Sentinel Set to Grow with April 1 Columbia Opening

Sentinel Risk Advisors announced this week it will expand its brand of elite risk management offerings with the opening of its first South Carolina office. The Raleigh-based firm is the Carolinas’ premier, independently owned risk and insurance brokerage.

The firm opened offices in Charlotte and Winston-Salem in 2017. The expansion into South Carolina further substantiates the firm’s growing influence among businesses in the Carolinas and the Southeast. Sentinel was founded in 2012 by a small group of key players and top producers in the insurance, risk and financial industries. Since then, the firm has developed a reputation for smarter, savvier business insurance services in an industry that has traditionally championed the status quo.

Leading the effort to build Sentinel’s brand and business in Columbia is Melissa L. Cole, a top insurance executive in the region. Cole was previously with BB&T for more than a decade. A Clemson alumnus and former Division I athlete, Cole started her career as an educator in the South Carolina public school system, transitioning from the classroom to principal administration.

Sentinel founder and managing partner Jim Holmes says the firm’s expansion into South Carolina is a strategic move that, in a way, was also inevitable.

“The nature of business today is that there are fewer and fewer geographic boundaries,” Holmes said. “We said from day one that we would be rooted in North Carolina, but that our footprint would extend into South Carolina and beyond. We’re looking forward to making a difference in the lives and livelihoods of people and businesses in South Carolina for generations to come.”

Sentinel’s Columbia office will operate from temporary space on the city’s east side until a permanent location opens this fall. The Columbia branch will employ about 10 employees once fully staffed.

About Sentinel Risk Advisors

Sentinel is a premier risk management and insurance brokerage firm with a reputation for exceptional client experience. The Raleigh-based firm offers a broad scope of property, casualty, and risk management services for today’s global marketplace. Clients depend on Sentinel to protect their assets, preserve their wealth, and elevate their personal and professional position. Our core business is risk mitigation and insurance brokerage services, but our greatest endeavor is investing in the success of the clients we represent. For more information, visit

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