There are two things Parker Conrad knows to be true when it comes to his peers in the employee benefit brokering business: One, they don’t like his company. Two, they don’t know what Zenefits does. The co-founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based tech startup-turned brokerage has been known to make some inflammatory remarks about the profession —“these guys don’t do very much” and “all of the existing brokers today are all [expletive],” as he’s told national consumer media outlets — but Conrad believes the reason for the dislike comes down to simple economics. “Zenefits is viewed by other brokers as a profoundly evil company because we’ve stolen a lot of business from folks. I get it. I get that that’s painful. I hate losing clients myself,” he says. But, he adds, such detractors have “no idea what we do,” having never seen the product or understood its value proposition, he says.

The Zenefits flagship product is a human resources information system that does benefits, payroll, on and off-boarding, retirement, paid time off tracking, commuter benefits and more. Conrad acknowledges many see it as “just some tech thing.”

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