Two Prestigious Canadian Firms Named Founding Members

CLEVELAND, OH and TORONTO, CANADA (4/14/21) – Benefit Advisors Network (BAN), the premiere international network of independent employee benefit firms, is pleased to announce that it has launched in Canada, with Owen & Associates and The Leslie Group becoming the first two firms accepted as members of BAN Canada.  

“We are excited to open up our network to the ’best of the best’ employee benefit advisors in Canada and thrilled to have two of the country’s most highly-regarded benefits firms as our founding members,” says Perry Braun, Executive Director, Benefit Advisors Network.

“We see expansion into Canada as an opportunity to provide our neighbors to the north with access to cutting-edge technologies, internationally-recognized experts, and exclusive partnerships that save both time and money while allowing them to strategically grow their businesses,” Braun continues. “Demand for BAN to expand into Canada has been high, particularly given the need for firms to be able to work internationally, so I am confident launching our Canadian brand represents a win-win for both our current members and our new alliances in Canada.”  

Both Owen & Associates and The Leslie Group pride themselves on being strategic and innovative problem-solvers, partnering with clients around the globe to develop highly customized, affordable, and flexible solutions for their employee benefit programs.

“With a large percent of our clients based internationally, including a significant portion in California’s Silicon Valley, we see membership in BAN as an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded firms across Canada and the U.S.,” says Michael Owen, President, Owen & Associates. “Affiliation with BAN represents a real value-add for us as well as our partners firms and our rapidly growing client base.”

“Having worked with BAN members over the past decade and been the Canadian resource officially since 2018, we have successfully supported BAN members in their business growth.  Collaboration has been effective in winning against the Aon’s and Mercers by having not just another office in another country, but a best-in-practice partner,” continues Owen.

Owen adds, “In performing our due diligence, we found that BAN stood out among other benefits associations.  It is widely regarded as the premier organization in the field.  Membership will continue to benefit our partners and our clients.”

The Leslie Group also evaluated other large international organizations and chose BAN for similar reasons. “We believe the business planning tools and client resources BAN offers will enhance our firm’s continued growth and enhance the value proposition for our clients.  We appreciate the high-quality resources that BAN membership adds to the arsenal of customer solutions that we already provide to our clients, regardless of their physical location,” says Shawn Leslie, President and CEO of The Leslie Group.

“There is a big push for the globalization of employee benefits, with over 40% of our clients having operations or the head office outside of Canada. We are finding mid- sized and large, international companies want one employee benefit organization to handle their benefits for their entire enterprise across the globe. To this point, we have already had the opportunity to utilize the BAN model in a recent joint sales presentation. This strategic partnership made a significant difference, as we were able to meet all of this organization’s benefits requirement for all their locations in both Canada and the U.S., helping us to be awarded their benefit contract. We were chosen over two large international employee benefit consulting firms due to the combined resources we were able to offer,” continues Leslie.

BAN intentionally limits membership to top-tier firms only. The organizational philosophy of collaboration while providing world-class resources, such as preferred pricing arrangements and direct access to underwriters, has helped its members continue to grow despite a sluggish economy as a result of the pandemic. The addition of Owen & Associates and The Leslie Group further supports BAN’s network, where member agencies work as peers to pool their experience, industry knowledge, and data in order to streamline and maximize their growth.

About BAN

Founded in 2002, BAN is an exclusive, premier, international network of independent, employee benefits 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 benefits customers. BAN intentionally limits membership because of the highly collaborative interactions. For more information, visit the Company’s website at

About The Leslie Group

The Leslie Group is Canada’s fastest-growing independent employee benefits consulting firm with clients located across Canada. The firm has full access to the group benefits marketplace with significant leverage to negotiate effectively with all prospective insurance companies. They work with clients to manage both their existing group insurance benefits and group retirement programs and provide in-house education and communication services. The Leslie Group can implement new or enhanced group benefits programs with competitive and sustainable pricing as well as plan designs that are competitive within clients’ benchmark standards, meeting the needs of both the employer and its employees. The Leslie Group is headquartered in Toronto with satellite offices across Canada. To learn more visit

About Owen & Associates
Established more than 40 years ago, Owen & Associates has a presence in not only in North America but also the global marketplace. Owen & Associates is a leading consulting and brokerage firm that helps global companies establish and manage comprehensive employee benefit solutions for their Canadian businesses.  The firm was established with a vision of combining industry expertise with a client-centered approach to deliver outstanding service and unique solutions to our clients. The single-source approach to group, retirement, third party administration, and global access coupled with best-in-practice partners has resulted in significant growth year-over-year, a key differentiator separating Owen & Associates from the competition. We also provide the expertise and resources needed for outstanding technical support, another key differentiator. Our firm supports our clients in every province and territory in Canada.  For more information, please visit


CONTACT: Jessica Tiller

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