Booming Bernard raises growth capital

Insurance advisory and brokerage firm Bernard Health has raised nearly $1.4 million in equity from a mix of existing and new investors.

Founder and CEO Alex Tolbert and his team plan to use the money to beef up the company's marketing, sales and client success teams. Bernard already has hired 22 people since Sept. 1 and plans to add another 15 to its ranks before year’s end.

A number of those people are working from Bernard’s second set of offices on Hayes Street in Midtown, down the road from the company’s home office on West End Avenue.

“The national individual health insurance market in a state of flux, and the local Nashville market will be particularly affected by the recent BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee decision to cease individual coverage in 2017,” Tolbert said. “This year, consumers and businesses alike are bound to have a lot of questions and we expect our Nashville-area retail stores to be busier than ever.”

Bernard runs three retail stores locally: on Thompson Lane, in Cool Springs and in Belle Meade. The company also has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland and Indianapolis.

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