Michael French will become the new managing director of Belfint, Lyons & Shuman on Jan. 1, 2015.

[IMGCAP(1)] French succeeds Barry Crozier, who was the firm’s managing director for 21 years.

Crozier will continue to service clients as a director/shareholder at BLS while assisting and advising French over the next two years. During that time, Crozier will also play a key role in business development opportunities for the firm.

“Leadership transition and succession planning is simply smart business for any organization, and we are not an [IMGCAP(2)] exception to that rule,” Crozier said in a statement. “I am honored to be a part of this planned and methodical leadership change in our firm. Throughout my years as the managing director, Michael has been an integral part of our success, and I am excited for him to be assuming this well-earned role.”

“I am privileged to have been elected by my fellow shareholders as the next managing director of BLS and know that I have an amazing legacy to uphold,” said French. “The BLS team is embracing this change, and along with our new ideas, we will never lose sight of our founding commitment of building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with our clients, business associates and the community.”

French’s career in public accounting began in 1980 when he joined BLS as an intern while attending the University of Delaware. He quickly rose to a leadership position and was named director in 1994.

French’s primary focus is assisting small businesses, individuals and families with the appropriate planning and tax structures needed to help manage their various business, real estate and investment interests. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants and Wilmington Tax Group.

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