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Countering costs

Rutherfoord expands to help clients cut health-care expense

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Print this page by Doug Childers

A recent acquisition by its parent company has boosted the benefits practice of Rutherfoord, a Virginia-based brokerage founded in 1916.

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC acquired Strategic Benefit Solutions Inc. (SBS), a benefits brokerage and consulting firm based in the Atlanta area. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SBS now operates within Marsh & McLennan Agency’s Rutherfoord division, which joined the company in a merger last year. Among other services, SBS helps clients manage their health-care costs through health improvement and productivity initiatives.

The January acquisition of SBS came less than a year after the passage of federal health-care reform laws. Nonetheless, the deal wasn’t motivated by the new legislation, says John Stanchina, Rutherfoord’s president. “Health-care reform is a moving target,” and that wasn’t the primary focus of the acquisition, he says. “Our commitment is to help our clients navigate through the new legal changes.”

In addition to enhancing Rutherfoord’s market position in Atlanta, SBS broadens the division’s depth and skill sets in comprehensive population health management programs, Stanchina says. Such programs seek to improve employee health and lower company costs.  Stanchina describes the move as an extension of Rutherfoord’s strategic plan to help clients find creative solutions to nagging business problems.

“Health care is one of the most expensive cost drivers for our clients,” Stanchina says.  “We thought this would help make them more competitive and help their employees for the long-term.”

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