Woodbury, N.Y. (May 5, 2003) -- Marcum & Kliegman of Woodbury, N.Y., has attracted five partners and some $8 million in annual audit business from Long Island, N.Y., rival Grassi & Co.

"The partners wanted to be part of a well-established SEC practice, and our firm has been in this business a long while, while Grassi did not get into it until it acquired these partners," said Marcum & Kliegman managing partner Jeffrey Weiner, who estimated the new partners' annual billing amounts. "We have a lot more depth in services that we can offer."

Marcum & Kliegman has about 70 SEC audit clients, while Grassi has ceased doing SEC audit work to concentrate on providing consulting services to that sector. The defecting partners, according to Weiner, are Steve Feldman and Phil Klein, who left earlier this year, and Ron Conigliaro, Kevin McGann and Vince Paolucci, who moved over last October.

Grassi president Louis Grassi concurred that his firm lost the partners, but said Weiner over-estimated their total billings by about $2 million. He also said the former partners' clients "all have ongoing concerns and most are on life support."

Grassi further said that his firm in January decided to withdraw from SEC company auditing because consulting is more lucrative and "less risky" in light of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley law regulating SEC company auditing.

Marcum & Kliegman is ranked No. 41 on Accounting Today's Top Firms list with $32 million in 2002 revenue, while Grassi of Lake Success, N.Y., is ranked 96 with an estimated  $14.9 million in 2002 revenue. That estimate did not factor in the loss of the five partners,

-- John M. Covaleski

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