Gerry Golub, who helped build Goldstein Golub Kessler LLP into one of New York's most high-profile and progressive firms, announced that he will retire after a 44-year career in public accounting - the last 25 spent as managing partner of GGK.Golub, 67, a multi-year member of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People roster, will officially step down in mid-January. "It's just time to turn over the reins to other people and look for new horizons," he said. "There's a number of things I'm looking at now where I feel my experience can be of service."

Steve Mayer will succeed Golub as managing partner.

Upon graduating Brooklyn College in 1962, Golub worked as a staff accountant at David W. Katz & Co. before founding his own firm, Gerald Golub & Co., in 1968.

Three years later, he merged his firm with Stanley Goldstein & Co., uniting him with future GGK partners Stanley Goldstein and Stuart Kessler.

Under their guidance and through periodic mergers, GGK grew from a 20-person firm to its present size of roughly 600 employees, while forging a reputation for specialized knowledge in a number of practice niches.

In 1998, GGK was acquired by American Express, which at the time was absorbing a number of prominent CPA firms in New York, Chicago and Cleveland, as the financial services conglomerate became one of several accounting firm consolidators.

Golub was named chairman of the new arm, branded American Express Tax & Business Services, as well as heading the New York region. Later, he also was named to oversee AmEx TBS's technology partnership with Germany-based SAP, a co-marketing effort for a U.S. edition of SAP's Business One management software.

Seven years later, American Express abandoned the roll-up model and sold its portfolio of firms to RSM McGladrey for $220 million.

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