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Plante Moran Welcomes Marten van Pelt as New CMO

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY18 net revenue of $542.1 million) has announced Marten van Pelt has been hired as the next chief marketing officer, succeeding partner Jeff Antaya, who is retiring after 13 years of service.

In his new role as CMO, van Pelt will oversee all marketing functions, including strategy, sales, digital marketing, marketing technology, public relations, advertising, and internal and external communications. Van Pelt joins Plante Moran from KPMG, where he led marketing for the U.S. advisory practice.

He started Feb. 3 and will work alongside Antaya, ensuring a smooth transition through Antaya’s retirement on Aug. 31.

Van Pelt joins Plante Moran with nearly three decades of experience in marketing, including strategy, business development, technology solutions, digital innovation, brand development, advertising and public relations for professional service firms, creative agencies and their clients.

“When conducting the search for our new CMO, we made it a priority to find a leader who would continue the strong culture of innovation and growth Jeff brought to the marketing department,” says MP Jim Proppe. “We also wanted to find someone with exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to nurture and enhance the team we built.”

Antaya says, “Marten has deep roots in both the advertising and public accounting worlds, along with extensive experience in digital marketing. He brings a great track record in coaching, mentoring and promoting people, which is consistent with our culture.”

More news from Plante Moran

Plante Moran Acquires Planning Perspectives

Daron Gifford

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY17 net revenue of $520.5 million) has announced the acquisition of Planning Perspectives of Birmingham, Mich.

Planning Perspectives is a consulting firm focusing on company-supplier working relations. Plante Moran’s acquisition covers all of Planning Perspectives’ intellectual property, including the Annual North American Automotive OEM–Tier 1 Supplier Working Relations Index® Study. Plante Moran plans to continue the study, which is conducted by John Henke, Ph.D. The study tracks supplier perceptions of working relations with their automaker customers. Survey respondents are sales persons from Tier-1 suppliers serving the top three Detroit and top three Japanese automakers.

“We are thrilled to have a firm with the reputation of Planning Perspectives joining Plante Moran,” says Daron Gifford, partner and automotive/mobility consulting leader. “Dr. Henke is the recognized expert in buyer-supplier relations and his work and reputation are second to none. That, combined with our portfolio of hundreds of automotive supplier clients, makes this a perfect fit and further solidifies Plante Moran’s position as a leading consultancy with deep and specific expertise in the global automotive and mobility industries.”

Gifford notes that the industry is changing dramatically and “trusting relations between existing and new companies will be critical to achieve success.” The firm will now be able to provide “a degree of practical, measurable intelligence that no other firm can offer.”

Henke says that in looking ahead to retirement, he began talking to firms about taking over the study. “After two years of exploration, I concluded that Plante Moran was best suited to continue our research and maintain its academic-level integrity. In addition, having a major automotive financial and accounting firm presenting the data on the profit impact of good supplier relations to OEMs would only add to the results’ credibility.” Henke will consult with Plante Moran for a year during the transition. Dave Andrea, who joined Plante Moran last month as principal and reports to Gifford, will oversee the study.

Plante Moran Acquires IPA 100 Firm

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY17 net revenue of $520.5 million) has announced that the team at Denver-based EKS&H (FY17 net revenue of $105.9 million) will be joining Plante Moran.

When the EKS&H team joins Plante Moran on Oct. 1, the combined firm will have more than 3,000 professionals working in 27 offices, serving national and international clients in the middle-market.

By adding offices and clients throughout the Western United States, Plante Moran will expand its domestic presence beyond the Great Lakes region and strengthen its expertise in energy and other key market segments, as well as collaborating to create new national practices.

“We are delighted to join forces with EKS&H, which shares our cultural DNA and our passion for providing unmatched client service,” says Plante Moran MP Jim Proppe. “The firm is recognized as the largest CPA firm in Denver and in the Rocky Mountain region, with respected practices in energy, high tech, transportation and other areas that complement our current offerings. We share a strong foundation in the services we provide and the industries we serve, which will allow us to better serve our clients while we accelerate our growth. Together, we will have the power to strengthen our client-oriented technology infrastructure to build on our digital premium brand.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Plante Moran, a like-minded firm deeply rooted in its commitment to clients and staff,” says EKS&H CEO Bob Hottman. “When we began discussions with Plante Moran, we were pleased to find a true consistency of our core values and philosophy, and a strong cultural alignment. Our profession will face many changes in the coming years. We will be better and stronger facing them together with our new colleagues in the Midwest.”

Plante Moran Opens Tokyo Office

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY17 net revenue of $517.3 million) has opened an office in Tokyo.

The office will be led by Eigo Yamamoto, who had been a principal in the firm’s management consulting practice in Southfield. It is the firm’s fourth international office.

With the support of the firm’s Japanese business services team in the U.S., Yamamoto will serve as the local contact for more than 100 Japanese-based companies whose U.S. subsidiaries are already Plante Moran clients.

“Eigo is from Japan and he wanted to move back, so this was a great opportunity for us to open an office in Tokyo,” says Jim Proppe, who replaced Gordon Krater in July as Plante Moran’s MP.

“Tokyo was something we had on our radar for some time. It just happened a little sooner than we had planned. It’s a one-person office for now, but over time we will build it up. We wanted to better coordinate services with executives in Japan, and having someone on the ground in Japan is a great way to do it.”

Belloli Named CEO of Plante Moran Trust

Anthony Belloli

Anthony Belloli

Anthony Belloli was named CEO of Plante Moran Trust, the chartered trust company, which specializes in all areas of personal trust administration, effective July 1. Plante Moran Trust is an affiliate of Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY17 net revenue of $517.3 million).

In his new role, Belloli will guide the strategic direction of Plante Moran Trust while leading a team of more than 30 trust professionals responsible for the administration of personal trusts and foundations, settlement of estates and management of family office-bill pay arrangements.

Prior to joining Plante Moran Trust, Belloli was a senior advisor with Plante Moran Financial Advisors for seven years, where he provided investment consulting, as well as financial, estate tax and income tax advice to high net worth individuals, families and endowments/foundations. In 2009, he moved to Plante Moran Trust to help grow the practice by developing and implementing a plan and culture that would attract and develop talented staff, nurture referral sources, and improve internal processes. Since then, the organization’s annual revenue and assets have quadrupled and its number of staff has tripled.

Proppe Assumes Role as Plante Moran Managing Partner

Jim Proppe

Jim Proppe

Jim Proppe became MP of Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY16 net revenue of $480.7 million) on July 1, succeeding Gordon Krater who was MP since 2009.

Proppe will guide Plante Moran’s client service, growth, people development, risk management and strategic direction. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,200 professionals in 23 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio and Illinois with international offices in China, Mexico and India.

“I’m incredibly honored to serve as the seventh managing partner in Plante Moran’s 94 year history,” Proppe said. “We have a strong legacy to maintain: a rich culture and dedication to client service while increasing service offerings, investing in top talent and helping the firm to compete in a digital world where technology provides new opportunities.”

Elected for this position by his partners in October 2016, one of Proppe’s first decisions was selecting the following partners to serve on the firm’s new management team:

  • Frank Audia, group MP, assurance and tax services and Plante Moran’s chief risk officer
  • Beth Bialy, group MP, nonprofit and public sector industries
  • Dennis Graham, group MP, management consulting services
  • Chris McCoy, group MP, firm administration
  • Teresa Pollock, group MP, offices
  • Brad Virkus, group MP, commercial industries

Proppe joined Plante Moran in 1984 after graduating from the University of Michigan and has served as a firm group MP for more than 12 years.

Plante Moran Forms Naming Partnership with Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions and Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY16 net revenue of $480.7 million) have entered into a multiyear partnership that gives Plante Moran exclusive naming rights to the terrace suites being built as part of the Ford Field renovation project. Plante Moran also becomes the official tax, audit, consulting and public accounting firm of the Detroit Lions, great news for any fans show follow the Lions on somewhere like FanDuel or any other sports betting company.

“Our sponsorship of the Plante Moran Terrace Suites at Ford Field will not only provide the firm with name visibility and a state-of-the-art venue for networking and hosting clients, but it also gives us the opportunity to further invest in a city where we have an office, staff and clients – it’s something we’re really proud to be part of,” says MP Gordon Krater.

The Plante Moran Terrace Suites feature box-style suites where a group of people can come together and watch the game yet still have the option of gathering in a communal environment directly outside the suite. Plante Moran’s naming partnership includes signage and branding throughout the communal area as well as main bowl signage on the fascia above the Plante Moran Terrace Suites.

“Plante Moran is exactly what we we’re looking for in a naming partner for the new terrace club and suite area,” says Detroit Lions Team President Rod Wood. “They have a diverse presence in the local and national business community which many of our premium suite and club seat members can identify with.”

IPA Spotlight On … Jim Proppe, Plante Moran

Name: Jim Proppe
Firm: Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY16 net revenue of $480.7 million)
Title: Managing Partner-elect
Accomplishments:

  • Beginning July 1, will serve as the seventh MP in the firm’s 93-year history.
  • Served 13 years as Plante Moran Group MP, coordinating client service, growth, people development and risk management.
  • Assisted with the development and launch of several firm services, including Plante Moran Group Benefit Advisors, Enterprise Risk Management, Tax Solutions Group and ERP implementation services.
  • Helped launch firm offices in Shanghai, China, Monterrey, Mexico, and Mumbai, India.
  • Led the design of Plante Moran’s partner performance management process.

Your term starts July 1 – what work are you doing now to transition into the role?

Jim Proppe

Jim Proppe

After being elected as managing partner, my focus was on selecting our next management team. I wanted to surround myself with people who have a skill set that is complementary to mine and will bring strong diversity of thought. The six partners selected will begin their appointments July 1 when my term begins. A big part of preparing for my role is to help the new management team transition into theirs: preparing them to take on new responsibilities and transitioning their previous roles to their successors. This transition has created a lot of great opportunities for people across the firm – it’s a really exciting time.

You’ve said that you plan to place a strong focus on anticipating client needs – how can Plante Moran solve clients’ problems before they even know they have them?

We have deep knowledge in a variety of industries and services. Our staff can leverage that knowledge by collaborating and identifying disruptors in one industry that will eventually impact others. For example, the driverless car will impact more than the automotive industry. It will also impact retail auto dealers (what is the impact on vehicle sales?), design and construction of real estate (how much parking will you need?), insurance companies (will they have fewer claims?), local government (what changes in infrastructure will be required?) and the list goes on. Many times business owners aren’t aware of disruptors in other industries that could significantly impact their business. We help our clients stay in front of these issues.

What kinds of opportunities are available to the firm through technology?

Advancement in technology –  things like machine learning and data analytics – will significantly change our profession and create new opportunities to serve clients. We’re already working with clients to find better ways to analyze and use their data to develop strategies around creating new products, services and/or business models. Plante Moran is built for change, and we feel we’re well positioned to lead in this area.

Which practice areas at Plante Moran are ripe for growth?

While I think the changing economy creates opportunities for growth in all the industries we serve, as the world becomes more technology-dependent, we’re seeing a lot of growth in our technology consulting practice, particularly in cybersecurity. Plante Moran Wealth Management also continues to experience significant growth as we have uniquely integrated investment advisory, trust, life insurance, estate planning, tax and family office services. Also, with a new administration, there could be significant changes in tax reform, regulations and how organizations do business internationally. We’re prepared to help clients navigate those changes and adjust their business strategies accordingly.

Gordon Krater called you a “natural leader,” do you agree? Which aspects of leadership don’t come so naturally to you?

I’ve had the good fortune to spend my entire career at Plante Moran. From training opportunities to formal mentoring initiatives to a robust career development program, the firm’s first priority has always been developing staff to become incredible client servers – and it’s hard not to develop some pretty strong leadership skills along the way. For me, I am a compulsive helper and one of the most challenging parts of leadership is realizing you can’t do it all by yourself – especially at a firm with the breadth and depth of Plante Moran. Fortunately, there’s always a pool of qualified partners and staff ready to lead.

Final thoughts?

As Plante Moran’s seventh managing partner, I look forward to guiding the firm’s client service, growth, people development, risk management and strategic direction – all with the goal of being a good steward and working to leave the firm better than I found it, just as Gordon did.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

Plante Moran Announces New Firm Management Team

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY16 net revenue of $480.7 million) has announced that six partners have been selected by MP-elect Jim Proppe to serve on the firm’s management team – the group of partners responsible for working with the managing partner to lead the firm.

Following are the new appointments, effective July 1, 2017:

Frank Audia, who continues as group MP, assurance and tax services, and also becomes Plante Moran’s chief risk officer.

Beth Bialy, who continues as Plante Moran’s government industry group leader and will become group MP, nonprofit and public sector industries. Here she’ll lead client service, growth and people development for the firm’s education, government and nonprofit industries.

Dennis Graham, who leads Plante Moran’s private equity industry group and transaction advisory services practice. He becomes group MP, management consulting services. This includes leading the following practices: cybersecurity, financial support services, enterprise risk services, forensic valuation services, transaction advisory services, talent and organizational development, strategy and operations, global services, information technology consulting and client accounting services.

Chris McCoy, now director of Plante Moran’s human resources department, McCoy will lead human resources, technology and internal accounting as group MP, firm administration.

Teresa Pollock, now Auburn Hills OMP, will assume the role of group MP, offices. In this role, she’ll lead the OMPs in the management and operation of the firm’s 23 office locations throughout Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

Brad Virkus, now Plante Moran’s real estate and construction industry group leader, will assume the role of group MP, commercial industries. He’ll lead client service, growth and people development for the firm’s construction and real estate, financial services, health care, manufacturing and distribution, service companies and wealth management practice areas.

“It’s a forward-thinking group, each offering unique skills, deep knowledge of the firm and diversity of thought, sure to challenge me and one another,” Proppe says. His term as MP begins July 1, as Gordon Krater ends eight years as MP.

Plante Moran Elects Proppe as Managing Partner

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY16 net revenue of $480.7 million), has announced that Jim Proppe was selected by his partners to become the firm’s next MP.

Proppe’s term begins on July 1, as Gordon Krater, the firm’s current MP, concludes eight years as leader at an IPA 100 firm. He will remain at the firm as a partner.

Gordon Krater & Jim Proppe

Gordon Krater & Jim Proppe

“I’m honored and humbled to become Plante Moran’s next managing partner,” Proppe says. “I’ve learned a lot from Gordon’s leadership over the years. He inspires us to be good stewards of the firm — to strive to leave it better than we found it. That is certainly his legacy, and I’m grateful to have the privilege to carry on this tradition of leadership that will further benefit our firm, clients and staff.”

Proppe will lead Plante Moran with a strong focus on anticipating and satisfying client needs. He plans to help the firm expand its capabilities by increasing service offerings, investing in top talent and helping the firm to compete in a digital world where technology provides new opportunities for the firm and its clients – all while maintaining Plante Moran’s rich culture and one-firm firm approach.

Proppe joined Plante Moran in 1984 after graduating from the University of Michigan. He has served as a group MP for more than 12 years. In his current role, he leads client service, growth and people development for the firm’s industry-focused practice areas. Proppe has also served as group MP of services, where he was instrumental in leading the firm through the creation of several new service offerings and the development of its Shanghai, Monterey and Mumbai offices. Earlier in his career, Proppe served as MP of Plante Moran’s Ann Arbor office.

Krater will conclude two four-year terms as MP on June 30, 2017. “One of my first roles as managing partner was to begin identifying potential successors, and it was clear we had several qualified candidates,” he says. “But I knew early on that Jim was a natural leader. He has a great ability to continuously innovate and respond to the changing needs of clients and staff.” He told Crain’s Detroit Business that he will focus on Plante Moran’s mergers and acquisitions business and diversity issues and will remain as vice chair of Praxity, an international association of accounting firms.

Proppe is only the seventh managing partner in the firm’s 92-year history.