6 APRIL 2020 Consulting®in the middle-market. Marcum is very strong in themiddle-market, but we need to recognize that thereare boutique firms that are moving into this space,and there are Big Four firms also focused on movinginto the middle-market. I’ve also seen more lawfirms moving into the traditional consulting space bybuilding out their advisory services, which will againincrease competition. I’m saying all of this because weneed to be cognizant of the dynamics that are at play.
Ten years ago, we weren’t competing with these firms.
Consulting: Can you talk a little bit about your new
Sturisky: Marcum has a broad-based practice that isvery strong from a foundational perspective and isrelevant and impactful for clients. We can competewith the best of the best. Do I go to bed at nightworrying about our competitors? No. I go to sleep atnight thinking about how we, as a firm, can be thevery best in our services and the industries that wecompete in. Clients are looking for expertise as theentire accounting industry shifts away from beinggeneralists and compliance oriented. Marcum hastaken a very industry-based focus and has identifiedthe sectors that are relevant for our clients and thatwe believe are where we can align our services tobest serve them and add value. We have pivoted tobeing an issues-based firm first. By that I mean we arefocused on helping our clients identify and addresstheir issues. We want to bring in all of the servicesthat are aligned with our client industries to achieverelevant solutions. We are first and foremost issues-based, followed by sector and functional expertise.
Consulting: What are your top priorities for 2020?
Sturisky: One of our top priorities is making sure oursuite of services is on the front edge of what clientswant and need. Other priorities include resourcesand talent experience. By that I mean having theright talent with the right skills in the right locationto deliver our services. But it’s about more thantalent; it’s about the whole professional experience.
We want people to have robust careers; we want tocreate reasons for them to be motivated. We believemotivated and enthusiastic employees will be morewilling to go the extra mile to serve clients. We’realso focused on knowledge management. We’re inthe business of driving knowledge to our clients.We want to make sure we have the best practicesand methodologies and thought leadership thatis easily found in the deployment of our services.Another strong focus for us is bringing the totalityof the firm to our client engagements. Whether it’sAssurance, Tax or Advisory, we want to pull in theright resources to be the trusted advisor in all aspectsof their business.
Consulting: The firm has been growing significantly
the last several years. Can you talk a little bit about
the growth that you are anticipating in advisory?
Sturisky: The U.S. economy has had a significantgrowth trajectory over the last three years andMarcum continues to invest in its advisory practice.At the beginning of the year we had plans for a healthydouble-digit growth rate in advisory. However, themacro global economy is in unchartered territory withthe COVID- 19 virus, therefore I do expect negativeimpact on growth. That said, it is always important tobalance practice leadership priorities over the long,medium and short term. I am very confident that ouradvisory practice will do just fine navigating theseturbulent times, given there are multiple levers wecan pull as it relates to accelerating new offerings andshifting investments to priority areas. Success willultimately depend upon being anticipatory to pull theright levers at the right time. We continue to activelyhire talent and drive a culture of services innovationto ensure what we offer is relevant and impactful forclients. We have a 36-month roadmap to the typeof advisory practice we want to have. Our growthprojections are aspirational but achievable. Ourcompetitors are going to see much more of Marcumin their advisory space than they have previously. Wewill also continue to grow our geographic footprintand presence, as well.