Alera Group snaps up Seattle firm

Alera Group | January 24, 2020

Alera Group has acquired Seattle-based Muench Financial. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Muench Financial works with small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Northwest. Its service offerings included the evaluation of retirement plan features, plan participant education, monitoring and evaluating plan investments, and implementing effective retirement programs. “We are excited to join Alera Group, and we look forward to continued growth with the power of national resources behind us,” said Jon Muench, president of Muench Financial. “Our goal, as always, is to serve our clients with excellence, and as an Alera Group company, we will be even better equipped to do that.”

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The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland, (CEOGC) is a nonprofit organization and the Community Action Agency for Cuyahoga County that assists residents in achieving their full potential. The Council delivers education, personal and professional development programs and support services to residents of Cuyahoga County. Programs include Early Head Start (birth to three), Head Start (three to five years of age).


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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Custard Insurance Adjusters Announces New Dedicated Special Investigation Unit

SIU | March 09, 2022

Custard Companies is pleased to announce the launch of their new dedicated full-service Special Investigation Unit (SIU). Established through their recent acquisition of Specialty Group Inc. (SGI) out of Winter Haven, FL, the investigation unit will operate under the leadership of George Perez, Director, SIU Division. Perez joined Specialty Group Inc. after retiring from a successful long-term career with the Walgreens Company as Corporate Manager for Special Investigations, and prior to that retiring as Master Sergeant with the US Air Force. Both positions provided Perez with a wealth of experience within the surveillance range of services. During his employment with SGI, Perez's experience and expertise in protective service operations, fraud, loss prevention, risk management, surveillance and investigations provided for successful growth of SGI's Surveillance Unit. The SIU Division gives CIA the ability to completely manage a claim file "in house". We have the resources to investigate any "red flags" without moving the file outside of CIA. This "one stop shop" approach will support our Customers without requiring them to go outside of CIA to hire a Private Investigations Company to conduct SIU related activity. We are a full-service Special Investigation Unit with national investigation and surveillance capabilities." Perez The SIU provides nationwide coverage to perform a variety of standalone services related to any investigation, including: Fraud Investigation Surveillance Data Investigation Services (Social Media, etc.) Hospital and Medical Canvass Vehicle/Tag/Registration Searches Background Checks (three levels) Field Adjuster Support. A dedicated SIU division will allow us to further meet our clients' needs through detailed investigative activity and full surveillance capabilities. Not only that, but it will also act as a resource for our field adjusters. This will ensure our clients quickly have access to the most detailed claim information and any red flags encountered during the claims handling process are vetted. We're extremely excited to have the SIU Team on board." Senior Vice President of Operations, R W Custard.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

U.S. Insurance Commissioners Endorse Internationally Recognized Climate Risk Disclosure Standard for Insurance Companies

naic.org | April 11, 2022

A bipartisan group of state insurance regulators led by Insurance Commissioners Ricardo Lara of California and David Altmaier of Florida adopted a new standard for insurance companies to report their climate-related risks, in alignment with the international Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The TCFD standard is the international benchmark for climate risk disclosure and will help insurance regulators and the public to better understand the climate-related risks to the U.S. insurance market, which is the largest in the world. This announcement during the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) spring meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, puts U.S. state insurance regulators on the forefront of climate risk disclosure to protect consumers. Commissioners Lara and Altmaier are co-chairs of the NAIC Climate Risk & Resiliency Task Force (Task Force), which was established in 2020 to coordinate all of the NAIC's domestic and international efforts on climate-related risk and resiliency issues. The Task Force developed the new TCFD-aligned survey over a 14-month public participation process led by Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi and Rhode Island Superintendent Elizabeth Dwyer in coordination with Commissioners Lara and Altmaier, and marks the first update to the NAIC's Climate Risk Disclosure Survey approach since it was created in 2010. The Task Force determined that implementing a TCFD-aligned disclosure framework would enhance transparency about how insurance companies manage climate-related risks and opportunities and incorporate international best practices, among other benefits that the Task Force identified in the new standard. Insurance regulators from France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom currently require TCFD-aligned reports. U.S. financial regulators such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are also taking steps toward requiring TCFD-aligned disclosures for other financial institutions. Our global climate crisis affects every state, requiring us to reach across partisan divides to find solutions that protect all people, By holding insurance companies to this global standard for climate disclosure, insurance regulators are showing the power of united leadership in our efforts to address climate change and reduce the negative impacts on insurance consumers." California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. The NAIC's action shows that our system of state-based insurance regulation remains strong and flexible in responding to changing conditions in our markets and our world, Thank you to my fellow regulators for your commitment to work together to protect consumers." Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. We have all been affected by climate-related events, including wildfires, floods, and increased extreme weather. The first NAIC climate risk survey, created more than 10 years ago, led the way at the time, and it's great to see the NAIC lead again by being the first U.S. financial system regulator to adopt TCFD-aligned disclosure requirements, I'm grateful for the robust participation in this process over the past year and the strong support to adopt internationally aligned climate risk disclosures, and I look forward to continuing our work by supporting insurers in shifting to this new reporting framework." Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi. Aligning U.S. insurance companies' climate disclosures with the global norm is a major step forward to protect financial markets and consumers who rely on insurance for safety and security, The bipartisan leadership of Commissioner Lara of California and Commissioner Altmaier of Florida is in short supply around the globe. It is needed more than ever before as we address climate-related financial risks across investment portfolios and global supply chains." Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Combined Insurance Announces Grants to Support Military Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families

Combined Insurance | April 29, 2022

Combined Insurance, a Chubb company and a leading North American provider of supplemental insurance sold both directly to individuals and at the worksite, today announced charitable grants to two nonprofits focused on supporting military service members, veterans, and their families. The contributions are in keeping with the company's longstanding philanthropic efforts and its enduring commitment to giving back to those who have served the nation. The recipient organizations are: Luke's Wings, which provides for emergency travel by the families of ill and injured service members, veterans, and fallen officers during hospital recovery and rehabilitation. Fisher House Foundation, which builds comfort homes at military and VA medical centers so that family members can stay nearby - at no cost - while a loved one is in the hospital. The grants are part of Operation Veteran Giveback, a nationwide Combined sales competition in which the two highest-performing zone teams earn the honor of selecting a military- or veteran-related grant recipient. The first-place Northeast Zone team (with a market territory extending from Maine to New Jersey) selected Luke's Wings; the second-place South Zone team (encompassing markets from Texas to Kentucky) selected Fisher House Foundation. We appreciate Combined's continued support of our efforts on behalf of military, veteran, and police families during their most difficult times, It's our mission to reunite heroes with family members, so they can receive critical emotional support during recovery and rehabilitation." Fletcher Gill, Co-Founder and CEO of Luke's Wings. By supporting Fisher House, Combined is helping military and veteran family members avoid tremendous out-of-pocket costs for lodging while a service member is in the hospital, We believe that a family's love is good medicine, and our houses help bring loved ones together during critical months of treatment and recovery." Dave Coker, President of Fisher House Foundation. In addition to supporting military and veteran-focused nonprofit organizations, Combined is strongly committed to hiring military veterans. The company established its military recruiting program in 2010, and has hired more than 5,500 veterans, military spouses, and their family members since then. This year's Operation Veteran Giveback program is of special meaning to us at Combined as we celebrate our 100th anniversary this year and honor our company's philanthropic traditions, Each year, our sales teams are proud to compete for the chance to give back to those who have made great sacrifices for the country." Mat Matarrese, Senior Vice President, U.S. Agency at Combined Insurance. About Combined Insurance Combined Insurance Company of America is a Chubb company and a leading provider of supplemental accident, health, disability, and life insurance products in the U.S.* and Canada. Headquartered in Chicago with a tradition of 100 years of success, we are committed to making the world of supplemental insurance easy to understand. The company has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau and an A + (Superior) financial strength rating by A.M. Best. We are ranked by VIQTORY as the number one Military Friendly® Employer in 2022 ($1-5 billion revenue category), marking Combined's eleventh consecutive year on the Top 10 list.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Paychex Wins Two Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Awards

Brandon Hall Group, Inc. | December 23, 2021

Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance solutions, has won two Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Awards. The company's Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Service was recognized by Brandon Hall Group with a gold award for Excellence in Technology in the "Best Advance in HR or Workforce Management Technology for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses" category, and Paychex Pre-Check received a silver award for "Best Advance in Business Strategy and Technology Innovation." This is the ninth consecutive year that the research and analyst firm has recognized Paychex technology solutions. "HCM solution providers must be experts and visionaries in technology, but they also must have the ability to anticipate the diverse needs of employers as they work to adapt to ongoing change, This requires a blend of curiosity, empathy and agility that is difficult to achieve. We have seen an extraordinary level of insight and creativity from our Excellence in Technology winners that has been exciting to see." -Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) helps businesses claim tax credits on qualified wages paid to employees and health plan expenses in 2020 and 2021. Paychex introduced a new offering – the Paychex ERTC Service – to help businesses retroactively identify tax credits and file amended returns to claim the credit based on wages already paid. The Paychex ERTC Service leverages the Paychex Flex® technology to streamline and automate the amendment process, providing support for customers to identify and access government stimulus funds that could keep their business open. To date, the company has helped its customers apply for $6 billion in total tax credits in addition to $65 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) stimulus funds. "It is an honor for Paychex to be recognized by Brandon Hall Group for our ERTC service, which is a perfect blend of our compliance expertise, leading technology, and powerful customer support, Our team's speed and agility in implementing this solution has resulted in billions of dollars in stimulus for Paychex customers at a time when they need it the most to offset wage increases and address supply chain challenges." -Martin Mucci, Paychex CEO. Also recognized for advancements in technology innovation is Paychex Pre-Check. The Pre-Check technology provides employees the opportunity to preview their paycheck with a self-review of the gross-to-net paystub on a device of their choice to confirm its accuracy before payday. Payroll is the foundation of the employer-employee relationship. When errors occur, employers may increase the risk of losing trust and compromising retention. This critical solution was designed to increase payroll processing accuracy, reduce errors and expenses associated with payroll corrections, and offer a streamlined feedback loop between employers and employees through Paychex Flex. "Finding ways to simplify the business challenges that were amplified by the pandemic has been a driving force behind each innovation released within our cloud-based Paychex Flex software over the past year, Coupled with the human element of what we do as a service provider has led to an incredible opportunity for Paychex to make a difference for small and medium-sized businesses. We're proud of the work done to meet the needs of our customers and thankful for this validation by Brandon Hall Group." -Tom Hammond, Paychex vice president of corporate strategy and product management. A panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, and Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executives, evaluated the entries based upon the following criteria: Product: What was the product's breakthrough innovation? Unique differentiators: What makes the product unique, and how does it differ from any competing products? Value proposition: What problem does the product solve and/or what need does this product address? Measurable results: What are the benefits customers can expect to experience as a result of using this product? The complete list of Technology Excellence Award winners can be found on the Brandon Hall Group awards page. About Paychex Paychex, Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management software solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 50 years of industry expertise, Paychex served more than 710,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2021 across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. About Brandon Hall Group, Inc. With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering world class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is the most well-known and established research organization in the performance improvement industry. We conduct research that drives performance, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results. Brandon Hall Group has an extensive repository of thought leadership, research and expertise in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Human Resources. At the core of our offerings is a Membership Program that Empowers Excellence Through Content, Collaboration and Community. Our members have access to research that helps them make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, combined with research-powered advisory services customized to their needs.

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The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland, (CEOGC) is a nonprofit organization and the Community Action Agency for Cuyahoga County that assists residents in achieving their full potential. The Council delivers education, personal and professional development programs and support services to residents of Cuyahoga County. Programs include Early Head Start (birth to three), Head Start (three to five years of age).

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