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What do benefit advisers Christopher Caldari, Amy Kinsman and Edwige Ligondé all have in common?

They are among 20 new Rising Stars picked by our editorial team this year who are best positioning themselves as a new generation of experts advising employers in search of healthcare savings, smarter benefits plans and ways to boost workplace engagement. We asked these young advisers for their top forecasts, the key skills needed to thrive, and what they think leaders should do to keep attracting talent to help provide better healthcare and employer benefits.

“My boldest prediction for the benefits advisory industry is that we will see a strong shift to next-generation consultants. With current consultants moving out of the market due to retirement, this will present a huge opportunity for younger professionals to move into an exciting field,” says Caldari, 26, a consultant with Corporate Synergies.

Other young leaders focused on lifelong learning as an important mindset to adopt.

“Communication and continued education” are key skills of all successful advisers, says Amy Kinsman, 28, a retirement plan consultant with Cafaro Greenleaf. “It’s important to keep up with industry regulations” to keep clients informed.

As his inspiration, Edwige Ligondé thought back to memories of his mother, a family nurse practitioner, coming home from work and telling stories of patients struggling to understand the healthcare system. His mother recalled patients who wouldn’t follow doctor’s recommendations because they couldn’t afford health insurance.

“No one’s helping these people out with their healthcare needs,” Ligondé, 33, told associate editor Caroline Hroncich, who writes about him and his work as a vice president at Nielsen Benefits Group in Westlake Village, California, where he’s generated more than $1 million in new business revenue. “They aren’t taking the recommendations of their doctor just because they don’t understand their insurance plan,” Ligondé adds. “It was an anomaly to me.”

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