Risk Strategies Company, a privately held, rapidly growing national insurance brokerage and risk management firm, has acquired Lester Brokerage, an Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey-based firm with six decades of expertise building customised programs that simplify the complex risk management and insurance needs of high-net-worth clients.
Founded more than 60 years ago by Jack M Lester, Lester Brokerage has been led by Michael Elitzer for the past 21 years. A graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, Elitzer was previously an attorney with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York. The combination of legal and business expertise provides unique analytical insight and understanding when assessing clients' personal insurance challenges. Elitzer is a leading national practitioner in the area of group personal excess liability and has developed a strong practice with law firm partners and private equity organisations.
"Risk Strategies Company's Private Client Group is focused on building a nationwide practice unmatched in both technical capability and high-touch, personalised service," says Bob Courtemanche, senior managing director and national private client practice leader for Risk Strategies Company. "Michael as an individual and his team at Lester Brokerage as a whole embody that goal and will make an impressive addition to the practice."
Courtemanche joined Risk Strategies in October last year to accelerate the growth of its Private Client group, expand its geographic footprint and build out a practice that emphasises technical expertise, highly-personalised client service and discretion as basic operating principles.
"I'm excited to be joining such a stellar Private Client practice and contribute to their efforts to change the way personal risk management is done," says Elitzer. "It's clear Risk Strategies understands the high-net-worth market's desire for technical expertise and a working relationship that is personal, local and rooted in confidentiality."
Building on core strengths in its own operations, Risk Strategies has steadily built one of the country's largest and most accomplished Private Client practices. Its acquisition of DeWitt Stern Group in October of 2014 brought well established Private Client practices into New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Sacramento. In July 2015, Risk Strategies acquired Burlingame, California-based MacCorkle Insurance Services, adding a San Francisco-area firm with established expertise in private risk. In October 2015, Risk Strategies established a Private Client practice across the geographies of previously acquired Crow Friedman Group in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama with the hiring of Carol Wiek, as vice president, private client.