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CH Insurance acquires Life Insurance CNY

By Eric Reinhardt


Joseph Convertino, Jr. (left), president of Syracuse–based CH Insurance, and Brian Winchell, senior benefits advisor at CH Insurance, in the firm’s lobby inside the Atrium at 100 S. Salina St. in Syracuse. CH Insurance says it acquired Winchell’s Life Insurance CNY brand and Winchell started working for the company on Oct. 1. (ERIC REINHARDT / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE — Syracuse–based CH Insurance says it has acquired Life Insurance CNY, described as an “insurance-only financial-services firm” that operated in Syracuse.

CH Insurance is a Syracuse–based multi-line insurance agency and benefits manager.

Joseph Convertino, Jr., president of CH Insurance, says the acquisition of Life Insurance CNY didn’t involve a financial transaction. Brian Winchell of Syracuse, who founded Life Insurance CNY, started working at CH Insurance on Oct. 1. 

Both Convertino and Winchell spoke with CNYBJ on Nov. 4 at the CH Insurance office at 100 S. Salina St. in the Atrium building. 

When asked what Winchell brought with him to the firm, Convertino replies, “His customer list, his brand with the name Life Insurance CNY, and his reputation in the community.” 

Convertino foresees Winchell’s work helping to grow CH’s group-benefits division. In addition to supporting the growth of CH Benefits, Winchell will lead the life insurance, disability income, and long-term care sales efforts at CH Insurance as a senior benefits advisor.

Convertino notes that CH Insurance had worked with Winchell as a broker-partner in recent years.

“Before I worked for CH, I worked with CH,” Winchell adds.

“The timing was right” to make Winchell an offer to join CH Insurance, says Convertino. He adds that the conversation to finalize an offer started before Labor Day. 

Winchell started Life Insurance CNY at the end of 2018 and launched the corresponding website on Jan. 1, 2019. Winchell says he was the lone employee of Life Insurance CNY.

Winchell says Life Insurance CNY was a home-based business, but he also maintained an office at the Syracuse CoWorks at 201 E. Jefferson St. in Syracuse. 

“I just rented space there for working,” he notes.

Winchell explains that he launched Life Insurance CNY to “fill [a] gap in the financial planning community by focusing exclusively on insurance and its role in the financial-planning process.”

He works closely with business owners, fee-only financial planners and investment managers, attorneys, and accountants, to implement optimal insurance strategies designed to protect and enhance retirement-income plans, legacy and estate plans, and ensure properly executed business-succession plans.

The website for Life Insurance CNY is still in operation, but will eventually become part of the CH Insurance website, says Winchell.

Winchell has worked in financial services for nearly 20 years. Before Life Insurance CNY, he worked for KAFL, a Rochester–based insurance brokerage during 2017 and 2018. He earlier worked for Sterling Financial Group, LLC in Salina as an investment-advisor representative. 

Winchell earlier spent time in the banking sector, working for Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) in New York City and HSBC in the Syracuse area, he adds.