Patrick McDermott realized that for his business to expand, it would be important for him to make connections and keep an open mind. That attitude has in no small way allowed McDermott & Thomas Associates, a Cook Maran/Prime Risk Partner, to increase both its clients and services.
In 1987, McDermott and his partner, Mark Thomas, created McDermott & Thomas Associates. The employee benefits consultant firm helps companies “design and implement their employee benefit programs with an emphasis on cost containment, compliance, and employee communication.”
Through the years, McDermott & Thomas Associates turned down overtures from different entities for purchase. But the company would keep options open.
“About 15 years ago, our organization and 25 other organizations like us around the country formed a national group called United Benefit Advisors. That organization then grew to about 145 employers,” said the senior vice president. “It served us well as a platform to serve larger and larger employers with greater employee counts. It allowed us to get access to technology platforms that we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own.”
One of those organizations – Cook Maran – decided to break from United Benefit Advisors and merge with a private equity-funded company called Prime Risk Partner. Looking for other smaller organizations to help merge into one big organization, Cook Maran approached McDermott & Thomas Associates with the offer.
After an exhaustive due diligence process, the Island-based company joined the Prime Risk Partner organization in November 2017.
“We still operate under the McDermott & Thomas Associates name. We still handle all of the same clients that we had before, and all my people still have the same relationships with the clients,” said McDermott.
“What it’s done is give us an opportunity to do a lot more. Our primary specialty was employee benefits. With the portfolio of services under Cook Maran/Prime Risk Partner, we now have access to property and casualty insurance with specialists in those areas. So, our portfolio of offerings to clients has dramatically expanded,” he said.
While the moves have helped McDermott & Thomas Associates service larger clients, the firm still maintains its relationships with smaller clients.
“We have clients with 5-10 employees all the way up to several thousand. We still work – and enjoy working – with the smaller businesses here on Staten Island. Some of my people are dedicated just to that market niche,” said McDermott.
With their dedication to serving the small business community on Staten Island, it comes as no surprise that McDermott & Thomas Associates has reached the 25-year mark with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.
“The Chamber is a part of our community. An organization like the Chamber really needs the support of small and large businesses on the Island to help the Chamber fulfil its mission,” said McDermott. “You end up getting a lot when you participate with the Chamber. In those early years, I participated in a lot of the Chamber events and networking events.”
He added that Patrick McGrade, Vice President of Employee Benefits, has maintained strong ties with the Chamber in the last several years by participating in the Chamber’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) and the Chamber Foundation’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!).