About JA Counter

How We Began:

In 1976 JA Counter was founded in New Richmond, Wisconsin as an insurance agency specializing in individual life, health and disability and employee benefit planning.  James Counter founded the agency during a time that health claim forms were handwritten on paper; but as times changed--so did JA Counter.

Linda Skoglund joined the firm in 1990 and helped work with James to capitalize on his industry leadership to build programs to support other advisors in 1990.  Skoglund joined JA Counter as a shareholder in 1997 and acquired 100% of the shares by 2001.  Skoglund leads the firm with the same passion and determination to care for their clients as was instilled in her through James Counter’s mentorship.  JA Counter joined Cambridge Investment Research, Inc in 2016 and became a member of the Benefit Advisors Network (BAN) in 2007.

Out of the Benefit Advisors Network, twenty-three independent firms discussed the ability to provide the best of both worlds—national scope combined with local service.  The members dreamed of the transformation of the client experience that would occur by providing greater depth and breadth of resources if they came together as one large collaborative unit.  And in 2017 they executed on their plan!  An aggregator was formed, uniting the 23 firms into a larger entity known as the Alera Group.

Where We Are Now:

Presently, JA Counter operations are run by managing partner Linda Skoglund with the backing of the executive leadership team of the Alera Group.  The culture at JA Counter and the Alera Group thrive on innovative thinking and constant collaboration while maintaining strong local relationships.  Our core purpose is to make a difference in our clients, our communities, and each other.  We provide exceptional service to our clients through innovative, customized solutions, education, knowledge, and resources delivered with integrity and professionalism.  And we have fun doing it!

Count On Us:

  • Recognition among employers, health plan administrators, consultant and advisors as a leading regional consulting firm focused on employee benefits; bringing our clients first-to-market information and influencing carriers and partners based on the needs of our clients
  • Excellence in deploying plan management strategies including wellness programs, employee education (focused on why) and strong communications
  • Process expertise in the execution of developing long-term partnerships with carriers that ultimately benefit the client and making a successful transition to new carriers when needed
  • Experience with fully insured, alternate funding, self-funding and captive arrangements in varying forms of construct, providing many different strategic options for clients
  • Collaborative, partnership approach and the ability to effectively manage a detailed project plan
  • Nimble and responsive to the needs of our clients, unencumbered by corporate directive, internal bureaucracy or interference from outside influences or shareholders

Our Expertise:

With JA Counter you will experience the intimacy and client service of a local, boutique firm paired with the expansive resources and tools of a national firm.  Our employees live and work within your footprint which leads to connections that expand into the community.

Culture and Philosophy:

JA Counter balances a rich history of integrity, hard work and professionalism with a commitment to innovation and creative employee benefits, risk management and insurance solutions.  Our philosophy drives an unrelenting commitment to superior client service.

Our promise is to continue partnering with our clients to offer exceptional customer service, support, solutions, and resources in every touchpoint we have with them. We are committed to recommending ideas, programs, products and services that will maximize the value and ensure the success of cost-effective benefit plans for each and every client. This is accomplished through our core values:

  • Expect far more from ourselves than we do from others
  • Pioneers with the courage to take reasonable risk
  • Inspiring excellence and success
  • Leading with integrity and wisdom
  • Fanatical attention to service, consistency and detail

Foundation for a Successful Partnership:

Repeatable, reliable process and consistent focus on foundational best practices that will bring value and success to our partnerships are important components of JA Counter’s scope of service.

When we begin a new partnership, we take the time to understand who you are, as an organization, but also to do a deep dive and review of your current administrative practices and contract review. In our experience, we frequently uncover areas for immediate improvement that have immeasurable value due to the complex risk associated with administering the health and welfare plan in a way that does not align with contracts or regulations.  Our goal is to help make you bulletproof and that starts on day one.

JA Counter Vision:

JA Counter is the first choice for employers and individuals by providing innovative, customized solutions that maximize their financial and personal wellbeing.

JA Counter Mission:

We provide exceptional service to our clients as we provide innovative, customized solutions, education, knowledge, and resources delivered with integrity and professionalism.

JA Counter Core Purpose:

To make a difference.

To learn more about Alera Group, visit aleragroup.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@AleraGroupUS) or LinkedIn (@AleraGroup).

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