NEW YORK, N.Y., October 5, 2021 – Guardian Life (Guardian) and Cressey & Company LP (Cressey), announce a strategic partnership to accelerate growth for Avēsis, a Guardian subsidiary focused on dental, vision and hearing benefits within the government and commercial sector. As a strategic partner, Cressey, a private investment firm focused on building leading healthcare services and information technology businesses, will make a significant investment to accelerate Avēsis’ product development efforts, deliver new customer experiences, and expand in existing and new markets.

“Avēsis is now uniquely positioned to leverage Cressey’s outstanding experience and expertise in the fast-growing Medicare and Medicaid space, and its track record of forging winning industry partnerships,” said Chris Smith, Head of Group Benefits at Guardian. “By joining forces, Cressey and Guardian will create an expanded platform that meets the needs of our customers and will transform Avēsis as a preferred partner in dental, vision, and hearing benefits for government and commercial markets.” 

Acquired by Guardian in 2016, Avēsis has grown from 5.8 million to 8.1 million customers in government and 9.2 million customers overall, including customers administered under Medicaid, CHIP and Medicare Advantage programs. Avēsis currently has partnerships with managed care organizations holding government contracts in 13 states.

“We feel privileged to collaborate closely with Guardian in this new partnership with Avēsis,” said Peter Ehrich, Partner at Cressey.  “With Avēsis’ strong foundation, we have the opportunity to positively impact the healthcare system by focusing on innovation that is centered on empowering customers with an improved approach to delivering supplemental benefits.”

The agreement between Guardian and Cressey was finalized following regulatory approval, whereby Guardian remains the majority equity holder, while Cressey became a meaningful equity holder providing financial and strategic support effective immediately. With this partnership, 30-year healthcare veteran Sean Slovenski assumes the role of CEO and will lead the execution of Avēsis’ renewed strategy vision. 

“It’s an honor to join Avēsis and work closely with Guardian and Cressey to drive sustained growth while strengthening customers’ experiences with Avēsis’ unique product offerings,” said Slovenski.   

To learn more about Avēsis, click here

About Guardian Life

Every day, Guardian provides Americans the security they deserve through our insurance and wealth management products and services. Since its founding in 1860, Guardian’s long-term view has helped its customers prepare for whatever life brings whether starting a family, planning for the future or taking care of employees. Today, Guardian is Fortune 250 mutual company and a leading provider of life, disability, dental, and other benefits for individuals, at the workplace and through government sponsored programs. The Guardian community of over 9,000 employees and its network of over 2,500 financial representatives is committed to serving with expertise when, where and how our clients need. Guardian’s commitments rest on a strong financial foundation, which at year-end 2020 included $9.5 billion in capital and $1.7 billion in operating income. For more information, please visit or follow Guardian on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

About Cressey & Company LP

Based in Chicago, Illinois and Nashville, Tennessee, Cressey & Company LP is a private investment firm focused on building leading healthcare services and information technology businesses. With a history spanning 40 years, the Cressey & Company team is one of the most experienced and successful in the healthcare private equity field. For more information, visit

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