Pittsburgh-based CPA firm Schneider Downs announced a leadership change Tuesday, naming Timothy J. Hammer and Steven D. Thompson as co-managing shareholders, effective immediately.

Raymond W. Buehler Jr., who has served president and CEO of the firm for 30 years, will transition into the role of chairman of the 58-year-old firm.

Hammer and Thompson are both members of Schneider Downs’ board of directors and executive management team. They will both be responsible for leading the firm’s client services, products, corporate culture, firm growth and community presence.

The firm was formerly co-managed by James T. Schneider and Paul E. Downs, who retired in 1985, when the firm created a similar structure by naming Kenneth A. Rowles and Raymond W. Buehler, Jr., as co-managing shareholders. Buehler later became president and CEO. The firm will transition to this dual management structure with today’s announcement.

“As I enter my 30th year in a leadership position at Schneider Downs, I could not be more proud that our firm will return to a dual management structure,” said Buehler, who joined the firm in 1975. “This structure reflects our collaborative culture. Tim and Steve have served our firm with exceptional leadership and have the complete trust and respect of our shareholder group, as well as our entire firm. We also have a very strong board and incredibly talented shareholders. We are tremendously excited about our future.”

Hammer joined Schneider Downs in 1986 and became an audit shareholder in 1998. He chairs the firm’s Employee Benefit Plan Services group.

“Our firm’s heritage lies in recognizing, and meeting, the needs of our clients,” Hammer said in a statement. “The market is ever changing, and Schneider Downs will continue to evolve as we introduce new services and capabilities to the market as they are needed. Both Steve and I embrace the challenge of carrying on in the tradition of Ray Buehler, and all of the previous leaders of our firm, in adapting to changing market needs and conditions.”

Thompson has been an audit shareholder with Schneider Downs since 2004, and chairs Schneider Downs’ Public Company Services group.

“In both Pittsburgh and Columbus, Schneider Downs has achieved steady and continuous growth through a commitment to making our employees, clients and communities better every day,” said Thompson. “We’re blessed with a unique culture and heritage, and I’m proud to be part of carrying that into the future.” 

The leadership transition will evolve over the next two years, permitting Hammer and Thompson to stay in a client service capacity as they become accustomed to their new posts. The firm said its shareholder group elected to address its succession plans at this time to establish a smooth and logical transition process.

“We consistently counsel our clients on the importance of advance planning in all of their business activities,” said Buehler. “Making this announcement early is simply an example of our firm taking our own advice. We recognize our responsibility to our employees and clients to do this right and assure Schneider Downs of continued success.”

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