If you’ve spotted me racing to the TSA check-in line at the airport in recent months, it’s no accident. I’ve been spending a lot of my time flying the friendly skies. The sign-off on my column last week gave you a hint why.
It was a heads up about an important announcement regarding a new Marcum merger. And, as promised, the announcement came out on Monday. We’ve combined forces with Raffa, P.C., based in Washington, D.C., adding its 18 partners and 280 associates to the Marcum family. This was the biggest merger in Marcum’s history, and also took us into a new market. It brought our team to 250 partners and more than 1,800 associates – numbers that weren’t imaginable when I joined the Firm in 1981.
The merger, which took effect on Oct. 1, was just one of several growth transactions for Marcum in 2018. In June, Filomeno & Company, P.C., merged into Marcum’s New England region. The merger also brought Filomeno Wealth Management, LLC, to our firm, joining us as Marcum Wealth Management. Under the leadership of Tom Filomeno, Filomeno’s four partners and 13 associates give Marcum a presence in West Hartford, expanding our footprint in Connecticut to five offices.
Just a month later, we merged with Houston-based GBH CPAs, which specialized in tax and audit services to public companies and to the oil and gas industries, welcoming its four partners and 24 associates to Marcum. Given our historic strengths in SEC-related work, GBH’s expertise in this area made GBH a natural fit for us. It also opened up new geography for us in the great state of Texas.
We followed that up in August with a merger with Providence, R.I.-based Yarlas, Kaplan, Santilli & Moran LTD (YKSM). With YKSM’s seven partners and 23 associates on our team, Marcum’s New England region and particularly our Providence office gained additional mass that expands our service capacities for clients of both firms. As office managing partner, Thomas Lisi is leader of our team there, in case you want to reach out.
With each merger, we give careful thought to making the most of each firm’s strengths. We tapped Tom Raffa, who is one of the best-known accounting specialists in the nonprofit/social sector world and who lectures about it around the country, to be national leader of our combined nonprofit specialty practice, which is now called Raffa-Marcum’s Nonprofit and Social Sector Group. Kathy Raffa is now Marcum’s office managing partner in Washington, D.C.
Raffa’s focus was not only a great business fit for Marcum; it was also a great cultural fit. As regular readers know, we’re very passionate about serving philanthropic clients here at Marcum and also have a strong commitment to providing critical assistance to those in need in Marcum communities throughout the U.S., through the Marcum Foundation. In fact, the annual Marcum Day of Service is coming up next month, and it’s great that the Raffa team got here just in time to participate.
Raffa and Marcum also shared a priority on developing women leaders. Of Raffa’s 18 partners, 11 were women. When Raffa was ranked by Accounting Today, it was the only firm in the top 100 to be majority-owned by women partners.
Several of Marcum’s national practice groups are led by women partners, including Heather Bearfield, Cybersecurity & IT Risk leader; Janis Cowhey, leader of Modern Family & LGBT Services; Rorrie Gregorio in Marcum’s Family Office Practice; Carolyn Mazzenga, head of Family Wealth Services; and Beth Wiener in our Alternative Investment Group just to name a few. Our Women’s Initiative is setting the stage for more up-and-coming members of our team to join them.
The program was set up to build a more compelling environment for women at Marcum. It’s a multi-pronged effort that helps us enhance career opportunities for women in both formal and informal ways. It has also helped us advance and reward women partners in ways that help us to retain them.
The accounting industry, like many of yours, is changing very rapidly – and we need the right people on our team to bring the best solutions to our clients. Fortunately, merging with like-minded firms is bringing us new ways to serve our clients better.