New York City accounting firm names new CEO

As part of its growth strategy, New York City-based Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP announced that F. Wayne Holton, a longtime partner in the firm, has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Co-founder Joel Cooperman will retain his role as Managing Partner, and will continue to guide the 30-year-old firm as it continues to grow and expand into new markets.

In his new role, Holton, 65, will take on many of the administrative duties previously overseen by Cooperman, allowing Cooperman to focus on the general growth of the firm.

Holton has more than 40 years of experience. Prior to joining Citrin Cooperman in 2000, he was the founding and managing partner of his own accounting firm, Holton Associates.

Cooperman said the decision to bring on a CEO was prompted by the firm’s remarkable growth over the past eight years – from an $18 million firm in 2000 to an over $80 million operation in 2008. The firm was recently ranked the 34th largest accounting firm in the country, based on billings.

“We are well capitalized and have deep bench strength to compete in the marketplace, but the firm is at a point where more management is needed,” Cooperman said. “Wayne is a strong leader and a proven businessman who is well-respected by the partnership. I’m looking forward to leaning on his expertise to help me guide the firm going forward. I am confident that Wayne’s role as CEO will allow me to focus more on the macro issues of running Citrin Cooperman and I look forward to being able to spend more of my time doing just that.”

“What excites me the most about this is being given the opportunity to help make a great firm even better,” said Holton. “Joel has never had a CEO before, so this is going to be an evolutionary process that will grow and change over time. The most important thing is that we’re going to make it work.”

Citrin Cooperman has been very active in bringing in outside firms over the past decade. In 2007 alone, several firms were brought in, including Yampolsky Mandeloff Silver Ryan (YMSR), a Philadelphia firm which represents the firm’s first office outside of the New York metropolitan area. In addition, Kaufmann, Gallucci & Grumer, Barback, Uliano & Co. , and sole practitioner Ed Heben also joined the firm last year. In January 2007, Citrin had combined in three firms: Mendelsohn Kary Bell & Natoli, LLP; Weissbarth Altman & Slavet, LLP; and Metsky & Associates.

Citrin Cooperman is the 34th largest accounting firm in the U.S. and among the top 10 in the New York metropolitan area. The firm now employs 72 partners and more than 325 professionals.

The firm provides tax, accounting, litigation support and consulting advice to a variety of clients in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Founded in 1979, the firm has offices in midtown Manhattan, White Plains, N.Y., Springfield, N.J., and Philadelphia, P.A.

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