Getting a start in any industry can be difficult. Business owners want the best of the best for their companies and taking a risk on a young prospect may be too great for some owners. Cory Friedman, vice president of benefits consulting at GCG Financial, Inc., says employers, particularly in the benefit advising industry, all too often mistake young talent for inexperience.

“I truly believe that in today’s market, younger advisers are better equipped to fulfill clients’ needs,” Friedman says. “Many of us began our careers in the legislative environment created by the Affordable Care Act and understand how to help our clients navigate the law.”

As the youngest person to ever earn the title of vice president in GCG’s 40 plus year history, and with a $500,000 book of business, Friedman is showing the competition, his superiors and his clients that age is just a number.

“While most advisers work in their local market, my team took our practice national, recognizing the opportunity to specialize in working with companies of a particular industry across the country rather than just one market,” Friedman says.

His efforts are not going unnoticed. David Levitz, president of employee benefits at GCG, recognizes the level of effort Friedman puts into his work and appreciates the drive he puts forth as an example to his peers.

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“Cory holds a very high standard for himself and as a result he pushes himself and his entire team to always do the very best for each and every client no matter the size,” Levitz says. “Cory is innovative and always looking for how he can make it easier for his clients and their employees.”

Levitz’s praise does not go without merit. Karen Sullivan, director of human resources at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, says she became aware of Friedman during a presentation of his on the ACA.

“I quickly realized that this was somebody who finally knew how to explain what the ACA meant to me as a business,” Sullivan says. “It was an easy deduction that I needed to switch my business over to Cory and his team.”

Sullivan adds that she not only considers Friedman as a valuable business partner, but a friend as well. The employee benefits “industry might be recognizing him as a rising star but he has been a star in my book for quite some time,” Sullivan says.

Friedman consults for more than 150 organizations — representing more than 500 veterinary hospitals — and has developed a unique approach to providing front-end due-diligence and HR support to some the industry’s largest purchasers and consolidators of independent veterinary hospitals.

“I think young advisers are in the best position to adapt as our insurance and employee benefit environment continues to change, and I am excited to continue challenging my clients to think differently,” Friedman says.

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