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RKL Wealth Management Announces Change in Leadership

Laurie M. Peer

RKL Wealth Management (RKL WM), a subsidiary of Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL LLP (FY17 net revenue of $67.9 million) today announced Laurie M. Peer has been named president. Peer succeeds Sarah Young Fisher, who led the firm since 2005. Fisher has assumed the role of president emeritus.

“We are grateful to Sarah for her leadership in evolving RKL Wealth Management into the respected investment advisory and financial planning firm it is today,” saus RKL CEO Edward W. Monborne. “Laurie has been an integral member of the RKL WM executive team and will continue to deliver the collaborative and highly personalized client experience that is a hallmark of RKL WM.”

In her new role, Peer will oversee firm operations, drive its growth strategy, lead the team of more than 20 professionals and continue to enhance the integration of client experience between RKL WM and RKL’s CPA and business advisory services. Peer previously served as the firm’s executive vice president and is also a partner of RKL LLP.

During Fisher’s 13-year tenure as president, RKL WM experienced tremendous growth, surpassing $1 billion in assets under management/advisement at the end of 2017. In her new role as president emeritus, Fisher will continue to serve the wealth management needs of her clients full time and also serve in an advisory capacity to the RKL WM team.

RKL Wealth Management’s Boyer Honored as “Forty Under 40” Leader

Nicholas Boyer

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL Wealth Management LLC, a subsidiary of RKL LLP (FY17 net revenue of $67.9 million), has announced that Nicholas Boyer has been named one of Central Penn Business Journal’s 2018 “Forty Under 40” recipients. This annual award program celebrates the most accomplished young leaders in mid-Pennsylvania for their commitment to business growth, professional excellence and community service.

“Nick exemplifies everything the ‘Forty Under 40’ award is about. His leadership abilities and strategic vision are an asset to our firm, our clients and our community,” says Sarah Young Fisher, president of RKL Wealth Management.

Boyer serves as chief investment strategist for RKL Wealth Management, which has $1 billion in assets under management. He manages the firm’s investment team and chairs RKL Wealth Management’s investment committee. Before joining RKL Wealth Management in 2016, Boyer gained a decade of experience in the financial services industry. From 2000 to 2004, Boyer served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

Women and Men Report Starkly Different Experiences at Big Law

The work experiences of women and men are vastly different within the nation’s largest law firms, according to a new study commissioned by the American Bar Association (ABA).

The study, which surveyed more than 1,300 participants from the nation’s 350 largest law firms, was designed to help retain women, who are leaving the law profession earlier in their careers and in larger numbers than men, according to an Aug. 3 article in The American Lawyer.

The greatest divergence emerged in questions about sexual harassment and gender bias.

  • Unwanted sexual conduct or contact? The answer was yes from 49% of women and 6% of men.
  • Demeaning communications? Yes, said 74% of women and 8% of men.
  • Mistaken for a lower-level employee? Yes, 81% of women reported. Not one man responded yes.
  • Denied a salary increase or bonus? Yes, reported 54% of women and only 4% of men, the study said.

The report also revealed significant differences in perceptions of advancement of women in Big Law between female partners and managing partners.

  • Are firm leaders “active advocates” for advancing women? Among MPs, 80% said yes while 61% of female partners agreed.
  • Do firms promote women into leadership positions? Three-quarters of MPs said yes versus 54% of female partners.
  • Is gender diversity a priority? Of the MPs, 79% said yes, while 54% of female partners answered in the affirmative.
  • Are firms doing a good job of promoting women into equity partnerships? Among MPs, 71% said yes while the number was 47% among female partners.

“The longer I do this, the more frustrated I have become that we continue to have to ask these same questions: Why are there so few women who make it to the level of equity partner? Why are there so few women on compensation committees? Why are there so few women managing partners?” said ABA president Hilarie Bass, who commissioned the study. “It really begs the question of what we need to do to have more women in these upper levels, if in fact almost half of women have left by the time they’re 50.”

The survey asked about men’s and women’s general level of satisfaction within Big Law to help answer the question of why women are leaving their firms. Again, the differences were wide.

  • Satisfied with compensation methods? Yes, said 69% of male partners versus 44% of female partners.
  • Satisfied with recognition received? Yes, said 71% of male partners and 50% of female partners.

For lawyers with more than 20 years of experience, the survey asked about home life responsibilities as well.

  • Do you arrange child care? Yes said 54% of women, but only 1% of men did so.
  • Do laundry? Yes, reported 42% of women and 8% of men.
  • Leave work often for their child’s needs? Yes, reported 34% of women versus 5% of men.

Stephanie Scharf, of Chicago’s Scharf Banks Marmor, said many of the suggestions will be aimed at changing law firms. She is chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and took part in conducting the survey.

“In looking at the parameters where women are much less satisfied than men, all of those factors are pretty much within the control of the law firm,” Scharf told the American Lawyer. “We did not see differences in opinion [between men and women], for example, on the challenge of your work or the individual responsibility of your work. I underline that because I do believe this is within control of the employers.”

The full report will be released around Labor Day.


Given the importance of Millennials and Generation X to the future of the CPA profession, in 2016 INSIDE Public Accounting and ConvergenceCoaching analyzed input from more than 700 young professionals at CPA firms across the country, providing a focused look at what it takes to engage and retain these key team members. You may access the complimentary report.

RKL Expands Presence in Greater Philadelphia Region

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL (FY17 net revenue of $67.9 million) is expanding its presence in Greater Philadelphia to deliver a wide range of business advisory and financial solutions to organizations throughout the region. RKL LLP announced that it has opened an office in Exton, Pa.

“RKL’s new Exton location will allow us to more comprehensively serve our growing client base in the Greater Philadelphia region and establish new relationships within the local business community,” says RKL CEO Edward Monborne. “As today’s companies face increasingly complex challenges, we believe RKL’s breadth and depth of advisory solutions uniquely positions us to meet those needs today and tomorrow.”

RKL partner Barry Pelagatti manages operations of RKL’s newest location in Exton, in addition to his leadership of the firm’s financial services industry group.

“Growing our presence in the Greater Philadelphia region presents a number of opportunities for our valued clients and the RKL team,” says Pelagatti. “We’re excited to bring our results-focused approach to position companies and organizations in Chester County and beyond for sustained success.”

RKL Names Gutierrez Director of Human Resources

Kathy Gutierrez

Kathy Gutierrez

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL LLP (FY17 net revenue of $67.9 million) announced that Kathy Gutierrez was promoted to the role of director of Human Resources, effective May 1. In her new role, Gutierrez oversees all facets of the firm’s HR function, including recruiting, training, policies and benefits, performance management and other strategic team initiatives.

“Kathy’s firsthand experience working with the RKL team as well as her knowledge of our growth strategy, processes and opportunities for continued success will be of tremendous benefit to the firm,” says Edward Monborne, RKL CEO.

A certified human resources professional, Gutierrez has been a central figure in RKL’s HR department since joining the firm in 2013. She previously managed the firm’s learning and development initiatives, devising a robust slate of training opportunities to support RKL’s continually expanding capabilities. As RKL evolved beyond the traditional CPA firm into a professional services leader, Gutierrez played a key role in ensuring team members had the resources and training to bolster not only technical expertise but also an advisory and cross-disciplinary approach to client engagement.

RKL Launches Human Resources Consulting Practice

Lancaster-based RKL LLP (FY16 net revenue of $61.5 million) launched a human resource (HR) consulting practice as part of its business consulting services group. This decision was made after there has been a rise in companies looking for reliable HR Consultancy Firms to deal with any internal issues. This way, the companies are able to deal with issues such as complaints or termination of contracts.

The practice comprises a team of experienced HR professionals focused on providing solutions for finding, compensating, training, motivating and retaining talent. The group specializes in advisory services that are aligned with solving real business challenges such as complying with complex regulatory issues, filling key leadership roles amidst generational shifts or developing compensation packages that help drive results.

“RKL is uniquely positioned to play a central role in our client’s overall business strategy – be it financial, operational or strategic. This practice grew out of clients tapping into the strong HR leadership we have here at RKL and has taken off from there,” says Edward Monborne, CEO.

The HR consulting practice is led by Danielle Hoffer who was recruited by RKL in 2013 to manage the internal HR function and position it as an employer of choice. A tenured HR consultant with more than a decade of experience, Hoffer served in dual roles for the firm’s internal needs as well as external client service. As the practice has grown, Hoffer has added two professionals dedicated exclusively to the team and transitioned fully to client service in January 2018.

“In addition to leveraging our core team’s expertise in human resources, we’re uniquely positioned to tap into the multi-disciplined perspective of the broader RKL team. This results in meaningful solutions to people issues, which touch all areas of an organization’s operations,” says Hoffer.

The HR consulting practice currently serves clients in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, professional services, government, health care, nonprofit and others. The firm’s relationship-based service approach and flexible working arrangements allow for solutions that are highly customized to meet the client’s unique objectives.

RKL Admits New Partners

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL LLP (FY16 net revenue of $61.5 million) admitted four new partners as result of the acquisition of Padden Guerrini & Associates of Mechanicsburg, Pa., which took effect on Jan. 1. The new partners will be primarily based out of RKL’s Mechanicsburg office.

H. David Padden was admitted as a partner in the tax services group, and has nearly four decades of experience providing accounting, tax and consulting services to business and individual clients.

Karin Guerrini, admitted as a partner in the audit services group, has more than three decades of experience in bank and credit union auditing.

Allyson Hornbaker, who was admitted as a partner in the audit services group, delivers assurance and management advisory services to clients, including financial statement audits and assistance with government reimbursement and HUD-sponsored projects.

Stefanie Knaub, admitted as a partner the senior living services consulting group, specializing in medical billing, including reimbursement, accounts receivable, policy and procedure review, and operational improvement.

RKL Admits Mink to Partner

Hunter Mink

Hunter Mink

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL LLP (FY16 net revenue of $61.5 million) admitted Hunter Mink to partnership, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“Hunter’s admittance to the RKL partnership is a testament to the strategic guidance he provides to clients, the role he’s played in the firm’s continued success and the positive impact he makes on our community,” says Edward Monborne, RKL CEO.

Currently a manager in RKL’s audit services group, Mink plans and oversees audit engagements for a cross-section of the firm’s client base. He specializes in serving the consulting and assurance needs of many architecture and engineering firms throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Mink is also a key member of RKL’s real estate development and construction industry group.

RKL to Merge in Padden Guerrini & Associates

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL (FY16 net revenue of $61.5 million) will merge in Padden Guerrini & Associates of Mechanicsburg, Pa., effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“This transaction was a logical fit for both firms. From RKL’s perspective, the opportunity to merge in a team of professionals with an exemplary dedication to our key industries as well as to the Greater Capital Region is a true win for our strategic growth initiatives,” says RKL CEO Edward Monborne.

“Personalized attention, consistent relationships and high-quality service have long been hallmarks of PGA’s client commitment,” PGA president David Padden says. “By joining the RKL team, not only are we able to maintain these principles, but we can also tap into cutting-edge capabilities that will allow us to expand and build upon the tax, accounting and consulting services we provide to commercial and individual clients.”

The two firms serve the accounting and consulting needs of the credit union and senior living industries, in addition to serving middle market commercial clients. PGA’s experience serving senior living providers and its medical billing practice will further enhance RKL’s senior living services consulting group, a nationally leading provider of financial, operational and compliance services for the post-acute care industry.

RKL Admits Clark to Firm Partnership

Jonathan Clark

Jonathan Clark

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL (FY16 net revenue of $61.5 million) admitted Jonathan Clark to partnership.

“Jonathan’s specialized expertise and strategic approach to tax planning have made him a trusted advisor to his clients, a respected mentor to his colleagues and a major force in RKL’s continued success,” says Edward Monborne, CEO.

As partner in the tax services group, Clark will continue to serve clients throughout RKL’s central and eastern Pennsylvania region and will be primarily based out of the firm’s Wyomissing, Pa. office.

Clark delivers tax planning and compliance services to corporations, pass-through entities and individuals. He specializes in multi-state taxation and accounting for income taxes. Previously a manager in the tax services group, Clark has amassed experience providing outsourced tax services to multinational companies since joining RKL in 2009.