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The Balaban Group, LLC, is a leading independent life insurance and estate planning firm in Los Angeles, CA, serving the affluent client base since 1986.

We work closely with the most respected Law Firms, Accounting Agencies, Business Managers, and Wealth Managers in the country.

Uniquely, as part of our proprietary method, and at our own expense, we torture-test every scenario with our team of specialists to understand and address any possible risks and vulnerabilities.

Our method openly coordinates and collaborates with a client's senior advisers to preserve those advisors' integrated and holistic client plans.

The results are high-quality and suitable solutions for ultra-sophisticated planning.

Meet the Team

Mark Balaban

FOUNDER and president

Mark Balaban, the founder, and president of The Balaban Group, LLC received his BA from the University Of California, Berkeley in 1985. He began his career with Northwestern Mutual, where he was the first, second, and third-year leader for the entire company in the Western Region. After six years, he left the company and started his brokerage firm focusing on estate planning (high net-worth individuals), specialty entertainment coverage/high limit disability, and non-appearance markets. His firm represents some of the most highly visible people in the entertainment, business, and private sectors. Mark has received numerous awards from the insurance industry for his excellence and is in the top 1% of all insurance brokerages in the country. Mark has two grown children, is an avid skier and traveler, and dabbles in guitar.

Zach Wolkstein

Associate Broker

Zach Wolkstein received his BA from The University of Arizona in 2017. Originally from New Jersey, Zach moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the technological industry. After a few years of working at Uber and with startup companies, he joined The Balaban Group, LLC in 2021 as an Associate Broker. Zach is a proud member of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, the Young Professionals Network of Beverly Hills, and the Athletes Touch Networking Group. In addition, he has been named "Local Business Person Of The Year of 2022" and "2022 Community Supporter" by Alignable. Zach is the youngest of three brothers and is also Mark's son-in-law. He enjoys staying active, traveling, and is an artist on the side. Zach dabbles in abstract painting and fine art photography as well.

Paul Galichia

Associate Broker

Paul Galichia received his BA from Stanford University in 1996. He was a four-year Tennis athlete and was part of the 1996 NCAA Champion Tennis Team. Paul has over a decade of experience developing startups and small companies. He began his career in the entertainment space, where he founded Tumbleweed Entertainment in 2006, producing animatic works and feature documentary films. In 2015, he ventured into the technological space and founded Basil Street Pizza, a groundbreaking robotic pizza kiosk company. Since then, Paul has helped evolve several companies as a strategic board member and advisor, such as Coreview, Capacitor Studios, and most recently in 2019, Best Food Trucks. Paul joined The Balaban Group, LLC in 2022 as an Associate Broker. He is married with two children and enjoys traveling, skiing and surfing.

Larry Shrednick

Senior Sales Adviser/Senior Brokerage Manager

Larry entered the life insurance business in 1985 with personal production, as an agent with New York Life. In 1988 he left New York Life to become a training manager for the Acacia Group. In 1992, he moved to National Life of Vermont where he trained new agents and oversaw the implementation of the Certified Financial Planner program. In 1994, he became the senior insurance adviser to Centerlink. In 2004, he moved to Marsh Private Client Services. Currently, he is the senior brokerage manager, where he is responsible for support, marketing, advanced sales planning (Split-dollar, Estate Planning, Business Planning, Buy/Sell), and the continued comprehensive evaluation of all life insurance companies.

Kim Boyer

Director of Underwriting/Lead Risk Assessment Underwriter

Kim started her career in 1985 as an underwriter for American Fidelity Assurance, where she then moved to Interstate Assurance Company as Senior Underwriter/Team leader. After years as senior underwriter, she was then moved to Security Life of Denver where she became Director of Underwriting (managing large case underwriting). Kim joined The Balaban group in 2014, where she is responsible for all medical underwriting (risk assessment), Forensic Underwriting, and managing the entire underwriting team.

Sean McNiff

Senior Sales Adviser/Brokerage Manager

Sean has been in the insurance industry for over a decade. Sean is responsible for designing and implementing high limit disability, life, and non-appearance policies directly with our seat in London (Lloyd's of London) for our entertainment, sports, and high net-worth families/individuals.

Monica Rios

Office Manager

Monica has been in the insurance business since 2005. Monica is responsible for the day-to-day operations of The Balaban Group, LLC, overseeing the entire team with policy service, claims, client relationship, underwriting, and placement of coverage. Monica is also fluent in Spanish.