About Us

Who are First Element Insurance Planners?


First Element Insurance Planners (FEIP) partners with fee-only planning firms to provide consistent, objective risk management resources without creating additional overhead or compromising fee-only status.

Wealth management firms are progressively shifting to a fee-only planning model with the goal of providing comprehensive, holistic guidance. First Element Insurance Planners was created to serve as a strategic partner to fee-only firms to make it comfortable and easy to address risk management in a process-driven, proactive manner.

The insurance and estate planning experts at FEIP understand financial planning and the need to put solutions ahead of product. The firm’s sole focus is providing proactive, objective advice as it relates to clients’ risk management needs.

Benefits of an FEIP Partnership

First Element Insurance Planners provides consultative, interactive guidance in the areas of life insurance, long term care insurance, disability income insurance, estate planning, business succession planning and executive benefits.

FEIP brings value to advisory firms who desire to provide holistic, comprehensive planning for their clients. For those firms, the benefits of an FEIP partnership include:

Client-First Approach

Advisors have peace of mind in knowing clients' best interests are being placed at the forefront of every interaction.

Proactive Planning

Turn-key planning tools fit into each firm’s planning model in a simple, process-driven and proactive fashion.

Objective Recommendations

Dozens of insurance carriers and products are researched to ensure the best possible options are provided. FEIP is not owned or controlled by an insurance carrier.

Standardize the Client Experience

Advisors’ clients experience a consistent, professional approach to risk management planning.

Expand Your Team

Add high-level risk management specialists onto your team without fixed overhead costs (salaries, retirement benefits, healthcare costs, payroll tax, etc.).

Bring Additional Value to Client Reviews

Professional resources and turn-key planning tools allow advisors to delve deeper into the planning needs of their clients during review meetings.

Increase Client Retention

Studies show firms providing expert consultation in multiple areas of financial planning experience higher levels of client retention and are more attractive to potential new clients (in comparison to firms providing only investment and retirement advice).

Strategic Partner


BUI is a nationally recognized provider of services to financial service and insurance professionals and their affluent clients. Through this partnership, our firm is better positioned to take a consultative approach to address some of your most important planning concerns. Their core expertise in strategic planning combined with a straightforward, objective approach delivers comprehensive solutions for our most valued clients.

Because of the strategic relationship with BUI, First Element Insurance Planners not only has preferred access to dozens of the country's most highly rated insurance companies, but also has the case design, advanced planning and underwriting support to handle nearly all aspects of insurance planning.

Meet the Team

Dan Sullivan FEIP

Daniel Sullivan, JD
Director of Business Development

chris brauner first element insurance

Chris Brauner
Director of Risk Management

Lauren Gelber

Lauren Gelber
Director of Operations


Colleen Beckemeyer, CFP®
Risk Management Consultant

brian flynn first element insurance

Brian Flynn
Risk Management Consultant

danny kaufman first element insurance

Danny Kaufmann
Risk Management Consultant

michael first element insurance

Michael Tessler
Risk Management Consultant

Brant Steck

Brant Steck, CFP® 
Risk Management Consultant

brian seigal first element insurance

Brian Seigel, JD, AEP®
Estate & Business Planning Consultant


Chris Hooper
Chief Underwriter

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson
Application Assistance Specialist

Cindy Strutman

Cindy Strutman
New Business Consultant

Suzie Terry

Suzie Terry
New Business Consultant


Mickey Vogt
Case Design Consultant

Cindy Cox

Cindy Cox
Case Design Consultant


Gayla Downey
Policy Service Support


There are times to take risk in the financial planning process. Insurance and estate planning, however, are not the time.

Many fee-only advisors (and their clients) experience frustration with insurance policies not performing as originally intended. Hypothetical returns and non-guaranteed dividends commonly create unrealistic expectations that almost certainly require future remedy. While taking risks in a portfolio is typically necessary for many investment clients, taking risks with insurance planning is typically not.

If it is not guaranteed in the contract, it is not guaranteed.

FEIP prides itself on meeting and exceeding expectations. From years of experience, we tend to favor products that are fully guaranteed by contract, allowing us to consistently meet expectations and keep advisors and their clients happy.

Insurance planning is not always the answer.

Through the collaboration of estate and insurance planning experts, FEIP strives to find the best solution for the client, not necessarily the best product.

The client is YOUR client.

FEIP’s goal is to fill a void for fee-only advisors through expert partnership in the areas of risk management planning. The goal is provide consultation, advice and direction to fee-only advisors who wish to have a truly holistic model. When a firm partners with FEIP, the firm’s clients remain their clients.

Wealth Transfer Paradigm Cycle