CohnReznick mourns former chair and CEO Ken Baggett

Ken Baggett, a former chairman and CEO of Top 100 Firm CohnReznick, has died.

In a statement, the firm noted that he “was a bold leader in the accounting profession and was an innovator within the real estate and affordable housing industries.”

Baggett helped create CohnReznick through a major merger in 2012, and as co-CEO and later chairman of the board, helped establish it as a top national advisory, assurance, and tax firm. For nine years, he was managing principal and CEO of predecessor firm Reznick Group, leading it to a top 20 national ranking among public accounting firms before it merged with J.H. Cohn.

Former CohnReznick chairman and CEO Ken Baggett

“Much of Ken’s work focused on building and strengthening communities,” said the firm. “As a trusted advisor to clients and colleagues alike, his technical knowledge and broad industry experience was matched by a warm sense of humor and deep compassion for others. His expertise encompassed a range of real estate and tax issues related to the development and structuring of multi-family and commercial ventures. He provided structuring advice to developers, builders, syndicators, investment banks, corporate investors, and housing finance agencies. He was also extensively involved with student and military housing development; advised clients on low-income housing tax credit issues; and represented numerous long-term health care facilities and clients involved with rehabilitation and revitalization projects. To say he was a luminary in real estate is not an overstatement.”

“He leaves a legacy of innovation and community service that continues to inspire his CohnReznick family, industry colleagues, and friends,” said the firm.

Among the many honors Baggett earned for his contributions to the accounting profession include his 2017 induction into The Advisory Board’s “Winning Is Everything” Hall of Fame, which recognizes leaders whose influence advances the profession and leaves a legacy of innovation. He was also named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today. He served as a past world chair of the International Group of Accounting Firms (now PrimeGlobal). An active alumnus of Auburn University, he was recognized as one of the top 40 alumni in the last 40 years by its School of Business and was named an outstanding alumnus by the Auburn University School of Accountancy.

Baggett spent much of his career in Atlanta before retiring near his alma mater in Auburn, Alabama. He was president and board member of the Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition, served on the board of Government Transformation Initiative, and was president and board member of the Auburn University School of Accountancy Advisory Council.

He is survived by his wife Missy, his two sons Chris and Cole, and two grandchildren, Polly and William.

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