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Celebrating 35 Years in Business
By Robert Bensman
This month, The Bensman Group marks the 35th anniversary of the beginning of our business. It is a milestone that we never could have reached without the support of our employees, clients, friends, and strategic alliances.
I started the business Jan. 1, 1976, while a senior at the University of Illinois business school in Champaign-Urbana. I always had wanted to be a CPA, an attorney, and a physician. Since that was not possible, I decided to start a business which afforded me the opportunity to work with all three of these professions, and others.
The original focus of the business was to provide young professionals with basic insurance coverages, including life, disability, auto, home, and medical insurance. When I graduated from Illinois in May 1976, I moved my office to downtown Chicago. Today our office is located in Bannockburn, IL, between Deerfield and Lake Forest. The location of our office, however, does not limit where we do business. We currently serve clients in over 40 states.
The business and staff have grown exponentially since 1976. We have expanded our product and service offerings over the years in order to meet the needs of our clients. We have five strategic business units: Property/Casualty Insurance; Employee Benefits; Life, Disability and Long-Term Care Insurance; Investment Management; and Personal Strategic Planning.
We serve individuals who are professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, and philanthropists with net worths up to $500 million. In addition, we serve businesses and philanthropic organizations, ranging from startups to organizations with 1,000 employees. We provide them with risk management services, commercial insurance, employee benefits, and executive benefits.
In the beginning, we represented a handful of insurance carriers. Today we have expanded to better serve the growing needs of our clients, and now we represent more than 25 quality insurers. We also have developed strategic alliances in the financial services industry with nationally recognized banks, an international accounting firm, and an international investment banking organization.
We believe in always placing our clients first, and providing them with the most comprehensive and professional service possible.
Although much has changed over 35 years, the most important basic operating principles have remained the same. We still believe in and follow the same principles of doing business that were the basis when the business was started at the University of Illinois. I believe that our success is the result of these eight principles, which include:
These principles will continue to guide The Bensman Group as we continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients. I am grateful to all of our clients, employees, associates, and strategic alliances for this milestone that we have reached together, and I look forward to continuing our relationships in the years ahead!
- Operating with the highest degree of integrity.
- Listening not just to what people say, but hearing what they mean.
- Taking a sincere interest in clients’ overall well-being, not just in the area in which we provide services. We help clients keep things in perspective, and are often involved with various aspects of their lives.
- Embracing our clients’ values.
- Helping clients assemble teams of professionals they need, and working with those professionals, including accountants, attorneys, etc.
- Providing a high degree of expertise. The Bensman staff includes attorneys and CPAs. Most have significant insurance and securities certifications requiring continuing education.
- Always placing the client’s interests first.
- Understanding the client's expectations.