Accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron has elected two new leaders to succeed retiring managing partner Steven Baum.

Arthur E. Cannata, 58, a specialist in the real estate, retail, and high net worth areas, and Mark Levenfus, CPA, 57 (pictured), a general accounting and audit expert who specializes in the media and entertainment industries, are succeeding Baum as co-managing partners. Cannata and Levenfus each have over 30 years of experience in the accounting field. Marks Paneth & Shron is the 15th largest accounting firm in the New York area. The firm provides businesses with accounting, auditing and tax services.

"We would like to grow in industries that are synergistic with our expertise: in real estate, media and entertainment, financial services, and high-net-worth individuals," said Levenfus. "We are continually on the lookout for experts in those areas and we will enhance our staff so that we can provide our clients with the quality services we have always delivered."

He expects that Cannata will be more involved in day-to-day operations while he will focus on activities such as marketing and contacts. The firm also has plans to expand to other parts of the New York metropolitan area, such as New Jersey or Connecticut. On Jan. 1, the firm merged with Schneider & Associates in Woodbury, N.Y.

Levenfus said that the firm is following up on an existing succession plan. "The firm has always had a succession plan," he said. "We knew internally probably two years ago that Art and I would take over," he noted. "For the last year we were involved with the existing or retired managing partners in running the firm." Levenfus became a partner in 1983 and Cannata in 1986.

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