Forté Benefits was founded by Logan Dickinson in 1983 and incorporated in 1988. Thirty-five years, two mergers and one rebrand later the four partners at Forté Benefits have 50 plus years of combined experience that has led them to create a company culture unlike no other.

THE EARLY DAYS

Logan Dickinson, Partner

Logan Dickinson spent his first years out of college working with a bank holding company. Not many people in their early 20s realistically know what they want to do immediately after graduation. So, after gaining a few years (or seven) of experience with this company, Logan had a revelation that he was in the wrong industry. Logan looked at himself as a businessman and a corporate guy, but he wanted to be client facing and involved in something more entrepreneurial. With this thought, Logan Dickinson created CSG Companies.

In late 2010 – 2011, as healthcare reform began to hit, various offices with Northwestern Mutual across the country started expressing the need to diversify and offer additional products on the worker’s compensation and property and casualty side.

David Farrell and Bill Hester worked as partners of Strategic Employee Benefits Services (SEBS), the financial network and group benefits arm of Northwestern Mutual. Around this time, the pair began to explore the idea of becoming more independent. Northwestern Mutual approached David and Bill about branching off from the company but continuing to work the way they always had, this independence would provide David and Bill the ability to focus on the things they did best.

“After kicking the idea around and talking to the home office, we decided it was in our best interest to exit and become more independent post healthcare reform,” said Bill Hester, Forté Benefits Partner. “Northwestern Mutual was very supportive and we still work very closely with them, really no different than what we did before. We have a great relationship; they did not create a new benefits division behind us and they continue to refer all their business to us. That relationship remained intact and gave David and me the flexibility to operate and make decisions in a new environment.”

Long-term, interconnected relationships is what ultimately brought the four partners together. David and Logan were longtime friends beforehand and Bill was acquainted with Logan from the wholesale side of the business. Jeff Farmer and Bill have been close friends since attending Texas Christian University 20 years ago where their wives were once sorority sisters.

Bill Hester, Partner

The pair pitched the idea of partnering together to combine resources and brainpower to Logan and Jeff at CSG Companies and the four quickly decided that this partnership made the most sense. SEBS joined CSG in the Spring of 2013.

“It is really interesting, now that we have been together for four years…you never know how those things will work at the time until you give them a try,” said Bill. “It was originally an easy point of entry because of our relationships but now we are as good, if not better, friends today because of this deal.”

“It has provided our team a really good balance,” Bill continued. “There are four very different and needed personalities that provide guidance and leadership to the company. We always say it was the best decision we ever made and the company echoes it.”

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