Living large on Long Island
The 64th-largest firm in the U.S. by revenue, according to
Accounting Today, Margolin, Winer & Evens has nearly 250
employees in its offices in New York City and Long Island.
The firm was founded in 1946, but the bulk of its growth came in
the recent years, headcount almost doubled between 2001 and
MWE professionals serve midsized and large businesses in the
brokerage, technology, real estate, retail, entertainment,
financial services, health care, manufacturing and distribution,
construction and professional services industries. In
addition to traditional accounting, tax and audit services, MWE
provides specialized services like strategic planning, estate and
succession planning, forensic accounting, litigation consulting,
bankruptcy services, business valuation, cost segregation and
wealth management services.
Up by two
Two additions to the Margolin, Winer & Evens partnership got
2008 off to a good start. Scott O'Sullivan, CPA, a
senior tax manager, became a partner in the firm's tax department,
where he works in the real estate practice. O'Sullivan began
his tenure at MWE in the audit department in 1996. And Nuruz
Rahman, CPA, was elevated from senior manager to partner in the
accounting and audit department. A member of the financial
services industry practice, Rahman joined MWE in 1993. He
also helped launch the successful MWE Mentor Program, which has won
national recognition for its initiatives to develop and recruit
accounting professionals at the firm.
In May 2008, MWE's senior tax manager Mark Stone, was elected
president of the New York State Society of Certified Public
Accountants (NYSSCPA), Nassau Chapter. Stone had previously
served as chair of the Nassau Chapter's estate and financial
planning committee and did a stint on the organization's executive
board. With approximately 30,000 members, the NYSSCPA is the
nation's largest state accounting organization. The Nassau
chapter includes 3,775 members. In 2009, partner Nuruz Rahman
was honored by Long Island Business News as one of its 40 Under 40
(the most "outstanding members of the business community" under the
age of 40).
Sell, sell, sell
What do an accountant and a hard-driving salesperson have in
common? If you said "not much," think again. Although
many people go into accounting because they're passionate about
facts, figures and accuracy, more and more accountants are finding
themselves playing a sales role.
To help its accounting professionals sharpen their sales and
people skills, MWE unveiled a new program called LEAD (Learn Earn
Advance & Develop) in 2007. Through LEAD's monthly
training sessions, partners and managers take courses with outside
business development consultants to learn tips for cultivating
clients; staff accountants meet with marketing professionals and
firm partners to discuss networking and interpersonal skills.
The "Earn" part of LEAD comes in the form of a point-based
incentive system, which awards points for successful marketing work
(hooking a partner up with a possible client, taking a meeting with
a referral source, and so on). Those with the most points at
the end of each month, and the end of the calendar year, can win
valuable prizes. Why focus on marketing every month?
Partner Alan Materazo told Long Island Business News in September
2008 that repetition is the key to building a sales-driven
culture. "The programs have to be ongoing," he
explained. "You can't just have a classroom where people get
jazzed up for two weeks and then forget everything they
Can we interest you in a CPA firm?
Proving its commitment to proactive marketing efforts, in
October 2008, MWE hired a new director of marketing, Tracey
Segarra, who now heads MWE's advertising, public relations,
seminars, special events, online marketing, direct marketing and
internal communications. She came to MWE from Citrin
Cooperman & Company, where she had overseen marketing and
communications. Before that, Segarra had worked on the other
side of the equation: she started her career as a reporter, holding
posts at Accounting Today, WebCPA and United Press
The 2008 recession hit New York's financial services sector
hard, and hedge funds took a big hit. Partner Terry
Strassberg told Long Island Business News in October 2008 that
given the financial climate, many of MWE's hedge fund clients, like
similar clients of other accounting firms, were "looking to close
down." But there's a silver lining in every cloud.
Strassberg added that MWE's bankruptcy and restructuring practice
for hedge funds will likely experience some growth in light of the
recent downturn. "They'll need bankruptcy work," he
said. "We're gearing up for it."
Teddy's No. 3
Current MWE Managing Partner Teddy Selinger, a real estate
specialist, is the firm's third leader in over 60 years of
business. Selinger took the lead in implementing mentoring
and training programs at the firm, and he's also taken steps to
increase MWE's charitable efforts. These days, MWE
professionals contribute time and financial support to a number of
worthy causes, including the American Cancer Society, the Long
Island Volunteer Enterprise, Nassau-Suffolk Services for Autism and
the American Jewish Committee.
Log on for the list
On its website, MWE offers job seekers a list of open positions,
along with brief descriptions of requirements. For audit
supervisor positions, for example, the firm is looking for "CPA
certified" candidates with "four to eight years of public
accounting experience." The firm also says it will consider
candidates from firms of all sizes, though there's no formal
description of duties or an online application. Those
applicants whose interest is piqued, however, can send their resume
The firm cites variety of practice areas ("broad exposure") and
the size of the firm as selling points, along with extensive
professional training and membership in professional
organizations. The firm also prides itself on its mentoring
program, in which it pairs staff with other experienced
professionals "who can help them achieve their career goals."
Additionally, MWE says it fosters a team-oriented approach.
"Training, motivating and encouraging" its employees is a top
Using state-of-the-art technology (including dual monitor
workstations, a paperless environment and remote access), the firm
facilitates managing its staffers' workload from the field, office
or home. In an extended effort to keep workers happy, the
firm "sponsors various employee activities, including sports teams,
holiday functions and employee events." MWE kicks off tax
season with its Winter Olympics, which, according to the firm, is
"three days of fun events for all employees"; the firm ends tax
season with a big party. Additionally, MWE promotes an annual
International Luncheon, for which employees cook and bake
dishes. The firm has also participated in charity events for
several organizations, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the
Make-A-Wish Foundation, Guide-A-Dog Foundation, Island Harvest,
American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and Making
Strides Against Breast Cancer.
Mind the GAAP
MWE's mission is to maintain a working environment guided
by the acronym GAAP, which stands for "goals," "awards,"
"academics" and "people." And the firm's commitment to being
an "Employer of Choice" fuels its drive for innovative HR
practices. Flexible work schedules, a variety of assistance
initiatives (such as a home purchase down payment assistance
program) and a conscious work/life balance make MWE a top firm in
the New York-metropolitan area.