With COVID-19 mashing the brakes on the entire live entertainment industry, business managers who are usually behind the curtains of an artist’s career have been placed in the driver’s seat to save, maintain, nourish and even grow a client’s career at a time when many clients have had their careers upended.
It is because of these success stories that we’ve been inspired to create the inaugural “Future of Business Management” list: a holistic and all-encompassing collection of the most inspirational, successful and innovative business managers in the country. They represent a talented, multi-faceted and pro-active business management industry that is changing as fast as our definition of “entertainment” changes.
“This list highlights the new face of business management: a diverse, talented and ambitious group of professionals,” says Matthew Hoffman, Founder of Trusted Advisor. “The honorees were nominated by the best entertainment attorneys, artist managers, music industry executives, and entertainment advisors from around the country.”
Among those, you will find rising stars revolutionizing the field, seasoned veterans who are re-inventing “business as usual,” and those who are in-between but share the vigor and excitement to serve the industry for the better and improve the financial security of their clients, while knowing the ins-and-outs of what it takes to build a solid financial foundation an artist can rely on long after they retire.
A number of this year’s honorees will be speaking at the Trusted Advisor Summit next week in Downtown LA. Don’t miss it!
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… Increasing diversity and inclusion by hiring more POC and women.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Helping a husband and wife client move into their first home. The moment was captured on Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles.
Reggie Gooden has over 20 years business experience, specifically in finance/accounting and entertainment. Reggie began his career in entertainment as a performer and music producer, interning at Sony Music Studios in New York, NY. He has produced several projects for hip hop artists and has previously run an independent record label. Reggie has also been an accounting professional for 20+ years, switching to Business Management because of his love for advocating for entertainment professionals.
The smartest person I know is… my mom.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… I would like to increase the communication and transparency between clients and managers. I feel like a lot of clients come to us with no knowledge of their finances and it’s really sad.
Resolution for 2022 is… To spend more quality time with my family
The best advice you’ve ever received… Choose your clients wisely. You should only take on clients that uplift your practice.
Josh Martin is a CPA with 10+ years of experience in tax and accounting with multinational companies, high-net worth individuals, entertainers, and families. His true passion lies in being the personal CFO and growing his client’s net worth. Josh’s clients include youtubers with millions of subs, NBA players, musicians, and actors. Josh is a member of the AICPA, CALCPA, and Talent Managers Association (TMA).
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Current state of hip/hop and the influence it has on all culture.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Helping clients pivot in a global pandemic to continue making money.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… Transparency, at AHC we’re offering a model that provides a full 360 approach in having our clients view transactions in real-time and not waiting for us to send cash flow statements monthly. Giving the client the education it takes to succeed financially, independently.
Resolution for 2022 is… Work smarter, not harder.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Walk, don’t run.
Located in Norwalk, CT, Ben Gregor founded A Harrison Company LLC out of the necessity to provide high profile entertainers a modern and transparent approach to business management. AHC believes the best approach to understanding their client’s needs is through a holistic approach to educate, explore, and execute both business and personal goals for the short-term, mid-term, and long-term successes.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… is to make business management more about serving as sounding boards, advice given and working as virtual CFOs for our clients. Often business management firms get bogged down with accounting and bookkeeping; focusing on debits and credits (which are extremely important) but the real value add is helping our clients navigate the nuances and extenuating financial matters associated with high earners, high net worth individuals and fame.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… being able to help qualifying clients secure the SVOG grant from the SBA. The Shuttered Venue grant completely altered our clients’ ability to survive and thrive in these unprecedented times.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? “Life is meant to be lived!” I am a true believer that we should all be enjoying the life we live. If we are not, we have ALL of the power to change our mindset, thought process, financial prospects and more.
The smartest person I know is… My mother, hands down, was the smartest person I have ever known. My mother was a master of the English language. She was well versed at using her verbal skills to navigate any situation with success.
Resolution for 2022 is… to improve each day.
The best advice you’ve ever received… was to remember that connections are important. Do not focus on transactions but on relationships.
Belva Anakwenze is the Principal of Abacus Financial Business Management, a minority & female-owned boutique business management company in Los Angeles, California. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and hails as a proud Bruin. In partnership with local companies, Anakwenze teaches Financial Management courses to promote fiscal responsibility in communities throughout Southern California. Belva is a native of Los Angeles, California where she currently resides with her children, and their dogs Zara and Pumpkin.
Tate Henshaw executes for grammy winners, NBA All-Stars, and international tech companies with the same laser focus that got him named as one of the top 40 accountants in America. His experience with tour accounting, royalty administration, and fintech give Arc the ability to rival services provided by the top business managers in the industry.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? How to make the perfect cocktail.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… Watching clients succeed in new avenues that were never thought possibly
Resolution for 2022 is… See more people face-to-face.
The best advice you’ve ever received… When the pendulum swings one direction, it will always swing back to the other.
Craig Manzino specializes in business management, tax and financial planning for clients in the sports, arts, entertainment and media industries. His clients include actors, writers, directors, producers, musicians, photographers, models, filmmakers, influencers and athletes. After beginning his career in the accounting profession more than 25 years ago at Deloitte, Craig founded Cameo Wealth & Creative Management, Inc., a boutique business management firm. A noted expert in business management services and the entertainment industry, Craig has spoken to such prominent organizations as the Screen Actors Guild, The Writers Guild, American Conservatory Theater, the New York Bar Association and New York University. He earned his B.S. in accounting from Binghamton University.
Resolution for 2022 is… To make a positive impact on our people and clients. While that’s part of our firm’s purpose, my resolution is to do this with greater intention and focus in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work and that means adjusting how we interact with established relationships and how we engage with new relationships.
Robert Abramowitz began his career in public accounting in 2004. For more than a decade, he has consulted as a business manager and tax advisor for clientele in the entertainment and professional service industries. He works closely with athletes, actors, writers, musicians, touring artists, consultants, physicians, entrepreneurs, executives, high-net-worth individuals and closely held businesses. Robert is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He received a B.S. in accounting from the Eller College of Business Administration at the University of Arizona and an M.S. in taxation from California State University, Northridge. He is a CPA and Certified Financial Planner.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Securing PPP loans for clients who were sure to have a significant loss of income in 2020, knowing we could do so because of proper entity setup, and regular payroll runs that allowed them to qualify.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… Is that we are a reporting based profession. Yes, bill-pay is one aspect of the job, but our responsibility is to be proactive on behalf of our clients. Having a proper budget and sending actualized reports on a monthly basis helps us properly maintain cash flow expectations, and gives us a greater understanding of our client’s needs and goals being realized.
Ryan Robichaud is a Manager in Armanino LLP’s Business Management practice. He specializes in working with entertainment industry professionals, providing strategic advice and goal-oriented reporting to musicians, actors, athletes, high net worth individuals and business owners. Ryan works in collaboration with an extensive network of outside advisors, including attorneys, insurance advisors, investment advisors and other family wealth specialists to develop a plan to preserve his clients’ long-term and short-term wealth. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys his time fishing and exploring the outdoors. He received a B.S. in music from New York University.
Babette Campbell (Armanino) has over 16 years of experience in the Business Management and Family Office services space. She works with ultra-high net worth individuals and their families on all aspects of their lives, including asset acquisition, reporting and budgeting, investment, estate and tax planning, etc. Babette works in collaboration with a network of outside advisors, including attorneys, insurance and investment advisors, and other family wealth specialists to serve her clients.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Mixology. I have grown to understand and appreciate the complexities of mixing cocktails and the ability to stimulate various senses using different techniques. This can be done by experimenting with the ingredients or infusions to see how they play off one another, using various aromatics, to the type of ice that is used. In addition, I also love the social aspect of mixing cocktails for friends and family.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Trust is one of the most important aspects of relationships whether they be personal or business. This is especially true in business management because of the highly personal nature of what we do for the client.
Alec Stoll attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting. He started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where he worked in the audit practice for three years. Alec earned his CPA license while at PwC before he transitioned out of public accounting and into business management. He joined Bills & Stoll, LLP in 2016 and was promoted to Senior Manager at the start of 2020. Bills & Stoll provides professional accounting and tax services, consultation, and financial management tailored to the professional entertainment services firm, the entrepreneur, and the family business.
Louis Barajas is partner and chief strategy officer for MGO Private Wealth in Irvine, California, and also the Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Business Management LAB Inc. For the past three decades, the renowned national speaker, author, media segment expert, has served as a wealth and business manager to some of the most iconic Latin artists and executives in the entertainment and sports industry.
Angie Barajas is an owner and partner of the LAB Companies. She prides herself in managing the firm’s operations and staff to guarantee that all clients are being served by our firm’s vision and guiding principles at the highest standards possible. Angie enjoys cooking for her family, spending time with friends, traveling, and taking care of her Yorkie, Daisy.
Ashley Romero works closely with Angie Barajas to ensure that the day to day needs of our business management clients are taken care of expeditiously. When not at work, Ashley likes to spend time with her family, play jazz on her trumpet, and cuddle with her dogs. She has a passion for music and finding the next best place to eat.
Brandy Davis, CPA, specializes in business management and taxation needs for entertainment and high net worth individuals. Brandy takes on the financial planning for some of the industry’s leading players. This includes helping them achieve their personal financial goals, making informed investment decisions and managing their day to day financial affairs. She has strong expertise in tax planning, estate planning, budgeting, risk management and consulting for high net worth individuals. In addition, Brandy has experience with corporate taxation and nonprofit organizations.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Professionally, knowing that I was able to get my clients various types of financial relief they suffered as a result of Covid, PPP loans, Employee Retention Credits and Shuttered Operator Venue Grants were a real lifeline to my clients. On the personal side, I’ve been seeing a really great woman for almost three years and our relationship grew stronger during Covid. I also have a 93 year old father and every moment I spend with him is a gift. And then I have two daughters. One lives in Denver. Until June of this year, I had not seen her since the beginning of the pandemic. Her visit to LA was priceless!
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Mountain biking, it’s been a passion of mine for over 20 years.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… I wish more younger people would enter the field. There is a lack of people entering all aspects of accounting and business management is one of the most interesting accounting specialties to pursue. From financial and tax planning to advising on general business and personal matters, there are a ton of matters our clients rely on us to handle.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Don’t let mistakes or failures beat you down. Learn from them and move on.
Mark Pariser, CPA, is a Partner at Dunn, Pariser & Peyrot. Dunn, Pariser & Peyrot Principals bring nearly a century of public accounting, business management and strategic advisory experience to the firm. Each principal personally oversees client accounts and our team of experienced professionals in service areas like business management, tax advisory and compliance, accounting and CFO services, financial and estate planning, succession planning and asset protection and risk management.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Empowering Your Clients, Team and Colleagues: A lesson on why you shouldn’t be alone at the top.
The best advice you’ve ever received… “Trust your gut.” – Dina LaPolt (This advice has never steered me wrong).
Sally Velazquez is a Los Angeles based tax attorney/Business Manager and founder of Empower Business Management, Inc. Sally represents musicians, DJs, social media influencers, actors, directors, and producers in the entertainment industry and is known for her expertise in tax and entity structuring. She has also been recognized as 2020’s & 2021’s Top Business Managers in Billboard Magazine. Sally has over twelve years’ experience in tax, accounting and business management and provides concierge services while overseeing bookkeeping, accounting, financial reporting, insurance, and investments for her client’s personal and financial affairs.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… The one thing I am changing about business management is the way we communicate with our employees. When the whole team is up-to-date with the client’s needs/affairs, the work is executed with better focus on what matters to the client.
Resolution for 2022 is… to write down an idea everyday, and put those ideas into action.
Tracy Miller is the VP of Operations at Empower Business Management Inc.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? I would choose to go through the continuing performance loop of preparation, execution, and evaluation and how this is necessary to not only be successful for yourself, but more importantly for others around you. If you have direct reports, your success is largely dictated by their ability to get things done. How can you properly motivate your team members to get them to hyper focus on the task at hand. This was something I learned early on in the start up of FFO, and it has been the lifeblood of the organization since.
The best advice you’ve ever received… The best advice I was ever given was “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will always get what you’ve always gotten.” If you are working on something and it just does not seem to be working, you cannot solve it by continuing to do the same thing. So you have to think about the situation differently which could allow for another way of thinking and arriving at the solution to the issue.
Evan Jehle, CPA, PFS, is a Partner and COO at FFO (Flynn Family Office). Committed to the four Cs: confidentiality, competency, continuity and caring, Our Family Office specialists employ relationship-driven approaches that ensure clients’ peace of mind surrounding privacy, expertise and successful goal achievement.
Eduardo J. Pabellón is a Senior Manager with Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, LLC, a leading business and financial management firm. He manages the financial and related business affairs of musicians, artists, actors, and high-net-worth individuals. Mr. Pabellón began his business management career in 2007 at GLWG where he worked in the Newark, DE office in the business management practice, focusing on accounting and financial management for iconic music artists, entrepreneurs, and other high-net-worth individuals. In 2009, Mr. Pabellón relocated to the Los Angeles office of the firm, which by then became Wasserman, Grossman & Sloan, LLP.
In 2019, WG&S, LLP was acquired by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, LLC. The combined firm became the largest entertainment business and financial management firm in the US with offices in Southern California, Northern California, Texas, Tennessee, Delaware, New York, and London. Mr. Pabellón is received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from West Chester University of PA. He is a California-licensed CPA and serves on the boards of the Natalie Cole Foundation and City of Hope Future Hope, part of the Music Film Entertainment Industry Group. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Cleveland sports team misery.
Resolution for 2022 is… to send fewer emails.
The best advice you’ve ever received… do what you say you’re going to do.
Greg Getzinger, CPA, is a Partner at Gursey Schneider LLP. Gursey Schneider LLP was founded with relationships, commitments, experience and state-of-the art accounting in mind. Its goal is to offer a spectrum of specialties and provide unparalleled service to its clients. Its departments are fully integrated and work as a cohesive team within the firm, giving clients the benefit of working with one firm that can meet their needs in every area of accounting, business management, valuation and litigation support.
If I could snap my fingers and learn a skill it would be…. Piano
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Anything new-age self-help like meditation, EFT tapping and manifesting the world you want to live in! Self improvement has become my biggest passion ever since having kids and trying to maintain a growing career at the same time.
Tara Beaudine is a Director at PS Business Management where she works with a diverse roster of musicians, artists and entertainers. As a Business Manager she oversees and assists with all financial aspects of a client’s career. From baby bands to independent artists to chart topping pop acts, Tara helps bring stability and structure to her clients’ financial lives, both personally and professionally. Having a trusted person watching over their business gives these artists and musicians the freedom to continue creating amazing art. Tara is extremely grateful to work with so many strong, independent women on both her team and roster of clients.
PS Business Management, LLC is a premier full service business management firm with offices in New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Nashville.
We have built an industry-leading team of more than 50 dedicated professionals whose backgrounds include experience at major tax, accounting, and financial firms as well as knowledge from all corners of the entertainment industry. The diverse nature of our team’s experience combined with our personalized and passionate approach provides us with a unique perspective from which to advise our clients on their personal and professional financial needs.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… seeing the music business come alive again and hearing my artists on the radio with their new hits.
Resolution for 2022 is… Do everything I can to be a better business manager and advocate for my clients.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… The stigma around money and numbers. The way it appears daunting to many clients. We are innovating new ways to communicate with our clients and help them develop their own skills to learn, understand, and help manage their business and personal finances.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? The way money influences politics.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Be kind, be humble, and always do your best.
Cat Marcasciano is a Senior Manager at PS Business Management where she’s developed her skills over the last 12+ years. Cat takes pride in her work and the attention to detail she affords all of her clients. Prior to joining PSBM, Cat gained a wide variety of experience and knowledge in the music industry and accounting. Business management was the perfect fit for Cat as she always had the goal of assisting the artist in any way possible so they could focus on creating their art.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… watching my team and my clients persevere in one of the most uncertain and chaotic times of our lives with absolute grace. they are such strong and talented human beings.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Wine!
The smartest person I know is… my dad.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… bringing more diversity to the table and improving our industry by amplifying more unique voices and ideas.
Resolution for 2022 is… focus on the work and let the work speak.
The best advice you’ve ever received… plan for the worst, hope for the best.
Kristin Lee is a Managing Director and Founder of KLBM. The team at KLBM provides a full range of business management services to musicians, athletes, writers, actors, producers, labels and other high net-worth individuals and companies all over the world. They constantly strive to help foster clients’ growth and continued success in ever-changing multifaceted industries. With strategic partnerships around the world, KLBM delivers first-class global business management with transparency and a personalized touch wherever your profession may take you.
What is your mission in business management? Our purpose at Leftbrain is to empower entertainers to take ownership of their finances and create lasting wealth. We do this by unifying and simplifying financial data in a single application — uncomplicating business management so entertainers can focus on their art. We are equally passionate about empowering employees. When employees feel empowered, they’re equipped to deliver on our mission. We also think this climate is essential to recruiting and retaining the best people, so they are excited about their work and their ability to really shape the direction of the company.
What does leadership mean to you? At Leftbrain, we evaluate ideas based on their merit, not the seniority of the person who has them. Regardless of the title someone holds — they could be a brand new bookkeeper straight out of college — we welcome insight from the team and are always trying to find better ways of doing things. Equally important, everyone on the team is welcome to challenge senior executives. All ideas stand or fail on their own merit. This creates an environment of teamwork and innovation.
How do you elevate client experience? Innovation through technology has helped us elevate client experience, both indirectly and directly. First, our in-house tech stack allows us to supercharge the rest of what we’re doing, so we can be more efficient and accurate and return our personal focus to the client. We’re constantly looking for innovative new tech to build or co-opt, whether it’s the latest in bookkeeping software, borrowing from an entirely different industry, or building something from scratch. Second, we elevate client experience directly by providing a mobile app to our clients so they can easily and instantly understand their financial health, the status of invoices and bills, and see where their money is coming from and where it’s going. No other business manager is doing this. It’s exciting to be on the cutting edge of redefining what business management can and should be.
Nicholas Judd co-founded Leftbrain in 2019 to equip entertainers and their teams with intuitive technology for understanding and managing their finances. His innovative approach earned him a spot on Billboard Magazine’s 2021 Top Business Managers List.
In addition to Leftbrain, Nicholas founded Entertainment Talk Shop, managed finance at global music event producer Livestyle, Inc., and founded consulting firm, Judd Financial.
He is a 2020 MBA graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a 2008 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Syracuse University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, and Music Industry.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Maintaining if not improving productivity while transitioning to a remote work environment.
Resolution for 2022 is… Is to retain 100% of all our clientele and staff by continuing to be innovative in our offerings and collaborate more often with staff to improve operations and work life balance.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… I’d like to see a significant initiative being taken to become more diverse in this arena.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Treat your loyalty like the stock market and be careful where you invest it.
Wilbo Harrell is the Chief of Staff at LifeLine Financial Group. Lifeline Financial Group offers a variety of custom-built options to prepare its clients for their financial futures. From tax-free retirement income to making sure your loved ones are well taken care of in the future, they approach each new client with excellence.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Getting to hug and spend time with my loved ones after so much time in quarantine.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… Increasing the access, exposure, and advancement of professionals of color within our industry.
Resolution for 2022 is… Be fearless.
Laura Rutebuka, CPA, is the Director of Family Strategy at LifeLine Financial Group.
The most rewarding moment of the last year was… Helping many of my clients purchase homes for the first time after working tirelessly to get to a place where they were financially ready and able to do so.
The best advice I was ever given… Speak less and listen more.
Justin Kobay is a Certified Public Accountant and a Partner at LL Business Management, Inc.’s and it’s affiliate Seckendorf Hasson Reilly & Kobay CPA’s, LLC. Justin graduated from The University of Miami (“THE U”) with a double major in finance and accounting and received his CPA License in the State of New York. Justin’s passion for music combined with his accounting/finance experience led him to make the transition into business management. Since then, he has grown LL Business Management’s client base to include some of the most successful recording artists, producers, songwriters, and executives in the industry. At LL Business Management, Justin specializes in all aspects of client representation on both a professional and personal level. Additionally, he is well versed in foreign and domestic tax issues for Artists performing in the U.S. and abroad.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Passing all four parts of the CPA exam! We all know how rigorous and difficult the CPA exam traditionally is, but with the uncertainty around COVID-19 and the closure of testing centers, it made the uphill battle seem that much harder. The relief and sense of accomplishment I felt when I received my final passing score is one I’ll always remember!
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Entrepreneurship. I’m extremely passionate about the entrepreneurship space, and am always intrigued to hear the different stories of each individual entrepreneur. Though no path is identical, ultimately, we all can relate through one experience or another that we’ve encountered along our journey.
Juan Rodriguez, CPA, is the Founder & CEO of Lodgz Financial PLLC, a boutique business management firm serving talent and businesses in content creation, gaming and esports. He is a graduate from Auburn University, where he received his undergraduate degree in accounting in 2018. He is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) in the state of Florida. Before launching his firm full-time, Juan was an Auditor at big-four public accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY). Juan is also the host of an interview-style gaming and esports podcast, The Lodgz Podcast. He’s had the opportunity to host influential personas in gaming, pro esports players, and content creators.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Resolution for 2022 is… to focus on longevity.
Alex Smith is Partner-in-Charge of the Business Management group at Mann Gelon Glodney Gumerove Yee LLP (MGGGY). MGGGY is a full-service independent boutique accounting and business management firm based in Century City. Alex represents writers, directors, actors, social media influencers, musical acts, songwriter/producers and talent managers as well as entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals outside of entertainment. He advises clients on tax planning, budgeting, investments, risk management, and asset structuring. Alex possesses significant industry expertise in real estate and provides consulting services to numerous syndicators, developers, and multi-generational family offices. He is also very active in the hospitality industry representing celebrity chefs, restaurant/nightlife groups, and experiential agencies.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Receiving a thank you note from my Adopt-A-Senior for finding the elusive toilet paper and hand sanitizer amid the shortage during the pandemic lockdown.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Days are long, but the years are short. Enjoy the moment.
Van Lee, CPA, is a Partner at Mann Gelon Glodney Gumerove Yee LLP. Her focus is assisting high-net-worth individuals, estates and entrepreneurs manage and grow their assets. She partners with her clients and their financial advisors on wealth management and retirement and tax strategies. Van enjoys providing her clients with insight and advice that allow for a high standard of living and wealth creation over many generations.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Helping my son fearlessly learn how to ride a bike without training wheels in less than a week.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Do what is right, not what is easy.
Justin Sroka is a Principal in the Business Management group at MGGGY and is a trusted advisor to his diverse and international client base including actors, writers, directors, musicians, comedians, influencers, athletes, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals in the entertainment industry. He advises clients in all aspects of their financial lives and provides high quality personalized services to fit their needs. Justin is experienced in tax planning and accounting strategies and guides clients to maximize and preserve wealth.
Michael Kaplan, the firm’s Managing Partner, has more than 25 years of experience serving businesses, private enterprises, and high-net-worth individuals in a diverse range of industries such as entertainment, technology, real estate, manufacturing and distribution, and more.
Serving as an advisor, manager, strategist, and confidant to his clients, he counsels clients on financial planning, cash flow management, income taxes, retirement planning, and wealth management, among other things.
Michael is a nationally-recognized business manager and leads the firm’s Private Enterprise Group. Outside of work, he enjoys serving on Boards in the community, supporting the Los Angeles sports teams, golfing, playing tennis, and spending time with his family.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… The birth of my daughter and seeing the joy in my son’s eyes when he saw his baby sister for the first time and knowing she would help him cope with the COVID lockdowns and zoom school.
The smartest person I know is… My father.
Resolution for 2022 is… Delegate more.
The best advice you’ve ever received… To always be accountable for your actions. It’s one of the best ways to build trust and self respect.
Justine Ruffalo, CPA, serves businesses, private enterprises, estates, trusts and high net worth individuals in the entertainment industry, including the areas of music, film, television and licensing.
Justine works closely with her clients and her client’s advisors to ensure their business and personal decisions are designed to preserve their wealth and attain their professional and financial goals. Justine provides her clients with daily financial management, including cash flow analysis and planning; facilitating acquisitions, sales, and financing; and tax and strategic planning. She also has extensive experience in royalty and contract compliance, and internal control evaluation, design and implementation.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Monte Carlo analysis and techniques
The smartest person I know is… My wife… please send her this article
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Seeing how quickly we were able to make financial and lifestyle corrections based on the pandemic environment. Being able to assess the current conditions and make/not make those adjustments were key to the ongoing success of my clients. A perfect example would be your typical panic selling when the market dropped off.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… To create a holistic approach to business management, it’s just not about cutting checks and doing taxes. From investments to branding, everything works together to strengthen a clients financial well being and future.
Resolution for 2022 is… Same as every year and that’s to strategically work with everyone of my clients to get to a point where they are making money while they sleep
The best advice you’ve ever received… Don’t let the tax tail wag the dog.
Matt Klarberg is the Managing Director at Monarch Business & Wealth Management. With goals of preservation, entrepreneurship, integrity, talent, excellence and innovation, Monarch Business & Wealth Management approaches each client with a winning methodology that consistently yields exceptional results. Nationally trusted by the National Accounting Firm, experts at Monarch work in multidisciplinary teams with a holistic view and close cooperation to meet each client’s precise needs.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? How to cook the perfect steak.
Resolution for 2022 is… to have more fun!
The best advice you’ve ever received… “Never tell me the odds” – Han Solo
In 2013, Mike Merriman created PARR3 LLC to address the need he saw within the entertainment industry for a non-traditional business management model which could accommodate the fast rate of change within the landscape. He has built a team of like-minded young professionals, who desire to provide the best level of service possible to every client we work with. The Parr3 team has worked with hundreds of artists in various stages of their careers. Mike Merriman has experience working in most corners of the music industry over the last 18 years. From working in management, touring, record promotion, and business consulting, Mike has honed a passion for helping the artist manage his or her business affairs efficiently and profitably.
My resolution for 2022 is… to continue prioritizing life in the business and figure out what’s important. You can’t be a one-man show. Working collaboratively with a team and enjoying the people around you is vital.
The best advice I was ever given… you can always do more; as long as you’re proud of what you’ve done, it’s enough.
Thomas Smith, CPA, is a Partner of Prager Metis, a member of Prager Metis International Group. Tom has over 20 years of experience in the accounting industry. Tom has a broad background providing a full spectrum of services to a wide variety of industries. This includes entertainment and music clients, touring and music publishing and television production companies as well as apparel and executives including CEO’s of publicly traded companies.
The smartest person I know is… my mom. She’s one of the kindest people I know. She’s taught me that all people need to be treated with respect and try to be of service to people.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… create a greater diversity in the industry. I am working hard to build the next generation of business managers by looking at our internal talent.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? How to set up a national tour for a musical act or how to cook Thanksgiving.
The best advice I was ever given… you can only work on you and take nothing personally.
Jennifer Coyne, CPA, is a Director of Business Management at Prager Metis, a member of Prager Metis International Group. She has more than 15 years of experience in accounting and tax. Jennifer specializes in providing business management services to the entertainment industry, professional athletes, film production companies, music executives, artist management companies, and entertainers. Her specialties include complex accounting, tax, venture capital deals, and advising sports related businesses.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… Is to convince the world that we are all not crooks, we all do not steal from our clients, most of us legitimately care about our clients and their well being and can be trusted. We listen and we offer solutions to problems and do more good than bad.
Resolution for 2022 is… Not to sweat the small stuff and to overcome perfectionism.
The best advice you’ve ever received… the only person you can change is yourself.
Jennifer Prosperino, CPA, PFS, is the President and Founder of Prosperino Planning Concepts LLC. Prosperino Planning Concepts has been established to enable its clients to live a simplified and coordinated financial life with the assistance of our highly personalized, educational elite services. Its vision consists of providing a better client experience through total customization. A full range of personal financial concierge services based on decades of financial expertise and personalization will allow clients to build and maintain the financial lives they desire.
As a business manager Rachel Martinez (Partner at Savitsky Satin Bacon & Bucci) provides her clients with daily monitoring of their assets and spending. Rachel’s clients include actors, writers, directors, producers, and online influencers. She acts as their personal CFO and trusted advisor. In addition, Savitsky Satin Bacon & Bucci offers a broad range of specialized services to their clients including oversight of their legal affairs, insurance issues, real estate acquisitions and construction, and management of all of their household and foundation employees.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… The Water of Life, Good Luck/Bad Luck and other wisdom stories
Best advice you’ve ever received… Winning should not tempt you because this is how you’ll grow – by being defeated, decisively, by constantly greater beings.
Matthew Burke (Managing Partner at Singer Burke Zimmer & Kogan, LLP) is responsible for managing and overseeing all aspects of the firm’s operations, from personnel decisions to strategic planning. With an expertise in holistic financial planning and management, he enjoys helping people make meaningful shifts in their financial lives through the use of creative and customized financial software tools. Matthew has an uncanny ability to create space for people to reflect, to talk and to stretch their conceptions of what can be achieved. His insightful approach has fostered the growth of Singer Burke’s unique culture, where the definition of “success” has been expanded to include a personal sense of growth and fulfillment for clients and staff alike.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Getting to connect with clients more frequently through Zoom/Teams, etc.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Touring tips for new bands.
The one thing I am changing / want to change about business management… Driving towards modern financial reporting tools while allowing for high volume.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Garbage in is garbage out.
Dean Herrera, CPA, is the Business Management Supervisor at Singer Burke Zimmer & Kogan, LLP. At Singer Burke Zimmer & Kogan, the goal is to deliver confidence and clarity to allow clients greater freedom to focus on pursuing their passions, whether that is writing, directing, acting, composing, running a studio or pushing barriers in new media and technology. The pairing of two distinct companies coming together under one roof allows clients access to comprehensive financial services from top professionals who keep customization in mind.
Pam Malek, Managing Director at The Colony Group, LLC, is passionate about implementing customized financial solutions to complex situations and applying her keen knowledge of tax and accounting to help maximize clients’ positive outcomes. She provides domestic and international tax advisory and accounting services to clients in the entertainment industry with an emphasis on worldwide tours and tour budgeting. She also represents clients in evaluating their publishing and master recording catalogues to help maximize their value in a sales transaction.
The LA office of The Colony Group, LLC (“Colony”) is a nationally recognized business management team specializing in business management, tour accounting, and royalty and publishing services for musicians, actors, writers, TV personalities, studio executives, digital influencers, and high-net-worth individuals. Colony is an independent, fee-only wealth management firm with locations in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Virginia. With origins dating back to 1986, Colony offers a variety of expertise that encompasses wealth management, tax, estate, retirement and philanthropic planning, investment management and sustainable investing solutions, family office services, and divorce and dispute resolution services.
You need to give an hour-long lecture with no prep. What topic do you choose? Venture capital.
The most rewarding moment of last year was… Launching a new firm.
The best advice you’ve ever received… Take a breath and think before you speak.
Joshua Klein is the Managing Partner and Founder of TKG Business Management LLC. TKG is a full service family office specializing in providing Business and Wealth Management Services to High Net worth Individuals, Entrepreneurs, Athletes, and Entertainers.
Joshua started his career in Business Management working as an intern for Assante Wealth Management while he was attending Indiana University where he later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Kelly School of Business. Immediately after graduating, he moved to New York to begin work for Assante’s new successor Loring Ward.
At Loring Ward, Joshua learned the business from the ground up, beginning as an account executive handling some of music and sport’s top performers. Interacting with all aspects of the business, Joshua spent the majority of his time working on accounting for music touring, record labels, publishing, and multi state taxation for athletes.
After working at Loring Ward for a 2 years, Joshua joined Guggenheim Partners, LLC where he took on a new role as an Account Manager handling client’s directly and managing a staff of 8. In 2009, Joshua decided to leave Guggenheim and form Monarch with two other partners. Josh was at Monarch from 2009-2020. In 2020, Joshua left Monarch and formed TKG Business Management.
Joshua is a nationally recognized leader in the area of business management with an emphasis on business management for CEO’s, athletes, musicians, artist manager’s, and music producers.
In his spare time, he is actively involved the community organizations such as National Meningitis Foundation as well as the Alzheimer’s Association.