The Lewer Companies

LLIC Investment Advisor, Commerce Trust, Earns Lipper Award

Brent Showe (left) and Lewer Life investment advisor Scott Colbert accepting the Lipper Award on behalf of Commerce on March 14, 2013 in New York

Brent Showe (left) and Lewer Life investment advisor Scott Colbert accepting the Lipper Award on behalf of Commerce on March 14, 2013 in New York

Lewer Life Insurance Company (LLIC) is pleased to announce that Lipper, a leading provider of mutual fund information, analytical tools and commentary has given Commerce Investment Advisors, Inc. its highest rating in the Best Fixed Income Small Fund Group. Commerce Investment Advisors took the top spot out of 61 qualified companies in this category receiving an asset class group award. Scott Colbert, director of Fixed Income Management, The Commerce Trust Company and Commerce Investment Advisors, Inc., accepted the honor March 14, 2013 at an awards ceremony in New York.

According to a news release dated March 17, 2013, fund groups with at least five equity, five bond, or three mixed-asset portfolios in the respective asset classes are eligible for a group award. The lowest average decile rank of the three years’ Consistent Return measure of the eligible funds per asset class and group determines the asset class group award winner of the three-year period. The small fund group category must have at least three distinct portfolios in one of the asset classes – equity, bond, or mixed-asset. The threshold for determining large and small companies is $43.5 billion as of October 31, 2012.

“This recognition provides further evidence that Commerce Investment Advisors and its Fixed Income group continue to deliver strong nominal and relative performance,” Colbert said upon accepting the award. “I attribute our success over time to our focus on maximizing risk-adjusted return and our position as a money management arm within a high-quality bank. I believe it’s our credit work and the ability to identify value in various fixed income sectors that really distinguishes us on a relative basis over this time period and that has allowed us to work our way into the top percentile rankings.”

“Scott and his team have managed LLIC’s fixed income bond portfolio since December 2006,” said LLIC President Mike Lewer. “The board of directors has enjoyed working with Scott and his team through the years and fully understands how deserving they are of receiving this prestigious award.”
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LFA Licensed as RIA in Two More States

Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC (LFA) was launched in November 2012 after Lewer received notice from the state of Missouri that the LFA application for licensure as a corporate Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) had been approved. Since the launching, LFA has become an RIA in two additional states – Louisiana and Kansas.

LFA Senior Vice President Greg Addison received the good news via the IARD, the industry acronym for Investment Adviser Registration Depository. IARD is an electronic filing system that facilitates investment adviser registration, exempt reporting adviser filing, regulatory review, and the public disclosure information of investment adviser firms. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the developer and operator of the IARD system. The system has been developed according to the requirements of its sponsors, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), along with those of an Industry Advisory Council representing the investment adviser firms.

Following the latest RIA license approvals, President Mike Lewer commented that the development of LFA was the result of extensive research and precision timing. “The decision to switch to a new model for Lewer’s financial services arm came when Lewer began observing significant changes in market conditions,” said Lewer. “While the health insurance markets began exhibiting more uncertainties, the financial services markets began showing significant opportunities, especially in our niche markets. An increasing number of large investment brokerage firms have pulled out of the small business market. This trend presents us with an extraordinary opportunity to capitalize on our stronghold in the market.”

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LFA Partners With TD Ameritrade

On December 14, 2012, Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC (LFA) senior vice president Greg Addison announced that the financial services firm’s enrollment package had been approved by the TD Ameritrade Review Committee.

According to online sources, TD Ameritrade was born after the Securities and Exchange Commission eliminated the practice of fixed brokerage commissions in May 1975. A handful of small firms, including “First Omaha Securities, Inc.”, saw a unique opportunity. First Omaha Securities, based in Omaha, Nebraska, evolved into TD Ameritrade, and for over 35 years has remained a pioneer in an industry that continues to find new ways to make Wall Street more accessible to the individual investor.

In 2005, Ameritrade purchased TD Waterhouse USA from TD Bank Financial Group, creating TD Ameritrade, one of the largest discount brokerages in the United States – and the largest in terms of average client trades placed each day.

“The decision to work with TD Ameritrade wasn’t a tough decision,” said Addison. “Our team felt strongly that TD Ameritrade offered the best solution.”

Addison and the LFA evaluation team – senior investment advisors Kevin Keleher and Dan Compton – reportedly recognized parallels between two Midwest companies with a shared history of innovation.
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Senior Investment Advisor Joins LFA Team

LFA Investment Advisor, Dan Compton

LFA Investment Advisor, Dan Compton

The Lewer Companies are pleased to announce that consultant Dan Compton has joined Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC (LFA) as a producer and investment advisor, effective January 1, 2013.

In 1985, Compton became Charles Schwab & Company’s first financial advisor in the United States. He is known for his strong macro-economic view and has worked closely with other professionals in the coordination of client financial planning, including CPAs and attorneys.

Since 1985, Compton has served clients as president and owner of Professional Asset Management, Inc., a company based in Overland Park, Kansas. His company provides financial planning services to its clients by rendering advice on tax planning, risk management, investments, insurance, educational funding, retirement planning, Medicaid, long-term care, employee benefits, estate planning, estate liquidity, minimization of taxes and probate costs, cash flow analysis, financing options, and charitable donations.

Compton is a 1977 graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City and received certification from the College for Financial Planning (CFP) in 1985. His career path has included a number of seminars and presentations for Charles Schwab & Company, the CPA firm, Ken Woodward & Associates, and the Kansas Bar Association. His investment strategies have been published by a number of industry magazines including Financial Planning Magazine.

“The Lewer Companies’ greatest strengths are longevity and dependability,” said Compton, whose new goal is to help LFA clients “create enough money to last a lifetime.”
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Lewer Attends Insight 2013 Shaw Convention in Florida

The Insight 2013 Shaw convention

The Insight 2013 Shaw convention

Members of the Lewer team attended the Insight 2013 Shaw convention, January 21 – 23, at Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

The Insight 2013 expo was the most productive Shaw convention Lewer has attended since onboarding the flooring company as a client nearly 15 years ago, according to Lewer senior investment advisor, Kevin Keleher. “Shaw plans a conference every other year and the 2013 show was the best to date,” said Keleher. “We have worked with these dealers through good times and bad – through housing booms and the 2008 recession. It’s great to see the industry rebound.”

At this year’s convention, The Lewer Companies rolled out its new financial products, including a 401(k) plan. After returning from his first Shaw convention, new Lewer senior vice president Greg Addison commented that he was impressed with Shaw’s commitment to business development during the conference. “I have never seen any other company commit the total number of dollars and resources to a dealer conference, including the software industry,” said Addison. “Dealers come and take care of business.”
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Staff Accountant Promoted

Monika Gray

Monika Gray

Lewer Life Insurance Company is pleased to announce the promotion of staff accountant Monika Gray to the position of assistant controller, effective February 1, 2013.

Gray’s career at Lewer has been eventful, both personally and professionally. Professional highlights include her receipt of the 2010 “Employee of the Year” award. Personal highlights include the successful Lewer Charitable Fund (LCF) fundraiser which she volunteered to captain in 2012. Born in Poland, she became a United States citizen in 2011.

Her reputation as a key team member at Lewer originated early in her career when she was named “Innovator of the Year” in 2008, for improvements she implemented in accounting procedures.

On her fifth anniversary with the company last year, Gray commented that one of the most significant changes she has witnessed since joining the team is the change to the new Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting system, which she counts among the biggest breakthroughs in her department since joining the team. “I am growing as the company grows,” she stated.
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New Account Manager Joins Lewer

Jody Miller

Jody Miller

The Lewer Agency, Inc. is pleased to announce that Jody Miller has joined the Agency as a commercial benefits lines account manager, effective February 25, 2013. Miller, a seasoned employee benefits specialist, worked for a number of area firms, including WageWorks in Kansas City. While at WageWorks, she was responsible for the company’s 14-state Midwest territory and worked with brokers and employer groups.

Miller’s successful account management and sales career was also developed through her employment with Meritain Health, where she worked as a Regional Vice President of Sales and Client Relationship Manager.

Prior to Lewer, Miller also worked as an account executive at the Bukaty Companies, where she was awarded a “Top Producer of the Quarter” award in 2005. She was also an account executive at Coventry Health Care where she was honored with the company’s “Account Manager of the Year” award in 2001.

Miller attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, where she earned a BS degree in Communications and Human Relations. She is licensed to sell Life and Health insurance in the state of Kansas and has earned the CEBS I and II certifications. She is a member of the Employee Benefit Professional Association.
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LFA Licensed as RIA In Louisiana

Kevin Keleher, CLU, ChFC, CASL

Kevin Keleher, CLU, ChFC, CASL

Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC (LFA) was launched in November 2012 after the company received notice from the state of Missouri that its application for licensure as a corporate Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) had been approved. On March 5, 2013, LFA senior vice president Greg Addison was pleased to announce that LFA is now a Registered Investment Advisor in Louisiana.

It was news LFA had been waiting for since the team launched the new financial services firm. At the time, president and CEO Mike Lewer commented that the development of LFA was the result of extensive research and precision timing.

“The decision to form LFA came when we began observing significant changes in market conditions,” said Lewer. “While the health insurance markets began exhibiting more uncertainties, the financial services markets began showing significant opportunities, especially in our niche markets. An increasing number of large investment brokerage firms have pulled out of the small business market. This trend presents us with an extraordinary opportunity to capitalize on our stronghold in the market.”

Kevin Keleher, CLU, ChFC, CASL will now be serving clients in Louisiana as a senior investment advisor for Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC. Keleher can be reached at 800-821-7715 or at email kkeleher@lewer.com.
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Lewer Launches Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC

Missouri Approves LFA License

After several years on the drawing board, the Lewer Companies began 2013 with the exciting launch of a new company, Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC (LFA). The development, which began in 2010, is expected to become a significant chapter in The Lewer Companies’ 57 year old historical archive.

After receiving word from the state of Missouri, November 6, 2012, that the Lewer Financial Advisors application for licensure as a corporate Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) had been approved, President Mike Lewer was pleased to announce that “all systems are a go”. The official launching of the new financial services arm of the Lewer organization took place December 1, 2012. “On that date, a new chapter for our company began,” said Lewer.

The development of Lewer Financial Advisors is the result of extensive research and precision timing. The decision to switch to a new model for Lewer’s financial services arm came when Lewer began observing significant changes in the benefits as well as financial market environments.

“While the health insurance markets began exhibiting more uncertainties, the financial services markets began showing significant opportunities, especially in our niche markets,” said Lewer. “In recent years, an increasing number of large investment brokerage firms have discontinued offering programs to the small businesses associated with our affinity markets. This trend presented us with an extraordinary opportunity to capitalize on our stronghold in our markets.”

“By the first of the year, the Lewer group of companies will be operating under a new model,” Lewer explained. “I see our new model as a three-legged stool with Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC (financial services), Lewer Life Insurance Company (insurance), and The Lewer Agency, Inc. (benefits) being the three legs of the stool.”

As an RIA, LFA will now be engaged in the investment advisory business and registered with state securities authorities until the company is managing over $100,000,000 in assets. At that time, LFA will be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Lewer expressed his excitement when commenting on what may be the most significant news story of the decade for The Lewer Companies. “We have a long history of innovating to meet the needs of our markets,” he said. “It’s in our DNA. LFA is another example of how challenges present opportunities and how, through our talents and resources, we are able to take advantage of new market opportunities.”
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Lewer Appoints Senior VP, Lewer Financial Advisors, LLC

Greg Addison

Greg Addison

Lewer is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Addison to the position of Senior Vice President, Lewer Financial Advisors, effective September 1, 2012. Addison’s mission is to grow The Lewer Companies’ recently launched company, Lewer Financial Advisors.

Addison began working with the company as a consultant in February 2012. As a consultant, Addison’s primary responsibility was to research and craft a strategic plan to form and operate a new business focused on providing financial services and programs to Lewer’s affinity clients – Lewer Financial Advisors.

Addison studied business and law at Louisiana Tech University, where he served as president of the Business Students Association and chancellor of the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity. Following his graduation, he accumulated over 20 years of successful management experience in a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, information technology, and agriculture. He has successfully grown multiple companies in a variety of industries.

“We welcome this new addition as we prepare for a new chapter for the Lewer companies,” said President Mike Lewer. “I have enjoyed working with Greg in his consulting role. His appointment is driven by the commitment to develop Lewer Financial Advisors as a significant member of the Lewer family of companies over the next few years.”
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The Lewer Companies