May 24, 2019

Get Ready for Summer

Get Ready for Summer

As I mentioned in my column last week, Marcum spent the majority of this week at our annual Partner Retreat in Orlando, Florida. With approximately 250 of our partners and executive leadership, including members of our affiliated technology, staffing and financial services companies, one thing was apparently clear. We’re all on the same page as it relates to Marcum’s plans for the future.

With all of the April (and May) showers we had this spring, it felt like Memorial Day might never arrive, but it’s finally here. And the sun’s even out here in New York this morning and the weekend forecast is good. I’m ready to fire up the barbecue and kick off the unofficial start of summer!

Of course, the true purpose of Memorial Day is to pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country – let’s not let that somber fact get lost in our weekend celebrations. I’m planning to attend the local Memorial Day parade as we spend the weekend on Long Island with the kids. If you can’t attend your local parade, there are many other ways to show your appreciation, whether it’s donating to a veteran’s organization, posting a tribute to a fallen hero on social media, or flying the flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day.

With graduation season in full swing, the graduating class at Morehouse College has some exciting and life-changing news to process. Private equity investor Robert F. Smith – the wealthiest African American in the country – surprised the students with an unexpected announcement in his keynote graduation speech at the historically black college: He’s going to pay off the student loans of all 396 graduates in the class of 2019. He hopes the gift will open doors for them to follow their passion to the careers where they can make the greatest contribution to the world. It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of a gift like this, enabling these young people to avoid the crush of student debt, our next big financial bubble waiting to burst. And Smith asked for something in return that’s likely to increase the impact of his gift: He asked the students to pay it forward to make sure every class has the same opportunities.

With graduates across the country now hitting the job market, we’re looking forward to welcoming new entry-level staff at Marcum offices around the country. I was pleased (but not entirely surprised) to see that accounting made LinkedIn’s list of the most popular careers for new graduates. Accounting is number five. Here at Marcum, we’re proud to offer top graduates an environment where they can make an impact immediately, as new members of account teams serving our entrepreneurial, middle-market clients.

This generation of graduates will be building careers in a world that’s very different from the one where Boomers and GenXers launched ours, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they make their mark on the workplace. As Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, pointed out in a commencement speech at Tulane, they’re embarking on their working lives in a world where algorithms are constantly trying to push them toward specific points of view – and one of their most important tasks will be coming up with their own take on things.

Although I’ll never completely forget the movie Jaws, I was happy to see the recent headlines about a great white shark being spotted in the waters of Long Island Sound for the first time ever. The 500-pound, 10-foot male – whom researchers named Cabot – was spotted off the coast of Greenwich, Ct., then sighted in the Atlantic off the Hamptons. Experts say it’s a sign that Long Island Sound is cleaner and healthier than it’s been in years. As many of you know, Tracy and I spend our summers on Long Island with our family. I hope (maybe not) we’ll be able to see Cabot at some point – from a safe distance!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!