Venerable East End Accounting Firm Will Gain Global Reach in Merger


Markowitz, Fenelon & Bank (MFB), an East End accounting firm based in Bridgehampton and Riverhead that was headquartered for decades on Main Street in Sag Harbor in a previous incarnation, is merging with the international accounting firm Friedman LLP, effective January 1, 2020.
Friedman, founded in 1924, is headquartered in New York City and has offices on Long Island, in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and China.
Until early this year, MfB had offices in the Old Whaler business condominium above the Wharf Shop in Sag Harbor. It was formed in 1998 through the merger of the decades-old Sag Harbor firm, Fenelon, Crowley & Tutino, and two other East End firms, Markowitz, Preische and Stevens, P.C. and Mac Albert Bank & Co., P.C.
The company will take the name Friedman LLP after January 1 and will continue operating its Bridgehampton and Riverhead locations. The merger will bring the total number of Friedman offices to 13 and the firm’s roster of partners and staff to about 600, including the MFB team of approximately 40.
“We’ve been looking at the potential of a deal like this going back five years” as the needs of its clients have grown increasingly complex and sophisticated, explained MFB partner Tom Terry in an interview.
The resources of Friedman, which include a mergers and acquisitions department, for example, “will give us additional expertise,” he said, to meet clients’ need in many areas, including international tax, cybersecurity and digital currency.
Through its predecessors, MFB has been in operation for more than 60 years, providing tax, audit, accounting and advisory services to high-net-worth individuals, families, closely held businesses and nonprofit/government entities, according to a press release.
“Friedman and Markowitz, Fenelon & Bank share a common philosophy,” said Fred Berk, Friedman’s co-managing partner, “emphasizing trust, respect, collaboration and highly personal relationships, a commitment to delivering hands-on attention, and a dedication to community service.
Friedman co-managing partner Harriet Greenberg commented, “The firms’ natural alignments across value systems and proficiencies will promote a swift integration of our respective teams.”
Friedman’s recent growth initiatives include the establishment of new locations in Red Bank, New Jersey and Los Angeles, as well as the relocation of its Manhattan headquarters and its Marlton, New Jersey office to larger, state-of-the-art spaces. The trade publication Inside Public Accounting recently recognized Friedman as among the top 10-fastest-growing accounting firms based in the country based on organic growth.