4 SEPTEMBER 2015 Consulting®
ShortTakes Trends, Views and Analysis
The $1 Billion Man
New CohnReznick CEO Frank Longobardi says the firm can hit $1 billion by 2020
CohnReznick’s partnership recently
elected Frank P. Longobardi to serve as
the Accounting, Tax and Advisory firm’s
next CEO. The firm’s strong growth has
it currently standing as the 11th largest
accounting firm in the U.S., nipping at
the heels of top 10 status. Reaching that
plateau, among other goals, are part of
Longobardi’s vision for the firm when
he takes the helm Oct. 1. Consulting
Magazine recently spoke with Longobardi
as he prepares for the CEO role.
Consulting: What’s been keeping you busiest
so far in preparing for the CEO role?
Longobardi: I’m very focused on visiting
our offices and meeting with as many of
the partners and staff throughout the Firm
as possible. As I share my vision with them
for CohnReznick, I am receiving excellent
feedback on the vision I have outlined and
have enjoyed hearing their thoughts on the
Firm’s future. I’m also focused on preparing the Firm’s updated Strategic Plan. This
process includes a top-down and bottom-up
approach, with specific strategies not only at
the Firm level, but for each of our offices and
practice areas. I’ve also met with members of
my executive team—those reporting directly
and indirectly to me. I think it’s important to
start having these conversations now to build
shared goals and objectives as well as a sense
of accountability and transparency.
Consulting: What are your top priorities or
goals as CEO?
Longobardi: As the 11th largest accounting
firm in the United States, CohnReznick’s
growth strategy is focused on, among other
things, achieving top 10 status. To accomplish this, I see our goals as three-fold: Accelerating growth by expanding services,
creating diversification of services in our
existing offices, expanding via strategic
mergers, and focusing on industry specialization. Providing world-class service to
our clients is certainly a given, but it is more
than just words. I believe we need to continue to live and breathe this in all we do.
As well as developing the future leaders of
our firm. This is a topic I’m very passionate
about: we need to mentor our people, train
them effectively, listen to them, and most
importantly, empower them. That’s the secret to developing great leaders. Each and
every professional should feel special and
understand their importance to our firm.
Consulting: What are some of the biggest
challenges clients are asking for help with?
Longobardi: Access to capital is one of the
most critical issues in today’s economy, especially for companies in the middle market.
Fortunately, we have seen strong improvement in this area over the past year. We continually advise clients on how and where to
access the capital they need and how best to
prepare for a potential transaction. IT used
to be a tool to enhance efficiency, improve
communication, etc. Today, it’s the central
nervous system of a company. Big Data.
Predictive Analytics. This is how technology is driving business transformations that
CohnReznick’s CEO Frank