Mergers & Acquisitions

Griffin Distribution Partners Joins LIBRA Insurance Partners

The partnership with America’s largest independently owned Life Insurance Marketing Organization (IMO) was the catalyst for forming Griffin, a ‘relationship-driven’ BGA

Raleigh, NC – February 22, 2023 —Griffin Distribution Partners, a newly founded, relationship-driven Brokerage General Agency (BGA), announces its partnership with LIBRA Insurance Partners, the largest independently owned life insurance marketing organization (IMO) in the United States. Founders of Griffin Distribution Partners, industry veterans Sean Shea, Frank Johnson, Steve Bell, and Teresa Shea, joined forces with the unified mission of designing a BGA to allow for deeper, value-driven relationships with a select group of planning-oriented advisors. Griffin Distribution Partners specializes in protection-based insurance products, including life insurance, long-term care (LTC), disability, fixed annuity and more.

“We founded our BGA on a strong and distinctive ethos: relationships matter,” said Sean Shea, LUTCF®, CLTC®, president and founding partner of Griffin Distribution Partners, “Throughout my career, I’ve always believed that the advisors I work with should be seen as life-long relationships and in partnering with LIBRA, not only have we gained access to extensive resources for our advisor clientele but we have also found an IMO that shares in our same relationship-first values.”

Alongside Shea, the firm’s leadership team includes fellow founding partner and chief marketing officer Frank Johnson, CFP®, CLU®, CLTC®, chief operating officer Teresa Shea, CFP®, and Steve Bell as executive vice president of business development and founding partner. Bell and Shea are co-founders of Enterprise Financial Network, an enterprise OSJ with Cambridge Investment Research, where Bell serves as an OSJ Manager.

As a relationship-driven BGA, Griffin works in partnership with a select group of advisors, those committed to financial planning with an emphasis on wealth management, to deliver advanced, high-end asset protection strategies and planning solutions. By limiting its service offerings to the top echelon of advisors, Griffin can serve in both a strategic and active capacity, helping to identify and design asset protection strategies and work alongside the advisor through implementation.

“As industry colleagues for more than 25 years, Sean and I share the same work ethic and client-first mentality,” said Johnson. “We also recognized the gap of advanced asset protection support and partnership available for top financial planners and wealth managers, whose clients often have unique challenges or more sophisticated needs and require ‘outside the box’ thinking. As our name implies, Griffin offers a unique blend of knowledge, experience, and access to deliver a robust solution for affiliated advisors and their clients.”

Through its partnership with LIBRA, Griffin Distribution has direct access to several proprietary and advanced planning tools and benefits, including:

We are delighted to welcome Griffin Distribution Partners to our team – they are the perfect fit for LIBRA, and we are excited to further their mission with their advisor clients...

  • established relationships with an expanded lineup of affiliated carriers and reinsurers
  • dedicated underwriting and new business teams
  • case design resources and direct access to high-level contacts to facilitate the processing
    complex cases
  • a dedicated medical director
  • product white papers and benchmarking tools
  • a streamlined quick quoting and informal processing platform
  • proprietary underwriting platforms

“We are delighted to welcome Griffin Distribution Partners to our team – they are the perfect fit for LIBRA, and we are excited to further their mission with their advisor clients,” said William (Bill) Shelow, CLU®, ChFC®, CPCU®, LLIF, president and CEO of LIBRA. “With a shared philosophy of always putting the client first, set upon a foundation of industry-leading tools and resources, I look forward to working together to serve the advanced needs of industry top advisors.”




About Sean Shea
Known for his ability to build and grow agencies, hands-on advisor development, and sales achievements, Shea’s passion lies in building relationships with advisors and working alongside them in the use of life insurance in the financial planning process for both individuals and family-owned businesses. Previously, Shea was the executive vice president at The Pinnacle Group, where he gained extensive experience with complex case presentation and execution as a member of the company’s Advanced Markets team. Shea also holds the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow® (LUTCF®) and Certified in Long-Term Care (CLTC®) designations and is an investment advisor representative. He also was the regional director of Jefferson Pilot’s Raleigh, North Carolina branch, where he rebuilt the organization to top-performing status. Shea first entered the industry with Prudential as an agent in Long Island, New York, where he eventually became the managing director of the Houston agency. Under his leadership, the Houston agency grew to become the leading fee-based financial planning operation in Prudential.
About Frank Johnson
Johnson has gained extensive “boots on the ground” experience throughout his career, including most recently as an active partner with a previous BGA. Before that, he was a brokerage director with Mass Mutual specializing in financial institution relationships in the New York Metro area. He also spent 15 years wholesaling life and annuities as a regional vice president with multiple carriers, including Allstate, AIG/U.S. Life and AXA-Equitable and worked as a financial advisor with two regional banks. Johnson started his career at Prudential, running a fee-based financial planning unit. He holds life, health and property and casualty licenses. He is also securities licensed and holds several prestigious designations, including CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) and Certified in Long-Term Care (CLTC®).
About Griffin Distribution Partners
Griffin Distribution Partners is a relationship-driven Brokerage General Agency (BGA) that delivers protection-based products, including life insurance, long-term care (LTC), disability, fixed annuity and more. Founding partners Sean Shea,LUTCF®, CLTC® and Frank Johnson, CFP®, CLU®, CLTC®, created the firm with the desire to have deeper relationships and deliver greater value with a select group of planning-oriented advisors. For more information about Griffin Distribution Partners, visit
About LIBRA Insurance Partners (LIBRA)
LIBRA Insurance Partners is an insurance marketing organization dedicated to serving independent insurance producers, brokers and financial institutions. Formerly known as LifeMark Partners and BRAMCO Financial Resources, and through the merger with Insurance Designers of America (IDA) in 2022, the collective firm exists to leverage strategic relationships, expertise and innovation to expand life insurance distribution for the benefit of all stakeholders. LIBRA Insurance Partners is dedicated to the ongoing development and enhancement of resources to differentiate partner agencies from the competition. Its firms benefit from robust proprietary service offerings, unparalleled partnership, product expertise and access to industry-leading resources. To learn more about becoming a LIBRA partner firm, visit or call (410) 837-3022.