Gettry Marcus Announces Major Expansion to Consulting Practice Group

Lee Ferber

Lee Ferber

Woodbury, N.Y.-based Gettry Marcus CPA (FY16 net revenue of $21.7 million) announced the expansion of their Business Advisory Services Group.

The Business Advisory Group, spearheaded by partner Lee Ferber, works collaboratively with business owners and their management teams to develop and implement strategic initiatives to increase growth and profitability, as well as improve business performance. Gettry Marcus’ expertise, approach and in-house resources allows their advisors to work with clients to develop, facilitate and implement strategic business plans that are essential to achieving long-term business goals.

“As we listened to our clients’ needs, we determined that it was imperative to expand our Business Advisory services,” says Steven Marcus, MP. “The Business Advisory Service Group continues to build value for our existing clients and attract new clients as we forge deeper relationships.”

The Business Advisory Group will be offering complimentary quarterly webinars to help businesses better understand the tools they can use to achieve success.

Marcum Search Launches HR-Exclusive Recruiting Division Headed by Nancy Zucker

Marcum Search LLC, the executive recruiting and temporary staffing affiliate of New York-based Marcum LLP (FY16 net revenue of $449 million), is launching a new division focused exclusively on recruiting for human resources. The division will be headed by Nancy Zucker, who joins Marcum Search as vice president.

“Human resources has become a highly complex and strategic C-suite function, responsible for many of the most nuanced aspects of corporate operations,” says Richard Paris, president of Marcum Search. “The demand for experienced, talented HR professionals at the corporate policy level continues to escalate, and our new division, under Nancy Zucker’s leadership, is very well positioned to meet this growing need.”

“Whether a company is recruiting its first HR executive, seeking advice at the CHRO level on strategic hiring, or building an entire HR team, the right candidate must be able to function as a business partner,” says Zucker. “Skill-set, corporate culture, diversity and many other factors, in addition to professional and leadership experience, must all be taken into consideration to ensure the right match.”

Zucker joins Marcum Search from Nancy Zucker Associates, a boutique human resources executive search firm headquartered in New York City. As a former HR practitioner and a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, she has more than 20 years of experience as a specialist in human resources recruitment.

Raich Ende Malter & Co. Launches ThinkLab for Blockchain Accounting

New York-based Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (FY16 net revenue of $47.1 million) announced the launch of REM ThinkLab, an effort to provide thought leadership on blockchain accounting. As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum gain ground in global commerce, an understanding of blockchain, the digital ledger technology used to record cryptocurrency transactions, is essential for the accounting profession. To aid clients and colleagues in parsing this new tech, REM ThinkLab will publish periodic whitepapers, as well as thought pieces on The REM CycleRaich Ende Malter’s tax blog.

REM ThinkLab is helmed by Arthur DaPonte and Tyler Russell, who have co-authored a blockchain whitepaper, an illustrated blog post, and a comprehensive glossary of blockchain technology terms for newcomers. They are currently developing a CPE course on the topic.

DaPonte and Russell are confident that blockchain is ultimately a source of new business for accountants. “As industries harness the power of blockchain to become more efficient and effective in their operations, CPAs and auditors will play an integral role in providing the public with the assurance that these processes will require,” says DaPonte.

“At this point, everyone has heard of blockchain and how it will revolutionize the accounting industry, but with REM ThinkLab, we are actively examining the blockchain process and its applications. As always, Raich Ende Malter is looking to the future and embracing new technology,” says Cornelius Kilbane Jr., PIC REM’s New York City office.

Alvarez & Marsal Establishes a Formal Global Transaction Analytics Service Offering

Steven Lee

Steven Lee

New York-based Alvarez & Marsal launched its new service, global transaction analytics (GTA). Led globally by Steven Lee, a managing director with the global transaction advisory group, GTA will focus on the development, application and implementation of data analytics to enhance clients’ buy-side and sell-side transactions and capital markets activity.

A&M’s global transaction advisory group is investing heavily in advanced technology and resources worldwide. A&M’s GTA investments will include bolstering the firm’s data analytics “center of excellence” team in Mumbai and adding resources throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, India and Asia.

“Data analytics is integral to the future of due diligence and the transaction advisory process,” says Paul Aversano, global head of the transaction advisory group. “The continued development and deployment of these services, under Steven’s leadership, is critical to A&M’s overall growth and competitiveness in the marketplace. GTA’s insights combined with A&M’s operational heritage will maximize value and enhance performance improvement of our clients’ underlying assets.”

Lee has more than 15 years of experience. He counsels private equity firms and other strategic buyers and sellers on applying data analytics and metric transparency to inform investment decision making and performance improvements. Additionally, he has international experience working across a wide variety of industries throughout the world. Prior to his current role with A&M’s global transaction advisory group, Lee worked in the firm’s global disputes and investigations practice where he led the applied data analytics service offering advising clients with investigative analytics, regulatory compliance, and data risk management.

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.

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause Launches CFO Outsourcing and Advisory Service

Chicago-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (FY17 net revenue of $546.6 million) launched Baker Tilly Advantage, a CFO outsourcing and business advisory service that leverages technology to bring greater insight and value to clients.

“We provide comprehensive financial management and outsourcing services so clients can focus on what matters most – running their business,” says Wade Huseth partner and Baker Tilly Advantage leader. “Our solution is unique to each client and features a powerful combination of technology, data, analysis and insight with business advisory services that deliver results.”

Strategic partnerships with leading technology providers enable Baker Tilly Advantage to streamline accounting and financial management functions. Clients have access to real-time data and easy-to-use dashboards anytime, anywhere from any device.

“More companies are making the strategic decision to outsource their finance function so they can focus on their core business,” says Huseth. “That’s where we come in. We have the expertise and resources to provide accounting, operational, and strategic support to help clients achieve their goals.”

Marcum Launches Robotic Process Automation Service for Clients

New York-based Marcum (FY16 net revenue of $449 million) launched a new service utilizing “bot” technology to automate repetitive manual processes and streamline many data-driven functions for its clients. Marcum’s new robotic process automation (RPA) service leverages the firm’s internal experience utilizing bot technology, to help clients reduce their operating costs and improve efficiency.

RPA can be implemented across a wide variety of applications and systems, deploying a “virtual workforce” of bots to perform tedious functions that are time-consuming and prone to human error. Some of the functional areas well-suited to process automation include accounts payable processing, data entry, human resources onboarding, inbound lead processing, report generation and distribution, and web data retrieval.

“In addition to eliminating manual tasks that employees would otherwise spend hours to complete, RPA frees valuable staff to be deployed to other functions requiring human judgment and innovation. It is also a practical and cost-efficient alternative to outsourcing,” says Robert Drover, a principal in the advisory services division and leader of the national process improvement practice. “RPA has limitless scaling capabilities and delivers real and measurable return on investment. In some cases, clients can recoup their initial investment in as little as a few months.”

Marcum’s robotic process automation services cover all stages of development and implementation, including:

  • Robots as a Service
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Robotic Process Development
  • RPA Consulting Services

“Robotic process automation is a must-have in any forward-looking digital portfolio. The continual acceleration of functionality in RPA solutions and the convergence with robust application programming interfaces, or APIs, enables significantly greater efficiency in today’s digitally driven office,” says Peter Scavuzzo, chief information officer and partner. “Given our success with robotic automation and other new technologies in Marcum’s business, the next logical step is to share our expertise with our clients to assist in their own digital transformation.”

“Robots operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and never take breaks, vacations or sick days. They can be executed by a scheduler at pre-determined times, or they can be triggered to execute in response to defined events such as the arrival of email or text messaging and, soon, voice-activated commands,” says Drover. “In addition, we can simulate user interaction to enable bots to ‘read’ error messages and adapt to ‘fix’ problems presented on-screen, to keep processes moving. Continued advancements in cognitive computing will only further enhance this capability.”

PKF O’Connor Davies Launches Administration Services for Cryptocurrency Funds

O’Connor Davies Administration, a subsidiary of New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies (FY16 net revenue of $146.6 million), launched a new administration service offering for cryptocurrency hedge funds.

“O’Connor Davies Administration has deep experience and expertise in alternative investments, including valuing cryptocurrency assets and providing timely and accurate financial reporting,” says Marc Rinaldi, PIC of the financial services practice. “Three cryptocurrency hedge funds already rely on our team to provide fund administration services, and we’re eager to expand our impact in this area with a formalized approach and established offering.”

O’Connor Davies Administration manages cryptocurrency valuation on a fund-by-fund basis based on the fund’s private placement memorandum and specific valuation policies. It provides core services in helping cryptocurrency funds with a variety of holdings successfully manage and value their assets.

WithumSmith+Brown Implements New Integrated Private Client Service

Princeton, N.J-based WithumSmith+Brown (FY17 net revenue of $175.4 million) formed WithumPlatinum, a new integrated private client services strategy designed to serve the financial planning and management needs of high-net-worth individuals and families. The services span family offices, estate and trust planning, cybersecurity, privacy and identity protection, wealth management, insurance advisory, charitable planning, special needs planning, private business advisory and income-tax planning.

“WithumPlatinum marks the formal fusion, so to speak, of the collective and objective deep advisory services for which Withum has become known and recognized nationally,” says Bill Hagaman, MP and CEO. “WithumPlatinum’s consultative and advisory services offer a holistic, independent perspective free of ties to any proprietary products. Our clients’ interests and financial health are our foremost concerns, all based on their unique situation.”

“A recent Withum study indicated cybersecurity is the paramount concern of high-net-worth individuals, eclipsing both terrorism and major illness,” says Hagaman. “We have an extremely talented team dedicated solely to this area who address the exposure of high-net-worth individuals and their families, who are at highest risk due to their profile, wealth and level of activity.”

WithumPlatinum manages what information, if any, is in cyberspace and how it’s related to personal safety as well as the integrity of financial and personal affairs. Services range from an online footprint risk assessment, evaluation of home-network vulnerabilities, standard cybersecurity protocols and a cyber and identity theft insurance review.

“Clients connected to a business as an owner or executive have the option to share WithumPlatinum with key executives to ensure the business – a material consideration in proper management of family affairs – runs efficiently and smoothly,” says Hagaman.

PKF O’Connor Davies Introduces Endowment Fund Accounting Services

New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies (FY16 net revenue of $146.6 million) launched endowment fund accounting services. The solution enhances the endowment fund accounting resources the firm provides to independent schools, colleges and universities, private foundations and community foundations with donor funds and donor advised funds. The expanded offering introduces investment unitization, which streamlines oversight and reporting by centralizing multiple accounts and improving efficiencies internally and for donors.

“We’ve provided endowment fund accounting services to countless not-for-profit and tax-exempt clients for years,” says Kevin Keane, MP. “This exciting next step formalizes our solution with a focus on investment unitization. This updated approach, executed by our experienced team including an entire tax group devoted specifically to the non-profit sector, will really take our client service to the next level.”

Investment unitization consolidates tracking, reconciling and reporting across a large number of separately managed endowed accounts including scholarships. Creating a single, pooled account enables organizations to achieve economies of scale and improve portfolio management and performance monitoring.

PKF O’Connor Davies’ solution harnessing investment unitization services also enhances non-profits’ ability to attract benefactors, including individuals and organizations that wish to establish a memorial fund or other endowment. They provide monthly, quarterly and semi-annual statements, reducing the organization’s internal duties and sustaining an engaged and satisfied donor community.