January 19, 2024



I’m sitting in my kitchen this overcast and gray Friday morning, finishing today’s column and waiting for the beginning of our second snow storm in as many weeks in the Northeast. After almost two full years of little to no snowfall, it’s cold, snowy and icy here in NYC.

Marcum is growing again through our acquisition of Federman, Lally & Remis LLC in Farmington, Ct. on January 1. With this new addition, our Automotive and Food & Beverage teams in New England will have more depth, and it will build up our regional bench strength in tax and assurance.

I’m a big believer that if you’re not growing, you’re falling behind, and at Marcum, we’ve always been focused on finding new opportunities to move our firm ahead. If you’ve been following the news of the World Economic Forum, where the Annual Meeting has been held this week in Davos, you’ve probably seen the predictions that GDP growth in countries around the world will slow to 2.4% in 2024, the third year in a row of deceleration. Not that growth has been speedy to date: In higher-income countries like the US, GDP per capita spending only rose by a little over 1% over the past five years.

Nonetheless, there are winners and losers in every economic environment. No matter what industry you do business in, steady, sustainable growth will give you an edge over the forces that can blindside even the best-run companies.

To that end, we have now grown to more than 4,000 employees—a number I would have found hard to imagine when I joined the firm with six people in 1981. With each expansion, our clients and team members have benefited in new ways. Each firm joining the fold has brought a unique mix of professionals and experience. The goal of our M&A strategy is no secret: We want to corner the “mindshare” in our industry. Only the firms with the best minds on their teams will be able to make the most of the many trends transforming the accounting profession and serve their clients best.

At the same time, growth today isn’t about expanding at all costs. It has to reflect values such as due professional care, inclusiveness, innovativeness, resilience, and sustainability, as the World Economic Forum has found. Few workers want to be part of an operation that does not care about all of its people—meaning its internal team, its customers, and its community.

You probably saw the headlines about Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden giving his cell phone number to his 60,000 employees with an invitation to tell him what is on their minds. Although he hoped they’d offer ideas to unlock growth, many first wanted to better understand the company’s relationship with controversial Yeezy founder Kanye “Ye” West. It’s hard for team members to rally behind a company unless they’re confident they believe in what it stands for.

As we’ve grown at Marcum, I consider our team members critical stakeholders in our growth, and I get frequent input from many on how we can keep improving our firm, both one-on-one and in events such as our Town Halls. It’s something I very much appreciate. I’m looking forward to getting to know our newest team members and hearing their perspectives on how to continue upping our game in serving our clients. That’s an area where I never want to get complacent. Fortunately, the fresh perspectives we’re bringing on board will continue to energize our approaches as we scale up.

For those of you in the Northeast, stay warm and be safe this weekend.