Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
November 29, 2022

Some High Level Folks Have Abruptly Left BDO and No One Seems to Know Why (UPDATE)

a confused business guy

People who know know there’s something happening at BDO USA. We are working on getting to the bottom of a few things that we can’t quite share with you until we have more information but in the meantime, we need to talk about how leadership is apparently getting axed — or leaving? — and no one knows why. Well, someone knows why. Just not low level cogs, tipsters, and accounting tabloid writers digging around to find out what the hell is going on.

Let’s start with a Fishbowl thread from the week of October 17. In it, BDOers react to the abrupt departure of Stephanie Giammarco who, according to LinkedIn, has been with BDO for 23 years and by all appearances was well-liked, respected, and much looked up to as a leader. Advisory partner Kristin Winford was also ousted at the same time, her LinkedIn appears to be gone.



👁👄👁 indeed, 👁👄👁 indeed.

We’ve asked around for a copy of the email that went out announcing their departure and have so far come up empty handed, if anyone wants to send it over or provide more details on what the hell is going on at BDO right now, get in touch (anonymously of course unless you prefer otherwise). As mentioned in the Fishbowl thread, both women were disappeared almost immediately from BDO’s website.

And now we have a few more names to add to the pile. We’re informed that Tim Mohr, Ryan Guthrie, and Anthony Alfonso have also left the firm and just as abruptly. So far they are still on BDO’s website, the phone numbers listed for them go directly to voicemail. Perhaps a coincidence, it is Friday afternoon after all.

A tipster writes:

Huge changes at BDO, they let go of Stephanie Giammarco, head of advisory, Ryan Guthrie, head of transaction advisory, Tony Alfonso, head of valuation and Timothy Mohr, head of forensics practice, all in the last two weeks.

These aren’t some PiP’d associates getting tossed for low utilization, these are all high level, experienced people.

We’re told — and this is pretty much what Fishbowl commenters said — that this happened seemingly out of nowhere. Our tipster adds:

None of the partners I talk to can give a specific reason. One partner I talked to thinks a transaction of some kind might be coming as they did not make any variable share partners this year.

We have another source who has some ideas about why this has happened, unfortunately we can’t say just yet. We have reached out to an individual handling BDO media requests for comment and will share more when we can.

Our contact info is below if you have information to add to this developing story. Operators standing by now! Just kidding, it’s only our crack team of accounting profession rejects and delinquents.

Update: Below is the text of an email sent to BDO USA employees from CEO Wayne Berson on October 28, 2022 (or so we are told by our source). In it, Berson discusses the “restructuring” that seems to have everyone confused about the recent advisory departures. Warning: long.

Optimizing BDO’s Structure for Continued Success

When I became CEO, my first order of business was ensuring our firm had the foundations of culture and leadership in place to enable our growth, with unity of practice and a focus on putting people first. A decade later, we’ve seen industry-leading growth, new people and capabilities to serve our clients, expanded geographic reach and recognized leadership in the marketplace. We’ve not only grown to a $2.5 billion firm with over 11,000 professionals, we’ve done so while embracing change and with our core purpose, core values and the pillars of CLIMB as our guideposts and tenets of our culture and strategy.

Optimizing our structure as a springboard for our future
As a complex and rapidly growing firm, we must continuously assess our structure to best achieve our goals and strategies, and to position ourselves for continued success — One firm, thriving together long into the future. With these goals in mind, we are making changes to the leadership and operating models of our Assurance, Tax and Advisory business lines. These changes will continue to fuel our CLIMB strategy, enhance collaboration and unity, and provide greater clarity and focus for all BDO professionals. They also will support our focus on quality, communications and working together as one firm.

As you review the overview of the changes to follow, please know you will hear more in the coming weeks and months as details are put into place.

ASSURANCE AND TAX CHANGES

Consolidated national structure led by managing partners

To better focus and align our Assurance and Tax operations and efforts nationally, we will consolidate our six regions to three — East, Central and West — with newly aligned geographic markets, and leadership, operational and financial responsibilities. The new structure is effective May 1, with transition planning beginning over the next few weeks.

Managing partners will be responsible for Assurance and Tax in each region, reporting to National Assurance Managing Partner, Operations Chris Orella and Tax Managing Partner Matt Becker, respectively. These individuals will be responsible for the strategic development and performance of each geographic market within the assigned area.

For Assurance, Demetrios Frangiskatos will be responsible for the East, Tony Lawrence responsible for Central and Kevin Karo responsible for the West. Mark Ellenbogen will continue in his current Assurance leadership roles, including leadership of the Industry Specialty Services Group (ISSG) and Public Sector practices, and begin transition May 1 to new leadership responsibilities to be announced in the new year.

For Tax, Mathew DeMong will be responsible for the East, John Marquardt responsible for Central and Hoon Lee responsible for the West.

Market managing partners
At the direction of each Assurance and Tax managing partner will be market managing partners in 14 newly defined geographic markets. The market managing partners are responsible for leadership of geographic markets within each region including people, client service, operational and financial performance. The 12 hub metropolitan markets representing the firm’s largest metropolitan areas are part of the 14 new geographic markets.

Market and practice leaders

At the direction of each market managing partner will be market leaders and practice leaders:

•     The market leader is responsible for executing business development and go-to-market strategies, ensuring strategic alignment of targeted growth initiatives. Each of the 12 hub metropolitan markets will have a market leader for Assurance and Tax.

•     The practice leader supports the day-to-day management of the local geography. Each office will have a designated practice leader for Assurance and Tax. Practice leaders may be responsible for multiple offices.

These new roles and responsibilities will support focus on our strategy, people and culture, client service and the market, through greater clarity, communications and access to resources for all professionals. With these changes, we will no longer have the titles and roles of regional managing partner and office managing partner.

Market managing partners, market leaders and practice leaders will be announced in the coming weeks.

Operational leader and practice alignment changes

Assurance and Tax also have named individuals to new and existing operational roles. Unless otherwise noted, these changes are effective May 1.

Assurance

To capitalize on inherent synergies, our Business Services and Outsourcing (BSO) and Risk Advisory Services (RAS) practices will realign from Advisory to Assurance, effective Nov. 1. The exception is the BSO Healthcare practice which will remain in Advisory as part of Management Advisory Services (MAS). BSO National Leader Kelly Johnson will continue to lead BSO and report to Assurance National Managing Partner Bill Eisig. Vicky Gregorcyk will continue to lead RAS, reporting to Kelly.

Effective May 1, Kelly Johnson will take on a new role as Assurance Specialty Practices Leader with oversight of ISSG, Public Sector, RAS, and a combined BSO and Accounting & Reporting Advisory Services practice under the leadership of Mike Stevenson. Andrea Wilson, Neena Masih and Vicky Gregorcyk will continue to lead ISSG, Public Sector and RAS, respectively, under Kelly’s leadership.

Tax
Monika Loving is becoming Specialized Tax Services Managing Partner, Dan Fuller is becoming Tax Digital Transformation and Innovation Managing Partner and Cassie Hartogs is taking on the role of Tax People Operations Managing Partner. In addition to his role as West Managing Partner, Hoon Lee also will oversee the National Tax Office.

Transaction Advisory Services Partner Patrick Donoghue will become national practice leader for Corporate Finance. Valuation & Capital Markets Analysis (VCMA) Principal Tom Ramos will lead the VCMA practice reporting to Pat, as a unified practice. Corporate Finance co-leaders Ryan Guthrie and Tony Alfonso are leaving the firm.

Forensics Risk Leader Clark Schweers will become Forensics national practice leader with oversight of the Forensics Risk, Investigations and Litigation practices. Clark succeeds Forensics national practice leader Tim Mohr who is leaving the firm.

Eskander and the Advisory leaders will continue to advance and innovate the Advisory strategy on the path to achieve and surpass their goals.

Embracing change
We understand these are significant changes and business line leaders will each be addressing the changes in various forums with their respective business lines, practices and teams.

Thank you for embracing change and the opportunities that will come from new ways of working together. I ask that you continue to lead the way with empathy, unity, support and collaboration. I look forward to our continued success.

Best regards,

Wayne

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

2 Comments

  1. I am glad GC is digging into this story. I asked around OMPs in my office, and nobody seem to know. Very, very strange. A month later Stephanie’s LinkedIn profile still shows she works for BDO.

  2. People who know, know that BDO doesn’t let its professionals know what’s really happening at BDO.

Comments are closed.

Related articles

concept photo of a KPMG auditor searching for material misstatements

Carillion Liquidators Roast KPMG: “A Competent Auditor Would Have Detected the Misstatements”

The Carillion failure is still working its way through the courts and now KPMG is accused by Carillion’s liquidators of missing multiple red flags, the likes of which should not have been missed had KPMG had any clue what it is doing. So say the liquidators. WSJ: KPMG received £29 million from Carillion without qualifying […]

a woman in a business suit with $100 bills in her hand

Here Is a Massive List of Accounting Salaries Broken Down By City

Came across this list from Smartest Dollar of “the best-paying American cities for accountants in 2022” on the Googs and thought it worth sharing because getting paid is the only reason many of you do this job. Before the salary data appears at that link there are several paragraphs about the Inflation Reduction Act that […]