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MBAF Expands Tax & Accounting Practice With Addition Of Kramer & Associates

Miami-based MBAF (FY18 net revenue of $132.5 million) has announced its acquisition of Kramer & Associates of Coral Gables, Fla.

The merger, effective Jan. 16, was announced by MBAF Chair and CEO Tony Argiz and James Kramer, principal of Kramer & Associates.

“As we celebrate MBAF’s 50th anniversary, we remain laser-focused on strategically growing both in new markets and those where we have an established presence. Joining forces with Kramer & Associates deepens our expertise in our current practice areas, provides additional resources for our clients and reinforces our position as a leading accounting firm,” Argiz says.

Five full-time professionals from Kramer & Associates will join the MBAF team, bolstering the firm’s expertise in industries such as real estate, high-net-worth individuals, restaurants, service organizations, retail establishments, security companies, wholesale distributors, insurance entities, and more. The Kramer & Associates team will be based out of MBAF’s Coral Gables office.

“In addition to sharing the same core values of integrity, ethics and professionalism, this union gives us access to broader resources, allowing us to further enhance the service we offer our clients,” Kramer says.

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MBAF Names John Vides Principal

John Vides

Miami-based MBAF (FY18 net revenue of $132.5 million) has announced that John Vides has been admitted as a principal in the tax and accounting department.

A member of the accounting profession since 2001, Vides has nearly 20 years of experience working with high-net-worth clients related to pre-immigration tax planning and international estate and trust planning. He commonly assists clients on inbound and outbound structuring of investments, wealth transfer strategies, sales and acquisitions of business entities, offshore voluntary disclosure, and more.

“John’s tax and accounting expertise and commitment to furthering MBAF’s mission of providing clients with the highest level of service have made him an instrumental team member,” says CEO Antonio Argiz.

Vides is trilingual, speaking English, Spanish and Portuguese. He is based in Miami.

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Emma Florea, Hernando Gomez Admitted as MBAF Principals

Emma Florea

Miami-based MBAF (FY18 net revenue of $133 million) announces that Emma Florea and Hernando Gomez have been admitted as principals, in the risk and transaction advisory practice and the litigation and valuation advisory department, respectively.

Hernando Gomez

Jesus Socorro, managing principal of MBAF’s risk and transaction advisory practice, says Florea played a key role in launching the practice in 2014.

Florea, who is based in MBAF’s New York office, has significant IPO preparation and execution experience and has advised clients on complex, technical accounting matters. She also has a deep understanding of SEC reporting and internal control over financial reporting to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Additionally, Florea serves companies as part of due diligence and business integration engagements.

“Emma has proven to be an integral member of the risk and transaction advisory practice and serves as a subject matter resource for MBAF’s quality and risk management function,” says CEO Tony Argiz.

Gomez has over 20 years of experience advising local and international companies and entrepreneurs on issues such as business valuations, mergers and acquisitions, debt management, financial modeling and litigation support. His expertise spans a wide array of industries, and he has led seminars in over 20 countries and spoken at conferences worldwide.

“Hernando has proven to be an invaluable member of his department; his diverse skillsets, dedication to the firm’s workplace culture and community involvement has bettered MBAF as a whole,” says Argiz.

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MBAF Names Andre Chammas MP of Orlando Office

Andre N. Chammas

Andre N. Chammas

Andre N. Chammas has been named managing principal of the Orlando, Fla., office of Miami-based MBAF (FY17 net revenue of $124.3 million).

In his new role, Chammas will lead and oversee the strategic direction of the Orlando office. Chammas has been in practice since 1993 and has vast experience in accounting and tax planning for businesses and high-net-worth individuals, as well as in financial reporting and tax compliance requirements for a wide range of clients, both domestic and international. His clients include auto dealerships, music industry performers, mid-sized, family-owned businesses, real estate investors, professional athletes and restaurants. He will continue to serve in the tax and accounting department.

Throughout his 11 years at MBAF, Andre has established himself as “a leader in the industry, community and our firm,” says CEO Tony Argiz. “Andre’s broad range of experience as well as deep connection with the local Hispanic community will greatly contribute to growing our Orlando office, and I look forward to seeing continued success from Andre and his team.”

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MBAF Welcomes Director to Help Lead Growth of Regulatory Risk Solutions Practice

Heidy Duarte

Heidy Duarte

Heidy Duarte has joined Miami-based MBAF (FY17 net revenue of $124.3 million) to increase the firm’s offering of Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering compliance for both domestic and international clients.

Duarte, based in the Miami office, will help lead the firm’s growing regulatory risk solutions practice. Duarte brings more than 12 years of experience in the financial services industry with a focus on strengthening fraud prevention and detection procedures for a wide variety of clients. She helps domestic and international financial institutions prepare for and respond to regulatory examinations, including compliance with remediation requirements of regulatory enforcement actions and monitoring activities.

“Heidy will play a large role in advancing our regulatory risk solutions practice and will be instrumental in guiding clients through the evolving and increasingly complex regulatory expectations that we are seeing here in the U.S. and abroad,” says MP Antonio Argiz. “Her expertise in risk management and internal control will be a significant asset for clients and will further strengthen our suite of offerings.”

Prior to MBAF, Duarte led the corporate financial fraud team at a national bank, where she was responsible for promoting and implementing compliance standards and internal controls throughout the institution as well as minimizing fraud exposure. Additionally, she previously worked in a Big 4 firm where she performed assurance work for several financial institutions and participated in audits for public and private companies.

MBAF Names Four New Directors

Miami-based MBAF (FY15 net revenue of $98.6 million) has promoted the following professionals to the position of director: Elizabeth Egan, Lisette Rodriguez, Brian Schlang and Adam Ziffer.

Egan has been appointed as director in the tax and accounting department in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office. She has been in the public accounting profession since 1999. Her expertise includes tax planning and compliance, fiduciary income taxation, trusts and estates.

Rodriguez has been appointed as director in the audit department in the firm’s Miami headquarters. Her industry experience includes aviation, financial institutions, health care, higher education, manufacturing, non-profit, real estate, construction and public companies.

Schlang has been appointed as director in the tax and accounting department in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. He provides extensive compliance and consulting services to entities in various industries including automotive dealerships, construction and real estate developers, health care, hedge funds and broker-dealers, high-net-worth individuals, hospitality and restaurants, manufacturers, professional service firms, property management, and technology and internet industries.

Ziffer has been appointed as director in the tax and accounting department in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. He specializes in corporate, individual and partnership tax planning with an emphasis on real estate acquisition, professional associations and closely held companies. He is responsible for tax quality review and planning for closely held businesses and individuals ranging in size from startups to $300 million in revenues.

MBAF Merges in Rampell & Rampell

Miami-based MBAF (FY14 net revenue of $89 million) has merged in Rampell & Rampell of Palm Beach, Fla., expanding MBAF’s presence in South Florida and adding more expertise in various specialties.

With this merger, effective Feb. 1, MBAF has more than 500 employees internationally. MBAF has offices in Maryland, Florida, Nevada, New York and India.

The Palm Beach firm was established by current Rampell & Rampell CEO Richard Rampell’s father, Edward Rampell, in 1959. Their existing office will be MBAF’s office in Palm Beach. Sixteen professionals will join MBAF, enhancing expertise in income and estate taxation, governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, construction, real estate, retail, forensic accounting, litigation support, venture capital, private equity, and high-net-worth individuals and families.

“We are committed to strategically growing MBAF’s team of talented professionals, enhancing our practice areas and expanding our market presence, all with the end goal of better serving our clients,” says MBAF chairman and CEO Tony Argiz. “Joining with an established and respected firm like Rampell & Rampell allows us to do all three.”

As a result of the deal, Rampell’s employees will be able to participate in MBAF’s continuing education courses, technology training, leadership courses, public speaking seminars, along with fitness and cultural activities for employees and their families.

“Aligning with MBAF allows us to enhance and strengthen our capabilities to the benefit of our clients, while increasing our reach throughout the United States,” says Richard Rampell in a statement. “We share a similar view on the importance of having a strong corporate culture, delivering the highest level of client service, and being involved members of the community.”

Rampell & Rampell’s clients will also now have access to MBAF’s affiliate network, which includes WhiteOwl, a provider of business and financial management solutions, and Fiscal Management Associates, a consulting firm dedicated to strengthening nonprofit’s financial and operational health.

MBAF Adds Pinther as Director of Marketing

Wolfgang H. Pinther

Wolfgang H. Pinther

Wolfgang H. Pinther has joined Miami-based MBAF (FY14 net revenue of $89 million) as the director of marketing.

Pinther joins MBAF with more than a decade of experience in marketing and specific expertise in strategic planning, brand identity, client communication, community relations and digital marketing. His skills include brand creation, graphic design, SEO optimization and social media implementation. In his role as director of marketing, Pinther will manage the firm’s marketing team, and create and execute a cohesive marketing strategy.

“With a strong track record of success, Wolf’s experience with marketing strategy, talented creativity and his in-depth understanding of the accounting field will be tremendously valuable to our firm,” says Tony Argiz, CEO and MP.

Prior to joining MBAF, Pinther served as the marketing manager for a large independent accounting firm. In that role he was responsible for all facets of internal and external marketing initiatives. He is experienced in working with professional service and product lines, including both B2B and B2C, to provide marketing strategy and implementation.

MBAF Adds Urtel as Principal

Keith Urtel

Keith Urtel

Keith Urtel has joined Miami-based MBAF (FY14 net revenue of $89 million) as a principal in the audit department and risk advisory team, covering the New York-Miami corridor.

Urtel joins MBAF with more than 34 years of experience leading audit engagements for public and private organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to privately held entities. In his role at MBAF, Urtel will oversee quality control and help grow the firm’s risk advisory practice.

“Keith’s wealth of knowledge in quality control standards and risk advisory, coupled with his strong track record in providing audit services make him an asset to our audit department and to our clients,” says MP Antonio Argiz.

Prior to joining MBAF, Urtel worked as an audit partner at a Big 4 accounting firm.

MBAF’s Morrison Appointed to AICPA Auditing Standards Board

Steven Morrison

Steven Morrison

Steven Morrison, principal in the audit department of Miami-based MBAF (FY14 net revenue of $89 million), has been appointed to the AICPA Auditing Standards Board for 2015-2016.

The Auditing Standards Board is the AICPA’s senior committee for auditing, attestation and quality control applicable to the performance and issuance of audit and attestation reports for non-issuers. Its mission is to serve the public interest by developing, updating and communicating comprehensive standards and practice guidance that enable practitioners to provide high-quality, objective audit and attestation services to non-issuers in an effective and efficient manner.

“Steven’s unwavering commitment to his clients and to the accounting profession are exemplary, and his appointment to the prestigious Auditing Standards Board is a testament to his dedication to advancing the field,” said Tony Argiz, Chairman and CEO of MBAF.

At MBAF, Morrison works with both public and private companies in various industries including those with international operations. He is active in the planning and execution of audit engagements, bringing experience in a variety of industries such as automotive dealerships, freight forwarding/mail courier, retail and wholesale/distribution. Morrison also addresses specific issues for companies in a variety of other industries and has experience in effectively communicating simple and complex technical matters to all levels of personnel.