The 1,000-plus professionals of J.H. Cohn work with clients in
more than a dozen industries, including hospitality; retail,
apparel and consumer products; medical services; construction;
entertainment; health care; mortgage banking; financial services
and hedge funds; manufacturing and distribution; private equity;
real estate; education; family offices; law firms; nonprofits; and
marketing communications. The firm's service lines are
divided into seven general groups: accounting and auditing; tax
services; governance, risk and compliance; private equity;
consulting; business investigation; and Client Economic Recovery
Team (CERT). To enhance its international capabilities, J.H.
Cohn maintains membership in the Nexia alliance, a network of
20,600 independent auditors, business advisers and consultants in
over 100 countries.
Unity in division
Some of J.H. Cohn's operations are managed through its affiliated
companies, all of which bear the Cohn name. These include
Cohn Corporate Finance, Cohn Wealth Management and Cohn Real
Estate, all of which do what their monikers suggest. The Cohn
Benefits Consultants is in charge of designing and administering
pension, profit-sharing and retirement contribution plans, as well
as planning employee health and welfare programs, business
succession, executive compensation plans and deferred compensation
plans. Through Cohn Executive Search, the firm connects
companies with senior-level managers. Cohn Consulting works
with companies that need help complying with Securities and
Exchange Commission regulations, including Sarbanes-Oxley.
Cohn UIC, a joint venture with UIC Inc., is a stand-alone risk
management firm. Cohn Capital helps middle market companies
find necessary funding.
Steady through the years
Many firms that have been around as long as J.H. Cohn, which began
in 1919, have gone through a slew of name changes, altering the
company letterhead every decade to reflect new partners, mergers
and rebranding efforts. Julius H. Cohn, one of America's
first certified public accountants, led his eponymous firm for more
than four decades, overseeing expansions from its headquarters in
Newark. He stepped down in 1963, and in 1984, company
headquarters were relocated from Newark to Roseland, N.J.
J.H. Cohn went on to be one of the largest independent accounting
and consulting firms in the metro New York area, serving a long
list of middle-market and nonprofit clients, including Fujifilm
Computer Products, Quick Chek, Avon Products and the Children's
Home Society of New Jersey. Revenue-wise, J.H. Cohn is the
15th largest accounting firm in the United States in 2009,
according to INSIDE Public Accounting.
See how they grow
J.H. Cohn has pursued an aggressive strategy of growth by
acquisition since the late 1980s. Between 1987 and 2001, the
firm made no fewer than eight strategic purchases, gaining a number
of offices, industry experts and financial services
capabilities. J.H. Cohn then bought four businesses in 2006
and 2007: Fairfield, N.J.-based Mintz Rosenfeld & Company;
apparel manufacturer Berenson LLP; Glastonbury, Conn.-based Haggett
Longobardi; and Marden, Harrison & Kreuter. The mergers
kept coming in 2008 as J.H. Cohn combined with Good Swartz Brown
& Berns (GSBB) in June, adding 120 professionals and offices in
Los Angeles and Woodland Hills, Calif. Postmerger, GSBB began
operating as Good Swartz Brown & Berns, a division of J.H.
Cohn. J.H. Cohn didn't stop there. In July 2008, the
firm announced that it would combine with Frederic Kantor &
Company PC, a Manhattan-based public accounting firm serving high
net worth individuals and families in the entertainment and arts
industries. Partner Rick Kantor and his 35 employees
relocated from their office on West 36th Street to J.H. Cohn's
Manhattan office at 1212 Avenue of the Americas. They brought
with them a client list focused on the talent, public relations and
advertising industries, modeling, fashion, photography,
architecture, and interior design.
Staying at the top
J.H. Cohn isn't one of the United States' top 15 accounting and
consulting firms for nothing. Its quest for quality and
excellence has never been questioned when it finalized a
partnership between its three CPAs: Mathew S. Krukoski, Louis A.
Pizzileo and Ravi Raghunathan in February 2010. The company's
Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ), too, got additional partners
in Carolyn D'Anna and Sharon Gordon.