Merger of employee benefits firms may set path for future deals |

Merger of employee benefits firms may set path for future deals

NNBW staff

The merger of JD Benefits and MFG Benefits, both of Reno, was a decade in the making.

But the deal that closed at the start of the New Year is unlikely to be the last of its type as MFG Benefits is investing heavily in back-office technology and staff, says Hawley MacLean, the president of MacLean Financial Group.

With the merger, Steve Dalina, the president of JD Benefits, becomes president of MFG Benefits.

The 20-year-old JD Benefits specialized in voluntary benefits supplemental programs such as disability or dental insurance for which employees pay entirely on their own, usually through a payroll deduction.

MFG Benefits, a subsidiary of MacLean Financial Group, has focused on traditional employee medical and life insurance plans. That business, MacLean says, was a natural outgrowth of MacLean Financial Group’s financial planning services to business owners.

“We complement each other really well,” MacLean says.

The merger, he says, creates a one-stop shop for employee benefits.

Dalina and MacLean, who had known one another almost since the very inception of their firms, had talked for more than 10 years about possible combination of their firms.

MFG in recent months invested heavily in back-office technology to streamline the enrollment and renewal process for employers, and the company’s additional capabilities created strong reasons for the merger.

MacLean says MFG Benefits now looks to add five to eight staff members that will allow the firm to expand its outsourced back-office HR functions.

And that, he said, may open the door to further mergers with employee-benefits agencies in the area.