The 2016 MP Elite
The fifth edition of our annual report highlights eight outstanding accounting firm leaders.
In our fifth collection of the Managing Partner Elite, we've brought together a selection of the country's best firm leaders, from firms of all sizes, to highlight the skills and strategies it takes to lead an organization to success in the 21st century.
In his almost-20 years at the helm of MBAF, Argiz has boosted its revenue almost tenfold and its staff fivefold, while expanding its geographic reach across the country and around the world, creating a widely respected powerhouse that stands out in the profession for its international expertise — and its diversity. With all that, he still finds time to be deeply involved in his communities, whether by volunteering with the American Institute of CPAs and his local state board, or serving a wide range of charities and civic groups.
One of Berkowitz’s goals has been to build a place where people can develop great careers, a focus he retains to this day, where it’s led to a proactive embrace of the workstyles of Millennials — and a stunningly low single-digit turnover rate. He has paired that concern for culture and environment with strong, detailed plans for the firm’s future -- he has even planned for the firm’s future without him: They have had a succession plan in place for over five years, under which Berkowitz has been grooming and mentoring the next CEO to succeed him when he transitions to the chairman’s role next January.
Leaders are rare, but rarer still are leaders who develop other leaders — and Joey Havens is definitely one of those. It shows in the “Wise Firm” culture he has installed at Horne, an incredibly positive and empowering ethos that urges employees to “beBetter,” even as it gives them unparalleled flexibility and support to do so. (It’s well worth a look at www.wisefirm.com.) The results at Horne are clear: Under Havens, the firm has grown its revenues over 40 percent, grown its staff almost 30 percent (while significantly lowering turnover), and innovated in service areas like its new cybersecurity practice.
Medley built the firm she co-founded from scratch into the largest firm in Kentucky, a powerhouse with a spot among the leading firms in the country that’s now pursuing an aggressive regional expansion plan. Underpinning all that success is a strong focus on leadership and talent, with programs for identifying and grooming rising stars, and an active Next-Generation Committee to help with recruiting and retention.
It’s hard enough to lead for today — leading for tomorrow is even more difficult, but Jeffery Mowery manages to do both, with a strong grasp of what his firm needs to succeed now, and constant effort to prepare for what’s ahead. And to give you an idea of how far ahead he’s planning, he’s already identified his successor as MP, though the transition is still at least five years off.
What sets the MP Elite apart is that they’re generally really good at a broad range of things, and Charles Postal is a perfect example of that. During his tenure, Santos Postal has quadrupled in revenues and quintupled in staff; completed five acquisitions; added six new practice areas; launched annually revised strategic and succession plans; implemented a host of cutting-edge technology innovations; and been named an Accounting Today Best Firm to Work For five times. Given that he is clearly firing on all cylinders, it should come as no surprise that Postal won a Digital CPA Innovative Practitioner Award this year.
Price is running his firm now the way everyone will in five or 10 years. From a single office in Florida he has expanded to offices in major markets all over the country, with clients all over the world, thanks in no small part to his ability to leverage technology and the firm’s remote workforce — which has also helped him significantly grow his international client base. Price has made innovation in sales and business development a priority, but at the same time, he has created a “Strategic People Plan” with an emphasis on engaging with and actually listening to the firm’s employees.
Weiner was a member of our inaugural class of the MP Elite in 2012, and it’s no accident that he returns this year — he’s one of the most admired firm leaders in the country, and continues to lead Marcum to new heights, remaining just as aggressive in both M&A and organic growth. When he first made the list, we noted his national drive; now we can note his international drive, with a major presence in China. He keeps the firm innovative with new offerings in practice areas like LGBT services, cybersecurity, and alternative investments, and built a stable of affiliated companies in wealth management, technology, executive search and more.