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Benefit Advisors Network Admits Three Firms as Newest Members

One Based in Northern California and Two Based in Tennessee


CLEVELAND, OH (3/8/11) --- Benefit Advisors Network (BAN) has accepted three new agencies into their premier national network of elite employee benefit brokerage and consulting firms.  The newest members are Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, LLC, of Memphis, TN, TIS Insurance Services, Inc. in Knoxville, TN, and Sequoia Benefits, LLC, in San Mateo, CA.

To become a BAN member, or Smart Partner, all three firms had to successfully pass a stringent screening process. Admission to BAN designates them as the leading benefit advisory company in their respective regions.

“Benefit Advisors Network provides its Smart Partners with an ability to compete on a national scale, giving them the capabilities and resources of a national organization that enhances their service and product offerings,” said Deane Elek, BAN Director. “On the other hand, the second significant advantage of BAN is that our members have an understanding of what local employers need and want."

Founded in 1954, Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance has grown to become the largest privately-held agency in the Mid-South U.S. With about 30% of their overall business stemming from employee benefits, their producers focus on group, voluntary, and retirement plans. The staff at Lipscomb & Pitts is highly trained and organized in a manner that allows each individual to focus his/her efforts in their respected areas of expertise.

“We were impressed with the high caliber of BAN members,” said Johnny Pitts, Partner at Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance.

Pitts continues, “We really see BAN as an opportunity to obtain ideas and insight from the shared intellectual capital available through the network - and to bounce ideas and strategies off other creative minds to achieve future goals and steer clear of unnecessary failure. We are thrilled to be a part of this organization."

A Top 100 Independent Agency, according to Insurance Journal, TIS Insurance Services, Inc., has been serving the Knoxville and East Tennessee regions since 1945. TIS has grown to six separate operating divisions including Employee Benefits and Personal Lines.

TIS Insurance specializes in the construction and health care industries, providing property and casualty coverage, as well as employee benefits to customers in these niches. They are also growing their business in the physicians market with several large groups.

“TIS recognizes the increasing need to provide true value-added services to survive and thrive with our Benefits business,” said Ben Kelly, President, Employee Benefits Division, TIS Insurance Services, LLC. “Being a part of a highly professional and experienced group of peers and leaders like BAN will allow us to deliver an enhanced, best-in-class product to our customers while removing any concern in the mind of our clients and prospects that they could be missing some level of service by not dealing with a national broker."

Sequoia Benefits is a benefits broker and consultant company operating in Northern California, predominantly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Consistently emphasizing best in class service, Sequoia is always seeking new ways to add value to their services: in 2008, Sequoia added a new 401K product to the traditional health benefit offering and in 2010, they added a Property & Casualty line.

Sequoia’s specialty market  is providing employee benefits to VC-backed technology companies.  They have succeeded in this niche market and other markets, achieving a compounded average annual growth rate of 25% over the past nine years.

“Membership with BAN will provide us with the opportunity to meet and work with smart people who are all in similar business situations - the idea of learning from each other and sharing our collective knowledge is invaluable,” said Gregory Golub, President of Sequoia Benefits.

About Benefit Advisors Network

Founded in 2002 by five agencies, BAN is now the exclusive, premier, national credentialed network of independent, employee benefit brokerage and consulting companies. BAN delivers industry leading tools, technology, and expertise to member firms so that they can deliver optimum results to their employee benefit customers.  BAN’s members, known as Smart Partners partly because of their highly collaborative interactions, are screened prior to being granted membership to ensure they distinguish themselves from their competitors through their knowledge of the industry, their ethical approach, their business acumen, and their strategic vision.

To preserve and enhance the intimate level of sharing between the Smart Partners, BAN turns away more candidates than they accept - ensuring its member firms are the best of the best in their market – and are peers with the most progressive and innovative employee benefit consultants and brokers from throughout the entire country.

For more information about Benefit Advisors Network, call 440-528-0301 or visit