Our Strategic Partners
Through our independent relationships with market leaders such as ValMark Securities, SEI, Brinker Capital and others, Platinum Peak Advisors has access to the industry’s top echelon of global resources. By combining this vast array of global resources with the high level of personal service, experience, expertise and integrity for which Platinum Peak Advisors is known, you receive the best of both worlds: institutional quality and selection with boutique-level service and advocacy.
The end result is that you have access to a selection of the highest quality alternatives along with independent advice to help you make informed decisions and confidently address your concerns and achieve your goals.
Platinum Peak is a proud Member Firm of ValMark Financial Group, which includes ValMark Securities, Inc., a national broker-dealer that is a member of FINRA and SIPC and is licensed in all 50 states to sell insurance and securities, and ValMark Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm with the SEC. ValMark is an elite, invitation-only consortium of the nation’s top echelon of independent wealth management firms. ValMark employs over 100 professionals who provide a concierge level of support to each Member Firm. Among the professionals are several of the industry’s leading experts in investment analysis and portfolio management, life insurance, medical underwriting, qualified and non-qualified plans, product due diligence and regulatory compliance.
As a ValMark Member Firm, we are able to leverage the specialized expertise of these professionals to help us deliver best-in-class thinking and strategies when helping our clients strategically plan their financial futures. For example, on a daily basis we are able to collaborate with highly qualified and experienced insurance advisors, underwriting directors, advanced financial planning analysts, a consulting medical director and investment specialists with advanced professional designations. These experts have extensive experience assisting firms like ours implement customized wealth accumulation, distribution and protection strategies.
As a collective group, ValMark Member Firms have an estimated $42 billion of life insurance in-force and over $12 billion of assets under management. This combined buying power gives Platinum Peak preferred access to the nation’s best rated companies and products and allows us to negotiate some of the best arrangements on behalf of our clients.
Mark Armstrong is the Vice President of Insurance Marketing for our partner, Valmark Financial Group. He has more than 25 years of financial services management experience, including 20 years as an executive-level consultant, specializing in product analysis and development and advanced case design. Mr. Armstrong is also a published author and lecturer who has been featured in publications and at venues, including the Journal of Practical Estate Planning; Best's Review; Journal of Financial Services Professionals; Million Dollar Round Table International Convention; and the Palm Beach Estate Planning Forum. He earned both a BA and an MA in Economics from the University of Akron and his designations and professional affiliations include Chartered Life Underwriter® and Charter Financial Consultant® (American College); Fellow with Distinction (Life management Institute); FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 securities registrations; and Life, Health, Variable Life Insurance and Annuity Licenses.
As a Director of Underwriting for our partner, Valmark Financial Group, Lauren Ballantine is responsible for the design and management of underwriting for special-risk cases and serves as an escalation contact for any new business or underwriting issues. She earned a BA in Biology and Art from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University where she received the President’s Scholarship, an Art Scholarship, Universal Honors, and made the Dean’s List. Ms. Ballantine is a Fellow of the Academy of Life Underwriting (FALU), a board member of Twin Cities Association of Home Office Underwriters, and holds Minnesota Life and Health Insurance Licenses. In addition, she is an industry conference presenter.
Chris Finefrock is the Vice President of Financial Planning for our partner, Valmark Financial Group. In his role, he oversees and is a resource for the team responsible for all aspects of design and implementation of various brokerage, insurance, and advisory solutions intended to assist investors with risk management and reaching their accumulation and/or distribution goals. In addition to his FINRA series 7, 24 and 66 securities registrations and his Ohio Life, Health and Variable licenses, Mr. Finefrock holds a bachelor’s degree in Financial Services and an MBA in Finance from the University of Akron. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.
As a New Business Specialist for our partner, Valmark Financial Group’s Underwriting team, Mindy Shaffer works with Member Firms to provide excellent customer service and to make sure their life insurance cases get submitted, issued, and placed in a timely manner. She has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, with 13 of those years being in life insurance. Ms. Shaffer previously worked for a core carrier of Valmark’s on their indexing, submit and issue team, while also filling in on their 1035 team before transitioning to policy administration. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, and fishing with her husband and son.
As a New Business Specialist for our partner, Valmark Financial Group, Jamie Hochmuth is part of our Concierge Services teams and works to coordinate the application process between our clients and insurance carriers. Miss Hochmuth earned BAs in Creative Writing and Business Administration with a focus on Marketing and Management from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. She holds a Minnesota Life Insurance Producer’s license, as well as ALMI and ACS designations. She is also working toward the FLMI designation. In her free time, Miss Hochmuth enjoys writing novels, performing in choirs and operas, and exploring the Twin Cities.