Pineywoods Benefits Expands With First Strategic Partnership

April 20, 2021

TAMPA, Fla., April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Tampa-based Pineywoods Benefits (PWB) announced today its purchase of the employee benefits division of Blu Sky Benefits, an employee benefits and 401(k) advising firm located in Tampa.

"We're excited for this first strategic partnership that expands local access to cost-effective, full-service employee benefits planning and administration for employers and human resource professionals in West Central Florida," said Jeff Lenderman, principal and founder of Pineywoods Benefits. "This alliance reflects our strategy to build business organically and sustainably through mutually beneficial collaborations with local firms that complement and expand our Pineywoods employee benefits business and portfolio of Pineywoods companies." 

Sam Martinez, President of Blu Sky Benefits is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS®), Retirement Plans Associate (RPA®), Professional in Human Resources (PHR®), and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) with more than 17 years of employee benefits, 401(k), and investment experience. As founder of Blu Sky Benefits and S.mart Advising, Martinez will continue to provide employee benefits consulting to Pineywoods Benefits while he expands his 401(k) advising business through S.mart Advising.

"Our companies are mutually aligned in culture and customer care. We both utilize a focused personal approach in meeting our clients' and their employees' benefits needs. Both agencies have also been strong adopters of technology and interactive communications to help keep our clients well informed and engaged in a more collaborative manner," said Martinez.

Pineywoods Benefits invests in technology and creative communications solutions for increased client education, convenience and efficiency. Online enrollment platforms and benefits communications aimed at education are created, distributed and maintained in "digital formats." Rather than relying on traditional paper processing, multimedia microsites enable online enrollments, interactive video guides, voiceover enrollment meetings, text enrollments, and password-protected portals for other digital resources.

"With an integrated multi-channel communication strategy, we can engage and interact with our clients more effectively and efficiently—it's a vital part of our employee benefits and insurance business," Lenderman said. "Online education is key in helping employers, human resource professionals, and most importantly employees better understand, access and appreciate the coverage and benefits being provided."

Lenderman, along with the senior management team of Katz Capital, founded Pineywoods Benefits in July 2020 amid the pandemic. Lenderman has over 15 years of consulting experience working for top-ten insurance broker USI Insurance Services and helping to start up Paychex Agency in 2006. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President and Employee Benefits Practice Leader for a large insurance, risk management and benefits brokerage firm based in Tampa. While there, Lenderman tripled the firm's benefits revenue in just five years and expanded its staff and offices to accommodate larger clients throughout Florida.

Pineywoods Benefits was established as a local, cost-effective and client-focused employee benefits alternative to large national brokerage firms. "Having worked for larger insurance agencies, we understand the value we bring in providing premium employee benefit consulting services and administration at more competitive pricing," noted Lenderman.

As part of the Pineywoods brand portfolio of companies, Pineywoods Benefits is funded by Katz Capital Management, a real estate and financial services-focused private equity firm.

"Pineywoods Benefits expands our insurance lines of business, making Pineywoods a more well-rounded, one-stop service for insurance needs," said Brian Katz, CEO, and founder of Katz Capital. "Through our diverse Pineywoods portfolio of companies, we're building a strong local Florida-based brand that our customers can trust for a variety of services."

About Katz Capital and Pineywoods
Katz Capital, headquartered in Tampa, Fla., is a real estate and financial services-focused private equity firm. Its core holdings comprise six lines of affiliated businesses: Pineywoods Realty, Pineywoods Title, Pineywoods Insurance, Pineywoods Mortgage, Pineywoods Capital and Pineywoods Benefits.

Media Contact:

Linda Russo
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SOURCE Pineywoods Benefits