SAN RAFAEL --  Just months after announcing an expansion into the North Bay, Irvine-based Burnham Benefits Insurance Services is adding its financial planning arm to the San Rafael location as it looks to gain a stronger foothold in Northern California. 

Burnham Gibson Financial Group will soon join its insurance partner, which arrived in April,  at 4040  Civic Center Dr.,  seeking to integrate pension consulting, executive benefits and health and wellness plans  with its employee benefits firm, the company said.

The two arms of Burnham formed a strategic partnership in 2010 in Southern California as a means of offering more services to clients and are now seeking expansion in the Bay Area.  Burnham Gibson is currently recruiting  financial services professionals for its Marin office.

"As strategic partners in Southern California, Burnham Gibson and Burnham Benefits have already established the infrastructure that allows us to provide clients with a remarkable level of service and experience, and we’re excited to bring that same caliber of service to Northern California,” Darin Gibson, president of Burnham Gibson Financial Group, said in a statement.  “We’re developing a statewide firm that can deliver improved efficiencies throughout California while maintaining the personalized experience both our firms have become known for.”

Burnham Gibson currently advises on approximately $750 million in assets for corporate and individual clients.

In April, Burnham Benefits leased 2,000 square feet of space, with hopes of expanding into 6,000 square feet upon expanding. Michael Michalski, a 30-year veteran of the San Fransisco insurance world, was tapped to head Burnham Benefits’ San Rafael office. He previously worked for Aetna, and in 1984 he founded Optimum Benefits Company in San Francisco. Eventually, Mr. Michalski merged his company with Benefits Planning in 1989. In 2003, he sold the company to Arthur J. Gallagher and Co., an Illinois-based brokerage and consultancy with  a national presence, including San Francisco and Larkspur, where it operates subsidiary Gallagher Benefits Services.