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Chris Fifis Joins Grassi & Co. as Director of Business Development

Chris Fifis

Chris Fifis

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $60.8 million) announces that Chris Fifis is joining the firm’s leadership team as director of business development.

Fifis will cultivate new business opportunities and further the growth of the firm’s practice areas. Previously, he worked in business development for an insurance broker where his role focused on mid-sized companies – primarily in food processing, distribution and manufacturing – and helped them reduce risks and establish new policies and procedures.

He will be based in the Park Ridge, N.J., office and will focus his initial efforts on the northern New Jersey and New York markets, the firm says.

“Chris’s areas of expertise, particularly in prospecting in the northern New Jersey and Philadelphia markets, make him a desirable addition to our team as we continue to branch out into new territories,” says MP and CEO Louis C. Grassi. “We have an extremely strong presence in both Long Island and New York City and I am confident that Chris will help our firm build new and deeper relationships in New Jersey as well.”

More news from Grassi & Co. 

Grassi & Co. Admits Leonard Carone as Partner in Franchise Services

Leonard Carone

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $60.8 million) has announced that Leonard Carone has been admitted to the partnership.

Carone brings more than 25 years of public and private experience to the firm and specializes in the franchise industry, specifically high-net-worth individual owners. He provides strategic advice and tax planning to assist them in maximizing their profitability and growth potential.

Prior to joining Grassi Franchise Services, Carone worked in a New York-based CPA firm and has served as a CFO in the telecom industry.

“Leonard has a powerful reputation within the franchise community of providing value and has successfully assisted with the closing of multiple franchise sales to private equity groups,” says James Bohl, president of Grassi Franchise Services. “His abilities earned him the right to distinguish himself as one of the leaders of Grassi Franchise Services.”

Grassi & Co. Admits Michael Violano as an Audit Partner

Michael A. Violano

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $60.8 million) has announced that Michael A. Violano was admitted as an audit partner in the manufacturing and distribution practice.

Violano, who will lead the building materials sub-segment, has over 15 years of experience providing audit, accounting and consulting services to companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500s in the public and private sectors in both domestic and international markets.

“Michael has been an integral part of helping us expand our growing M&D practice and has demonstrated exemplary service to each and every client,” says MP and CEO Louis C. Grassi. Violano is based in the firm’s Jericho, N.Y., office.

Grassi & Co.’s Not-For-Profit Practice Expands in NYC and Westchester County

Derek Flanagan

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $60.8 million) announces that the audit nonprofit partners and staff of Lederer Levine & Associates of Lyndhurst, N.J., joined the firm on Jan. 1.

The acquisition brings partner Derek Flanagan as well as four professionals to the firm’s offices in New York and White Plains, N.Y. The addition of these specialist resources has expanded and strengthened services provided by Grassi & Co.’s not-for-profit practice, led by David M. Rottkamp.

David Rottkamp

Flanagan has over 30 years of experience in providing audit and accounting services exclusively to not-for-profit organizations. His clients include social services agencies, private and charter schools, arts organizations, private foundations and special needs providers.

“Lederer Levine & Associates’ nonprofit practice bears significant synergies with our practice,” says Rottkamp. “The years of expertise brought by Derek and his team enhances our existing strengths and will expand our geographic reach in the region, placing us at the forefront in serving the needs of this important segment.”

Grassi & Co.’s not-for-profit practice team assists many types of not-for-profit organizations, including organizations involved in government-funded social services, special needs, health care, philanthropic, religious and education.

“With the increasing demands and challenges facing the not-for-profit community, adding a stronger presence in Westchester County is another way the professionals of Grassi & Co. are growing to meet those challenges, says Louis C. Grassi, CEO and MP. “As our firm looks to the future, we’re excited to continue to expand our footprint in the New York region.

Grassi & Co. Welcomes Sawhney as Principal

Sareena Malik Sawhney

Sareena Malik Sawhney

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $59.6 million) welcomed Sareena Malik Sawhney as a principal in Grassi’s fraud, forensic and litigation support group based in their Manhattan offices. Sawhney will focus on providing services in the areas of complex fraud investigations, forensic accounting examinations, and services related to commercial litigation and damage analyses.

Prior to joining Grassi & Co., Sawhney worked at Marks Paneth and a Big 4 consulting firm with a focus on fraud and forensic investigations, breach of contract damage issues and various bankruptcy fraud matters. Examples of cases she has worked on include assisting attorneys representing a Fortune 500 company in a case involving allegations of fraud, misrepresentation of financial statements and criminal activity of certain individual employees. She has also assisted attorneys in reviewing certain alleged fraudulent transactions in which she had to report her findings to the Audit Committee. Sawhney has also been involved in a number of arbitration proceedings involving shareholder disputes and breach of contract matters.

“Sareena’s areas of expertise make her a true asset to Grassi & Co.,” says MP and CEO Louis Grassi. “We have an extremely strong New York City presence and I am more confident than ever that by expanding our talent pool with great additions like Sareena, we will be better able to serve our clients and be more impactful in this space.”

Grassi & Co. Introduces Cyber and Information Security Practice

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $59.6 million) is offering additional consulting services through their new cyber and information security (CIS) practice, which will be spearheaded by Karl Kispert.

Karl Kispert

Karl Kispert

The new practice helps clients understand risk profiles, recognize potential threats, determine risk tolerance, and create a cyber and information security roadmap and program. The professionals of CIS will assist in three areas: strategy, implementation and remediation, and support.

Kispert, principal of CIS, has more than 28 years of experience in selling, managing and delivering information risk management, internal audit, regulatory and compliance programs, and information security and technology risk management projects across many industry verticals for both domestic and international clients. Kispert, a former chief information security officer, has helped design and sustain information and cybersecurity programs.

“In keeping with our commitment as success consultants, we understand the growing need company owners have to secure their data, and the data of their clients and customers,” says Louis Grassi, CEO. “By adding this new service line, and bringing someone with Karl’s expertise to the firm, we can service yet another important aspect of our clients’ and prospects’ businesses, ensuring their continued success.”

Services will include full security programs, compliance, 3rd party vendor risk assessment, threat management and managed security services. Kispert and his team will be based out of the New York office and are available to service clients throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Grassi & Co. Launches New Affiliate, Grassi Healthcare Advisors

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $59.6 million) launched Grassi Healthcare Advisors LLC (GHA), which will be led by CEO Joseph Tomaino, previously the principal of health care transformation consulting of Grassi & Co. for the last three years.

Joseph Tomaino

Joseph Tomaino

Tomaino has more than 30 years of health care management experience working in the not-for-profit, for-profit and government-sponsored segments. He has worked with provider organizations and payers across the U.S. as an architect of value based care – improving clinical effectiveness and resource efficiency. Tomaino uses data to analyze populations being served as well as an organization’s effectiveness, and then applies innovative structure and program designs to improve performance, helping clients transform to successfully operate in managed care and accountable care reimbursement environments.

In the current accountable-care health care environment, medical providers and health care organizations are transitioning from a transactional fee-for-service business model, to a value-based payment model.

“With the rapid pace of change businesses experience today, the creation of Grassi Healthcare Advisors LLC is a necessity in helping our clients successfully integrate into this value-based payment model,” says Louis Grassi, MP and CEO. “I have every confidence that Joseph and his team of experts are at the forefront of the issues facing the health care industry and will help position our clients for continued success and growth.”

The GHA team will also include Stephanie Fiedler as the director of revenue advisory; Geri Gregor, a partner in business advisory; Joseph Micara, director of business development; and Alicia Shickle, senior manager.

Grassi & Co. Moves Scarsdale Office to White Plains

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $53 million) announces that it is moving its Scarsdale, N.Y., offices to White Plains.

Robert Bernstein, PIC of the White Plains office, has more than 30 years of experience specializing in tax and business consulting services to auto dealers, car washes, gas stations, quick lube stations, restaurants, electrical contractors and liquor stores.

“This new location will enable us to operate at greater efficiency in how we serve our clients, will improve internal and external communications, and increase speed in responding to our clients’ needs,” says Bernstein.

Larson Joins Grassi & Co. as Tax Partner

Tim Larson

Tim Larson

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $53 million) announces that Tim Larson has joined the firm as an international tax partner based in its New York office.

Larson brings more than 20 years of experience and recently headed international tax at both New York-based Citrin Cooperman and Marcum. He has also developed a strong network in Moore Stephens globally, and Grassi & Co. executives expect this network to grow even further. Larson has expertise in numerous areas of international tax planning, transfer pricing, OVDP programs and many core areas that affect Grassi’s clients.

“As our international practice continues to grow, we needed to expand our team of professionals to further serve our clients, and after an extensive search, we brought on someone with an outstanding depth and knowledge of international tax,” says MP and CEO Louis C. Grassi.

Grassi & Co. Welcomes COMPASS-Regulatory and Compliance Advisers

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $53 million) continues to invest in compliance and regulatory consulting and announces the affiliation of COMPASS-Regulatory and Compliance Advisers, led by Gary Swiman as president and Larry Wagner as managing director. The practice will be based out of Grassi & Co.’s Manhattan office.

Prior to joining Grassi & Co., Swiman has held CCO and senior regulatory positions at major broker-dealers as well as large international asset managers. He also served as a partner and head of regulatory and compliance services at two top 30 accounting firms. He has more than 25 years of experience implementing compliance programs for hedge funds, private equity funds, registered investment advisers, investment banks and broker-dealers.

Wagner is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of achievement in small to large-sized businesses, capital markets, investment banking, hedge funds, private equity and alternative asset management industries. As an experienced CFO, he gained a unique perspective of finance having spent significant time in both private and multi-national public entities.

“Gary and Larry’s approach is unique in providing practical subject matter expertise tailored to each client’s industry and business model,” says MP and CEO Louis Grassi. “This approach results in meeting the client’s regulatory objectives at a fair price without disrupting the client’s business initiatives.”

Both professionals have been widely quoted and looked upon as experts in such publications as the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.