Balanced Growth Facilitates Partnership in Innovation

Balanced Growth (BG) was hired by Catholic Financial Life (CFL) and Catholic United Financial (CUF) in 2017 explore the possibilities of creating shared platforms that would create synergies between the two not-for-profit, fraternal benefit societies. One result of the strategic initiative was an agreement to pursue technology solutions together to create greater value at a lower overall cost than pursuing the solutions independently. The other result was a conceptual agreement to form a joint venture to create long-term value from the agreed-upon technology solutions and to potentially enable participation by other fraternal benefit societies over time.

After the vision was clearly articulated and the strategic framework established, BG facilitated a process to evaluate technology solution providers to support end-to-end processing for over 250,000 life and annuity contracts. After an extensive evaluation process, iPipeline, a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry, was selected as the technology partner. After the selection, BG worked closely with leadership of each organization to create a long-term agreement in support of the vision. In parallel with the negotiation process, Conventus Now, LLC was formed to formalize thispartnership in innovation and will serve as the vehicle through which the two insurers develop and operate state-of-the-art technology solutions used by both organizations. While the initial phase of Conventus will focus on solutions for the two founding members, the technology will be developed to allow possible use by other fraternal benefit societies in the future.

“Balanced Growth’s rigorous process, knowledge of the most prominent providers of financial services systems and experience with strategic initiatives such as this brought sage advice to our leadership, both in forming Conventus and selecting iPipeline as our partner,” said Mike Ahles, Senior Vice President & Secretary/Treasurer, Catholic United Financial. 

“The Balanced Growth team was invaluable in the joint venture and platform vendor evaluation process. Jason Bordui brought structure, expertise and industry knowledge to our efforts that resulted in a better outcome than we could have achieved alone. Jason was as passionate about the success of our initiative as we were,” said Jeff Piotrowski, Managing Director, Conventus NOW, and Chief Information Officer of Catholic Financial Life.

Balanced Growth Consulting specializes in strategic and operational innovation. We create enduring value for our clients by enhancing customer experiences, achieving operational efficiency, and generating new sources of revenue. In collaboration with client leaders and teams, we design, implement, and accelerate high-impact operational, technology, and innovation initiatives.

Conventus Now, LLC is a joint venture between Catholic Financial Life and Catholic United Financial. With assets of $1.65 billion and nearly 140,000 members across the United States, Catholic Financial Life has grown to be the second largest Catholic, not-for-profit financial services organization in the United States. Catholic United Financial is a $1 billion not-for-profit, fraternal benefit company serving more than 75,000 members in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.