Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Benefits Firm, Plenary Insurance Services, Joins GNW-Evergreen, Insurance Services LLC

Employers Direct Corporation today announced that it has sold the assets of its employee benefit consulting subsidiary, Plenary Insurance Services (Plenary) to Encino based insurance broker, GNW-Evergreen Insurance Services, LLC. Terms were not disclosed.

“Plenary has developed a unique expertise and consulting model for their clients,” said Andrew Forchelli, Chief Operating Officer of GNW-Evergreen. “Their close alignment with the policyholders of their former affiliate, workers’ compensation insurer, Employers Direct Insurance Company, gave them an incredible insight into the implementation opportunities available for integrating loss control and wellness programs that offer cost-saving solutions and enhanced productivity to mid-market and small businesses.”

“At a time when California’s middle market businesses are struggling to find ways to survive and prosper in today’s distressed economy,” said Forchelli, “we are fortunate to have Plenary’s top caliber producers and account managers on our team and we are now extremely well positioned to help our clients through these troubled times of rising healthcare costs and shrinking budgets.”

The merger doubles GNW-Evergreen’s benefit revenues and makes it one of the leading providers of benefit consulting services to California’s middle market businesses. With the addition of Plenary’s offices and staff in San Diego and Seal Beach, and representation in Northern California, the transaction allows GNW-Evergreen to expand its market reach throughout California

In a simultaneous news release, Employers Direct today announced that it has sold the servicing and renewal rights to its direct written workers compensation insurance policies to GNW-Evergreen. This follows an earlier announcement by Employers Direct that they have discontinued writing on a direct basis and will be marketing their insurance policies through independent agents and brokers in the future..

According to James E. Little, CEO of Employers Direct, the sale of Plenary was, in some ways a bittersweet event. “Plenary is a very successful benefit consulting firm,” Little stated, “and our workers’ compensation policyholders enthusiastically embraced its compelling strategies for controlling health care costs and improving productivity. We believe, over time, Plenary’s ability to implement wellness programs at the workplace that attack obesity and other major cost drivers of both workers’ comp and healthcare will have a positive effect both for our policyholders and our own financial success.”

“However, now that Employers Direct will be distributing it workers’ compensation products through independent agents,” Little explained,” it was a strategic necessity to find the best possible home for Plenary with a leading insurance broker.” “We could not be more pleased that Plenary will now be a part of GNW-Evergreen, one of California’s elite insurance agencies and will be able to continue to serve our policyholders and other clients of GNW-Evergreen,” he added.

About Plenary Insurance Services

Plenary Insurance Services (“Plenary”) is a full-service, independent, employee benefit consulting firm dedicated to serving the needs of employers in the design, implementation, and ongoing management of their benefit programs. The costs of health care has continued to increase dramatically over the last several years. Non-integrated plan design, overlapping coverage, benefit gaps, and inefficient administration can prevent a business from being an effective player in today’s competitive environment. Plenary’s value-added approach closely aligns their clients’s employee benefit and workers’ compensation objectives. Special attention is given to key areas, such as, return-to-work, utilization review, wellness programs, integrated disability management, and continuity of care. This “Plenary Approach” demonstrates how integrated plan design can be effective by balancing corporate objectives with employee needs. See,

Plenary Insurance Services is a trademark of eDirect Insurance Services, Inc. and, together with Employers Direct Insurance Company (EDIC), are wholly owned subsidiaries of Employers Direct Corporation. Employers Direct Corporation is a subsidiary of Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y).

About GNW-Evergreen Insurance Services, LLC

GNW-Evergreen Insurance Services, LLC’s unwavering “client-first” approach and financial independence have earned it a reputation as the trusted choice among its more than 5,000 clients. The firm delivers some of the most advanced and effective insurance and risk management solutions available in the industry. GNW-Evergreen offers commercial, professional and management liability insurance, group benefits, industry-specific solutions, and personal insurance including its proprietary “Private Wealth Guard” program. Based in Encino, Calif., the firm was ranked by the Los Angeles Business Journal as Los Angeles County’s 16th largest insurance agency in 2008, and the sixth largest agency within the San Fernando Valley by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. For more information visit

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