Bill Zelenik

Bill Zelenik

One of my long-term advertisers is Physician Financial Partners (PFP).  I had the opportunity recently to interview Bill Zelenik, the CEO of Millenium Brokerage, a strategic marketing partner with the AMA, and learn more about his firm.  Products and services for the PFP program, including many proprietary products, are offered through Millenium Brokerage Group.

Tell Me About You And Your Firm

Although I was trained in finance, my background is in insurance.  I started with Aetna in their retirement division then after a few years opened an insurance brokerage firm.  After that we expanded into 401Ks and now we do a lot of consultative distribution work.  It was through our partnership that PFP was developed.

Millenium Brokerage was founded in 1997 as an insurance brokerage operation.  Now we have a long-term contract with the AMA where we help them design and improve their insurance and investment products for physicians.

What Does The AMA Offer Docs?

The most well-known program is the Essentials For Physicians program.  This is Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) disability insurance offered through Metlife.  It offers students and residents a one time opportunity to receive high quality disability insurance with no intrusive or time consuming medical exams and only a few basic questions.  This product addresses the needs of young physicians and appreciates the value of their time. [Editor's Note:  Many residents who have been refused disability insurance or had exclusion riders placed on their policies have been able to secure disability insurance without medical exclusion riders through this program.]

What Else Do You Do With The AMA?

The first product we developed was a long term care (LTC) program, offered through TransAmerica, where doctors and their spouses can get LTC insurance at up to a 30% discount, which is a fantastic price.  We've also developed a disability program through MetLife and Lloyd's of London where very high earning physicians, such as a plastic surgeon making $1.4 Million per year, can insure up to $75,000 per month of their income.  It can be even more if you're an AMA member.  We are in the process of developing a “shopping service” for auto, home, and term life insurance coverage where a physician can easily compare and choose between 12-14 different insurance providers. We hope to go live with that by the first of the year.  Millenium Brokerage either advises on or handles anything the AMA offers its members with regards to insurance or finance.

How Does Your Advisor Referral Program Work?

We're a country-wide organization.  We vetted at least 150 advisors and whittled the list down to 28.  We'd like to get up to 100 advisors, but we're more interested in quality than quantity.  Together with AMA Insurnace we vet the advisors, including a background check.  We interview them extensively to check for knowledge and expertise.  We also require them to be a business, not just a one-man shop.  We also try to get some diversification among the group of advisors.  Some specialize in money management, while others focus on disability insurance.  PFP benefits include direct marketing to physicians and the ability to sell proprietary products in their territory.  Although there is a one-time marketing fee to join the program, there are no referral fees.  It is our hope that PFPs will use our products with their clients.  Long-term, we think that's the right way to build a business rather than trying to get a few basis points worth of referral fees.

PFP AMA LogoPhysicians can call a dedicated line to inquire about products and services and schedule a time to speak with someone in their area.  If we don't have someone in your area that we've thoroughly vetted, we can usually connect physicians with an expert near them.  We work with physicians to connect them with the type of expert they're looking for, whether it be money management, estate planning, or more transactional products such as disability insurance.

Tell Me About Your Physician 401K

The Physician 401K is a product we've developed by choosing “best of class” funds to offer in the 401K.  There is a standardized list of funds, which is reviewed each year and changes made if necessary.    This product is currently being revised due to new government regulations pertaining to Multiple Employer 401K Plans.  There is a standardized list of funds, which is reviewed each year and changes made if necessary.  The funds are through TD Ameritrade, but consist mostly of Vanguard index funds with a sprinkling of alternatives.  There are also some lifecycle funds available.  There is no brokerage option because we chose to eliminate practice owner's risk of fiduciary liability.

Thank you Bill Zelenik for your time and Physician Financial Partners for your support of the site.

PFP has asked me to add this disclosure due to compliance issues:

Physicians Financial Partners is a program offered through AMA Insurance Agency, Inc. (AMAIA). AMAIA is a subsidiary of the American Medical Association. Products and services for the Physicians Financial Partners program are offered through Millennium Brokerage Group, LLC, a strategic marketing partner of AMAIA.