Adam Balinsky is the Founder and President of Fifth Season Financial. He passionately believes in the mission of the company—to help relieve the financial pressures faced by many patients struggling with advanced illnesses including cancer.
Adam recognizes that people facing advanced-stage diseases have incremental financial pressures affecting everyday life that are not being addressed. That’s why Fifth Season’s financial assistance program, Funds For Living, is designed to bridge the gap between the traditional financial assistance programs available to mitigate the direct medical and treatment costs, and the much broader financial needs of patients. The Funds For Living Program provides patients with money from a non-traditional asset – their existing life insurance policy.
Adam hopes that those who use our financial assistance program are able to use the funds to maintain or better their quality of life. The funds can be used as the patient sees fit. Common uses include paying rent or mortgage bills, utility bills, medication costs, treatment costs. Others use the funds to take a dream trip—creating lasting memories with family members, to pay for in-home care, or to pay to bring family together. To date, Fifth Season has assisted nearly 400 patients and their families and provided more than $75 million in financial help to patients with advanced illnesses.
The Story Behind Adam’s Passion for Fifth Season’s Services
A year after Adam and his family moved to the United States from Canada, his wife, Tracey, was diagnosed with breast cancer. While dealing with the sobering realities of their new situation, Adam began to learn about the many ways organizations in the U.S. support patients medically and emotionally. However, he was disappointed to see the very limited structured support for the broad range of financial strains patients often face.
Adam was motivated and inspired to proactively do something about it. After serving as director of Fifth Season Financial from 2007 through 2009, Adam acquired Fifth Season Financial in October 2012. He then structured and developed the Funds For Living Program to specifically address financial needs of people facing advanced-stage illnesses. Beyond Fifth Season, Adam and Tracey (who is now five years post treatment and doing very well!) are very active in supporting cancer causes, including Gilda’s Club Westchester, where Tracey is a member of the Board of Directors.
Adam is a lawyer by training, having practiced law for 11 years at Baker & McKenzie LLP, where he became a partner in 2005. Adam holds a joint MBA/JD from the University of Toronto and a Bachelors of Commerce from McGill University. He is admitted to practice law in the Province of Ontario, Canada, and is in good standing with the American Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) from May 2011 to May 2013.
Scott Rose is the Vice President of Fifth Season Financial, L.P., and also serves as a member of Fifth Season’s Credit Committee. At Fifth Season Financial, Scott helps structure and underwrite Fifth Season’s loans and other investments. In other words, along with his team, Scott reviews every case and helps determine the terms of each loan.
As the principal and founder of Barrett Advisors LLC, he has an abundance of experience in the field. He has designed, developed, structured, implemented and financed numerous life insurance premium finance programs and insurance based investment strategies. In addition, Scott co-founded and managed Premium Capital Group LLC, a boutique financial consulting firm specializing in advising high and ultra-high net worth individuals on estate planning, insurance and financing matters.
Earlier in his career, Scott worked as an attorney and was Vice President and General Counsel of A.I. Credit Corp., an American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) subsidiary responsible for making insurance premium loans. Before joining A.I. Credit Corp, Scott worked as a corporate attorney at the New York law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he specialized in commercial banking, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets and other financing transactions.
Scott graduated in 1992 from Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, with distinction in all subjects, with a B.A. in Psychology, and received his J.D. in 1995 from the University of Pennsylvania, earning cum laude and Order of the Coif honors. Scott is admitted to the New York Bar and is a licensed Life and Accident/Health Broker. He has also authored the chapter Other People’s Money: The Allure of Life Insurance Premium Financing, The Black Book on…PERSONAL FINANCE (Larstan Publishing April 2005).
Ryan McTernan is a senior associate at Fifth Season Financial. He is one of our number crunchers and works with the team to structure and evaluate each loan. He works behind the scene but always has the applicant’s needs in mind and his main focus is maximizing the proceeds available for each borrower. His attention to detail is extremely helpful in administrating the Funds For Living Program and in managing the insurance policies once the client joins the program.
Ryan graduated with honors from State University of New York at Cortland and has over 7 years’ experience in the finance and insurance industries.
Eric manages Fifth Season’s Funds For Living Program. As our company’s primary contact working with individuals seeking financial assistance, he is compassionate and sensitive when conversing with people who are dealing with the physical, emotional and financial strain caused by advanced stage illnesses.
Eric and his team pride themselves on keeping applicants well informed throughout the entire loan process. Eric ensures that the lines of communication are always open for patients to initiate any questions they have along the way. He operates with a sense of purpose, flexibility and urgency to ensure that Fifth Season addresses the unique set of needs of each of our applicants.
Eric has built his professional knowledge and customer expertise over the 10-plus years he has worked in the life insurance investment space.
Giovanny Ramirez works behind the scenes at Fifth Season Financial. He diligently manages the information gathering processes between medical facilities and insurance carriers. Along with his team, he works with insurance companies and medical facilities to ensure that all records are in order. He takes care of all the paper work so that the process is smooth and stress free for applicants. Giovanny’s can-do mentality motivates him to do all that he can to make sure that every individual who applies gets a fair chance to qualify into the Funds For Living Program.
Extremely compassionate and with a big heart, Giovanny gets to know Fifth Season’s clients on a personal level, understanding their stories, and circumstances, while sharing sincere words of hope and care.
Professionally, Giovanny brings over 11 years of experience working for a diverse number of financial and investment related institutions. When Giovanny was presented with Fifth Season’s mission and service, he was immediately drawn to how helpful the program is for individuals enduring financial hardship. “I feel grateful that by working at Fifth Season, I can help make a difference in people’s lives. When you are dealing with a serious illness- the last thing you need is stress over finances.”
Mike Schmitt is the Case Servicing and Data Management Associate at Fifth Season Financial. He services life insurance policies owned by Fifth Season Financial by communicating with insurance companies to ensure policies are in good standing. In addition, he obtains required information from insurance carriers that are necessary in the closing process. This includes performing due diligence on policy issues to ensure that projected values are in sync with the expectations of the credit committee for final approval to close final transactions. After closing he enters all the information gathered into the company’s data management system. He works closely with Giovanny and Ryan on daily projects involving management of Fifth Season data to improve analysis of insurance policies.
Mike believes strongly in Fifth Season’s mission and feels proud to be part of the team. The greatest part of his job is communicating with clients that they will be receiving much needed funds.
Professionally, he has worked as a Paralegal for ten years and as a Librarian for several years. He received a BA from Pace University and an MS from Long Island University in Library and Information Science.
Michael Falk is responsible for the back office of the firm’s investment funds. His responsibilities include the review of the funds’ books and records, managing the tax preparation and audit processes, providing answers to investor questions and assisting with regulatory filings.
Mr. Falk joined Fifth Season Financial in July 2018. He was previously the Corporate Controller and Secretary of American Banknote Corporation. Mr. Falk’s other work experience includes BHR Capital LLC as the Chief Financial Officer, Steel Partners, Ltd. most recently as a Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, K2 Advisors, L.L.C., where he was an accounting manager, and Richard A. Eisner & Co. L.L.P. in the financial services audit group, rising to the position of supervisor. Mr. Falk received a B.S. in Accounting from Syracuse University and an MBA in Finance and Investments from Baruch College, City of New York Zicklin Graduate School of Business. He has been licensed in New York State as a CPA since 1997.
At Fifth Season, Cailtin utilizes her compassion for helping others, creativity, organizational skills and past managerial experiences to benefit our clients. On our client side, Caitlin works with the Program Director to manage the application process and ensures all requests to medical facilities and insurance carriers are made in a timely fashion while also catering to the needs of each of our clients. On the operations side, she is simultaneously doing special projects for Fifth Season’s President, communicates and works with our investors, and keeps the office environment orderly.
After many years in the fashion industry working for lifestyle brands such as Vineyard Vines and UK based Jack Wills, Caitlin decided to continue to challenge herself in her career path and move into the financial world… and we’re thrilled to have her!
Caitlin graduated from Providence College with a BA in music and liberal arts.
Dana Diorio is the Controller at Fifth Season Financial. Dana is committed to working towards transparency in our finance and accounting practices. With 13 years of experience in the life insurance investment field, Dana is extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of the life insurance arena.
She works closely with Eric and Giovanny on the Funds For Living Program. She is responsible for organizing the loan schedules, for paying our clients insurance premiums and for issuing all monthly statements to clients. In addition, she facilitates surplus beneficiary payments to our client’s families.
Dana graduated from Hofstra University with a B.B.A in Accounting. She continues her accounting education with a variety of on-line courses.
Dana says, “I am so pleased to be working for Fifth Season, so many people are touched by disease and it’s nice that we can make a difference in relieving some of the stress associated with advanced illness.”
Tracey Aaron is the Communications Director at Fifth Season Financial. She is responsible for the development of Fifth Season’s communication strategy. She directly manages the communications plan and all communication activities. She builds relationships with non-profit organizations and fosters relationships with our existing partners.
Tracey has over 10 years experience working in marketing and communications in the health care field. She holds a B.A. as well as a M.A. Degree in Sociology and is ABD (all but Dissertation) in a PhD in Community Health.
As a cancer survivor herself and a mom to three small children, she understands the incredible financial and other stressors that often accompany illness. Tracey says, “I feel extremely fortunate to be able to work for a company that is community minded, socially responsible and provides a much needed product and service to individuals who are dealing with illness.”