NORTHAMPTON — Bill Grinnell, president of Webber & Grinnell Insurance, announced that Webber & Grinnell has purchased the group benefits department of Ernst Financial Group of East Longmeadow and has formed a new company called Webber & Grinnell Employee Benefits LLC. Mike Welnicki of Ernst Financial and Mat Geffin of Webber & Grinnell will join Grinnell as co-owners of the new corporation.
Grinnell said the entity will serve as a new employee benefits division of Webber & Grinnell and will be led by Welnicki. The move allows Webber & Grinnell to add group medical, dental, life, and disability insurance to its business insurance offerings.
“Webber & Grinnell has worked hand in hand with Ernst Financial for many years, and Mike has been a key collaborator with us on group benefits business,” Grinnell said. “This is a great opportunity to take this segment of the business to a new level. The combined services will provide clients with a really nice complement of business-insurance products.”
John Ernst founded Ernst Financial in 1990 and will continue to operate his financial-services practice. Welnicki, who has served for nine years as a partner at Ernst Financial, will join the Webber & Grinnell team, along with Gretchen Collins, an Ernst account executive for more than 15 years.
Welnicki has been working in the insurance industry, with a focus on employee-benefits practice, since graduating from Springfield College in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management. His key focus areas have been on business development as well as client relationship management.
“I have insight into the benefits, insurance, and financial challenges of businesses, ranging from manufacturers to large medical practices to nonprofit organizations and the local retailer,” Welnicki said. “In an ever-changing employee benefits environment, we will help our clients evaluate all the options for their unique business needs.”
More than 100 corporate clients of Ernst Financial, ranging in size from 10 employees to 300, will follow Welnicki and form the client base for Webber & Grinnell Employee Benefits.