The Meltzer Group

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The Meltzer Group
Alan Meltzer, CEO and Founder

Rich DiPippo

Relationships mean everything at The Meltzer Group. From strategic partners to client services to recruiting employees, building great relationships is central to it all. It’s with this focus that Alan Meltzer, founder and CEO, and Rich DiPippo, of The Meltzer Group are able to foster a culture of excellent customer service and custom, client-centered benefits administration and land some of the largest clients in the region and throughout the country.

Q: When and why was your company founded?

A: Alan Meltzer: I got in the insurance business in 1978, and my focus was on life insurance. In 1982, I started my own company, still focusing on life insurance, and later added a group benefits division and a retirement planning division. Our thought process had a lot to do with my days working in or owning three restaurants: we didn’t think of ourselves as an insurance company, we thought of our company as a people-pleasing company, where we wanted everybody to have a positive experience working with us.

The company has grown over the last 30 years from three people to more than 200 total employees located in Bethesda, Northern Virginia and Florida. In 2001, we made a strategic decision to sell 100 percent of our company to a major consultant for insurance benefits, NFP Corp. (formerly National Financial Partners). Now NFP is the 11th largest broker of U.S. business (Business Insurance Magazine).

The reason we did this is because, in today’s world, you have to be the best. We want to be the best. We go out there every single day and try to be the best. We have a lot of former college athletes on our staff. We go out there and want to win, and to do the best for our clients every day. I don’t believe that practice makes perfect. I believe perfect practice makes us better.

We do not want to lose, and so that is why we aligned ourselves with NFP. It proved to be a very positive strategic decision.

Q: There’s no shortage of companies offering benefits and insurance in the area. How does The Meltzer Group set itself apart from the competition?

A: Rich DiPippo: We set ourselves apart because of the versatile nature in which we work to help our clients, from estate planning, personal insurance, business insurance to 401(k) plans. We work with clients who have as few as two employees to those with over 1,000 employees. Our sweet spot is 50 to 500 employees, and then, Alan, myself, and our other agents work with the company’s executives and business owners one-on-one, to protect what they have, and achieve their goals, while doing it in a holistic manner. We’re helping companies of all sizes, but we’re also helping executives, and other individuals within those companies, as well.

Our staff is willing to work and really cares about the clients. Our people come to work focused every day and view it as an opportunity to get better and better. I think that permeates the whole company, and it starts with Alan. He’s the guy that’s here at 6 o’clock in the morning and working appointments all day long. It starts at the top with leadership, and then it works down through every one. We’re successful because of our commitment to be the best.

Q: How important is it for your employees to be a great match both technically and culturally?

A: Alan Meltzer: Our company is driven by integrity and honesty, and so, we look for employees who want to be a steward for our customers, no matter what area of business we’re working in. We care most about making sure our clients are “raving fans” – if one of our employees is more concerned with how much money they are making that isn’t going to work for us.

We have been successful because our people are committed to what we are doing every single day. We pride ourselves on being very technically sound in the insurance and benefits world, but we also pride ourselves on learning all we can about our clients and their business. We want to know what keeps them up at night in order to help them more efficiently solve their problems.

Q: You’ve won “Best Places to Work” awards. What do you believe is the reason for that?

A: Alan Meltzer: Our company is driven to do a great job for our clients and our employees. It’s part of our culture. Our staff does not shy away from hard work and our leadership team recognizes this. We understand that this job is demanding and there are challenges every single day, and that is why we reward our staff with free lunches on Fridays, company trips, end of year bonuses, and the opportunity to telework from home to name a few. We’ve worked hard to foster a family-like atmosphere inside our company walls and that is evident when you work for The Meltzer Group. We have a number of folks who have been with us for over 30 years. That’s the best testimony we can give.

Q: Describe what you would like The Meltzer Group to look like 5 years from now, 10 years from now.

A: Alan Meltzer: We spend a lot of time looking at where we want to be in the future. We have a group of senior management folks who meet every Thursday morning at 6:30 to discuss what happened the previous week, what’s coming up and where we want to take this company in the future. We want to have excited employees, and we want them aligned with the best interests of our clients. We want to grow, but we’re not going to do it just for the sake of being larger. We want to do it with quality, integrity, smart business acumen, and technology. We’d like to help NFP continue to grow and rise up the ranks of largest consultants over the next couple of years.

We also want to continue to remain involved as a great partner with our community and make a meaningful difference. Last year, we gave away nearly $1.6 million to the Washington, DC, community. We’d like to give them $3,000,000 five years from now.

Rich DiPippo: I think we’re just scratching the surface. I’ve been with Alan for eight years, and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. We have so many young, enthusiastic and talented employees that we’ve brought on in that time, I think we’re just going to continue to keep evolving.

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