After delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, being a janitor, painter, selling women’s shoes & men’s clothing, and numerous other jobs to support himself and pay his own way through high school and college, in June 1969, the company’s founder, James E. Bushnell, started his business career as a staff auditor on Wall Street in NYC with Haskins & Sells, a predecessor firm to the now Big 4 CPA firm of Deloitte.
In January 1971, Jim moved back to Vermont and became an insurance agent / broker representing a number of the major insurance companies.
In July 1973, he established Bushnell & Company to assist clients with their retirement plans administration and compliance issues in anticipation of ERISA. The compensation model was fee based offset by commissions from insurance products – the first of its kind in New England.
In September 1974, with the passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the company expanded its services to be an employee benefits consulting firm that initially specialized in the design, administration, communication and funding of retirement plans.
In July 1976, Bushnell & Company was incorporated and had grown to a staff of five employees.
In February 1981, recognizing the potential for conflicts of interest with clients and prospects, Jim terminated all of his VT, NH, ME, MA and NY insurance agent & broker licenses. Shortly thereafter, he became the first Vermont resident to become a licensed life & health insurance consultant. The second and third licensed life & health insurance consultants were employed by the firm of Bushnell, Ducham & Company, of which Mr. Bushnell was the president. This firm grew during the 1980’s to a full service, fee only, actuarial & employee benefit consulting firm with a total staff of 13 employees and annual revenues of approx. $1,000,000.
In July 1993, Bushnell & Company merged its employee benefits consulting practice with Gallagher, Flynn & Company (GFC), Vermont’s largest independently owned CPA firm with annual revenues in excess of $5,000,000 and a staff of 50 employees. Jim was Director of the Employee Benefits Division.
In August 1996, when his wife was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, Jim established the first Georgia based, fee only, full service employee benefits consulting firm of Bushnell & Company. In addition, he continued to serve his clients in New England by spending a week per month in Vermont. In July 1998 he sold the remainder of his interest in the practice in Vermont to GFC.
In December 2006, when his wife received a promotion and was transferred to Austin, TX Jim transferred (for the last time) his fee only, full service actuarial & employee benefits consulting firm of Bushnell & Company to Texas. He has now established deep roots in Austin and loves the Texas culture, heritage, folklore, and everything about Texas, including being called a Texan. As they say, he may not be a native Texan, but he got here as soon as he could!