Jeffrey M. Weiner, Managing Partner of Marcum LLP, Featured in a profile piece by Accounting Today/Web
By Michael Cohn
Excerpt:Jeffrey M. Weiner joined Marcum in 1981 and has served as managing partner since 1990. Under his leadership, the firm has expanded from a one-office firm of 20 employees to a 21-office firm that now ranks in the top 15 in the United States, the top four in the New York metropolitan area, and is the largest firm on Long Island.
In addition to his responsibilities as managing partner‚ Weiner manages Marcum’s entertainment practice and is a nationally recognized expert on personal business management for the entertainment industry. He served as executive producer of the Universal Pictures films “The Bourne Supremacy” in 2004 and “The Bourne Ultimatum” in 2007, starring Matt Damon. He was also the executive producer of “The Hades Factor‚” a mini-series that aired on CBS television in April 2006; a producer of “The Chancellor Manuscript‚” starring Leonardo DiCaprio for Paramount Pictures‚ slated to be released in 2011; and the executive producer of “The Sigma Protocol‚” currently in development at Universal Pictures.
In 2009‚ Weiner was named among Accounting Today’s “Top 100 Most Influential People.” He is a founding member of The Leading Edge Alliance‚ a worldwide group of large‚ independent accounting practices that provides member firms with access to nationally recognized expertise in a wide range of industries and service areas. In 2009‚ he received The Leading Edge Alliance’s “On the Edge Innovation Award,” which recognizes an individual who has made an enduring and pioneering contribution to the public accounting profession.
Marcum has gone through a series of M&A deals in recent years, expanding its footprint across the East Coast. In May of last year, it merged with Rachlin LLP in Florida. In September of last year, Marcum merged with Margolis & Co. in the Philadelphia area The firm acquired three offices in Connecticut and Massachusetts from UHY Advisors in April of this year, and merged in October with Stonefield Josephson, expanding the firm’s footprint to California and Hong Kong.
What made you decide to merge with Stonefield?
We set out in 2008 to go from being a regional firm in New York to really create a national firm to service the middle market. We want to be looked at as the middle market alternative to the Big Four. We started in New York in 2008, then we expanded into New Jersey, then in 2009 we expanded to South Florida and Philadelphia, and earlier this year we went up to New England. We had earmarked the West Coast, Los Angeles, San Francisco as areas we wanted to be in. Stonefield filled that need for us, and we’re looking at expanding into Chicago next year.
Are there any particular firms that you’re looking at?
No, we actually haven’t started talking with anybody.
How do you plan to integrate Stonefield?
We’ve been through this a couple of times. We put together an integration team on all levels, whether it’s administrative, audit, or tax, that basically will work with Stonefield to assimilate them into our policies and procedures over the course of time.
What’s your approach to merging firms? Do you use similar technologies?
Some are similar, some are different. You don’t have to change everything day one. We’ve learned that if you assimilate over time with a plan, it could be a three-month plan or a six-month plan. You can’t change everything day one. It’s just impractical. There’s too many things, there’s too many people involved, there’s too much of a learning curve. But depending on what it is, whether it’s the audit software or the tax software or time of year, it determines how long the integration process will take.
How has the merger with Stonefield been going so far?
Excellent. Any of the firms we merge with, but Stonefield in particular, they’ve been around a long time, and they have a viable up-and-running business. Day one, other than changing the name on the door, nothing’s changed. It’s the same people and the same place. We don’t get rid of people. We don’t go in and do an overnight upheaval. We do things over time. We try to make it as least intrusive as possible, both for the people who work there and the clients. We want it to be seamless, so we want the change and the integration to be almost transparent.