Physician Advisory Services team also recently welcomed Thomas Bookman as a Practice Leader to serve their growing number of clients in this niche specialty.
TPG recently hired Chase Sterling as Managing Director of the PartnerWell Division, which provides workplace wellbeing consulting and solutions for employers. Sterling has previously worked for organizations such as Cigna, Wounded Warrior Project, and Google. She is passionate about improving business outcomes by improving the wellbeing of the overall organization.
With PartnerWell’s new director comes an evolved vision and strategy.
“Wellbeing is multifaceted, as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic,” said Sterling.
“PartnerWell uses Gallup’s Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing as its guide, which addresses physical, career, social, community, and financial wellbeing. We focus on employee engagement through the lens of wellbeing.
“Employee engagement has direct effects on revenue, employee health, employee retention, and absenteeism. We partner with employers to establish organizational wellbeing, which means creating supportive structures, leadership, managers, policies, and environments where employees can be happy, healthy, and productive.”
Another employer services division, Total Absence Management, recently launched a product unlike anything else in the leave and absence industry. Absence Navigator+ allows employers to manage leave of absence programs effectively while maintaining complex regulatory compliance rules.
It is comprised of six easy-to-use tools and resources, including: a subscription to Leave Genius, a simple cloud-based web application designed to help clients make the right decisions when faced with a request for leave; subject matter expertise consulting; a membership to the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC); Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training for managers; Leave of Absence and ADA letter suites and workflows; and regular compliance updates and webinar series.
“The environment for leave and disability management is increasingly complex and costly,” said John Hartz, Managing Director of Total Absence Management, “requiring employers to develop and deploy new strategies for workforce productivity and absence management.
“TPG understands this marketplace need and has seen the absence management business grow momentum since its inception. This puts our team in a strong position to execute and lead the market through innovative service strategies and new product offerings.”
With new roles and a growing employee population comes the need for more human resources support.
“TPG is committed to an aggressive leadership growth strategy and as such we are hiring and promoting a diverse group of talented individuals to take us into the dynamic future we are entering,” said Doreen Barnhouse, EVP of Operations at TPG. “Not only do we hire top talent, but we love to grow and promote our existing skilled staff.
“We’ve recently promoted Andrea Rennie to Director of HR and Operations in our Bellevue office. Andrea’s calm, capable approach to daily problems and strategy implementations skills gave us the opportunity to promote her quickly into the TPG-North leadership team.”
TPG’s leadership expansion plans will provide much needed infrastructure for their expected growth over the next decade.
“Our managing directors lead with a strong employee-centric philosophy that enables our staff to serve clients at the highest level,” said Barnhouse. “In this way, we attract top talent in our region to join us in our journey to deliver the best experience in our field and give back to our employees and communities.”
First Steps Toward Success
Basecamp planning doesn’t end with leadership changes and new products. In September, TPG celebrated the launch of the TPG Foundation, a newly qualified 501c(3) dedicated to “making a difference in the communities we live and work by investing in the health, wellbeing, and education of the next generation.”
The Foundation wrote its first check to the American Red Cross, Cascades Region for $30K to aid in the recent wildfire disasters throughout the Pacific Northwest.
“The TPG Foundation is one major mechanism that will allow us to get to our 2030 goal of giving $30M,” said Cruickshank.
“The Foundation will take on the responsibility of running major community fundraising events so that we can give significant and game-changing gifts to non-profits that are making a big difference in our communities. We couldn’t be more excited to have taken this huge step toward our purpose as an organization.”
Lisa Veber, who has served as Executive Assistant to Cruickshank since 2013, will expand her responsibilities to serve as Executive Director for the TPG Foundation.
Veber’s heart for service and the community—combined with her masterful skills in event planning, operations, and execution—make her the perfect fit for this new role.
“Why does this expedition matter to our current or potential clients?” asked Cruickshank. “It’s simple. When a private equity owned firm or publicly traded firm works in our marketplace, they send all of their profits out of state or to a small group of owners.
“When TPG executes on our purpose and gives back to our people and communities, the profit we earn stays local.”
“When companies in and around the Northwest have a choice between who they want to manage their employee benefits or commercial insurance or wealth, it’s a no brainer. Our core customer wants to work with an organization that invests significant resources back into the communities.”
The Partners Group is a purpose-driven, employee-owned consulting, insurance, and financial services firm. They partner with individuals and businesses across the nation to solve problems by building custom strategies that discover, protect, and enhance the future. The Partners Group has been named one of the top 100 largest insurance brokerage firms in the US. Our consulting services include employee benefits, retirement plan, wellness, total absence management, healthcare analytics, wealth management, and commercial and personal insurance. For more information, please visit www.thepartnersgroup.com or call 800-722-6339.
Advisory services offered through TPG Financial Advisors, LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor and a wholly owned subsidiary of The Partners Group, LTD.