Helping individuals and families get the financial assistance they need.
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, FLAG (Funds for Living and Giving), 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 FLAG 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 FLAG 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).
Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
Michael Wolfe is the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for Fifth Season Financial. Michael leads our communications efforts, helping ensure that patient communities are aware of Fifth Season’s services and processes. He develops and implements advertising, PR, partnership and events strategies, all designed to help spread the word about Fifth Season and the hundreds of families that have been helped as they fight financial hardship caused by late-stage illness. He works closely with Tracey and Eric to make sure that Fifth Season’s financial assistance programs are clearly communicated and engaging.
Michael’s own experience with his mother’s cancer has given him a real understanding of the challenges for those battling advanced-stage illnesses and the toll it can take on a patient and their loved ones. He is so pleased to be a key player in introducing what is clearly an under-represented option to those facing financial hurdles during this process (especially one that provides resources for both the patient and their chosen beneficiaries).
Prior to joining Fifth Season, Michael spent over two decades leading advertising sales and marketing efforts at some of the leading national magazine companies in the industry, including Conde Nast (GQ, Architectural Digest), Time Inc. (Entertainment Weekly, Life), Hearst (O, The Oprah Magazine), Wenner (Men’s Journal) and Rodale (Best Life). He most recently served as Publisher, National Sales at the Modern Luxury network of brands, and as Publisher of The Week and Mental Floss magazines.
Michael graduated in 1990 from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communications. Michael says “I’m thrilled to be putting my efforts towards a financial assistance program that can help so many…and yet is known by so few. The stories of patients whose qualities of life have been improved by Fifth Season are so moving and inspiring, I look forward to helping even more patients and their families learn how we can be of service.”
Managing Director-Business Development
Larry Simms has been named Fifth Season’s Managing Director-Business Development. Larry brings over 30 years of experience successfully establishing and growing relationships within the financial services and healthcare industries. Prior to joining FSF, he was head of business development at John W. Henry & Co. (a $300MM Commodity Trading Advisor).
At LifeOptions, LLC, he established an extensive client network of insurance agents, brokers, attorneys and accountants in the emerging life settlement market. Working on Wall Street, Larry spent over 20 years in Institutional Equity Sales for firms including Salomon Smith Barney, UBS and Wells Fargo Securities. He received his B.S. degree from Fordham University and an MBA from New York University.
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.”
Dana Diorio is the Accounting Manager at Fifth Season Financial. Dana is committed to working towards transparency in our finance and accounting practices. With 7 years’ 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 FLAG 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.”
Eric manages Fifth Season’s FLAG 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.
Senior Case Manager
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 FLAG 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.”
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 FLAG 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.
Senior Program and Office Manager
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.
Bridget is often the first point of contact for individuals seeking financial assistance through Fifth Season’s FLAG program. She is patient and understanding when it comes to the concerns of those dealing with the stresses that an advanced stage illness can bring. She is a certified nursing assistant and has worked in both hospital and nursing home settings. From those experiences, Bridget developed a keen understanding of the importance of patient care and the need for financial relief. She has over 10 years direct client communication experience.
She graduated Cum Laude from Norwalk Community College and is pursuing a degree in Psychology. She believes in the importance of our FLAG program and the way it helps others. Bridget says “This program is an important option for individuals who are struggling to find resources after a diagnosis. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to tell someone that their financial stress has just been relieved.” Bridget lives in Norwalk, CT.