Ch-ch-changes are coming at the top of CohnReznick, as partners at the top 15 accounting firm this week elected David Kessler as CEO, effective Feb. 1, 2020.
Kessler will succeed Frank Longobardi, who has been CEO since October 2015. Longobardi will remain at the firm until he reaches CohnReznick’s mandatory retirement age in January 2021, he told Accounting Today.
An employee of New York-based CohnReznick for almost 34 years, Kessler is currently managing partner for the firm’s real estate practice, responsible for directing strategies and overseeing operations for the affordable housing, commercial real estate, construction, and tax credit groups.
The firm’s partnership probably felt Kessler would be a good choice to take over the corner office because he is also “actively involved” with CohnReznick’s advisory, assurance, and tax practices, according to a press release. Kessler is also a member of CohnReznick’s Executive Board.
Kessler previously served as the co-office managing partner of the firm’s office in Bethesda, MD, where he is based.
He’s been with the firm for soooo long that when he started, it was known as Reznick Fedder & Silverman, which eventually became Reznick Group, which then merged with J.H. Cohn in May 2012 to form CohnReznick.
Here’s what Kessler had to say about his new gig:
“I am honored to be chosen to lead CohnReznick and look forward to supporting the growth of our people, providing world-class service to our clients, and having a lasting positive impact on our communities. My goal is to build upon Frank’s outstanding leadership by continuing to distinguish CohnReznick as the firm with an inclusive environment to foster the careers of our people while providing state of the art solutions to help our clients achieve their vision for their businesses.”
Unlike Kessler, Longobardi started his CohnReznick career on the J.H. Cohn side. He and Bob Haggett founded the accounting firm Haggett Longobardi in downtown Hartford, CT, in 1984. In 2007, the firm merged with J.H. Cohn.
Longobardi took over as CEO from Ken Baggett and Tom Marino, who were co-CEOs, in 2015.
Baggett passed away on April 3 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 64.